Buying second hand: What checklist do you go through?
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Thread: Buying second hand: What checklist do you go through?

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  1. #1
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    Buying second hand: What checklist do you go through?

    Hello!

    I'm looking to buy a piece from a second hand watch dealer (brick and mortar) where I live.

    I have zero experience in buying second hand. I have no idea what to look for when looking at the watch, except looking for scratches on the case.

    - I was wondering if you had a checklist that you go through when evaluating a second hand watch (try the crown, see if the bracelet is genuine,..)
    - Are there "tools" that you carry with you (like some kind of magnifying glass, or maybe a toothpick) that help you make an assessment.
    - Do you know of a nice resource on the web that talks about this?

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
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    Re: Buying second hand: What checklist do you go through?

    I always bring a loupe and look at the following:

    Case - scratches, dents etc.
    Dial - Dust under glass, moisture spots etc.
    Hands - Are they original, does the lume shine nice?
    Crown - if it's screw down, does it screw down?
    Functions - Test them all!

    In terms of authenticity and service history worries, I'm a big fan of the 'buy the seller' maxim. If the seller (in this case a brick and mortar dealer) is responsive and transparent, then you're already off to a head start.

    I personally don't care much about papers (they are a nice bonus but are the easiest part of a watch to fake!) and I care even less about boxes (I really don't need to pay for some branded cardboard).

    Once you've got a good feeling for the seller, they can tell you a lot of info, and there's a lot of things that they can prove. From a dealer I would ask for documented service histories, and whether or not they have any authenticity guarantees so that you've got recourse if it turns out to be a 'franken'.

    Either way, try get a look at the movement and see if it matches up with your expectations and internet research.

    As for web resources, it's going to depend on what watch you're looking at. If you can give us an idea of your target brands at least, then maybe there are some good resources for them.

    Of course, if you're going vintage as opposed to a pre-owned modern watch, then it's a whole other game!

  3. #3
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    I normally go for those preowned pieces at reputable watch shop. There is one shop that I even know its owner and the owner father who was the previous owner.
    I pay extra attention on the hour and minute hand. If they show sign of oxidization, stain or even a slight tiny hairline scratch, I will walk away.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Buying second hand: What checklist do you go through?

    PS. I'm looking to buy some variation of JLC Reverso Duo.

  6. #5
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    Re: Buying second hand: What checklist do you go through?

    Here's a good thread on pre-owned Reverso authenticity and legitimacy if those things are a concern for you:

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f419/ho...lc-954033.html

    and here's a nice overview of what to look for when buying pre-owned:

    Advice for Collectors: How to Buy Pre-Owned Watches › WatchTime - USA's No.1 Watch Magazine

    Of course, you can always just go to the dealer, take a bunch of pictures of the watch that you're looking at, put them up here and put the 'hive mind' to work, I'm pretty sure that the folks in the JLC sub-forum will be able to give you a good run down if you've got high quality and in-focus pictures.
    mailbolt likes this.

  7. #6
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    Re: Buying second hand: What checklist do you go through?

    I bought a second hand for my Speedmaster on eBay, because the lume was weak on the original one.

    mailbolt likes this.

  8. #7
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    Re: Buying second hand: What checklist do you go through?

    I think talljosh summed it up well. Just out of curiosity, what would the toothpick be used for? Would you use it as a bada** negotiation (read:intimidation) tool, let it hang out of the corner of your mouth and demand the best deal possible?
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  9. #8
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    Re: Buying second hand: What checklist do you go through?

    Quote Originally Posted by watch_hor View Post
    I think talljosh summed it up well. Just out of curiosity, what would the toothpick be used for? Would you use it as a bada** negotiation (read:intimidation) tool, let it hang out of the corner of your mouth and demand the best deal possible?

    Hahaahaha that's pretty neat I didn't think about that.

    What I had in mind was using the toothpick to operate the little push buttons on the side of some complications like moonphases.

    I think a toothpick is the safest tool to use, as it it easy on the watch case.

  10. #9
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    Re: Buying second hand: What checklist do you go through?

    Quote Originally Posted by wsfarrell View Post
    I bought a second hand for my Speedmaster on eBay, because the lume was weak on the original one.
    When I wrote the title I hesitated to re-edit and use "pre-owned" instead of "second hand".

    I knew this was coming. :)

  11. #10
    Member Brisman's Avatar
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    Buying second hand: What checklist do you go through?

    If they are reputable and offer a good warranty, most of your concerns should be covered.
    I only use a loupe, do some good research and take it from there.
    Last edited by Brisman; July 23rd, 2015 at 11:33.
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