Auction Tips for Buying a Luxury Watch Online

If you have never purchased a luxury watch online before, you may be excited yet nervous about making your first acquisition.

Even experienced luxury watch owners may be somewhat wary about how to buy online.

The pre-owned luxury watch auction market is one of the hottest in the UK and if you want to get involved, there are a few tips you should know. We explain the best ways to buy a luxury watch online.

Decide what you want

There is a vast array of luxury watches for sale: sports, dress as well as more casual models for everyday use.

Before you enter the market, have a serious think about how, when and where you want to wear your watch and what kind of style you like the best. If you want a watch to wear at the office, purchasing a sports model with a large dial and a rubberised strap may not really be suitable for your needs.

Buying luxury watches online is a good method for finding them.

Some watches come with advanced functions whilst others are designed to slip discreetly under a shirt cuff; make sure you know what your priorities are and don’t get distracted by a different model that won’t be of any practical use.

Understand the difference in mechanisms

Luxury watches generally come in two different forms: quartz and mechanical movement. What you ultimately prefer is up to you but as a very general rule, the latter is the choice of the true horology enthusiast and may be easier to re-sell in the future.

There’s nothing wrong with quartz and rather remarkably, it is likely to offer the better accuracy of the two options. Really top class quartz mechanisms, such as those found in Breitling, are sublimely precise; some experts suggest they are within 5 seconds accuracy per year.

However, quartz watches tend to be rather less smooth and have a very distinctive ticking action. They require batteries to work which inevitably need to be changed by a specialist whenever they run out.

A mechanical movement is powered by the movement of the hand and although not entirely as accurate as a top class quartz mechanism, still offers magnificent precision. Much of the love of a mechanical movement comes from the fact that they will have been hand assembled by master craftsmen. A far more traditional way of crafting a watch, a mechanical movement is loved by purists.

Check for signs that it is a copy

Unfortunately the luxury watch market, like any other, has the occasional fake and forgery which can result in a buyer being significantly out of pocket.

Fake watches are becoming increasingly difficult to spot but if you know what to look for, you can spot the flaws. To start with, keep an eye out for changes which have been made which don’t meet the manufacturer specification. For example, a watch with a copper face may look good but if the manufacturer doesn’t list it as an option, the item for sell is a fake.

Look for tiny signs that all is not as it seems. A luxury watch will have a flawless finish and you won’t find any sharp corners or parts which don’t quite sit flush. Any indications that the quality is not quite as it should be, and you could well be looking at a fake watch.


With watches lasting a lifetime – or longer! – It’s becoming increasingly common to sell off your old watch and invest in a new one. Whether you are simply doing some research getting ready for your next purchase, or whether you are thinking of buying one for the very first time, the idea of getting a new watch can be daunting.

Online websites can be prone to forgery.

The above tips should help you stay focused on what you want, and ensure that you only spend your money on a luxury watch which is genuine and crafted to last.

Image credits: Hypo.Physe and PRIM Hodinky