by Joseph McKenzie, Founder of Xupes
The pre-owned market has grown considerably in the past ten years, which means more and more people are turning to second hand. As a significant purchase, often with a high value, watches are a considered purchase and their consumers do a lot of research before taking the plunge. Whether you’re looking for something that is discontinued, to save money, or you just want plenty of options in one place – pre-owned gives you a plethora of opportunities vs buying new.
That said, there are still many pitfalls to watch out for. Fine watches are very similar to cars, most are mechanical and include a lot of moving parts. Every different brand and model has a different movement which includes 100+ parts, so you either have to be extremely knowledgeable to understand exactly what to look for. We’ve pulled together our top tips to help guide you through the process to find your perfect pre-loved timepiece:
- Research the Watch You Are Buying
Buying a second-hand watch is a great way to save money and perhaps even gain a return on your investment. There are some fantastic examples on the pre-owned market from brands including Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe and many more. A fantastic example is the Rolex Daytona, which has seen huge rises in value in the last five years and shows no signs of slowing down in 2018. This culminated in the sale of a very rare vintage example in November 2017 that sold for £12.5m at auction. Whilst this is a unique example, the more readily available models have seen price rises of over 30% in the last two years alone and represent greater potential investment opportunities.
- Research Where You Are Going to Buy Your Watch
Once you have carried out some research into the watch you would like to purchase, the next step is finding a seller to buy it from. It is very important to purchase your new watch from a reputable seller that can offer warranties, brand accredited servicing and transparent returns policies for your piece of mind. At Xupes, we often find new clients come to us via recommendations from previous clients. The best way to get a feel for the supplier is through a third-party, whether it is a personal recommendation or a review site, such as TrustPilot, where past customers are able to give their honest feedback about their experiences. We are proud to have excellent reviews and an unbeatable 9.9 score within the pre-owned market. Also look for press online, a legitimate watch supplier should be regularly featured in recognised publications. I make sure the team spend a lot of time on photography, giving clear and honest descriptions, and always having friendly but knowledgeable sales consultant available to guide our clients through their purchase. It is hard to find companies that provide this within the pre-owned sphere – but it is important to choose a supplier you have confidence in and can trust.
- Ask About the Watch’s Service History
Before you commit to purchasing your pre-owned timepiece the supplier should be able to provide you with an understanding of the work that has been carried out on the watch. You should always make sure that any servicing or repairs were conducted by an experienced watchmaker, ideally in a brand accredited service centre. At Xupes we are accredited by Cartier, Omega and Longines and are able to offer a 24-month warranty with all of our watch purchases. All of our timepieces a fully checked and refurbished up to as near new as possible.
- Expect Openness Around the Origins of The Watch
Any reputable supplier should be able to explain where they purchased your potential new timepiece from. If they are not able to, then this should set alarm bells ringing. You should expect the seller to operate with complete transparency. It is also important that they have completed checks to make sure that the watch is not stolen which is easy to do against a direct database with the police and will ensure you are not unknowingly sold stolen goods.
- Don’t Expect an Unrealistic Bargain
The pre-owned market has grown significantly and so has the knowledge held by sellers, and consumers alike. There are some brands and models which we offer here at Xupes which have a significant saving on RRP (generally 30-70% off) but a watch that is priced considerably under the pre-owned market rate will run a substantial chance of being stolen or counterfeit. If you find a price that looks ‘too good to miss’, it is important that you measure this price against similar models on the pre-owned market. It is also important to consider what you are paying for, along with the watch itself. A watch that is provided with box and papers or a warranty will be priced higher than a watch without. These are some points to consider, especially if you are looking for a piece that is potentially inclined to retain its value better.
You can view Xupes’ full collection of pre-owned and vintage watches at: www.xupes.com