The market for pre-owned items is huge. The success of websites like Craigslist, AutoTrader and so on are a testimonial. And the wristwatch market is no exception. Although a wristwatch is often a very personal item, at some point people are willing to part with it and trade up for something more expensive, or more special to them. This week, we at Fratello Watches offer some guidance on where to look and what to look for.
Before we start, it is important to understand that the market for pre-owned watches can be divided into two categories, those being fairly recent watch models and vintage watches. For this discussion, we’ll stick with pre-owned watches from 1990 and later. Everything before 1990 could be considered “vintage,” although some define “vintage” as meaning prior to 1980 or even earlier. Why do we draw this line? Because buying vintage watches requires a bit more expertise and explanation. We will cover the topic of buying vintage watches separately in a future article for WatchTime.com.
Why would you buy a pre-owned watch? Well, first there is the chance that a watch that you really like (or always have liked) is out of production and simply not available anymore. In this case, the only chance to obtain such a watch would be in the pre-owned market, unless you’re hoping to come across a never-used model at a dealer who never sold it in the first place, and chances of that happening are pretty slim.
Another reason might be the depreciation on a pre-owned watch. This depreciation is, for some watch brands and models, a bit more applicable than for others. The comparison with cars is not the best one, as those depreciate like almost no other ‘durable’ product, but even here, there is a difference in the depreciation of a BMW 328i and an Alfa Romeo (whatever model), for example. It’s the same with watches. The depreciation of a stainless-steel sports Rolex is far less than that on a quartz Chopard ladies’ watch. Almost any watch will acquire some depreciation; it is up to you to decide how much depreciation is acceptable when you’re considering the purchase of a pre-owned watch rather than a new one.
The aspects to take into account when shopping pre-owned are worth mentioning here as well. As with a pre-owned car, you’ll want to know a few important things. For watches, you should focus on:
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