Watch Talks

How NOT to Get Stung by Sellers, When Buying a Luxury Watch Online

Today, I will share my story of buying bargain watches through popular auction sites and what you should be really careful about, before you pull the trigger. Mistakes are costly, when it comes to watches.

Recently, I bought an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, reference 145.022 with the case back stamped 1974. I was really happy to win an auction, as the price was good. I paid mid £2,000s. When the watch arrived, my enthusiasm vanished. When I looked closer at the watch I saw so many flaws, fortunately when you are buying something through the well-known e-commerce site, you can return an item to receive a refund. I decided to go a different route. 

So, let’s begin. When I had a closer look at the watch, I soon realised the bezel was replaced, as it looked just too new to be dated 1970s. Besides, the chronograph hand was replaced for the white, Super Luminova one. Also, one or two sub-dial hands were replaced as well. However, these things wasn’t the worst.

When you take a closer look at the dial, you can notice that the dial bears some signs of water ingress, because of the different white marks and a general dirt inside. Also, the way that hour markers aged, suggests there was some water damage. At this point, I was ready to request a refund and send the watch back to the seller, from whom I won it. 

The benefits were original bracelet with matching codes. 

What I also missed, but was clearly visible at the very first glance is that the 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock didn’t reset to its original position. I think these were the main flaws of this watch. I’m not bothered with scratched plexiglass, scratched or dented case, bracelet, because I do know and understand that the timepiece is know at least 40-year old.

What I decided to do is to haggle down the price with the seller. Worst case, I would have to return the watch and that would save me a lot of hassle. I sent an offer of £600 to be refunded and in such scenario I keep the watch and I have it repaired to bring it back to its glorious days. 

This way is a bit risky, as watchmakers can only give an estimate for a repair and when they start the whole process of renovation it can turn out to be much more pricey than you thought. However, I decided to go that route, as I was lusting after an old Speedy for a long time. 

Remember guys that buying a bargain watch is next to impossible nowadays. If something is too cheap to be true, then usually that’s the case. Do your research, before you bid on anything online and request additional photos, information about the watch you’re thinking to buy. With older watches, make sure you do a deal through an authorised website, so in case of problems that you may spot later on, you can always request a full or partial refund.

For now, the Speedy is with watchmakers, being looked after. For now, it needs a full service (chronograph) and a proper clean to make sure no dirt is inside the watch. After that, I might search for a set of original hands from the 1970s.