Inspection checklist - what do you look for before accepting a watch from an AD?
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  1. #1
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    Inspection checklist - what do you look for before accepting a watch from an AD?

    In an ideal world we'd be able to trust the manufacturer's quality control and all new watches would be free of defects, but in reality even brand new watches can and do have issues from time to time.


    Do you have checklist (actual or just mental) that you go through when inspecting a new watch at an AD before completing the purchase?


    E.g. checking for alignment issues (indices, day/date wheel, chapter ring etc.), blemishes on the dial, making sure the date changes over properly, that it winds smoothly, that any complications work properly, that the bracelet or straps are free of defects.


    It's a little tedious to do this in-store, but much better than receiving a watch and only realising 2 weeks later that there's a piece of dirt on date wheel on the "17", for example. A defect found after a few weeks of ownership could lead to you being without your new watch while the AD addresses the issue.

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    Re: Inspection checklist - what do you look for before accepting a watch from an AD?

    I’ll add a few more to your list:
    Bezel action.
    Does it keep good time? Don’t be shy. Ask them to run it on a time grapher to confirm accuracy.
    Inspect the case and bracelet for dings, dents and scratches. If necessary with a loupe.
    Confirm authenticity if applicable.

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    Re: Inspection checklist - what do you look for before accepting a watch from an AD?

    I hadn't considered any of the possible mechanical issues above, but I always go over it thoroughly with a 4x loupe.
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    Re: Inspection checklist - what do you look for before accepting a watch from an AD?

    Their 50-60% cut.
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    Re: Inspection checklist - what do you look for before accepting a watch from an AD?

    I rarely buy from an AD, but when I do, I look it over carefully but certainly don't ask them to put it on a timegrapher, nor do I scroll through all wheels checking for dust etc. I take it, assuming it what it is advertised to be, and if at home, after some wear, and a more thorough examination, I find it to have "issues", I would then take it back and point the problems, and see that they get corrected, or that the watch is replaced. I have had only one new watch have any issues--a spec of dust embedded in the painted dial--I didn't actually notice until I was taking a pictures of it, preparing to flip it, when I saw it under the macro lens. I brought it back, they were as surprised as I was, and gave me a choice of the same watch or the value applied against something else--I took the latter route.
    Last edited by timefleas; May 6th, 2019 at 10:28.

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    Re: Inspection checklist - what do you look for before accepting a watch from an AD?

    When buying at an AD, the first thing I do is try not to get a display piece. If it’s a watch that is readily available and they don’t have “stock” I usually ask them to order me one on fresh from the manufacture. I’m in no rush so a couple extra days waiting isn’t an issue. Once I get the watch I inspect all the usual that you mentioned, make sure the clasp works correctly (if on bracelet) or inspect the leather strap if it has one. Also look at the case and caseback to make sure all looks in order. I also inspect the box and papers. Part of the AD experience is trust, so buy from an AD you trust and if there are issues you know it will be handled properly.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Inspection checklist - what do you look for before accepting a watch from an AD?

    Quote Originally Posted by timefleas View Post
    I rarely buy from an AD, but when I do, I look it over carefully but certainly don't ask them to put it on a timegrapher, nor do I scroll through all wheels checking for dust etc. I take it, assuming it what it is advertised to be, and if at home, after some wear, and a more thorough examination, I find it to have "issues", I would then take it back and point the problems, and see that they get corrected, or that the watch is replaced. I have had only one new watch have any issues--a spec of dust embedded in the painted dial--I didn't actually notice until I was taking a pictures of it, preparing to flip it, when I saw it under the macro lens. I brought it back, they were as surprised as I was, and gave me a choice of the same watch or the value applied against something else--I took the latter route.
    Agree with this. Unless the AD is nowhere near your residence, anything beyond inspecting for the obvious (scratches, nicks, dings, bezel alignment) seems a bit much to me as if I later discovered an issue, I would quickly return to the AD to get the situation fixed. To each their own, though, and more power to you if you take the extra time to give it the once over. I just want to get the watch home as soon as possible and delight in the purchase.

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    Re: Inspection checklist - what do you look for before accepting a watch from an AD?

    Maybe I should be checking for things under the Crystal, but I would say in the few times I've purchased from an AD I am mostly looking at the obvious superficial cosmetic issues. There have been some ADs that I have not purchased from because their in the case "new" watches are more scratched up than watches I've owned for two years. The two watches I've purchased recently from ADs were not local but I was told, in both cases, that the watches were new in the box with the plastic on them and never opened. In both those cases the AD was truthful.

    In another case, where I purchased a watch from overseas that was new but tried on from the dealer, it did come with a few marks on one of the links that looked a little bit like the the link had folded back against another link and had sort of put a few superficial scratch marks into it. The side of the case had a few hairlines. The person that I bought it from offered me a beautiful, custom leather watch travel case that holds 8 watches because it was something that he didn't notice.

    Otherwise I guess I've been lucky, but I've also purchased mostly pre-owned with the expectation that watches were going to come already having been slightly pre-loved.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Inspection checklist - what do you look for before accepting a watch from an AD?

    I check for physical blemishes mostly as any that you discover afterwards the AD can claim that you must have done it.

  11. #10
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    Re: Inspection checklist - what do you look for before accepting a watch from an AD?

    Bring a loupe.

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