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Best Pre-Owned Luxury Watches To Buy in 2023

By Mike Fried,

A luxury watch tells far more than the time — it’s a statement of your personal style, interests, and budget. Pre-owned luxury watches allow you to maximize your investment and prestige. With carefully used, vintage, and even unworn models, pre-owned timepieces allow you to have a high-end watch at the most competitive price. But not all luxury watches and resellers are equal. Learn about what to look for when buying pre-owned luxury watches and where to buy them.

pre-owned luxury watches
Examples of pre-owned luxury watches
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What is a Pre-Owned Luxury Watch? 

A pre-owned luxury watch is a high-end, luxury brand watch that someone else has owned, often in gently used, unworn, or vintage condition. Pre-owned luxury watches are usually sold by retail boutiques and authorized dealers.

The three main types of pre-owned luxury watches are:

  • Current models: Watch models that are currently produced and on the market. Often in excellent condition, some come with the original manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Discontinued models: Watch models that are no longer produced. May contain slight aesthetic differences and features compared with current models. Sometimes sold as NOS (new old stock), meaning they have never been worn.
  • Vintage models: Watch models at least 30 years old that have been cared for. They’re usually rarer and harder to find replacement parts for. Antique watches need more care and maintenance to keep them running. Oftentimes they have appreciated in value over time.

Buying pre-owned luxury watches allows you to get a beautiful, high-quality watch at a competitive price. You can find unique, hard-to-find used luxury watches, making your selection rarer and carrying more prestige. Pre-owned watches are also environmentally friendly because they reduce new production.

Things to Look for While Buying Pre-Owned Luxury Watches

Because luxury watches are investment pieces and pre-owned ones can be gently worn, keep your eye out for a few key details. You want to ensure the quality, model, and resale value. You also want to make sure you buy from a certified dealer.

Here are seven tips to keep in mind when buying pre-owned luxury watches.

1. Verify the Brand

A luxury brand ensures the prestige, value, and style of your luxury watch. Each brand comes with its own signature features and designs. There are many luxury watch brands, but here are a few of the most popular:

  • Rolex
  • Omega
  • Tudor
  • Oris
  • Cartier
  • Longines
  • Tissot
  • Breitling
  • Panerai
  • Audemars Piguet
  • Patek Philippe
  • Grand Seiko

If you’re new to collecting luxury watches, do some brand research, looking at details such as their history, significance, and value over time. Compare styles to determine what catches your eye and complements your wardrobe the best.

2. Check the Model Name and Number

With hundreds of models and slight variations within a luxury brand, ensure you’re getting the pre-owned version you want. While the difference might seem slight, there can be an enormous difference in value and prestige. 

Consider this Rolex Submariner 116613 BLSO Blue Dial for $13,995 and this Rolex Gold Submariner 116618 LB Blue Dial for $33,523. The differences might seem slight to an onlooker, but the model numbers indicate novel watches with different materials, value, and status. The latter watch has a 18K yellow gold case and is a “No Date” Submariner, which tends to be more prized than “Date” Submariners. 

Rolex Submariner Watches
Pre-owned Rolex Submariner watches from Jomashop

Besides verifying model numbers, determine if the watch is a part of a limited collection, is a collectible iconic model, or part of a special series. The tiniest detail can make the biggest difference, especially when shopping for vintage timepieces.

3. Investigate the Condition

Pre-owned luxury watch conditions are often categorized as:

  • Unworn /  New Old Stock (NOS) / Like-New: Mint condition, no wear
  • Excellent: Very slight wear
  • Very Good: Light to normal wear
  • Good: Clean, wearable condition, often restored and polished
  • Vintage: 30+  years old in varying conditions

Beyond the condition grading, be sure to read the finer condition details. The listing should describe surface wear, scratches, patina, dings, wear, and any stretch on the bracelet. Reach out to the dealer with questions, and be sure to look at high-res photos before you buy.

4. Consider the Age

If you’re looking for a vintage watch, ensure you’re selecting one from the year you want, as even a year can make a big difference. If you’re investigating the watch’s condition, note the year and take that into consideration. 

Older watches usually mean it’s harder to find replacement parts. Vintage watches, though, can hold significant resale value depending on the model and condition.

5. Compare Prices and Resale Value

Compare the value and price of similar watches to get a solid sense of a watch’s worth. If you can, find historical price data to see if the model has appreciated in value in recent years or stayed consistent. If you’re investing in a watch, you want to make sure it will at least hold its relative value over time. 

6. Confirm Authenticity, Certification, and Warranty

Be sure that each pre-owned luxury watch is certified by WatchCSA, the leading independent authentication authority. This guarantees that the watch is 100% genuine and authentic.

Some certified pre-owned luxury watches also come with their original papers and boxes, but not all, especially vintage watches. Boxes and papers can add up to 25% of the resale value of the watch.

Some pre-owned watches come with their original warranty if they’re relatively new. Otherwise, look for a warranty from a pre-owned dealer to allow for repairs or replacement pieces within a certain timeframe.

7. Review Past Service Work

Check to see if the watch has been factory-serviced and if the watch comes with invoices about the service done. Service paperwork can help you better understand the watch’s condition and history.

Where To Buy Pre-Owned Luxury Watches

Just like buying pre-owned diamonds, you should only buy pre-owned luxury watches from a reputable retailer you can trust. We’ve found Jomashop to be a good place to buy pre-owned luxury watches. They sell top luxury watches in excellent and vintage condition as well as new ones at the most competitive prices.  Every watch is in stock and ready to buy, giving you a complete, trustworthy experience.

Jomashop benefits:

  • Enormous collection of authentic, new and pre-owned luxury watches
  • Exceptional customer service and a highly secure site
  • Fair market value prices
  • 30-day return policy
  • A 1 to 5 year service warranty on all watches
  • 100% guarantee of authenticity

Top 9 Pre-Owned Luxury Watches (Our Picks) 

We handpicked the best pre-owned luxury watches to include the finest, most sought-after luxury watches on the market today. They’re stylish, prestigious, and all made of the highest quality materials. We chose brands with high reputations and models in a few styles to ensure you find something you love. 

Best Pre-Owned Watches for Men

This selection of men’s used luxury watches boasts a range of models, fashions, and functions. From Rolex’s long-standing favorites to unique models from Audemars Piguet, here are the sure winners for any collection. 

Rolex Daytona 116520 Black

Earning its name from the world-famous Dayton Speedway, this iconic watch embodies the world of motorsport. The 4130 Perpetual movement is incredibly reliable, making this watch one of the most desired editions Rolex has to offer. 

$24,091

Men's Rolex Daytona watch
Men’s Rolex Daytona Watch from Jomashop

Watch Specifications & Features

  • Brand: Rolex
  • Movement: Automatic 4130
  • Bracelet: Stainless steel Oyster with Oysterlock clasp
  • Case: Stainless steel (40mm) with Tachymetric bezel and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Watch Condition: Excellent
  • Key Features: Lumed hour markers and silver sub-dials, black with luminous Superluminova hands, and index hour markers with silver 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour sub-dials

Audemars Piguet Tradition 18K Rose Gold

With a luxurious rose gold 41mm case and brown leather strap, this traditional coveted wristwatch stands out from the crowd. The square bezel looks very elegant, offering your collection a perfect addition.

$33,700

Audemars Piguet Traditional Silver Dial Watch
Audemars Piguet Silver Dial Watch from Jomashop

Watch Specifications & Features

  • Brand: Audemars Piguet
  • Movement: Automatic Audemars Piguet Caliber 2120
  • Bracelet: Brown leather strap with 18K rose gold tang clasp
  • Case: 18K rose gold (41mm) with exhibition case back and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Watch Condition: Excellent
  • Key Features: Rose gold 41mm case with gold-toned shaped hands, and elegant brown leather bracelet. 

Patek Philippe Calatrava Ivory Dial

A handsome watch all the way around the dial, this elegant design centers on simplicity. With its automatic winding technology and brown leather bracelet, this watch is sophisticated but not overdone. It’s one of those Patek Philippe models that will stand the test of time (literally). 

$40,220

Patek Philippe Calatrava Ivory Dial
Patek Philippe Calatrava Watch from Jomashop

Watch Specifications & Features

  • Brand: Patek Philippe
  • Movement: Automatic self-winding Calibre 324 S C
  • Bracelet: Patek Philippe brown alligator-leather strap with rose gold tang clasp
  • Case: 18K rose gold (39mm) with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Watch Condition: Excellent
  • Key Features: Classy ivory dial decorated with minimalist hour markers and hands, date display sits at the 3-hour marker, a round case in 18K rosw gold, and automatic winding technology.

Best Pre-Owned Watches for Women

From simple and sleek to colorful and full of gemstones, this selection of women’s used luxury watches appeals to a range of tastes. From the classic Rolex Datejust to the shimmery Pasha De Cartier, here are stunning picks to add to your collection. 

Rolex Datejust 68273 White Roman Dial

Exquisite in every detail, this mid-size watch of the famous Datejust adds another layer of feminine beauty. The white dial with the 18K yellow gold brings a royal touch.

$8,744

Rolex Datejust White Roman Dial
Rolex Datejust Watch from Jomashop

Watch Specifications & Features

  • Brand: Rolex
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Bracelet: Stainless steel and 18K yellow gold Jubilee with folding clasp
  • Case: Stainless steel (31mm) with 18K yellow gold fluted bezel, inner reflector ring and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Watch Condition: Excellent
  • Key Features: Stunning white dial with 18K yellow gold makers and hands, yellow gold Fluted bezel and a traditional 5-link Jubilee bracelet.

Ladies Omega Constellation Diamond Dial

Twelve diamonds serve as the hour markers while a bezel designed with Roman number markers surrounds the dial. This wristwatch boasts just enough opulence without appearing too flashy. With this timepiece in your collection, you can add the perfect touch to any outfit and occasion. 

$3,350

Omega Constellation Diamond Dial
Omega Constellation Watch from Jomashop

Watch Specifications & Features

  • Brand: Omega
  • Movement: Omega Calibre 1376 Quartz
  • Bracelet: Stainless steel with butterfly clasp
  • Case: Stainless steel (24mm) with fixed Roman bezel and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Watch Condition: Excellent
  • Key Features: Silver Mother of Pearl dial with 12 diamond hour markers and luminous hands and bezel with fixed Roman numbers.

Pasha De Cartier 2770 18K Rose Gold

From the alluring rose gold case to the calming silver dial, this Cartier wristwatch pairs new and old designs with precision. This edition also features a square minute track at the center.  

$35,795

Pasha De Cartier 18k Rose Gold
Pasha De Cartier Watch from Jomashop

Watch Specifications & Features

  • Brand: Cartier
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Bracelet: 18K rose gold bracelet with a hidden clasp
  • Case: 18K rose gold (42mm) with 44 brilliant-cut diamond bezel and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Watch Condition: Excellent
  • Key Features: Square minute track in the middle of the dial, blue-steel sword-shaped hands, and a gorgeous diamond-set bezel in rose gold.

Best Vintage Pre-Owned Watches

Rich with history, details, and style, vintage luxury watches bring a certain depth to your collection. This careful selection of vintage wristwatches includes Rolex and Audemars Piguet, two of the biggest names in luxury watches.

Rolex Date Champagne Dial

The handsome stainless steel and 18K yellow gold combination give this watch instant opulence. When you wear it, you’ll feel like you’re jumping back in time and leaping forward, all at the same time. 

$9,440

Rolex Date Champagne Dial
Rolex Date Watch from Jomashop

Watch Specifications & Features

  • Brand: Rolex
  • Movement: Automatic Rolex Calibre 3135
  • Bracelet: 18K yellow gold oyster with folding clasp
  • Case: 18K yellow gold (34mm) with an acrylic crystal
  • Watch Condition: Excellent
  • Key Features: 34mm diameter dial, two-tone oyster bracelet, and acrylic crystal.

Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Pepsi

One of Rolex’s biggest hits, the GMT-Master brings color and character to the forefront. With slight variations depending on the model, this vintage watch offers dual-time capabilities. Tom Selleck and Ben Affleck are celebrities known to showcase a vintage Rolex GMT-Master. 

$19,943

Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Pepsi
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Pepsi Watch from Jomashop

Watch Specifications & Features

  • Brand: Rolex
  • Movement: Automatic Rolex Calibre 1570
  • Bracelet: Excellent stainless steel 78360 Oyster bracelet with 13 links and 580 endlinks.
  • Case: Stainless steel (40mm) with solid back 
  • Watch Condition: Good
  • Key Features: Signature pilot’s watch, complete with dual-time capabilities, is instantly recognizable with its 24-hour bezel and dedicated GMT hand, and features a lovely “Pepsi” bezel. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to Buy Pre-Owned or Used Watches?

Yes, it is safe to buy pre-owned or used watches from reputable, certified vendors. Some pre-owned luxury watches even come with their original box and paperwork, helping to increase resale value and proof of authenticity. Reputable vendors typically offer a service warranty, too. 

How big is the Pre-Owned Watch Market?

The pre-owned watch market falls between $20 to $30 billion dollars per year. The increase of certified online dealers has grown the used luxury watch market, along with a demand from Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Pre-owned watches are environmentally and budget-friendly, plus they offer a unique way to find limited edition and vintage watches.

Do Pre-Owned Watches Lose Value?

Pre-owned watches can lose some of their value over time, but oftentimes, they keep or increase in value. Unlike new watches that immediately lose value after they’re bought, pre-owned watches don’t lose value as significantly. Depending on the brand, model, condition, trendiness, and rarity, your pre-owned watch could appreciate value. The prestige and collectibility of watches allow pre-owned models to maintain or grow in value. 

Is it worth buying a used luxury watch?

Yes, it is definitely worth buying a used luxury watch, as you are buying it after the initial depreciation. Pre-owned luxury watch dealers offer competitive prices, limited or discontinued editions, and even vintage timepieces. A used luxury watch often maintains or appreciates in value, as long as you keep it in excellent condition.

Do luxury watches have resale value?

Yes, luxury watches have incredible resale value, because they typically maintain or appreciate in value over time. If a luxury watch depreciates in value, it’s usually by a small margin, especially if you keep the watch in excellent working condition. The brand, model, condition, rarity, and trendiness all play a role in a watch’s resale value.

Does a Rolex lose value?

A Rolex typically does not lose value over time, as it is a strong, international brand marked by prestige and quality. It’s rare when a Rolex significantly decreases in value, especially if it’s kept in excellent working condition. Most Rolex watches maintain their value or even increase in value, due to their continued popularity and status.

Final Thoughts on Used Luxury Watches

Certified pre-owned luxury watches offer your collection prestige and resale value. By buying a timepiece after its initial price depreciation, you have a unique ability to retain or gain value. Used luxury watches also offer you the chance to snag limited edition, vintage, and specialty pieces — oftentimes in mint or excellent condition. Most importantly, look for a reliable, certified vendor to ensure an authentic watch and sound investment.

Here are more specific watch topics to browse:

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