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Learn what to look for when buying a watch with this handy watch buyers guide. Whether buying from an auction or just looking for information, this is the article for you.
3 Mins

Buyer's Guide: Watches

Jacob Margiotta
Jacob Margiotta

Time is precious…

We love watches here at William George, and we have a constant stream of big-name brands like Rolex, Breitling, Audemars Piguet, Tag Heuer, Cartier and more consigned to auction for you to browse. It is a hugely popular category and no wonder, with the pre-owned watch market offering a touch of luxury as well as a sound investment.


Much like a brand-new car, a brand-new watch depreciates most the moment you walk out of the shop, receipt in hand. You pay a premium for the retail experience and the glass of champagne you will inevitable be served if you’re buying a 2020 Rolex on Knightsbridge.


It’s cute, but it’s just not the smart way to acquire a high-end timepiece.


If you’re looking for a watch, then you’ll know – the time is precious. Browsing our online auctions at is the fastest way to get access to rare luxury from the comfort of your own home. We have consignors that you won’t find elsewhere – including estate clearances, watches used as part exchanges, pawned watches and other motivated sellers.


Combine this with the fact that our sellers benefit from 0% seller commission, and the result is an array of one-offs available at great prices – meaning you can dress your wrist without undressing your bank balance.


A watch with some patina and a bit of history has a touch of class and even appreciates – buying new just doesn’t add up. So what should you know before bidding on your dream Patek Philippe or Panerai at


Take your time…


Think of all the time you’ve saved not venturing out into the dangerous world of the high street wearing a Hazmat suit and invest some of it into examining the watches that take your fancy.


Read the descriptions carefully and be sure to ask additional questions if there is anything you aren’t sure of. You can submit an enquiry to us or come through our live chat to ask for more details. Each seller is different, and although we strive to provide a high level of detail, there will inevitably be times when you want to know more – don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Once you’re happy with all the details we pay our sellers 14 days after you receive your new watch. This gives you ample time to inspect it or take it to your trusted jeweller or expert and put your mind at rest. If you have any concerns, then let us know, and we will help you at every step. Fortunately, due to the checks, we put in place these cases are rarer than a Vacheron Constantin Chronometre Royal 4907.


Synchronise watches! I know you haven’t got the watch yet but set a reminder on your calendar or put the watch on your watchlist, so you don’t end up like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland and turn up 2 days late! Speaking of countdowns, when the lot enters the final 10 minutes, if a bid is placed then the clock will reset to run for another 10 minutes. This gives everyone a fair chance to place their bids and means you can’t get sniped at the last second.


So if you want a new timepiece, with peace of mind, the time is now!


See our current watch auction catalogues here….