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    Buyers Guide for buying luxury Swiss Watches

    Buyers Guide

    A Comprehensive Guide to buying luxury watches; and the potential pitfalls of doing so without prior research.

    HOW CAN I BE SURE I AM BUYING A GENUINE NEW WATCH?

    You can be sure that you are buying an authentic 'New' watch if you follow these steps:

    1. Only buy 'New' watches direct from an authorised retailer.
    2. Ensure you are provided with the correct box and all applicable paperwork related to the watch including its warranty card, which should be duly completed with the serial numbers, watch reference number and the retailer's full name and address (these may be provided via a retailer stamp).
    3. If you want to know whether a watch is genuine, please contact the Manufacturer directly with the serial numbers which are usually engraved on the outer edge of the watch, on the case back or shoulders of the case. This is so that they can then compare this information with their official records to determine whether the watch is genuine. Failing this, you may bring your watch to us so that we may authenticate it for you, however, please be aware that if the watch is genuine then your manufacturers warrantee will be void if we remove the caseback of the watch (which is sometimes necessary to confirm if a watch is genuine).

    CAN I TRUST ALL ONLINE WATCH RETAILERS?

    No! Always do your due diligence when buying watches online, and first investigate the business you are considering buying from.

    1. What do their online reviews say about them?

      - Check their reviews on trusted sites such as 'Google Reviews' and see what their previous customers have experienced with them.

    2. Are they present on the official Companies House website?

      - Just a few minutes spent browsing will help you decide whether to use a particular company. Ask yourself: Are they a well-established company? Where are they located? Do they have any financial backing? Have they got a Net worth?

    3. Were you aware of the company's existence prior to searching for your new watch?

      - Do you know anyone who has bought from them before? Or have you been recommended by a friend of yours? Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and if you know of a company personally, or know of someone who has dealt with them before and had a great experience, then that speaks volumes for the companyís authenticity.

    4. Does it look too good to be true?

      - Unfortunately, due to the monetary value of luxury watches there will always be nefarious people who are looking to scam you out of your money with no intention of ever sending you the watch advertised. Always check out current market prices through trusted websites such as Chrono24, as this way, if the watch youíre looking at is dramatically less than any other watch listed online then you know the chances are it is too good to be true.

    5. Does their website look genuine?

      - As often a compan'ís website will be your first impression of them, so authentic companies will spend lots of time and effort perfecting them in order to provide their clients with the best online experience possible. So, if it is very outdated and simple, you know that there is a chance that itís a scam website which has been hurriedly put together for the sole purpose of conning you out of your money.

    BUYING A WATCH IN PERSON?

    Make sure to ask a few questions before you buy and have some confidence in who you are dealing with, as if you are ever in doubt, go elsewhere!

    1. Is the watch you are considering physically present in store?

      - If no, why not? If they cannot give a reasonable explanation i.e. It is a popular model and there is a waiting list for that watch. Then take your business elsewhere to someone who does have it in stock / can give reasonable explanation as to why not.

    2. Are they present on the official Companies House website?

      - Just a few minutes spent browsing will help you decide whether to use a particular company. Ask yourself: Are they a well-established company? Where are they located? Do they have any financial backing? Have they got a Net worth?

    3. Is the watch New or Pre-owned?

      - If the watch is new, are they an authorised retailer of that brand? If so ensure that the warranty card and guarantee paperwork have all been filled out / activated by them prior to leaving the store.

      - If the watch is pre-owned, what is known regarding the history of the watch? I.e. how did it come to be in their possession? Was it bought from the original owner?

    4. What authentic documentation is provided with the watch?

      - Is it being sold with its original guarantee card or warranty paperwork?

      - Has it been previously serviced by the manufacturer directly? Is there documentation to prove the repair work has been carried out?

    5. Do the serial numbers and model numbers of the watch match with all the paperwork supplied?

      - This is incredibly important, always ensure this is checked prior to payment being made! If for any reason the paperwork supplied does not match, investigate why it doesn't. Be wary of any convoluted excuses, but also be mindful that there may be a reasonable explanation i.e. The wrong paperwork was picked up accidentally by the salesperson.

    Lastly, have some confidence in who you are dealing with, as if you are ever in doubt there are always options elsewhere!

    COUNTERFEIT/FAKE WATCHES

    Make sure to ask a few questions before you buy and have some confidence in who you are dealing with, as if you are ever in doubt, go elsewhere!

    Firstly, if there is ever any doubt in your mind regarding the authenticity of a watch in your possession, then rest assured that we have an onsite watchmaker who can authenticate your watch for you. As we know that there are sadly plenty of counterfeit/fake watches currently in circulation that may seem authentic on the surface, however when scrutinised by a trained eye are found to be non-genuine.

    Over our 26+ years of trading we have experienced numerous attempts to sell fake watches to us, and it's not always as easy as spotting a spelling mistake in the brand name! As technology has moved on so has the capabilities of those who create and produce illegitimate watches, and over the years we have seen a wide array of attempts to mask a fake watch as the genuine equivalent. For instance, using genuine parts i.e. case, bracelet, some movement parts etc. blended in with non-genuine equivalents parts. This being done so that the exterior the watch appears genuine, with some pieces going as far as to use genuine movement parts for the top layer of the movement! Or even in some cases using a cheaper genuine movement from the same brand so that unless you really know what to look for, you'd have no idea.

    Always be very careful when buying watches through any non-reputable source or well-known auction websites as they are very often littered with replica watches. Unless of course they come with an 'Authenticity Guarantee' through a reputable well-known company that you trust. However, we would always recommend attempting to view the watch in person in a jeweller or authorised retailer that you trust so that the watch can be authenticated prior to payment being made.

    SHIPPING AND INSURANCE COVER.

    Please be mindful when shipping watches to dealers and business as there are very few postal carriers which will insure an expensive watch whilst it's in their possession. For instance, Royal Mail's Special Delivery service will only cover each parcel up to a maximum value of £2500.00 so most high-end watches are not covered by this insurance cover. It is also important to note that when sending multiple watches in the post they must be packaged separately to ensure that they are covered individually!

    When selling your watch to another company or dealer we strongly suggest doing so in person, as this takes away the insurance risk; in addition to giving you the opportunity to assess whether they are a reputable business prior to your watch being in their possession.

    If you are looking to sell your watch to us, please ensure that you ask for a postal pack if your watch is worth more than £2500, as these benefit from being covered by our business insurance, so that if the worst were to happen then you know your watch is covered! However, this is only if you are unable to drop the watch to us in person which is always the safest option, just remember to book an appointment prior to your arrival.

    If you would like further information on how to sell your watch to us, please visit our aptly named 'Sell Your Watch' page.

    Alternately, if you have any further questions or queries relating to this page and would like to talk to one of the team then feel free to contact us on 0208 994567 or use any of our communications channels provided on our Contact Us Page.

    Contact Us (or Request a callback)

    Our office hours are 9.00am Ė 5.30pm Monday to Friday. Callback for UK numbers only
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