This is a guest post from Crown & Caliber.
Buying a brand new watch is kind of like buying a brand new car — it loses a sizable amount of its value the moment you drive it off the lot (or, in this case, take it out of the shop).
If you’re in the market for a watch, buying pre-owned lets you avoid the hefty markup that many authorized watch dealers will add to the retail price. If you choose wisely, there’s even a chance your pre-owned watch could appreciate in value over time.
Whether you’re a chronograph guy, a dive watch connoisseur or a fan of simple, stylish, formal timepieces, read on to learn five reasons why you should buy your next watch pre-owned.
New watches depreciate as soon as you leave the store
Buy a watch new and its value will decline sharply the moment you put it on your wrist. In fact, data shows that many watches lose as much as 85% of their original value once they get to the secondhand market.
When you buy a new watch from an authorized dealer, you end up paying for more than just the watch itself. There’s the manufacturer’s markup plus the dealer’s markup, which can be quite significant.
Buy pre-owned and you’ll only ever pay the market price, without an inflated profit margin or manufacturer’s suggested retail price to worry about.
An older watch doesn’t necessarily mean older styling
While not all watches age well, most do. Brands like Rolex and Tudor have built their reputation on producing watches that, save for minor improvements and adjustments, have a very similar look every year. To the untrained eye, there’s very little difference between a Rolex Submariner from 1986 and a Rolex Submariner from 2016. One might look a little more worn with a few extra scratches, but it’s still the same watch to any non-expert.
If you stick to classic models like the Rolex Submariner or OMEGA Speedmaster, you’ll get the same appearance from a 20-year-old watch as you would from one that’s brand new.
Many pre-owned and vintage watches appreciate in value
There’s a thriving market for vintage watches, and today’s underappreciated secondhand watch could end up being tomorrow’s vintage favorite.
Brands like Rolex are famous for holding their value over time, largely thanks to their consistent styling. In fact, quite a few pre-owned watches appreciate in value over time and could be worth more in 10 or 20 years than they are today.
This makes a secondhand watch a good choice if you’re interested in eventually trading up. Although it’s best not to think of a pre-owned watch as an investment, choosing the right model could result in you earning a profit or breaking even when you finally decide to sell.
With proper servicing, high quality watches last
There’s a reason watches don’t depreciate beyond a certain point — with the right level of care and attention, they will tell extremely accurate time for decades.
Mid-range and high-end watches are designed to last, with high quality components that work just as well 10, 25, or 50 years from now as they do today. Follow the manufacturer’s servicing guidelines and your pre-owned watch will stand the test of time.
Vintage watches have more character
The difference between a new watch and a vintage watch is like the difference between an MP3 and a vinyl record. One is new and perfect, without any dents or scratches, but the other has its own unique character that’s impossible to replicate.
Vintage watches stand out from the crowd, whether it’s because of their classic styling or their worn, charismatic appearance. Whether as a fashion statement or as a conversation starter, a vintage watch is a great way to attract all the right types of attention.
For further information on buying or selling a pre-owned watch, visit Crown & Caliber.
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