Luxury watch buying guide

Luxury Watch Buying Guide: Part 2

Watches |25 May 2022

Buying a pre-owned luxury timepiece

Many luxury watches are available in the pre-owned market, which we recommend if possible. Only some watches are investment pieces, see our article on investment watches here. Buying pre-owned allows you to buy a like-new watch, with a warranty in most cases, with a decent saving from new and with its box and relevant paperwork. The other main benefit of buying a pre-owned luxury timepiece in 2022 is beating the unimaginable waiting lists that can come with buying certain models new- for some Rolex models you could be waiting years.
This doesn’t apply to most watches however will most likely be the case with any “investment piece”.

Buying pre-owned from an established and reputable jeweller will give you security knowing that the watch has been properly inspected, serviced if needed, polished and is running perfectly.

In case you weren’t aware, at Charles Fish, every pre-owned watch we sell goes through a comprehensive service to check they’re in perfect working order before they make their way to our customers, as well as a valuation and check for authenticity. Just to give you complete peace of mind.


Breitling Watch


Founded in 1884, this Swiss watch manufacturer is best known for the Navitimer (Pilots watch) or the SuperOcean (Divers Watch).




Cartier was founded in 1847 in Paris by the jeweller Louis-François Cartier is now best known for either their Tank model range or the Santos watches.




Known for its sporty chronographs, professional dive watches, and co-axial movements, Omega is arguably one of the leading Swiss watch brands. Its impressive history dates back to 1932 when the Swiss watchmaker cemented its spot as the official timekeeper of the Olympic games up to this date. In 1962 the OMEGA Speedmaster ref. CK 2998 became the first OMEGA to reach space when astronaut Walter Schirra wore the watch during the 'Sigma 7' mission of the Mercury Programme.



Rolex is one of the most popular and well-known watchmakers in the world. Originally founded in 1908, Rolex has a fantastic range of prestigious, well-crafted and durable automatic watches. Some models such as the Rolex Submariner or the Daytona will be most well-known, however, Rolex does have a range of watches with several unique features with specific purposes in mind. Rolex also uses a range of high quality, precious materials and offer a range of options for each model. For example, you can get a stainless-steel Rolex Daytona, or, you could also opt for a Rose Gold Rolex Daytona should you prefer something a bit more special.


TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer’s high-precision timing innovations have kept pace with the evolution of sports since 1860. TAG Heuer is best known for the iconic Monaco model.




Hublot was founded in 1980, making them the newcomers in the watchmaking industry. Hublot has exploded in the industry, earning its reputation with unprecedented design techniques and revolutionary materials.




Audemars Piguet is a highly regarded watch manufacturer. Founded in 1875, the Audemars-Piquet company has been family-owned since its conception. The company is best known for introducing the Royal Oak wristwatch in 1972, which helped establish the brand within the watchmaking industry. One of AP’s early achievements was creating the world's first minute-repeating movement for wristwatches in 1892. Audemars-Piquet also developed the first skeleton watch in 1934 and has manufactured some of the thinnest watches available, such as the 1986 ultra-thin automatic tourbillon wristwatch.


Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe

Founded in 1839 in Geneva, Patek Philippe is onea of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world with an uninterrupted watchmaking history since its founding. It designs and manufactures timepieces as well as movements, including some of the most complicated mechanical watches. Patek Philippe is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious watch manufacturers in the world. Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010 currently holds the title of the most expensive watch (and wristwatch) ever sold at auction at £22.8 million.


Maintaining your luxury watch

Maintaining your luxury watch is important for several reasons. One reason is to keep timekeeping accuracy. Over time, some watches may slow down, losing up to seconds every month. Getting your watch regularly serviced with a reputable jeweller will not only maintain the timekeeping accuracy but also increase the longevity of the watch’s life. This will also help the watch hold its value should you ever need to sell it.

Something else to think about is the day-to-day use of the watch. For example, knowing the depths that your watch can handle underwater. To avoid damage to its functionality, keep your luxury watch out of extreme temperatures. Extreme temperatures are considered below 0˚C or above 60˚C.
If you are ever going for a swim with your watch on, check that the crown is properly screwed in and the watch is watertight, the last thing you want is moisture inside the watch case.

Magnets can also be very damaging to watch mechanisms so be mindful of magnetic environments (they can be repaired however it may be costly). Magnets, such as those found in speakers, computers and mobile phones, can cause your watch to run less precisely, so take care to keep your luxury watches at a distance from them.

Be mindful of leather straps and water as well, leather straps are not waterproof.
Keeping all of the above in mind, maintaining your luxury watch will also prevent any unwanted or unexpected repair costs. I would recommend researching service intervals for the watch you are looking at, to give you an idea of how much will be required, some watches will be much more costly than others to service. A quartz watch will most likely be a fraction of the repair cost of a mechanical watch.


Selling your luxury watch

One of the great things about buying into the luxury watch market is how well (some) watches hold their value, or even prove to be an investment – more on investment pieces here. Depending on the model or brand, some watches hold their value incredibly well, putting you in a much better situation when you need to release some funds or when the time comes to change. Part exchanging your watch is also common when upgrading to a newer watch as well. Assuming the watch has been properly maintained, you will get a good amount of your initial investment back. Again, this depends on the model however proper maintenance is never a bad thing, even if you plan to keep the watch.

Got a timepiece you’re looking to part with? With competitive quotes and quick payments, selling your watch with Charles Fish couldn’t be easier. Head across to the ‘Sell your watch’ page to fill out our form and we’ll be in touch.


So which luxury watch is for you?

Take your time. There is no need to rush into buying a luxury watch. Making sure you have chosen the right brand/ model for your lifestyle is important – some functions may be of great use to you whereas others may prove useless. Establishing a budget will help you identify what is available – have a look at pre-owned from an established jeweller as well as this will give you lots of great options. Remember to maintain your watch properly once you have made your purchase to avoid unexpected repair costs.

Even if a watch doesn’t quite tick every box, it may catch your attention, and if you find yourself thinking about it endlessly, it may just be the perfect watch for you.


Pre-owned watches at Charles Fish

If you would like to browse our collection of stunning pre-owned watches, please see here.

To help you with the process, on every product page you’ll find a breakdown of each watch’s features, including the condition, movement and whether they come with a box and the relevant papers. We do also offer flexible finance options to help you spread the cost, you could pick up a Swiss watch for much less than you might think. We offer free insured delivery on all orders within Europe, so you can enjoy your designer watch at no extra cost.

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