second-hand luxury watches

There aren’t many worlds with more entry requirements than that of luxury watches. Firstly you need to be ready to fork out some serious cash. Once you’re sorted on that side you need to get through the not-so-simple decision of which timepiece you actually want. That means getting up to speed on the jargon to work out what you’re actually buying, and boy is there a lot of it.

From quartz movements to complications, mechanisms, retrograde second dials, and more, it can feel as though the world of luxury watches is working against you. Luckily, though, with the rise of resale comes the opportunity to simplify your search massively. Shopping for second-hand luxury watches removes a chunk of investment from the equation. Of course, it is still an investment, but instead of dropping $6000, you can look around the $3000 mark and still secure yourself a lifelong companion.

To further ease the burden of finding the perfect second-hand luxury watch, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best that we found at StockX and eBay. Each of which is a tried-and-tested classic and comes in at less than $3000.

Diving watches are a timeless choice if you’re looking to enter the luxury watches game. The style is virtually trend-proof and leads the way for the biggest watch brands like Rolex, Omega, Tudor, and the like. The Omega Seamaster is an icon in that sphere, launching in 1948, it was the first family of watches that Omega ever released. To this day it’s one of the most popular men’s luxury watches and for good reason. Reliable, stylish, and crafted to perfection.

If you’re liking the aesthetic of a diving watch but fancy something with more of a vintage tinge to it, then look no further than the Tudor Black Bay. This iteration features a distressed leather strap to complement the deep red bezel and orange hits to the dial. With a 41mm case — the same as the Omega Seamaster — this is definitely on the larger side, but thanks to the black dial, it doesn’t draw the eye.

Breitling is another name in horology that carries serious weight. Founded in 1884, the Swiss company has been creating chronographs for use in science, sports, and industry for long enough to be considered an expert. The Colt family keeps things classic with a diving style. We particularly love the satin-brushed steel bezel of this chronometer which is water-resistant to 200m and features a self-winding caliber. Rider tabs at each quarter-hour punctuate the unidirectional bezel without overcomplicating the clean overall finish.

One of the most attractive things about watches is their ability to hold meaning. They’re physical manifestations of nostalgia — memories to carry forever on your wrist. That’s abundantly obvious with this Hublot Fusion. Dating back to 2014, it’s a rare release — limited to 600 pieces — from the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Of course, Hublot’s pared-back dial and flowing design need no introduction, nor does the top-of-the-range quartz movement and Swiss build.

From the cold steel and stripped-back dials of diving watches to the leather straps and mind-boggling displays of pilot’s watches. IWC Schaffhausen’s Flieger is a classy watch that’s sure to be picked up on by watch lovers. The chronograph face features three subdials to the face as well as a day-date feature at 3 o’clock. The automatic movement is one of the best in class, too.

One of the most loved watches of all time is undoubtedly the Rolex Day-Date with its unmistakable day register at the top of the dial. In similar style, but available for a fraction of the price, is the Breitling Head Wind. While steel luxury watches often pair silver cases with black dials, the Breitling Head Wind looks to an off-white dial which works to lighten the visuals. With a 43mm case, this is no small watch, but it really doesn’t feel as big as it is thanks to the color palette.

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer is another stalwart in quality timepieces, making it a great option for those looking to cop a second-hand luxury watch. This example is a 2021 release, so you can rest assured that you have years before any repairs or replacements are on the menu. The green dial and bezel are a big attraction to this automatic watch, giving the piece a distinctively vintage feel which many watch addicts crave.

We love the Tudor Black Bay so much that we couldn’t resist doubling up. Swiss-made, with all of the hallmarks to show for it, this is the ideal entry to luxury watch ownership. An automatic movement has been proven highly reliable over seriously long timeframes and with 200-meter water resistance, luminous hands, and sapphire crystal glass, this watch is made to be worn hard.

Omega has a lot to be proud of, and a great part of the brand’s success has come at the hands of the Omega Speedmaster. Officially the first watch on the moon, the family has proven itself in some of the world’s (and beyond) most extreme conditions. Visually, this watch is classic to its core, but what we love about this example is that its case measures just 39mm, making it one of the smallest in today’s roundup. Talk about best things, small packages.

While keeping things simple is always a good idea, we can appreciate that there’s always space for a bit of flash. We’re not talking about diamond-encrusted Audemars Piguets, but this TAG Heuer Link Professional Chronograph is a step in that direction. Fitted with a two-tone stainless steel and 18K gold case and bracelet, this chronograph definitely makes a statement.

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