While avid watch geeks continue to scroll through Instagram and watch forums for the latest releases in horology, there is an increasing trend of those seeking pre-owned luxury watches. This market is growing and there’s a lot to take into consideration. We break the trend down for you.

luxury watches

The Indian context

In India, the pre-owned watch space is burgeoning. However, most players operate largely in the unorganized sector. For this feature, while we did speak to a few people in the unorganised sector, we weren’t able to substantiate most statements with an official fact check. In the organised sector, though, one name stands out, which is Second Time Zone by Ethos Watches, which promises the most authentic assessments, quality checks and variety. Here, we spotted a black dial Patek Philippe Moon Phase Annual Calendar at a whopping INR 45 lakh (albeit sold out) in a sea of gorgeous, rare timepieces. Watch insiders suggest that while India is a nascent market to other south east Asian markets when it comes to luxury watches, however the pre-owned watch market does form a micro-percentage of sales.

luxury watches

The appeal

Vintage is a word we hear a lot, when it comes to pre-owned watches. While the etymology of the word vintage alludes to twenty years, watch expert Sarosh Mody says that the appeal of a pre- owned watch usually increases when it is a few decades old. “The older a watch gets, especially one from a strong pedigree, the stronger its appeal,” says Mody, who is the founder of Luxury Watch Works, India’s first independent service centre for watches. He also highlights that models that are discontinued by watchmakers have a great appeal in the pre-owned market, often fetching huge premiums. These rare, discontinued, timepieces find favour among serious watch connoisseurs.

What to look for

If you’re in the market for a pre-owned watch, chances are you are already doing your research on authenticity. Make sure that the dealer that you are choosing has a credible track record and is assuring you a timepiece that has undergone stringent quality checks. This not only means verifying the authenticity of the piece — and eliminating any dubious pieces that may come along on the way — but also ensuring that the watch is serviced appropriately to ensure its optimal functioning.

luxury watches

What to consider before putting your watch on the market?

Getting the best price for your watch is, as you would expect, at the top of the priority.

Karishma Karer, watch blogger and content creator at The Hour Markers and Kariwatch says that while we all love bargains, one needs to consider long term implications in terms of value retention. “Please maintain your timepieces. The box and papers are always attractive as a package to the buyers. Most users wouldn’t bat an eyelid while buying, but are shy when it comes to the upkeep. It is, after all, a machine, an artistic expression of micro-engineering. If you do not look after it periodically, time is not going to be on your side, no pun intended. When this cycle becomes prevalent, nor the sellers, not the buyers will be safe and the dubious market middlemen end up taking advantage” Karer says, while adding that credible platforms are needed and that one must look for authenticity over bargains.

All images: Courtesy Getty Images

Riaan George

Riaan J. George is a luxury journalist and blogger based between Mumbai, India, and Colombo, Sri Lanka. He has also worked for several leading luxury publications including L’Officiel India, Eat Stay Love, Blackbook India. He is passionate about covering beats like luxury trends, grooming, men’s fashion, auto, hospitality and aviation.