Save On Unsold Luxury Watches Online

As products large and small, near and far have moved to e-commerce, there’s one industry that has been slow to adapt; luxury watches.  A fossil of an industry (pun intended), luxury watches from Patek to Rolex are all making the jump to online sales, some spurred by the events of 2020 and 2021 leading to in-store retail closures. Here’s a look at how people are saving on this inflation-beating investment alternative.

Buying a luxury watch online means you have access to a larger inventory, and it can also create the opportunity for a deal.  According to the Wall Street Journal, citing an example about one Swiss-made watch manufacturer, watch makers make a bigger margin online than they do via normal retail locations.  This is because of the much lower overhead involved in selling online; no salespeople, no expensive retail space.  With people choosing to invest their money in things other than your typical investments as an inflation hedge, take heed of these ways to buy a luxury watch online.


Many manufacturers are getting with the program and going online themselves.  Breitling, in business since 1884, now has a direct-to-consumer model, as well as French brand Cartier which dates back to 1847.  You can browse online and add your watch to your bag, including the ability to view professional, high-resolution photos of each watch from your screen.  Cartier also offers the option to order via phone if you are uncomfortable performing such an expensive transaction online.  Some watch brands are resisting the manufacturer-direct trend, sticking to informational-only online websites, such as Tudor and Rolex (though Tudor lets you see pricing and Rolex has online configurators like a car company).  If the brand you want is available manufacturer-direct, all potential guesswork is removed from the situation, and you will receive your watch without question regarding warranty or authenticity.

Authorized Online Retailers

Hodinkee is an online watch blog that started selling brand-new luxury watches fully authorized in 2017.  Founded by a laid off investment banker-turn-journalist after the 2008 financial crisis, it built its blog first, allowing potential consumers to trust the site as authoritative and reliable.  Hodinkee is based in New York City (similar to B&H Photo), and brands sold include Omega, Tag Heuer, and Grand Seiko, starting as low as $1,900 brand-new.  They have also recently launched a pre-owned purchasing option.  The chief Hodinkee competitor is MrPorter, an authorized seller of watches from brands such as Hermes, IWC, and Cartier (they have branched out into other products as well including accessories and clothes).  MrPorter offers financing options and guarantees authenticity.


A number of high-end luxury resellers have been birthed in the past decade, including Crown & Caliber and SwissLuxury.  Crown & Caliber offers the ability to buy and sell used Rolex, Tudor, and Omega watches online, amongst other brands.  You can buy any watch on the site, and if you don’t like it, they will pay (with insurance) to get it shipped back to them.  Every watch is authenticated and performance-tested, and each watch in inventory is backed by a two year warranty.  Many watches include original box and papers, which impacts resale value.  Right now their inventory includes Tudors from $2,300 and Breitlings from $1,500 – savings from new as high as 50% to 70% or more.

Grey Market

Jomashop is the leading grey market online watch seller, and they can save you a lot of dough on a brand-new, authentic watch; they advertise up to 35% off Omega and up to 70% off other name brands.  Watches are guaranteed to be authentic, new, and come with all original parts; it is completely “legit.”  They have original serial numbers intact as well.  The rub is that Jomashop sells these watches with their own warranty program.  This does not mean the watches are illegal – they are simply not “manufacturer authorized” resellers, and they do not follow manufacturer stipulations for pricing (“MSRP”), and thus do not come with manufacturer warranty. 

In Conclusion

If you’re willing to make some compromises, you can save an enormous amount of money buying a beautiful luxury watch online.  Whether choosing a brand-new grey market watch, or buying an authorized pre-owned model, you can get the feel of a very expensive watch for much less money.  Be sure to do your homework and know your reasons for buying, and search around for the best deal you can find.