5 Tips for Getting an Affordable High-End Watch

High-end watches are not just beautiful fashion accessories they are an investment. You might think that due to the coronavirus pandemic prices will have collapsed, but that could not be further from the truth.

Luxury watches were the second-best performing category during the pandemic, behind sportswear. So, if the luxury watch market is so resilient, how can you own a high-end watch at an affordable price?

1.       Search Within the Brand

Just because you are on a budget does not mean you cannot find a great watch on a budget. Price ranges within brands are huge. If you are on a budget you can still find popular luxury watches.

For example, the Rolex GMT Master II Ice starts at $485,350. On the other hand, the Oyster Perpetual can be purchased for just $6,000. It is much cheaper, but it is still an authentic Rolex watch.

Do not be scared off by the leading watch within a brand’s range. They are always looking to market their most expensive options first.

2.       Look Into the Second-Hand Market

You are never going to find the Rolex GMT Master II Ice available for $5,000. If you do, it is almost certainly fake. Anyone who knows watches will be able to spot the difference. The chances are it will stop working soon after you buy it.

However, second-hand high end watches for sale are still far cheaper than their brand-new counterparts. Research the second-hand market and you can find some incredible deals on big brands.

3.       Avoid Buying Directly from the Brand

Brands markup the watches they sell, as does every industry. However, watch brands are especially secretive about the level of markup. Some insider experts estimate the markup could be as high as 100%.

For brands like Breitling, Omega, and Rolex the markup will be higher because they are looking to return the costs spent on engineering, employee training, and research and development.

Buying your watch from anyone but the brand itself can yield some big discounts.

4.       Look at a Second Class Brand

Luxury watches are not the exclusive preserve of the big mass market players like Cartier and Patek Philippe. There is a huge underneath market of watches. Brands like Fossil and Armani offer inexpensive watches with a comparable level of quality engineering.

The key to shopping for an inexpensive luxury watch is to not get hung up on a particular brand.

5.       Look for Non-Exclusive Watches

Watches are a fashion accessory like no other. The issue with watches is much of the value is emotional. It comes from advertising. It comes from the feeling of exclusivity. It is why some watches are worth no more than a couple thousand dollars and others near seven figures whenever they appear on the market.

The key to finding a high-end watch for a lower price is to search for non-exclusive watches. Maybe you are a fan of Seiko watches? Look for the Seiko watches that are a few years old. Avoid looking at a product line where only 5,000 were produced last spring.


Whatever you do, do your research before committing to any luxury watch purchase. There are huge communities of watch sellers online. Integrate yourself with them and learn about what you want to buy.

James Farner

James Farner is an author who has been writing professionally for eight years. For four of those years, he has been traveling full-time. So far he has visited 63 countries on five continents.

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