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Watch enthusiasts love their terms and throw them around all the time. While it can be overwhelming at first, make time to learn them in order to easier navigate the world of watches. This will help you before making a first purchase when contemplating new, vintage or pre-owned watches in the marketplace.
Keeping it as simple as possible, we generally think of watches older than 20 years to be vintage. A pre-owned watch is a watch that has been previously owned by at least one person. Finally, a new watch with no previous purchase history.
Most vintage watches already had an owner, so they can be considered both vintage and pre-owned, but of course there are instances of old vintage watches never having been sold or worn. A vintage piece that shows little to no wear is significantly more sought after and generally more valuable compared to worn watches of the same reference.
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Even if a watch is showing signs of age, it does not mean that it is less valuable. There are many cases where watches that have aged or “patinated”, that is to fade or tarnish, have actually increased the value considerably. Sometimes, specific types of patinate add more value versus newer looking vintage pieces.
The greatest advantage to purchasing pre-owned watches is that you can get your hands on harder to find watches, for which you would likely pay a premium. Conversely, you can also get many pre-owned timepieces at a discount instead of buying from the authorized dealer at retail prices.