Should I Buy a New or Used Watch? How to Decide


If you’re a watch aficionado, then you know that watches are much more than a tool used to tell the time. They’re a critical element of someone’s personal style, and they have the ability to signal that you’re amongst the upper echelons of society. For these reasons, it’s important to take your time and do your research before you purchase a watch with a significant price tag.

One of the most common questions people ask themselves is whether they should buy a new or a used watch. There are advantages to both routes. Read on to learn everything you need to know!

Reasons Why You Should Purchase a New Watch

When it comes to purchasing a luxury watch, the first thing many people consider is whether they should buy it new. There are many reasons why someone might want to do that. The following are just a few of them.

Stay Ahead of Trends

Watches are generally considered to be a classic part of a person’s style, which is why they retain their value for so long. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t trends when it comes to watches, though.

Buying a watch new means that you don’t have to wait to get your hands on the latest release from your favorite watch manufacturer. All you need to do is head to the store and hand over your credit card, and it’s yours (assuming it’s not a limited release). If you’re someone who always wants the latest on their wrist, then buying new is the way to go.

Start Clean

Buying a new watch is like buying a brand new house or a brand new car — you don’t have to worry about what someone else may have done to it in the past. You know that it’s real, that it’s in good condition, and it’s subject to any applicable manufacturer warranties. That gives you some serious peace of mind.

You Can Afford It

One of the biggest barriers to buying a new watch for many people is the cost. Brand new watches from major brands like Cartier and Rolex can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the piece you’re looking at. That means that buying a luxury watch brand new is really only feasible for someone who can afford a hefty investment like that.

If you have the capital, and you know what you want in a new watch, then there’s probably no doubt in your mind that buying new is how you want to approach your purchase.

You Can Pass It Down

Anyone who has ever had a cherished family heirloom knows how important it is that we’re able to pass down major investments through our families. The truth is, however, even the best watches have a lifespan. If you want to ensure that your watch gets passed down through several generations of your family, then you should buy new.

The first reason for this is because buying new means that you’re buying the watch at a time when it’s going to have the most life in it. By its very nature, it’s going to last for decades if you take good care of it. The second reason is that you don’t have to worry about any mistreatment at the hands of former owners or wearers.

Reasons Why You Should Purchase a Used Watch

As nice as buying a new watch is, it’s not for everyone. Sometimes buying a used watch is the way to go. Whether you’re interested in the thrill of the hunt or just have unique needs, the following reasons are solid votes in the used watch category.

The Watch You Want Is Out of Production

The biggest reason people search for used watches is that they have a particular watch in mind, and they just can’t find it in retail stores. This happens because the watch is limited edition, in high demand, or out of production. When you can’t just head to your local watch dealer and pick up the watch you want, you have to go on the hunt for a used version of your dream watch.

If you’re looking for a watch that’s out of production, you don’t have to settle for one that’s been heavily worn for years. Some watch collectors rarely wear their pieces, giving buyers the option of buying their preferred watch in a condition that’s nearly as good as buying it straight from the retailer.

You Want to Save Money

It’s no secret that luxury watches are a major investment. Buying new might come with a price that is just too steep to justify with your budget, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t dip your toes into the world of luxury watches by buying used.

Many luxury watches operate somewhat like buying a brand new vehicle. The sharpest depreciation in value comes in the first few years after you purchase them new. After several years, that depreciation levels off, and the price of the watch becomes much more approachable to other buyers.

Given the classic styling of luxury watches, buying used is a great way to class up your style for years to come without putting a big dent in your bank account.

They’re a Great Investment

Never thought of a watch as an investment opportunity? You might be surprised to learn that some luxury watches are as effective an investment, if not more effective, than traditional retirement accounts like IRAs.

If you purchase a used Rolex that’s still in production and has therefore already depreciated in value, you stand to gain a significant amount of money once that watch goes out of production. If you have a little extra cash to invest, consider purchasing something like a vintage Rolex that is guaranteed to continue to increase in value over time.

Financial experts have compared investing in vintage watches to getting in early on a hot stock like Google. If you’re strategic in your purchase, you stand to make a pretty penny.

Shopping for a Used Watch

If you’ve weighed your options and decided to buy a watch that’s used, then it’s important to research how you go about doing that. Not all used watch dealers are made equal. Follow these tips to make a sound watch investment.

Check the Reputation of the Watch Dealer

Before you even begin browsing the listings of a watch dealer, you need to brush up on their reputation. Spend some time searching for online reviews on sites like Yelp! and Google Reviews. If the dealer is located in the United States, you can also look them up on the Better Business Bureau.

Once you’ve done a little background on the watch dealer, check out what they have for sale. If something they have available seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut and move on to another dealer to protect your hard-earned cash.

Vintage vs. Contemporary vs. Discontinued

There are a few categories of used watches, and it’s important for you to understand the differences.

Vintage watches are typically a minimum of 30 years old. The opposite of vintage is, of course, contemporary watches, which are still available for purchase in new condition from retailers. Discontinued watches are watches that aren’t old enough to be vintage, but aren’t in production anymore and cannot be purchased new.

Vintage watches might sell in the millions if they’re ultra-rare, but they might also come with some mechanical flaws.

Ask for the Original Box and Papers

Technology and scammers are making it easier and easier to create replications of the world’s most valuable watches. While you might think you can catch them, it often takes a highly trained eye to be able to spot the differences. One of the best ways to counter these superfakes, however, is to find a watch dealer that allows you to purchase a watch with its original box and papers.

For example, sells used watches, and they clearly list on all of their items whether it comes with the box and papers. This is the level of clarity you want when searching for watches, especially when you’re buying watches online.

Are You on the Hunt for a New Watch?

It’s no secret that searching for a new watch can feel long and laborious. The best way to ease your mind while you’re on the hunt is to do your research and know exactly what you’re looking for, whether it’s a used watch or a new watch straight from the manufacturer. The more prepared you are before your purchase, the happier you’ll be in the end!

Are you looking for more great information about everything from fashion to personal finance? You’ve come to the right place! Check out the rest of our blog to stay up to date on a variety of fascinating topics!