The Ultimate Watch Buying Guide: How to Find the Right One For You

Whether you are looking to buy your first luxury watch or you want to add to your collection, finding the right timepiece can be time-consuming. There are a huge number of high-end watches out there, with a wide range of designs, additional functions and manufacturers to choose from. It’s easy to get caught up in finding a watch which has a certain appeal to other people, but the ‘perfect watch’ should always be one which fits in with your own personal requirements and is within your chosen budget.

This is why pre-owned watches are a great place to start, as you’re likely to get much, much more for your money when compared to buying new. You also get a lot more choice when shopping pre-owned, with both current and vintage models available. This handy buyer’s guide will help you to pin down the right watch for you – no matter what your requirements are – and will give you the tools to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of choices on offer.

Est1897’s exclusive discount luxury watch sale is being launched soon – providing the perfect opportunity for you to grab a real bargain. Read on for the best buying tips, and then take a look at our fantastic online range. You can also find amazing discounts in-store.


While it’s tempting to go straight in and look at what’s out there, the first thing you should do is identify your exact budget. Unless you have an upper limit in mind before browsing, it can be very easy to fall in love with a particular piece that may well be unaffordable. Knowing exactly what you want to spend will make it easier to filter out models which are unattainable for you at this present time, which can really speed up the whole process.

The act of shopping for a luxury watch should be an enjoyable one – not something which causes frustration and disappointment. Ensuring that you are only looking at watches within your spending range makes it a fun experience and you’re far more likely to pay attention to the really important features, rather than whether or not the price is right.


All watches have largely the same functions, yet there are many variations in style and design available, to cater for all tastes. Whether you like the look of the more complicated dials, or you’re looking for something more simplistic, you’ll find all variations on offer at a range of prices.

One of the upsides to opting for a pre-owned watch is that there are styles from a range of eras to choose from. Many of our customers opt for vintage timepieces, which have already proved themselves as well-made, long-lasting and timeless in their look. More modern designs are also available, giving buyers plenty of choice, and a better opportunity to compare aesthetically different watches side-by-side.


You may already have a particular watchmaker in mind, and if this is the case you can simply filter your results to only show watches from that manufacturer. Alternatively, you may be open to considering watches from a range of makers. The world’s top timepiece manufacturers, such as Rolex, Breitling, TAG Heuer, Omega, Cartier and IWC Shaffhausen have been creating precision timepieces for over 100 years in most cases, so you can be sure of world-class quality and craftsmanship, no matter which particular model catches your eye.

Each manufacturer will have their own signature ‘look’, so you may find some much more appealing than others. Try not to be swayed too much by the name on the watch – above all it should be something that you enjoy looking at, that you want to wear, and that has all the features you desire. No matter what you choose from our range, you can rest assured that you’re getting one of the most well-made watches in the world, thanks to our stringent quality control policies.

Extra Functions

Watches were originally designed for just one thing – telling the time – but many models available these days have a variety of other useful functions. It can be something as simple as being able to see the date as well as the time, or it may be more complicated with the inclusion of an alarm, moon phases, annual calendars, and various timing features which allow you to see two time-zones at once, or time things more accurately. Indeed, the inclusion of extra features like these on a watch is actually called a ‘complication’ in official industry terms.

Whether you want to keep things simple or you’d like to have one or more of these complications at your disposal, you’ll find a big range of options in our sale. If you have any questions about the additional features on a particular model, we’d be more than happy to talk you through them. You can get in touch with us on 0800 169 0780 or via

Reason for Purchase

As well as considering the practical issues - like those mentioned above - it can also be important to take a step back and consider your reasons for purchasing a luxury watch. Perhaps you want to look stylish and successful in the boardroom, or maybe you’re a passionate collector and have your eye on a specific make or model? Maybe you want to make a once-in-a-lifetime purchase to commemorate a milestone, or to ensure you have something tangible to pass on to the next generation, or you could simply fancy a treat after working hard or going through a rough time?

As long as you keep your personal reasons in mind when looking at what’s on offer, and make sure it feels right when you do decide to make a purchase, you’ll find much more joy in your new watch than if you were to simply pick something on a whim.

Pre-owned Considerations

Finally, it’s worth considering how you feel about the condition of your chosen watch. We are always 100% honest about any signs of wear & tear, and you can rest assured that all pieces have been fully cleaned and serviced by our in-house horologists before being put up for sale. Some watches may not come with their original paperwork or box, but we can provide a certificate of authenticity for every timepiece. We have direct contact with the world’s top manufacturers, and check the serial number of every watch against their databases to ensure you are getting the real deal.

Thankfully, high-end watches from the world’s best manufacturers are always made to last, and have been created from quality, long-lasting materials, so noticeable wear is thankfully very rare. If you want to see any of our online pieces in-store before you buy, you’re more than welcome to request this.

In our next blog post, we’ll be looking at an exclusive selection of the best watches we have on sale – will we feature your favourite?