Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What to note when buying pre-owned watches?

A lot of us buy pre-owned watches from time to time. Used watches are cheaper than BNIB watches and some of the discontinued vintage watches are also very attractive to collectors. So, what should we pay attention to in general when buying pre-owned watches?


1.      The case and the crystal

When you look at a watch, before you look at the dial, the case gives you the general impression of the quality of the watch. Pre-owned watches usually have scratches. Light scratches are ok as a good polish will perfectly eliminate them. However, if there are deep scratches or even dents, you may have to look for another one as polishing deep scratches or dents will totally change the shape of the case.

Other than scratches and dents, do check whether the case is over-polished. You can check whether the lugs point inwards too much and whether the case still looks “fat”. If watches with lug holes are over-polished, there is a risk that the lug holes are broken by the polishing and the pin may not be well secured.

After that, take a look at the crystal to see whether there is any dent or scratch. Also check if there is moisture on the crystal.

2.      The dial

Prepare a magnifying glass. No matter whether you are buying a collectible vintage pieces or just a used modern watch, you have to check the dial. The dial is basically the face of a human. Any defect on the dial can cost you a lot of money when you want to sell your piece. There are a few things to check.

First, check whether there is any scratch on the dial made by watchmakers. Second, check whether the dial has been remade with paints. You can spot the color difference if you are careful. Third, check the writing on the dial and make sure that the letters and fonts match the era the watch was produced. Fourth, do take a close look at the luminova materials on the hour markers and the hands and make sure that they are not overfilled. Lastly, take a look and see if there is any moisture on the dial.

3.      Serial number and bracelet

You have to be 100% sure that the serial number on the watch matches that on the warranty card. This can also help identify whether the watch is only parts from different watches put together. The serial number helps you identify which year the watch was made and the features of the watches from that particular era.

Next, you have to take a look at the bracelet and see whether it works normally. If it is too tight or too loose, some repair may be necessary.


4.      The movement
You can ask the watchmaker to open the case back and let you check the movement. If it is an automatic watch, you have to make sure that the winding rotor glide smoothly. You have to ensure that the writings on the movement say the same as what movement the watch should be equipped. You can also check whether there is dirt or dust among the gears. Do try to wind the watch afterwards to see if winding is smooth.
5. The Seller
Make sure there is reputation of the seller, some of the shops can take back you watch less 10% to 20% within a period of time.
HK Snob


Anonymous said...

what if the watch does not have box or papers yet it is from a reputable seller?

HK Snob said...

I don't mind if there is paper or not as if the watch is authentic from Rolex.
As we can tell almost most of the Rolex is authentic or not except those vintage Submariner and Daytona!
HK Snob