Guide to buying a luxury watch

Becca Donaldson ·

There are many reasons why people choose to purchase a luxury watch. It could be an investment, an heirloom to hand down from generation to generation, a status symbol, a generous gift to a loved one – or simply because a luxury watch guarantees quality and will last you a lifetime. There’s something truly wonderful about having a statement or luxury timepiece on your arm that’s there every time you cast a glance.

If you’ve decided that now is the right time to invest in a fine timepiece but feel that navigating the world of expensive watches could be daunting, then let us help you to make an informed decision. 

Read our men and women’s luxury watch guide to help you choose the high-end timepiece of your dreams.

How to buy an expensive watch

Before you even start to think about watch brands and models, you need to think about your lifestyle and how your new timepiece will fit into it, and how much you want to spend on it. Also consider if you are going to wear this piece every day, or is it only going to come out for special occasions.

A watch should fit your lifestyle

If you live for the outdoors, play sports or love adventures then a waterproof luxury sports watch, or a diving watch might be right for you.

However, if you want a statement timepiece designed to add a touch of glamour to your life, to wear for special occasions, then you can afford to choose a more decorative watch. Or one studded with diamonds, such as the Big Bang Watch designed by Mappin and Webb, which features 126 sparklers!

If you are a professional who wants to wear the watch in a work environment, should you opt for a classic understated watch that doesn’t come across as ‘flashy’? We believe it depends on the culture of the workplace – and by carefully considering your lifestyle you will be able to narrow down the choices to a shortlist of suitable luxury watches.

Decide the budget for your watch purchase

If this is the first luxury watch you are buying, then a good introduction to the world of timepieces will cost in the region of £1,000 - £1,500. Take a look at Oris and Longines, who have plenty of options in this price range.

If you have your heart set on a Tag Heuer or an Omega, then expect to pay upwards of £3,000 for your watch.

The sky really is the limit when it comes to setting a budget for a luxury watch. Rolex and Patek Phillipe both feature at the higher end of the scale, and prices start from around the £10,000 mark for a luxury men’s watch.

Don’t overlook the second hand market when it comes to luxury watches. Second hand doesn’t always mean used. At Reliked you can grab yourself a luxury watch bargain. Many influencers are given watches which they don’t wear beyond an initial photoshoot, and so you can scoop up a brand new watch at a fraction of the RRP.

Buying a luxury watch as an investment

If you are buying an expensive watch as an investment, then you’ll need to do plenty of research before you whip out your credit card. 

Most watches do not increase in value. But there are a few brands, such as Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, that have proven to be good investments over the years.

Even expert watch collectors can’t always predict which watch will increase in value. Sometimes a previously popular watch model may suddenly drop in value if an updated version is released, so bear this in mind before you part with your cash. Choose a watch because you love it and want to wear it – we recommend choosing other jewellery pieces for investments.

Consider watch maintenance

It’s important to remember that just like a luxury car, an expensive watch will cost more to maintain. So make sure you understand how much a watch service will set you back before you commit to purchasing it.

A luxury timepiece service should include dismantling and cleaning all the components, replacing any damaged parts and lubricating the workings. The watch bracelet will also be disassembled and restored to its original finish. Most luxury watch retailers recommend a full watch service every three to five years. Again, choose a brand that you know will stock replacement parts.

Where to buy a luxury watch

Purchasing a luxury watch requires patience – especially if you want to keep an eye on the second hand market. For example, at reliked, we can’t always predict which luxury watches will come in stock at any point. Part of the joy of buying a statement timepiece is visiting stores, talking through your options with the experts and trying on the models from your shortlist.

However, in today’s online world, there are also plenty of reputable watch dealers online that will be happy to share their expertise with prospective purchasers. And of course, then you can browse in the comfort of your own home. 

If you don’t want to hang around waiting for watches to be added to the Reliked stock, then Watches of Switzerland is one of the best online watch retailers. They offer a range of brands including Tag Heuer, Breitling, Cartier and Omega. 

Many authorised luxury watch dealers also offer virtual video consultations for a fully personalised watch buying experience. So if you can’t visit the dealer in person, this is a terrific way to shop for your dream watch. 

Also, be prepared to be added to a waiting list if the watch you choose is a popular model. Expensive watches are handcrafted and often demand is higher than the capacity to assemble the timepieces.

Enjoy your luxury watch

Our guide to luxury watches will help you to make an informed decision so that your new watch will bring you a lifetime of joy. If you want to complement your statement watch with a new designer outfit to complete the look, then check out our latest luxury clothing styles online.

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