If you’re a newcomer to the world of watches you have quite a journey ahead of you. Few markets offer the rich heritage, variety and scope that this one does. On the other hand, few markets are as vulnerable to fakes, and spotting a fake luxury watch is nowhere near as easy as you might think.
The best way to protect yourself against a poor purchasing decision is to go through a reputable dealer. But, of course, a dealer who isn’t so honourable is hardly likely to volunteer that information! So here are three key areas to explore when you’re looking for the right dealer to help you to source your perfect luxury watch and enjoy it for a lifetime.
Ask about British Horological Institute membership
The BHI is the standard indicator to look for with any company dealing in luxury, pre-owned or antique watches. Becoming a member is no easy task. Every aspect of the organisation – from workshops to repair practices – will be assessed in minute detail before full membership is awarded.
If a dealer can offer additional accreditation then all the better (at David Duggan, for example, we’re also members of the NAWCC and LAPADA). But BHI membership is the benchmark you should seek to verify.
Ask about purchase terms and guarantees
Especially in the case of pre-owned luxury watches you’re likely to need regular maintenance and, on the odd occasion, repair or refurbishment services. It’s important to ensure that your dealer will honour that and is qualified to do the work – preferably using a technician approved by the watchmaker themselves. It’s also important to look for a reasonable guarantee period. Most pre-owned luxury watch dealers offer a minimum of one years’ guarantee, so look for this and be extremely wary if the guarantee is less than 12 months or – indeed – if they are refusing to guarantee the watch at all.
Ask awkward questions!
Here’s the thing about luxury watch dealers. For those of us who are genuine this isn’t just a job. It’s a vocation. So we’ll never mind answering any and all questions you have about luxury watches in general, market behaviour, brands, movements, or indeed anything else you want to know.
Visit the dealer you’re considering, or at the very least pick up the phone. Do some basic research in advance and have some questions prepared. If the dealer evades your questions or seems impatient to get rid of you then steer clear. After all, you are thinking about making a significant purchase with them. A professional and experienced luxury watch maker will recognise that, and will be more than pleased to share their specialist knowledge.
If you haven’t found a dealer that suits your needs or can source the luxury watch you’re looking for then get in touch with David Duggan. We specialise in pre-owned luxury watches sourced to your requirements, and we are full members of the BHI with more than 150 years’ combined experience. Not only can we help you to buy and sell luxury watches, we are also an approved Rolex service centre and can carry out all repairs and maintenance. Contact us online or visit our Mayfair showroom. We will be delighted to meet you!