Should you buy a pre-owned luxury watch?

Buying a pre-owned luxury watch can be a tough decision. Despite the attractive price tags and access to models no longer in production, you want to be sure it’s a wise investment that’ll stand the test of time. So, to help you make the right decision, here are some things to consider before committing to a purchase.

Check you’re buying the real deal

The luxury watch market is one of the most counterfeited markets in the world. With thousands of fakes out there, it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s not.

Of course, one of the major red flags is price – if it seems too good to be true, it’s probably because it is. So, whatever you do, don’t be lured by a bargain unless you’ve had the authenticity checked by a specialist.

If you want to check the authenticity of a luxury watch yourself, here are some pointers to get you started:


Check where the stamp is located (usually on the clasp, face or wristband), and assess whether it’s right for the watch in question. Familiarise yourself with what the stamp should look like and whether it appears authentic.


Authentic watches will usually have a bracelet which feels heavy and moves smoothly. Fakes, however, will often feel stiff in between each link and will be devoid of stamps.


The fake watch face is usually made from mineral crystals which, once turned on its side, will show a green tint. Genuine watch faces, however, are made from sapphire and have a violet tint.

While these checks might give you a clearer indication on whether you’re dealing with a fake, we’d always advise you have a watch fully inspected by a specialist. Better safe than sorry.

Here’s more information on what to check before buying a luxury second-hand watch.

A pre-owned luxury watch is an investment

Now you’ve established whether the watch in question is authentic, it’s time to start thinking about its value as an investment.

With some new luxury watches it might be harder to tell whether they’ll hold their value for years to come. This obviously depends on the rarity and quality of the model, but also whether it’ll be in demand later down the line.

This is where pre-owned luxury watches often outshine newer alternatives, with many models proven to hold or even increase in value from one year to the next. If the pre-owned watch is no longer in production, you’ve probably got your hands on a great investment piece.   

High value at lower prices

If you’re wondering what sort of pre-owned luxury watches are available at a pawnbrokers, here are a few hand-picked items from our store in George Street, Hove.

Tudor Geneve

Tudor Geneve Automatic, Box and Papers, £1,595

Breitling Top Time

Breitling Top Time, Chronometer, Box and Papers, £3,950

Tag Heuer Professional

Tag Heuer Professional, Quartz, No box or Papers, £495

Tag Aquaracer, Quartz

Tag Aquaracer, Quartz, Box and Papers, £1,400

Omega Constellation

Omega Constellation, Gold & Steel, Diamond Dial, Quartz, £2,900

If you visit one of our stores and can’t find what you’re looking for, our team will be happy to check stock across all our other stores along the south coast for you.

Other reasons to buy a pre-owned luxury watch

If you’re still sitting on the fence about whether to buy a new or pre-owned luxury watch, here are some standout reasons why opting for second-hand might be better for you.

They can look brand new

Because new luxury watches come with a high price tag, most owners take care of their condition and, in some cases, never even wear them. This is great news for pre-owned luxury watch shoppers because it means they can pick up a near-new timepiece – often at a cheaper price.

It’s better for the environment

By opting for a pre-owned luxury watch, you’re putting less demand on manufacturing requirements, which, in turn, protects the planet from carbon emissions and unnecessary landfill. It’s one of many reasons why fast fashion is on the decline, with watch enthusiasts turning to the pre-owned market for investment pieces.

They come with a history

Vintage timepieces are often packaged with heritage, dating back to historic events that put their age in context. When you buy a pre-owned luxury watch, it might be the case that your seller can tell you the previous owner and the story attached to the piece. Of course, this won’t always be the case and will wholly depend on the watch you choose.

Get in touch

We’re here to help If you’re not sure where to start when shopping for a pre-owned luxury watch, visit your local GA Pawnbrokers store or fill out our contact form and we’ll get straight back to you.