Watch Buying Guide: 5 Things To Avoid When Buying Your Next Watch

by   |  in Style Tips

It can be difficult finding that perfect timepiece while trying to avoid all the potential obstacles along the way. So we wanted to put together a quick and easy watch buying guide with, in our opinion, the top 5 things you want to avoid (or keep in mind) when shopping.

Whether you’re buying the fifth watch in your collection, or taking the plunge and getting your very first watch, we hope you find this list of buying tips helpful!

Watchfinder & Co.

With over 5,000 watches in stock from 70+ brands such as Rolex, Cartier, and Omega, a fully accredited service center, and a 12-month Watchfinder warranty on every purchase, Watchfinder is the number one place to buy, sell and exchange pre-owned watches.

Browse Now Learn More

By the way, shout out to our friends at Watchfinder for partnering with us on this informative article. Make sure to check out their selection of high-end watches by visiting them online, or if you’re in the NYC area, scheduling an appointment at their newly-opened boutique showroom on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Tip #1: Be Careful Shopping From A Non-Reputable Source

There are many potential issues when purchasing from a non-reputable source. To avoid being sucked into their lure, we need to know what to look out for.

audemars piguet

So, what does a non-reputable source look like and when should alarm bells start to ring? 

In terms of websites, the page may be cluttered with ads, there are likely to be no or few reviews, no contact details or social media links, and product images may be scarce and low in quality.

They may also have a range of watches that seem almost too good to be true, with great prices that undercut the rest of the market, with promises of the latest releases and models—if it seems way too good to be true, then it probably is. 

Imagine you take the plunge and invest a few thousand in a new watch and it never arrives, or it does, but it looks … questionable.

Sure, perhaps some people might not realize that it isn’t a real Rolex, but you’ve just shelled out a large amount of money for something you didn’t want, and now you’re left feeling ripped off and foolish. 

If you shop from an assured, trustworthy source, you won’t be left with nothing at all or something you didn’t want. The Rolex would have been real and there’d be no sour taste lingering in your mouth.

Tip #2: Don’t Buy A Watch Solely As An Investment Piece

There seems to be a myth in the watch world where buying a watch because of its investment value is the smartest and best way to buy.

rolex watch

While this is somewhat true—you can make some good returns on luxury watches—a watch is, however, a piece of jewelry, a stylish item made to be worn and most of all, admired and enjoyed.   

If you buy a watch simply because you know a few years down the line you can make a good profit on it, then you’re simply missing the point of owning a watch in the first place.

Get the watch that catches your eye because of its design or history or complication, not because other people will want to buy it from you later on.

A watch you get real, genuine enjoyment from owning, is a special treat and should be any watch enthusiast’s first point of call.

Tip #3: Don’t Buy A Watch Without Considering Its Service Costs

As much as a heavily depreciated watch may seem like a great deal at face value, if you dig a little deeper you may begin to see that the watch you were so seriously considering isn’t a good idea after all. 

servicing watch

The same way you wouldn’t purchase a car without considering it’s running costs and reliability—because a broken car is no good to anyone—you also shouldn’t forget that watches too, may need some TLC in the form of servicing

Watchfinder & Co.

With over 5,000 watches in stock from 70+ brands such as Rolex, Cartier, and Omega, a fully accredited service center, and a 12-month Watchfinder warranty on every purchase, Watchfinder is the number one place to buy, sell and exchange pre-owned watches.

Browse Now Learn More

That classic piece may look beautiful and come packed with charm, but there’s nothing charming about a possible $500-plus servicing bill (depending on the complication), especially when you’re not expecting it… which could hit you as frequently as every two years.

With costs like that you could end up paying out more than what you paid for the watch itself, so certainly keep those costs in mind when browsing what’s available.

Tip #4: Learn From Others, But In The End, Buy What You Like

Opinions—we all have them, we all project them into the world, and you’ll be sure to find plenty online.

blue and gold rolex

The internet is, on the whole, a brilliant tool for researching before you buy, helping millions of consumers make informed purchases every day.  

All this researching seems harmless, but I’m sure you’ve been in a position where you are dead set on something—let’s say a Cartier watch—when suddenly you find a negative review.

So, now you find yourself doubting your own opinion, that you were so sure of only five minutes ago.

The seed of doubt has been planted in your mind and now you need to figure out if it is there for a good reason, or if it is merely an imposter, posing as a friend, but one who doesn’t properly understand you or your needs—because only you understand what you want.

Perhaps you prioritize style over substance, and that’s okay. It’s you who will part with the money and it’s you who will own the watch, so you better make sure that you get one you want.

Tip #5: Buying A Watch Now Vs. Saving For One You Really Want?

Waiting for something you really want can feel like a lifetime—especially when you put aside a bit of money each month to save up for it.

black rolex

So, when a cheaper alternative comes along, one you can get your hands on right now, it can be easy to cave in to the temptation. 

Thoughts will swirl around your head: “But I can have this watch right now! And I’d save some money too.” You might be saving some money, but for what? A watch that you hadn’t even considered prior to your sudden overwhelming sense of impatience.

A rushed decision is rarely a good one, especially on a unique purchase such as a luxury watch. This is something you want to get right.

The watch that screams your name and caught your eye in the first place is usually your best bet for getting the most joy out of your new timepiece—this is a purchase you don’t want to grow to regret—it’s not worth it.

Now you know what to avoid, it’s time to think about what to get!

Take your time, do your research, and get to know a handful of brands and models that catch your eye.

Once you’re ready, narrow down your selection, and keep an eye out for the model you want.

Don’t force it, watch out for deals that seem too good to be true. And sooner or later, you’re bound to find the watch for you.

watchfinder website

Was that helpful?

If you have any questions or comments, hit me up on Twitter. You can also find join other readers on Effortless Gent’s Facebook page, or DM me on Instagram!

When you’re looking for your next watch, check out our friends at Watchfinder. With over 5,000 watches in stock from 70+ brands such as Rolex, Cartier, and Omega, a fully accredited service center, and a 12-month Watchfinder warranty on every purchase, it’s the #1 place to buy, sell and exchange pre-owned watches.

Watchfinder recently opened a by-appointment-only boutique on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Make sure to schedule a time to visit.