Are you looking for a great deal on your dream watch? Worried there’s no chance of big-time Black Friday sales on luxury timepieces? Well, what if you could save up to 40% on certain luxury watch models, not just on Black Friday but every day of the year? You’re probably wondering what models we’re talking about, right? Read on to discover our top tip for getting a great deal on your next watch, and check out our selection of six models with the potential for major savings. P.S.: All of this is backed up with current data from the Chrono24 marketplace.
Black Friday: Pre-Owned = Slashed Prices
So, what’s the secret to getting a watch bargain? Well, you can look forward to significant discounts if you buy a used or pre-owned timepiece. There are six models that perfectly exemplify the considerable price gap between a new watch with box and papers on the one hand and watches in mint (like-new, no signs of wear) or very good (worn, barely any signs of wear) condition, on the other.
Let’s start by breaking down the term “pre-owned.” As of October 2021, around 45.6% of all watches on Chrono24 were listed as new, while 54.4% were listed as pre-owned. Of course, “new” on Chrono24 is understood as “new” on the gray market, i.e., not directly from the manufacturer. It is often the case that a third party has received stock from an authorized retailer and is offering a discount off the MSRP.
In contrast, a used or pre-owned watch has already been worn. Any protective film will have been removed, and it may have slight surface-level scratches on the clasp or bezel.
It’s important to remember that used/pre-owned does not necessarily tell you anything about the age of a watch. Likewise, even vintage watches can occasionally be sold as “like new” (unworn), though this is quite rare. These so-called “safe queens” are especially popular among collectors.
For most watches – Rolexes and Patek Philippes aside – the price falls most significantly when it goes from new to used, after which the degree of depreciation slows down. This trend is mainly because there is an increased risk that the watch will develop signs of wear. Buying a pre-owned watch can, therefore, mean taking a leap of faith. After all, some watch collectors don’t mind in the slightest if the watch has a few minor scratches here and there.
You can read more about this in our article, “Buying Watches Online: New or Pre-Owned?”
Which watch models are best bought used?
Okay, enough of the theory – let’s get to the models that are worth buying pre-owned. As a reminder, we compared “new” and “pre-owned” median sales prices for models on Chrono24 to determine where the best deals were.
1. Rolex Milgauss 116400GV
You can purchase a Rolex Milgauss 116400GV in very good condition on Chrono24 for around 19% less than an unworn watch. This model has a unique green sapphire crystal, and many experts expect it to appreciate in value in the coming years; though, to be fair, the same can be said for most Rolex sports models these days. Whatever the case, this watch was built to serve the greatest scientific minds of the 1950s and continues to do so reliably to this day!
2. Tudor Pelagos 25600TN
Our next pre-owned contender is the Tudor Pelagos ref. 25600TN. You can purchase this model in very good condition for nearly 13% less than in like-new condition on Chrono24. The Pelagos is Tudor’s professional diver and is water-resistant to 500 m (1,640 ft). Its 42-mm matte titanium case is more than appropriate for everyday wear. Although its size makes it less suitable for formal occasions, it stands out with its modern, lightweight case material and easy-to-use micro-adjust bracelet. However, the real highlight for me is the dial, which has an appealing 3D quality thanks to its indices.
3. TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 WAR201E.BA0723
Now let’s transition from a solid diving watch to a more simple and elegant pick from TAG Heuer. Our data reveal that a pre-owned TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 sells for up to 40% less than a new watch on our platform. This model boasts a day and date display, 38-hour power reserve, beautiful deep blue dial, and a display case back, affording the wearer a view of the movement inside. The design of this TAG Heuer is more reserved than some, lending it a “dressy” air. That being said, the watch is certainly robust enough for everyday use with its sapphire crystal and 100 m (328 ft) of water resistance.
4. IWC Le Petit Prince Chronograph Pilot IW377714
Next up is an IWC that changes hands for around 6% less in very good pre-owned condition on our platform. The Le Petit Prince Chronograph Pilot IW377714 may have the French word for “small” in its name, but don’t let that fool you. At 43 mm in diameter, it makes a statement on the wrist: This classic pilot’s chronograph features protruding push-pieces and typically comes on a brown leather strap with decorative stitching. You can also get the watch on a stainless steel bracelet, but this version offers less vintage charm. The caliber 79320 can time periods of up to 12 hours and is shielded from harmful magnetic fields by a special soft iron inner case. As is typical of special-edition Le Petit Prince models, this IWC features an elegant blue dial. Together with its partially polished case, this lends the chronograph a refined retro look.
5. Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
The fifth watch on our list is none other than the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch ref. 3188.8.131.52.01.001. This is another timepiece that may be worth purchasing pre-owned. Used watches on Chrono24 typically sell for around 8% less than unworn listings. The Speedmaster needs no introduction. Most people are aware of this model’s illustrious history as the first watch on the Moon. The watch has wrist presence, and wearing it marks you as a true connoisseur of the watch industry.
6. Grand Seiko Heritage SBGA211G
Our sixth and final watch is the Grand Seiko SBGA211G. Here, our data reveal that there is around a 12% difference in price between unworn and pre-owned listings in very good condition. This timepiece is part of Grand Seiko’s Heritage collection. Its case is 41 mm in diameter and made of titanium, making the watch both lightweight and robust. The precise Grand Seiko Caliber 9R65 is equipped with Spring-Drive technology and has a power reserve of 72 hours. Technical aspects aside – which the Japanese manufacturer is renowned for – this perfectly constructed watch works in formal and casual settings. The watch has a restrained, streamlined look while also shining with details like a blue hand and Snowflake dial. This model can, without a doubt, hold its own against newer Rolex Datejusts.
That rounds out our list of watches that offer some big savings when you buy pre-owned – and not just on Black Friday! Only one question remains: Which will you choose?