23.03.2021 - News

A guide to buying luxury watches online

In need of a new or pre-worn watch but restricted to looking online due to Covid restrictions? It’s tough times to find exactly what you want, especially given the huge range available on the market. It can be extremely difficult to gauge the true value and condition, especially just from photographs.

Depending on the brand and model of watch you are looking for, there could be dozens on offer at any one time. While you might find an indication of the price, it can still be a difficult decision to make. Not doing your research could lead to an impulse buy or bypassing watches that actually suit your need better.

Luxe Watches is here to help with what to look for if you’re considering buying an expensive timepiece online.


In theory, two Rolex models of the same age should be more or less the same quality. But not all pre-worn watches are cared for equally. Some have the original packaging, some have complete paperwork or a warranty. Others aren’t in full working order, have been adjusted or been repaired with unauthorised parts.

It is worth checking all of the above as all of these will affect the final price of the watch you hope to buy.


The lowest price available online is not always the best buy. If a watch appears cheaper than others of the same make and model online, it could be due to a number of things. It may have cosmetic damage or a mechanical issue. If it’s considerably cheaper (we’re talking thousands) it could be counterfeit or even stolen.

It is best to buy a new or used watch from a reputable dealer with excellent reviews, that you can easily check out online. It’s worth noting that lots of the best watch deals are not published. If buying from a private dealer, ask for their best price as this can sometimes get you a discount on the advertised price.

Hidden buying costs

The high price of luxury watches means  you’ll need to consider things like customs fees or taxes for watches that will need to be sent via a courier. Authentic watch retailers will use guaranteed shipping methods such as tracked delivery. You may be requested to pay this fee or the seller might decide to pay this for you. .

Some shipping prices requested by sellers, especially on sites like ebay, can be extortionate, especially if international shipping is selected. Duties may be incurred depending on the country’s tax system. This can be further complicated by the seller’s decision to declare the full or partial value of a watch.

To avoid any nasty surprises or extra costs, we would advise you to buy in the UK, where you can, or consult a reputable dealer who can get you the best buy.

Buying without trying

Buying a watch you’ve never tried on is a game of chance. Where possible try the watch that you are interested in – it could be that a friend has it. If you’re parting with hard-earned cash for a watch, you’ll also want to check the returns policy before you buy.

Like anything you wear, you won’t know how well it fits until you do. Don’t forget that images you see online could be edited or worn on a wrist smaller or larger than yours, so it will be difficult to imagine how it might look on yourself.  

Fraudulent finds

There are several ways to protect yourself from buying counterfeit watches, and the first is to buy from a trusted, reputable seller. Check their ratings! Sadly there are many fraudulent sites which look perfectly genuine on Google. But be prepared to receive nothing in return for your cash. 

The most obvious sign is to buy from a retailer with an official website. Check out the language they use to describe their watches. Is it full or grammatical and spelling errors?  Reputable, established companies and websites usually have a social media account with many followers.

A dealer you can trust

If you’d like to buy or sell a new or pre-worn watch, Luxe Watches can help. We have over 20 years’ experience in the industry and specialise in a number of world renowned brands. We are happy to chat to you online and answer any questions to help you to make your purchase. We also have a new valuation tool to give you an accurate price of what your Rolex is worth.