In its “2021 Luxury Trend Report,” eBay identified the ability to find rare and vintage items one of the main reasons to shop pre-owned, right after price. Recently, the online giant made the process of buying (and selling) a watch even more secure: As one of the world’s largest luxury watch marketplaces, eBay launched “Authenticity Guarantee” for watches in 2020, a post-sale authentication service for watches sold for $2,000 or more in the U.S.
“When it comes to rare watches, it does pay off to be patient.”
In partnership with eBay, WatchTime reached out to a watch collector in New York to talk about his “horological barn find,” and how eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee is a step step towards additional trust and confidence:
What is your most memorable experience with eBay?
Well, I did find amazing stuff over the years. However, about 15 years ago, I came across a vintage Rado Captain Cook in new old stock condition. Back then, there wasn’t really a lot of info about this specific watch available online, and Rado hadn’t yet relaunched its highly successful re-edition (which came in 2017, as far as I can remember). I always wanted to have a diver with inverse bezel, but I didn’t really like the hands on this particular model. Short version: I spent a significant amount of time researching and talking to collectors, but eventually pulled the trigger, not knowing what I was buying. To be honest, in all these years, I never got used to the comparatively small diameter, and I never got to like the hands. And then it got worse: When Rado finally reintroduced the Captain Cook, I realized mine had to have the wrong hands. Selling wasn’t an option, so I decided to just treat it as a lesson in how not to buy watches, and never mention it again.
Sorry to hear. We assume you still have it?
No. It turned out that, all these years, I actually had an original piece in new old stock condition that was so rare that Rado asked for it for its museum. Needless to say, I am super happy about how this turned out, but I also know that I was extremely lucky.
How do you benefit from eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee?
Even though vintage is a much more complex field, I find myself sighing in relief whenever I see a watch with a blue badge on eBay. I had to wait 15 years to finally know about the authenticity of a watch, so, for me, having this additional level of safety is definitely a more than welcome addition.
Do you have a limit when buying online?
Obviously, I can only spend so much on watches, but I have realized that my willingness to spend money online is directly linked to the trust I have in either the seller, and/or the platform she or he’s operating from. Therefore, a seller’s rating, direct communication and ideally eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee is about as good as things can be. I’ve had enough uncertainty with the Rado…
What else do you use eBay for?
I quite often find myself just browsing through the categories. There are so many things worth hunting, like boxes, brochures and vintage ads, it literally feels like being in a horological candy store.
Authenticity Guarantee is not affiliated with or endorsed by any of the brands sold on eBay.
Thank you for this article, this old man is always questioning my desire to buy a watch from eBay.