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Where should I buy my watches from?


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Hi all, 

I am quite new to the hobby and was just wondering what websites people recommend for UK watch buying, and also whether there are any good London shops that I should visit when they open up again?

Currently looking at predominately entry level watches (roughly up to £400) if that is of any relevance. Any recommendations for starter watches in this price range would be interesting as well! I mainly like dress style watches, but do also like divers/sports so long as they are relatively subtle (e.g. Orient Mako II is one that has caught my eye recently).

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That's what the insane always proclaim. 

No it won't. 

If the Orient Mako has caught your eye then I would suggest buying it, other peoples recommendations are all well and good but at the end of the day its your money and your wrist,

I have 12 watches to choose from (a paltry number compared to many on here) none of of them over £500, many might say that 12x£500=£6k and for that I could have purchased a reasonable Rolex, Omega, Breitling or many other luxury brands and whilst the accumulative value might be £6k I've never had £6k at any one time spare to purchase a watch. 

At £400 there are some very nice watches, but what I like may not be what you like so go with your instinct and buy what YOU like.

Edited by Darren 66
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Francis and Gaye are a great place to mooch around online , and if you ask nicely for 20% off RRP for most of their stuff they will oblige if you say your were recommended to shop there by someone here .... [ I have no affiliation or interests with them, just have bought a few from them , all at 20% off ], There are others who discount readily and I am sure people here will recommend .... :-) Welcome to the forum , stick around and show us your first purchase ..... 

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1 minute ago, JonnyOldBoy said:

Francis and Gaye are a great place to mooch around online , and if you ask nicely for 20% off RRP for most of their stuff they will oblige if you say your were recommended to shop there by someone here .... [ I have no affiliation or interests with them, just have bought a few from them , all at 20% off ], There are others who discount readily and I am sure people here will recommend .... :-) Welcome to the forum , stick around and show us your first purchase ..... 

They offered me a 20% discount a couple of weeks also so can confirm this is still the case :thumbsup:

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2 hours ago, xadambx said:

Orient Mako II is one that has caught my eye recently

That was the first watch I bought and I can't praise it enough: very accurate, perfect size for my 7 inch wrist, relatively thin too for a diver. To me, the only drawback is the bracelet that feels a bit like a handcuff, especially in summer. I'm chuffed with the Strapcode Endmill I got to replace it, but the endlinks are not a perfect fit (quality control is hit-or-miss, by all accounts), so keep that in mind if you're OCD about those things.

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13 minutes ago, mrzee said:

I’ve bought mine on here and had some great bargains.

eBay can be a good source too but there is a lot of rubbish on there.

eBay is patchy agreed, up until late last year , a German seller was selling counterfeit Hydroconquests that for all the world looked convincing ..... I reckon 95% of buyers would never suspect they had bought a Chinese special .... I only ever use eBay if the seller also has either B&M presence or is an established UK seller... I know others dabble , but I am not confident enough to on there .... and this is said from an established eBay volume seller of yesteryear.

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24 minutes ago, JonnyOldBoy said:

eBay is patchy agreed, up until late last year , a German seller was selling counterfeit Hydroconquests that for all the world looked convincing ..... I reckon 95% of buyers would never suspect they had bought a Chinese special .... I only ever use eBay if the seller also has either B&M presence or is an established UK seller... I know others dabble , but I am not confident enough to on there .... and this is said from an established eBay volume seller of yesteryear.

I'm more weary of selling than buying on there tbh!

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2 hours ago, JonnyOldBoy said:

I would not sell anything on eBay for more than a couple of hundred quid ... 

I have sold a few on ebay above £1k I just never agree to post or accept PayPal. I mean if a buyer is serious about buying a watch for a large sum of money then they shouldn't have problem. 

It generally sorts out the genuine buyers from the Ebay scammers!.

I got 1 right who is asking me send him pictures of the watch via email but my pics are clear & the watch unworn with stickers & tags! Joker.

Plus I'm never desperate to sell either so just stay patient till the right buyer comes along....

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Welcome to the forum :)

A few I would recommend in the £400 price tier;-

Orient have the Ray, Mako, Kanno and Kamasu to name a few in this price tier (they also have things like the Bambino which are well regarded), I have a Kamasu and at its price point there’s not a lot better than it on paper.

Seiko also have some offerings here in their 5 Sports range, for these I would advise avoiding eBay as there are a lot of rebuilds and franken-watches which are not worth it.

For Orient and Seiko the likes of https://www.amazon.co.uk are a safe place to shop, https://www.cwsellors.co.uk stock Seiko and if you are happy to wait https://www.jomashop.com is also an option that stock both (you might have additional import related duties to pay with JomaShop but on my last Bulova purchase I didn’t).

If you want something that’s a little more colourful and different maybe check out Phoibus or Zelos, they’ve got some great offerings and you can just buy direct from their websites:-

Phoibus:- https://phoiboswatcheurope.com

Zelos:- https://zeloswatches.com

£400 will also put you into Hamilton Khaki territory so I’d definitely recommend checking them out as they are a great watch and well regarded in the community.

https://www.hamiltonwatch.com

A couple of brands that I like which don’t get as much love are Junkers and Iron Annie, they have a more Bauhaus inspired take on design and produce some fantastic looking minimalist pieces.

https://shop.junkers.de/en/

https://www.pointtec.de/ironannie/en/

An outsider is Islander Watches, these seem to be great value pieces and the range is only growing and growing as they develop their own brand (again, these are in the US so there’s a chance you could have additional import duties to pay when the watch lands in the UK, but since Brexit you’ll have this with everything that’s not already in the UK). Long Island Watch also stock Seiko and Orient so it’s another good place to check for them.

https://www.longislandwatch.com/Islander_Watches_s/2006.htm

Beyond that brands like Bulova, Casio, Citizen are all worth checking out as you never know what might catch your eye.

https://uk.bulova.com
https://www.casio.co.uk
https://www.citizenwatch.co.uk

Finally, I’d say to check out Christopher Ward, they are a British watch company and make some great pieces (although possibly out of budget), although If you sign-up to the free Loupe magazine you’ll get sent a £100-£150 voucher to use on their website (the magazine is actually pretty nice too).

Christopher Ward:- https://www.christopherward.com

As far as shopping goes you are pretty safe with a lot of the recognised high-street jewellers, Goldsmiths, Beaverbrooks etc but if you are unsure ask on here and people should be able to say if it’s a safe site or not.

Hopefully that’s some food for thought and doesn’t overwhelm you haha, once you’ve settled on a few models feel free to pop back and ask any questions you might have around a specific brand, movement etc and everyone here will be happy to help. The best advice I can give though is take your time and try not to impulse buy, back when I started I fell into that trap and bought watches that never even saw my wrist.

Good luck and remember it’s a slippery slope, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that your £400 budget grows to £500-600 after you’ve shopped around a little to see what’s out there, one thing that I’ve found useful to to watch a lot of YouTube videos around specific models I’m interested in to get a little more info before taking the plunge and making a purchase.

Edited by Rookie1986
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Thank you for all your help and recommendations everyone. I'm a little taken aback at how helpful everyone has been on here! That's a lot more replies than I thought and probably too many to reply to all individually, so my apologies!

Having read some recommendations and looking around a bit more, I am very close to settling on the Orient Kamasu... I like the design a lot, and it has the bonus of sapphire crystal, unlike the Mako. 

I do really like the look of the Christopher Ward watches recommended by @Rookie1986... definitely one that is going on my bookmark list for a later purchase. T

Again, thanks all for the help and suggestions. As I said, I am absolutely amazed at how helpful everyone has been and I'll definitely be sticking around. I reckon I'll buy order the Kamasu in a week or so in an attempt not to impulse buy, and will post a picture once it arrives!

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Can I recommend you have a look at AMJ watches in Newark. I have bought two watches from them and their service is second to none.

They currently have some Seiko Presages (dress watches) on sale, a beautiful cocktail brown for £295 (RRP is £530).

I know its beautiful because I have just bought one.

 

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2 hours ago, xadambx said:

Just wondering, where on this forum can I find people selling watches? Sorry if I'm missing something blindingly obvious!

Once you have 50 meaningful posts you will be able to view the sales section. :yes:

From the forum terms and rules;

 "Restrictions on New Members
Until they have reached 50 posts new Members will not be able to send personal messages, see member profiles, some sub-for or the Classified sales section."

 

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For me, I would say...

Used:

65% TZ (sorry Roy- but there are a lot more members and therefore sales traffic)

20% here

13% ebay

2% Christopher Ward forum

New, I buy from Creation/ Sky, Drop, TKMaxx (they occasionally have bargains, but watch the QA) and online shops for specific brands (Yema most recently, but got in before Brexit put the prices up).

I've never bought an expensive watch (ie over £1000) save for on here or TZ - I feel it gives the best protection you can get, if you do your homework on the seller).

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11 hours ago, WRENCH said:

Once you have 50 meaningful posts you will be able to view the sales section. :yes:

From the forum terms and rules;

 "Restrictions on New Members
Until they have reached 50 posts new Members will not be able to send personal messages, see member profiles, some sub-for or the Classified sales section."

 

Ahh I see, thank you. Guess that's just more an incentive to get actively involved on the forum!

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1 hour ago, JonnyOldBoy said:

Please do , currently I am the only sane person here ...... :drinks:

I have informed  Nurse Ratched , she will be with you asap to administer your largactil injection...

 

Picture

 

:scared:

 

:laugh:

 

 

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