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Thinking about purchasing a high-end luxury watch, such as an Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre or Rolex for a loved one this holiday?
Here’s what to know before you buy.
Despite the fact that we all have clocks on our electronic devices, watch wearing has been on the rise. Besides added convenience, a nice piece of jewelry on your wrist can finish an outfit and add to your sophistication.
A luxury watch can be a special item that is built to last and worth handing down to the next generation. Some of the most elite watch brands include, but are not limited to, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger LeCoultre (JLC ), Blancpain, Ulysse Nardin, Rolex, and Jaquet Droz.
Be honest—can you afford it?
Before purchasing a luxury watch, the most important thing is to be honest with yourself if you can afford a brand-new one. Will the watch be an asset or a liability? Do some research: There are various versions of high-end watches available out there, including pre-owned and refurbished. Consider buying pre-owned, but make sure it’s authentic and not a “knock off.” The key is to honestly assess your financial situation carefully and choose your watch accordingly.
Make sure it’s real.
In the past, fake high-end knockoff watches were so poorly made that it was usually easy to distinguish them from the genuine item. Today, counterfeit watches can be almost impossible to distinguish (to the untrained eye) from the world-renowned masterpieces. Online auction houses and individual internet sellers commonly offer very convincing copies. If you want a genuine Patek, Rolex or other specific designer, make it clear to the dealer that you are interested in seeing and buying only a 100 percent genuine, unaltered watch — including the watch band.
Make sure the dealer is legit.
Even a pre-owned luxury watch is an expensive item. It is absolutely essential that you buy from a knowledgeable dealer you know you can trust. Every year, people are scammed out of millions of dollars thinking they are buying “the real thing,” when in fact it’s a knockoff. That is why it is important to buy a new or used high-end watch from a knowledgeable and reputable dealer. If you do find one online that you like, read reviews on the company and make sure their return terms are clearly stated.
A new luxury watch can be purchased from an authorized dealer or it can be obtained from an independent, unauthorized watch dealer selling new, near-new, pre-owned, or vintage watches. If your objective is to purchase a new, current model watch and to save on the price, or if you are looking for a specific model no longer available from an authorized dealer, then buying from an independent watch dealer is a good option. To find an authorized dealer in your area, visit the manufacturer’s website for dealers in your area.
Understand the guarantees.
Before buying, ask the seller if the watch is an authentic, unaltered piece, and if they offer an unconditional money back guarantee. Also ask for a full, written, timekeeping and water resistance guarantee with the watch for one full year, and that the bracelet contains only authentic parts.
Confirm that it’s in good working order.
Also, before you buy, make sure the watch is working properly, and has been serviced by an authorized manufacturer service center, or reputable and experienced independent watchmaker known to specialize in high-end watches.
Get the model and serial number.
Make sure you get and check the model and serial number of the watch before buying. The dealer should give you the opportunity to take the bracelet off and check the numbers located between the lugs for authenticity.
Take your time deciding.
Whether you are buying a new or pre-owned luxury watch, choose carefully and don’t allow yourself to be rushed into buying. Do your research, and if necessary, ask the dealer to hold the watch for you for a day or two while you consider buying it.
Trust your instinct: if the deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Make sure you are 100 percent satisfied with the watch and the purchase—this is an heirloom item that should last your lifetime and be handed down to the next generation. Finally, once you buy, insure it and enjoy it!
To shop our full selection of high-end watches, visit our eBay store.