If you thought the only incentive to buy a used watch rather than a new one was to save a wad of cash, think again, especially if we're talking TAG Heuer. Obviously, a pre-owned piece IS going to be cheaper than a new one (on most occasions, anyway), but there's far more reasons to consider a second-hand purchase than just budgetary constraints. Over the past couple of decades, the pre-owned market has exploded, helped along by dozens of reputable private sellers and dealers getting in on the action. Obviously, there's still risks involved, but providing you do your homework beforehand, you're no more likely to come away with a dodgy deal than if you were to buy new. If you're in the market for a TAG Heuer watch to add to your collection, here's why you should consider going the used route.
You'll save a fortune
Let's get the most obvious reason out of the way first. TAG Heuer's aren't necessarily the most expensive Swiss watches in the world (and in fact, much of the brand's appeal lies in the affordability of its pieces) but they're still going to cost you more than a couple of week's pocket money. As crmjewelers.com comments, even a mint condition used TAG Heuer watch will cost a lot less than a fresh-from-the-box model. If your heart is set on a TAG Heuer but your budget's got different ideas, plumping for a used watch is a no-brainer.
Warranty is still possible
One of the concerns people often have about used watches is the question of what happens when something goes wrong. When you buy a new watch, you'll at least get some sort of warranty to cover you for mechanical faults and failures. But what about when you buy used? Admittedly, not all pre-owned TAG Heuer's are going to come with a warranty, but choose your seller wisely, and you could end up with the same level and length of warranty as you'd get direct from the manufacturer. It's not guaranteed with all dealers, of course, so be sure to ask the question before making assumptions.
It's a great way of testing the water
If you've never owned a TAG Heuer before, you might be in two minds about whether it's the right brand for you. After all, there's no shortage of other watch makers around, so how can you be confident about choosing the right one? Maybe an Omega would suit you best? Perhaps you'd be better off with a Blancpain? Or maybe you should stick with Zenith? Ultimately, you're not going to know before you've tried one. Buying used is a great way of testing the waters before splurging on a brand-new piece. If you don't end up loving the watch as much as you thought you would, at least you'll have the conciliation of knowing you didn't waste half your savings on it.
You can't tell the difference
Some people buy watches so they can tell the time. Some people buy watches so they can tell their friends what an awful lot of good taste and money they have. If the idea of flashing a brand new, mint condition watch to all and sundry puts a smile on your face, pre-owned might not be for you. Or is it? Not all used watches look used. Some look as fresh and lovely as the day they were made. Put the leg work in, and you could end up coming home with a watch that looks new for a fraction of the cost - what could be better?
You have more options to choose from
The current TAG Heuer catalog might be big enough for most tastes, but your options are going to be considerably narrower than they would be if you opened yourself up to the pages of its back catalog. Fancy a 1990s Kirium? A '80s 2000? An original Monaco? Maybe you lost your heart to an Autavia in the 1970s and have never been the same since? Ultimately, going used means expanding your options from a couple of dozen models to a couple of thousand. If you like choice, choice is exactly what you get on the pre-owned market.
It's not as hard as you think
As the enthusiasts over at watchuseek.com are forever pointing out, buying used isn't half as hard as it's made out to be. Yes, you need to do your research, and yes, you have to be careful, but providing you apply a little common sense, you shouldn't have too much difficulty in finding a great seller, a great watch, and a great deal. EBay, Chrono24, and watch forums are excellent places to get a feel for the market, but you might just as easily find a bargain at a local jewelry store or watch dealer. If you buy online, always look for a seller with a good amount of sales and feedback to their name and who's happy to answer any question or request you have. It also stands to reason that you should use a payment method that offers payment protection, just to be on the safe side.
The loss in value is less
As watchfinder.co.uk notes, if you plan on selling your watch at some point in the future, you'll lose a lot less by buying used than by buying new. Once a watch falls into the 'pre-owned' category, depreciation in value tails off. Sometimes, it drops off completely. Sell a watch in 10 years' time that you bought new, and you're going to feel the sting in your wallet. Sell a watch in 10 years' time that you bought used, and you'll barely notice the difference. Ultimately, buying pre-owned now means selling pre-owned in the future - not great if you plan on the watch being your last and final purchase, but great news otherwise.
The older models are some of the best
Don't get us wrong. TAG Heuer still makes some great watches. World class watches, even. But if you want a truly iconic piece, you'd do far worse than scour its back catalogs. As calibre11.com notes, 1960-1985 represented one of, if not the, greatest period in TAG Heuer's history. The watches it produced in those years formed the basis of the modern TAG Heuer range, and represented some of the most classic and legendary timepieces to emerge from any Swiss watchmaker, ever. There was the Autavia, the original Carrera, the Camaro, the Montreal, the Heuer 2000... all great watches, and all now consigned to the pages of history. Except, of course, to the wise souls who choose to revisit them on the pre-owned market.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker