Sponsored: eBay – How a Patient Watch Collector Accidentally Scored a Rare Diver

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.

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  1. Dennis Dusing

    Thank you for this article, this old man is always questioning my desire to buy a watch from eBay.

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