The growth of the second-watch market offers even more options for buyers, but what are the risks?
The preowned watch marketplace is growing by leaps and bounds, with big companies coming in to assure customers of their purchases. But should you buy new or should you buy preowned? Here are the pros and cons of both:
Buying New: Pros
- You are the first and only owner of this watch.
- It is the most modern and up to date version of this timepiece available.
- It has a full manufacturer’s warranty. If anything goes wrong with the watch, you are completely covered.
- Service won’t be needed for at least two years or more.
- Getting additional or replacement straps will be easy, as the model is current.
Buying New: Cons
- You can expect to pay top dollar as these are the newest watches out there.
- New watches that are designed to look vintage could be considered posers.
Buying Preowned: Pros
- You can often get a great deal on a watch that is only a few years old.
- Watches aren’t like cars – they are designed to last virtually forever if they are taken care of, so a watch even ten years old that has been well maintained will last many more years.
- You can get great vintage designs that are real vintage designs.
- Many sellers will service and then warranty the preowned watches they sell.
- Some preowned watches have great histories, like being owned by a famous person or having been in a war, etc.
Buying Preowned: Cons
- Establishing provenance is not the easiest thing to do.
- Your preowned watch might not be 100% original. Some “Frankenstein” watches have been sold with parts from different models assembled together.
- Some preowned watches are sold “as is,” leaving you to get the service done.
- Many preowned watches come without any warranty whatsoever.
- If the watch you buy does require service, it can be very costly.
- The watch could possibly be stolen property and will be confiscated the moment you send it in for a service or repair.
There’s no right answer as to whether buying new or preowned is better. It’s all about personal preference and how much work you want to do to make sure the watch you are buying is exactly what you want it to be.
If you are a lover of a certain version of a timepiece, like the Omega Speedmaster for example, and this year’s Speedmaster doesn’t float your boat, then you should definitely buy the model you want on the preowned market.
If you love buying a new watch and the thrill of unboxing you brand-new watch gets your blood pumping, then buying new is for you.
And many collectors buy both. They buy the new watches they love and search out the vintage pieces they can’t live without.
Whatever you buy, new or preowned or both, just make sure you do your research on the watch and the seller. This way, you’ll never regret any of the purchases you make and you can fully enjoy your watches.
And another thing to consider about the vintage market is that you can also sell your watches afterward if ever you change your mind.