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Thinking of buying a pre-owned watch? Read our guide first!

Deciding to buy a watch can be an exciting experience, but also a little daunting and it’s easy to get overwhelmed or confused. So, I thought I’d put together a few tips to help you out.


What are your reasons for buying? 

Is it to celebrate a special occasion, or maybe a watch that’s more practical like as a dive watch for an upcoming holiday. Will it be an everyday watch that needs to be versatile or something a little weird and wonderful to stand out from the crowd?



There is an abundance of resources online for you to research watch options – from reviews on publications such as Hodinkee and Fratello, to forums and social media sites such as Instagram. Of course, the brand’s own websites not only give accurate details about each model but also provide a feel for the brand and an insight into the inspiration behind the design. Chrono24 is usually my first go-to site for checking a wide range of watches, and getting an idea of the sort of prices they might be. It’s also possible to search on Chrono24 to see what prices models have recently sold for.

Try before you buy.

Once you have an idea of what you might like, I’d recommend trying on as many watches as possible. Watches can sit differently on your wrist, and some dial colours really change in different lights. Multi-brand boutiques such as Watches of Switzerland offer a great opportunity to try on a variety of watches, whereas the brand’s own boutiques give you a sense of what the brand is about. Watch enthusiast groups, like RedBar, are a fantastic opportunity to get hands-on with rare watches or independent brands that you might not usually get to see on the high street.

You’ve decided on a watch, what’s next?

Buying a watch from a pre-owned retailer offers a sense of security – the watches have been checked and often come with a warranty. And if you’re buying online, they’ll need to offer a return policy too.

If you’re buying from an individual, platforms such as eBay and Chrono24 now offer an authentication service which provides a level of reassurance. And if you do decide to buy from an individual directly, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself such as using The Watch Register to check if the watch has been stolen, using a watchmaker to check the authenticity, and meeting in a public place to view the watch and transfer the funds across. If this still sounds daunting, we can offer advice or step in and help to facilitate the sale.

Watch Concierge Services offer a range of options for buying your next pre-owned watch

Firstly, you can browse our current range of stock which covers watches from £100 to £30,000, and from well-known models to those that are a bit more rare or unusual. All watches have been checked and a number of warranty options are available, and it’s possible to buy online (with free UK shipping) or arrange a viewing first. If we don’t have the watch you’re looking for, we can source a watch for you, either from within our trusted network of contacts, or externally but always with the reassurance that the watch will be tested, authenticated and can be supplied with a warranty.

And if you’re keen to try on some watches but don’t know where to start or find boutiques a bit intimidating, we can arrange a personalised London boutique tour, curated to accommodate your individual needs.

Buying your next watch is an exciting journey, and we’re on hand to help in any way that we can.

You can use the Contact Us form here, or email

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