When a fake watch goes from being ‘new’ to being ‘pre-owned’, it inherently depreciates. While that’s a bummer for the first owner, it’s good news for the savvy collector, who can let the other guy take that initial financial hit before purchasing the watch for a fraction of its original price. It means a wider world of more exotic pieces is open to you than would otherwise be possible if you had your heart set on only buying brand new.
It’s the same, different from the cars, which, drop off a fiscal cliff and just keep dropping, fine watches will generally lose a certain amount of their value and then level off. Buying pre-owned, when the worst of the depreciation has been shouldered by someone else, means there’s much less of a sting if you decide you want to sell your replica watch on again in the future.
You could even find you’re selling the piece for more than you shelled out on it in the first place, depending on a number of factors, such as rarity or the desirability of the brand. The replica Rolex Daytona, some vintage Submariners, and some other rare Rolex watches have increased crazily in recent years.
Another big reason for deciding to go the pre-owned route is there’s a much stronger opportunity of you ending up with a watch that no one else has. Various models drop out of production at different times, and the piece you’ve coveted for years might no longer be available as a brand new buy. The second-hand market then becomes the only place you’re going to find your favorite replica watches, and the extra effort it takes to track it down, plus the shortage of supply, makes it more unlikely you’ll meet anyone with a matching wrist.
As with anything involving high-value items, the soaring popularity of the pre-owned watch market has brought with it a soaring reputation for fakes and scams. Where there’s profit to be made, you can be assured that the less reputable element won’t be far behind.
Just as you wouldn’t buy a car or house without first doing a significant amount of research, it’s vital you approach the process of buying a pre-owned watch cautiously.
With counterfeit pieces being made that are now so convincing even trained watchmakers are having trouble spotting them, you have to be able to trust your vendor implicitly. Watches that come complete with the original box and papers are always preferable, as are those with a documented service history.