Pre-owned Designer Watches – whats all the fuss?


On the hunt for a designer watch, but want to stretch your budget a little further? If you look into reconditioned or pre-owned models, you may be surprised by what you can actually get for your money. Many jewellers offer part-exchange schemes and will look to buy designer watches back from the public. This means they often have a range of exquisite designer watches, ready to be reconditioned and put back up for sale.

Let’s take a closer look at what to expect from purchasing a pre-owned designer watch.

The reconditioning process

Jewellers will scan the watch and check the serial number with the manufacturer. This will confirm if the watch is genuine or fake. A data analysis will also cross-reference this information to see if the watch has been reported lost or stolen. The watch is then inspected by a watch specialist. Important checks are carefully made to assess water resistance, accuracy, functionality and conditioning. This will determine if the watch needs to be sent back to the manufacturer for component changes. Alternatively some of the modifications or fixes can be completed in-house.

A member of the jewellery service team will check the watch again, looking out for any mechanical issues. The watch is then carefully cleaned, boxed and locked away before display.

Price points

The price of a pre-owned watch depends on a number of factors. This will determine the resale price point. Here are the criteria the jeweller will look at before setting the actual price:-

  • The initial cost of the watch
  • The condition of the watch after it has been refurbished
  • Was the watch a limited edition design?
  • The age of the watch
  • The cost of new components and time to recondition
  • Popularity of the design and customer base

After all these checks and considerations have been made, you can still expect to find a style of watch that will suit your needs. If you are considering a pre-owned watch, expect topay around 50 to 60% less, compared to what it cost originally.

Pre-owned brands

Depending on the jewellers and what design of watch they stock. You should be able to find plenty of top brands to choose from. If you want to get hold of a quality designer watch like Breitling, Cartier, Omega, Rolex, Longines or Jaeger Lecoultre, but affording a brand new watch falls out of your budget, a pre-owned alternative is the best move forward. You have the opportunity to invest in a household name and cherish something that master watchmakers took years to perfect.

Where can you buy a pre-owned watch?

You can start your search for a pre-owned designer watch online. This makes it easy for you as a buyer to search out something that really suits your style. You may even be considering a pre-owned watch as a gift to a family member, or as a wedding present. A lovely gesture that won’t hurt your bank balance.

Buying online from an established jewellers is a good way of ensuring you don’t buy a fake.

If a website looks unfamiliar, or the price points are too good to be true, it may be safer to shop elsewhere. If you are really unsure, give the company a call and ask to visit the store in person.

If you are out shopping on the high street, spend some time looking around for jewellers that sell pre-owned watches. You might have to pop in and ask them if you can see their pre-owned watch range. This way you can actually see, feel, inspect and wear the watch before making a decision to buy.

What type of precious metal is used?

Many designer watches come in an array of different metals types, and some watches will also include diamonds on the face or strap. The amount of metal (weight) or diamonds used can affect the price significantly. Here is an overview of expectations based on metal being used for watches.

  • Diamonds – Higher cost
  • 950 Platinum – Higher cost
  • Palladium – High cost
  • 18ct Golds – High cost
  • 9ct Golds – Medium cost
  • Stainless Steel – Lower cost
  • Titanium – Lower cost

This is a guidance and you may find different brands will put different price points on these variants. It normally depends on the popularity of the watch and brand.


Insurance and warranty

Every pre-owned watch should come with at least 12 months warranty. This will cover any mechanical problems that might occur after purchase. This gives any buyer peace of mind and guarantees quality and service from the jewellers. Some jewellers may even offer extended warranty for each watch purchased. This can protect you from any unexpected faults in the future.

If you have spent a tidy sum on your watch, it may be advisable to get it insured. Many jewellery insurance specialist companies will insure your new timepiece. This will protect you from accidental damage, theft or even if you lose it.

Why invest in a designer watch?

Designer watches are built by watch experts who spend a lifetime creating perfect works of art. A watch that is built to last a lifetime, will hold a lot more of its value over decades to come.

The components used for each watch are not made of plastic or poor strength metals. Time has gone into the architecture and final design. It has been considered, checked and stamped with the approval of the brand owner.

Most of these watches have also been built for a reason. They defy all weather conditions, work underwater at depths you can’t reach, light up in the dark, are scratchproof resistant, made with high-precision movement, and finished off with diamonds or luxury metals. Why would you want anything else?

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About Author

LionSorbet™ is a UK design agency that provide creative and marketing support for Jewellers & Luxury brands around the world. We are the originators of world class 3D Product Animation and Marketing Visuals for luxury products and have a recognised expertise in creating compelling Websites and eCommerce stores for Manufacturers, designers and retailers across the globe

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