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Box and Papers


Roxyben
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So I have currently been looking for my next significant purchase which I have decided will be second hand. Quite a few of the listings I have seen just offer the watch without the packaging it came with or the papers, now my question is does this bother you? Quite often when the watch does come without the stuff it came with they are often offered at a much lower price than with a full set.

Myself, I cant seem to figure out if it bothers me or not. I think ideally every watch would come with the box and papers but this is not an ideal world. Essentially for me the box gets chucked up in the loft with the rest of them so really I shouldn't be so concerned. But splashing out so much it would be nice to have everything, but not essential. Now resale value isn't really an issue for me as I'm not much of a flipper, I can understand why some people would want the full set with an eye on a easier and more profitable resale in the future. But personally any speak of resale values and investments and my eyes are rolling. I just like watches, that about it.

So yeah just wanted to discuss something I have noticed whilst looking for my next watch. Anyone ever made a significant watch purchase without box and papers? Is it a warning sign if they don't have them? Do you avoid anything but a full set? Anything I should be aware of when purchasing second hand without box and papers? Any stories concerning the lack of box and papers much appreciated along with any advice or things to look out for.

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I don't know why exactly but I think I'd feel more comfortable with the box and papers, even though I know it's easy enough to go online and buy a box and papers. And even original box and papers are no guarantee that the watches innards are still in tact.

One of those strange subconscious things I think.

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6 minutes ago, krissy1301 said:

I don't know why exactly but I think I'd feel more comfortable with the box and papers, even though I know it's easy enough to go online and buy a box and papers. And even original box and papers are no guarantee that the watches innards are still in tact.

One of those strange subconscious things I think.

Yes I do agree with you here, It would make me feel more comfortable, but essentially the box is going to get tossed with the rest of them so I am just weighing up my thoughts on it at the moment.

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13 minutes ago, Roxyben said:

Anyone ever made a significant watch purchase without box and papers? Is it a warning sign if they don't have them? Do you avoid anything but a full set? Anything I should be aware of when purchasing second hand without box and papers?

1. Yes. Last watch I bought.

2. Not necessarily.

3. Not necessarily.

4. Absolutely. Buy the seller.*

*Explanation: the purchase was made from a respected and trusted member of this very forum who is in the watch business. I had no worries.

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Think I wouldn't mind half as much if it was someone I knew or a respected seller or maybe someone well known on the forum. Ebay and Chrono24 are the main second hand sites I have been looking at where a lot of the watches don't seem to have box or papers.

One of the watches I was watching had everything, I asked the question if he had the original sales receipt as he said he bought it from new, he couldn't find it but I do think the watch was genuine. I ended up missing out on that one. I'm just terrified of spending a lot of money on a watch that might be fake. Because I'm definitely no expert!

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It depends really.

I never really cared about papers, back in the day I used to reckon them at £100 but a lot of Rolex fanboys made these things and even the tags that came with the watch more important in the general sentiment.

A watch like an Omega Seamaster I wouldn't care.   Any Patek or Rolex it needs to be significantly represented by the price.

Vintage watches usually have no papers and its quite a bonus if they do.

Boxes can be picked up in hindsight and certain brands offer extracts from the archive which is the next best thing to the original papers... though often these aren't cheap.

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16 minutes ago, Duncan U. said:

In addition to the points mentioned above. I think I would prefer the box and papers, because the sort of person who carefully stores them away is more likely to look after the watch and get it serviced on time.

This is my reasoning.

If I was buying a second hand car and turned up to view it and it was clean and in good condition on the inside I'd feel more confident that it had also been looked after and serviced.

That might not always be the case, but certainly seeing a car that has been bashed about inside, ripped seats, scratched dirty dashboard, knackered carpets would have me assume that it was not cared for properly during its ownership.

For a cheap watch, fair enough people buy to wear rather than collect and sling the box.

For a vintage watch, again fair enough, these things get lost over time.

For an expensive watch under 10 years old, where is the box? You should have kept it if you cared about the watch, and if you didn't care about the watch, it's unlikely you looked after it properly imo.

 

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Bricey the thing is people with lots of money are often careless with boxes and papers but don't mind paying for services.   Cheap people like me keep all the boxes and papers but don't tend to get watches dealer serviced every few years.   Lack of papers doesn't make much statement on watch condition - the watch condition makes that statement. 

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I should also point out that the box and papers contributes nothing to any confidence whether a watch is correct or not.   Plenty of fake papers, fake boxes or even fake watches with real papers and real boxes.

The watch is still the important thing - condition and authenticity.   If you don't know what you are looking at make sure you buy from a good source.

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16 minutes ago, Daveyboyz said:

 

The watch is still the important thing - ‘condition and authenticity’ If you don't know what you are looking at make sure you ‘buy from a good source’.

Pretty much my mantra!

Along with research, research, & more research, no need to rush...savour the journey.

Good hunting.

:thumbsup:

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I only buy from respected well known sellers.

I watched a video comparing a genuine rolex and a high quality reproduction. The non genuine even had the hologram in the sapphire at 6 O'clock. It was almost identical and it took an expert to distinguish them. 

Unless you really know what you are looking at, pay a bit more and buy from a respected vendor like watch club or swiss watch company etc. 

Never be 100% confident but a better chance your purchase will be ok. 

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I keep the box and papers to all of mine. There is a large box in the spare room full of watch boxes. I do look on pre-owned sites now and then and wonder why anyone would discard the box and papers. 
 

It’s not just watches though my better quality trainers are all kept in their original boxes. 
 

I keep my iPhone boxes. I traded my old one in the other week the headphones and charging cable were in there unused, added a few extra pounds onto the price. 

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1 hour ago, Daveyboyz said:

I should also point out that the box and papers contributes nothing to any confidence whether a watch is correct or not.   Plenty of fake papers, fake boxes or even fake watches with real papers and real boxes.

The watch is still the important thing - condition and authenticity.   If you don't know what you are looking at make sure you buy from a good source.

The way you put it is quite worrying. Bit of a minefield when buying a second hand watch. I think I may be veering more towards a professional dealer wear you can be guaranteed authenticity, but then again can you? I'm sure there are will be plenty of dishonest business and individuals out there. It really is a bit worrying, I really don't want to get stung!

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4 minutes ago, mrzee said:

Box and papers certainly isn’t a deal breaker for me, more a nice to have.

Yes this is the way of my thinking at the moment!

 

5 minutes ago, mrzee said:

I’d agree about buying the seller though… Something I always try and do.

What do you mean by buying the seller?

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14 minutes ago, Perlative Cernometer said:

Don't just look at the watch, look at the seller's history, feedback, reputation, whatever you can get hold of. Decide if you can trust them.

Ah yes, makes sense. Thanks for clarifying. Suppose there is so much you can learn beyond the watch.

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I think.. 

(This doesn't include vintage +25 years watches.)

Under £300 makes no difference but it would be nice.

+£300 I want the box or someone didn't care for the watch.

+£800 box and papers (or equivalent) because nobody buys things at that price and doesn't care to keep the receipts in the box. Listen, even if you are mega loaded, you keep these things for insurance purposes. Or.. you don't care about money, you throw it away and you don't "sell" anything... you don't need the cash.

Edited by SolaVeritate
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15 minutes ago, Roxyben said:

Ah yes, makes sense. Thanks for clarifying. Suppose there is so much you can learn beyond the watch.

 

31 minutes ago, Perlative Cernometer said:

Don't just look at the watch, look at the seller's history, feedback, reputation, whatever you can get hold of. Decide if you can trust them.

Pretty much this ^^^

I always try and engage the seller in conversation as well as looking at all of the above. Basically I’m trying to build an accurate picture of whether the seller is genuine or trying to pass on a lemon. Not saying I always get it right but I always attempt due diligence.

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Of course if things keep going the way they are, buy a Rolex from an authorised dealer and they will bring it out on collection on a velvet cushion, open the box in front of you, place the watch lovingly on your wrist, then take the box, papers, and any spare links away to place back in their vault for "safekeeping" so if you ever want another look all you have to do is make an appointment with them.

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