How To Shop For Your First Pre-Owned Luxury Watch

03 Nov, 2022 Chat 0
How To Shop For Your First Pre-Owned Luxury Watch

Bringing home the glistening box of an Audemars Piguet or the iconic red Cartier box is one of those joyous moments in life that are irreplaceable. Yet, when you are in pursuit of a particular timepiece that is no longer available in stores or a vintage beauty or when you are simply unwilling to spend lavishly, you can turn to the pre-owned market. You might end up with a valuable gem that’s also a bang for the buck.

It is well known that luxury watches are excellent investments. Therefore, discerning connoisseurs are usually willing to go to great lengths to get their hands on a particular timepiece they know will make a worthy investment. The resale industry is of great aid if you are looking for discontinued, vintage, rare, limited edition or even contemporary pieces at better prices. However, buying a pre-owned timepiece is a lot more than just selecting the watch you like, which is quite daunting per se. A few more factors come into play to ensure you are getting a fair deal. Below is a guide that will answer all the questions one can have while buying their first pre-owned luxury watch.

Buying a pre-owned timepiece is a lot more than just selecting the watch you like, a few more factors come into play to ensure you are getting a fair deal

Types Of Pre-Owned Watches


A significant reason why the pre-owned watch market is on the rise is it gives connoisseurs and collectors the rare chance to get their hands on vintage timepieces. There have been numerous instances when vintage timepieces at auctions or otherwise have garnered more than double their original price. Any watch that’s 25 to 30 years old can be called vintage. They come with a certain patina and show wear. But, such signs of ageing only make them more appealing and interesting as it indicates that the timepiece brings along a story and a piece of history. 

Pre-owned watch at second Movement
Vintage Omega Seamaster from circa 1970 and Cartier Roadster, purchased in 1999


Every year with the launch of new updated models, myriad old ones are pulled off from the brand’s catalogue. Often minor aesthetic changes or updated movements lead to nixing of models. Such discontinued or out-of-production pieces find pride of place in the resale industry. This oeuvre of discontinued watches also includes pieces from limited edition runs that are no longer available with the brand. The demand for such timepieces is perpetually high as their availability in the pre-owned market is a unique second opportunity for patrons who couldn’t get their hands on them the first time.


The luxury watch resale space is not just limited to vintage or discontinued models. Contemporary timepieces concurrently available with the brand and authorised retailers are also on the pre-owned market. It is no longer surprising to find recently-released models as well in the pre-owned sector. Such a situation presents an excellent chance for everyone who wants the latest piece but at a better price because no matter how new, reselling a watch akin to a vehicle loses some value. Having said that, there are also timepieces from some particular brands and a few iconic models that always appreciate value.  

Choose Personal Taste Over Popular Trend

Our first advice to shoppers looking to buy their first pre-owned luxury watch is to not jump on any trend bandwagon but make their own choice and find a piece they genuinely like. As mentioned before, while making a luxury purchase which might require you to pay through the nose, you must listen to your heart and buy a watch that reflects your predilections and personal style. Many Second Movement customers admit that the favourite timepiece in their selection is not the most expensive or complicated one but a watch they connect to or can wear more often. If your heart is set on a timepiece, just go for it.

Brands To Checkout If You Are

A Minimalist

For patrons who mean business and fancy just the essentials, timepieces from German brands like Nomos Glashütte, Junghans, and Meistersinger will make a great fit. These brands perfectly manifest German minimalism coalesced with ingenuity and unparalleled functionality. In addition, Swiss watch houses, such as IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre as well as high haute horlogerie brands like H. Moser & Cie also offer sleek, contemporary watches with a fuss-free aesthetic that would undoubtedly appease a minimalist’s thirst for subtlety.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Watch
Pre-Owned Luxury Watch
Pre-Owned Luxury Watch
Nomos Glashutte Watch at Second Movement
(Clockwise) Jaeger-LeCoultre Ultra Thin Date, Junghans Max Bill, IWC Portofino, Nomos Glashutte Tangente Sport

A Globetrotter

Efficient GMT watches and worldtimers that bring a fine combination of style and reliability would best suit a jetsetter who is always on the move. Panerai, Breitling, Montblanc, and Frederique Constant are a few watchmakers that boast a fine selection of excellent travel timepieces offering valuable complications such as world time, GMT, second-time zone, dual time and more.

Ulysse Nardin Watch
Frederique Constant Watch
Girard-Perregaux Watch
Seiko Watch
(Clockwise) Ulysse Nardin Executive Dual Time, Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer, Girard-Perregaux WW.TC Financial, Seiko Astron

A Gearhead

TAG Heuer’s reputation precedes it with respect to automotive-inspired timepieces. Any aficionado who loves cars and races would be familiar with the TAG Heuer Monaco, Formula 1, and Carrera. These stunning watches and their limited editions are something every automotive enthusiast would drool after. Baume & Mercier, Chopard, Seiko, and Breitling are a few other brands gearheads can check out.

TAG Heuer Monaco Watch
Graham Silverstone Watch
TAG Heuer Carrera
Raymond Weil Watch
(Clockwise) TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition, Graham Silverstone Stowe, TAG Heuer Carrera India Racing Edition, Raymond Weil Nabucco

An Adventurer

The world of watchmaking is rife with high-precision, functional sports watches. Hence, outdoorsy patrons who are always hunting adventures will be spoilt for choice. From Breitling to Omega and Oris to Bremont, one can explore top luxury watch brands to find the timepiece they love. Also, if you are inclined towards high-end luxury sports watches, Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak should seal the deal for you. 

Bell & Ross Watch
Oris Watch
(Clockwise) Bremont MBII, Zenith Defy Classic, Limited Edition Bell & Ross Vintage Blackbird Chronograph, Oris Aquis Depth Gauge

A Collector

If you know watches like the back of your hand and have a collection teeming with some of the most exclusive, rare, and unconventional timepieces, you are a collector who doesn’t get easily pleased. Such patrons would find contentment in the exceptional and strongly unconventional timepieces of houses like Bovet, H. Moser & Cie., Urwerk, Arnold & Son, and Roger Dubuis. Their otherworldly creations go beyond conventional watchmaking to give connoisseurs the taste of haute horlogerie. 

Roger Dubuis Watch
Pre-Owned Luxury Watches
Pre-Owned Luxury Watch
(Clockwise) Roger Dubuis Excalibur, Urwerk UR-Satellite UR-100V, Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chrono 36, Louis Moinet Moon Watch

Set A Budget

To avoid getting lost in the big and mesmerising world of luxury watches, it’s crucial to set a budget and narrow the search. A wonderful thing about the resale market is that it has expanded the definition of affordable for many. High-end luxury brands such as Omega, Ulysse Nardin, Cartier, and Bulgari are also available at modest prices. So, whatever the ballpark, you can always find great pieces in the pre-owned market.

50,000 - 1 Lakh

  • Tissot T-Round T64.1.786.81-POWG06A

    Tissot — T-Round

    ₹ 51,000

1 Lakh – 5 Lakh

  • Frederique Constant Manufacture FC-705BG4S6-POWG18A

    Frederique Constant — Manufacture

    ₹ 1,50,000

  • Montblanc TimeWalker 116096-POWG20A

    Montblanc — TimeWalker

    ₹ 1,70,000

5 Lakh — 10 Lakh

  • Omega Seamaster

    Omega — Seamaster

    ₹ 5,80,000

  • Roger Dubuis Excalibur EX45-77-90-00/01 R00/B

    Roger Dubuis — Excalibur

    ₹ 8,30,000

  • Girard-Perregaux 1966 49535-11-131-BB60-POWG21A

    Girard-Perregaux — 1966

    ₹ 8,00,000

Above 10 Lakh

  • Louis Moinet Mechanical Wonders LM-50.10.20

    Louis Moinet — Mechanical Wonders

    ₹ 12,75,000

  • Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chrono 36 1ETAS.B01A.C113S-POWG20A

    Arnold & Son — Tourbillon Chrono 36

    ₹ 16,00,000

Consider The Watch’s Resale Value

While purchasing a pre-owned luxury watch, buyers must consider the timepiece’s resale value which is subjective to a few factors. Popularity and demand for a particular model, the brand it belongs to, its present condition, and more are crucial in determining the resale value. Understanding it is significant because it lets you make an informed decision where you know exactly what you are paying for. In addition, the watch could fetch a generous return on investment if you ever decide to part ways.  

The Brand And Model

Iconic brands and classic timepieces are always a safe choice; they can be worn forever and hold value. High-end luxury houses, such as Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Girard-Perregaux, and Cartier, will fetch a sizeable return on investment compared to others. Similarly, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, and Hublot, with their highly coveted dynamic timepieces, are among the most popular luxury watch brands; this desirability translates into strong resale value for consignors and sellers. Also, some models do well than others, for instance, Omega Speedmaster and Seamaster are better-performing models than De Ville or Constellation. Hence, investing in popular models assures high resale value within the pre-owned market. 


The original condition and age of a pre-owned luxury watch are vital to its resale price. A timepiece with major signs of use and wear with refurbished parts would value less than a similar piece in better condition and with original components. However, in the case of vintage pieces, the patina on the watch can actually appreciate its price. 

Box And Papers 

The inclusion of the original box, warranty card, user manual, and other documents certainly adds more merit to a pre-owned luxury watch. It warrants the watch’s authenticity and eventually increases its value within the resale market. 


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