The Role of Certification in Luxury Watch Buying

other watches on the market

The realm of luxury watches is an intriguing one that requires a keen understanding of provenance and authentication. These twin pillars are paramount to ensuring that your collection is authentic and truly valuable.

When negotiating with sellers, consider leveraging the following factors to help ensure that you are getting a fair price: COA, original box & papers, warranty.

COSC Certification

When it comes to luxury watch buying, terms like ‘COSC certification’ can often leave a beginning collector scratching their head. These abbreviations may sound intimidating, and even if you’ve mastered the basics of Swiss watchmaking, understanding them can prove difficult.

COSC stands for Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres and is pronounced “koo-SHAY-muhs.” It’s the official organization in charge of guaranteeing the precision and accuracy of Swiss high-precision watches. Its rigorous testing standards allow only the best timepieces to receive its prestigious stamp.

In order to get certified, a watch movement must go through 14 to 20 days of grueling testing in five positions and three different temperatures. The movement is uncased and the winding mechanisms are disengaged, which helps to mimic what a watch would experience while worn. COSC also uses custom tools, specialised premises, and IT systems in its laboratories to ensure they’re meeting the strictest of quality standards.

The results of this testing process are then judged against seven specific criteria. This includes the frequency at which the balance spring oscillates, how well it compensates for temperature variations, and the maximum error that can be sustained during the course of a week. Only watches with a movement that meets all of these requirements can be considered a chronometer.

COSC’s laboratories inspect over 1.8 million mechanical and quartz watches a year. This is no small feat and it takes tremendous dedication to maintain the strict quality standards required for certification. However, this level of quality is what distinguishes COSC-certified watches from the rest.

While it might seem that a watch’s performance during its test in the laboratory is indicative of its overall reliability, this is not necessarily true. The way in which a watch is handled and maintained can dramatically affect its long-term performance, regardless of how well it performed in the lab. For this reason, it is important to purchase a timepiece that has been properly cared for and maintained. This is why purchasing a COSC-certified watch from a reputable dealer such as BQ Watches is so important. By doing so, you can be confident that your new watch will perform at the highest level possible for as long as you own it.

Third-Party Authentication

In the realm of luxury watches, authenticity and provenance are two crucial pillars that are essential for ensuring that collectors are purchasing genuine pieces. While there are a number of proactive steps that can be taken by consumers to ensure that they are buying authentic timepieces, the complexity of these watches often requires the expertise and guidance of third-party authentication services. These specialists possess a deep understanding of different watch brands and models, and use advanced techniques to identify counterfeits. As such, they are well-positioned to provide a high degree of confidence when it comes to identifying and authenticating rare and unique timepieces.

However, despite the increased focus on authenticity and provenance in the luxury watch market, counterfeiting remains a pervasive issue. These fakes are not only a threat to consumer safety, but they also undermine the value of genuine timepieces. For this reason, it is critical for consumers to understand the importance of leveraging the services of third-party authenticators when purchasing pre-owned luxury watches.

For example, eBay announced a new post-sale verification service for watch purchases on Tuesday. The Authenticity Guarantee program will denote verified items with an Authenticated badge, and offer an escrow payment service for high-end purchases. This will allow buyers to place funds in an escrow account until the timepiece has been inspected and verified by independent experts.

In addition, it is important for consumers to research the specific model of watch they are considering purchasing, as there are a number of common counterfeiting tactics that can be used to deceive customers. In particular, counterfeiters often take advantage of the unique design features of certain luxury watch brands to make their replicas look as similar as possible to a genuine timepiece. This can include misaligned logos, poor quality finishing, and deviations from the standard design of a specific model.

With so many counterfeits on the market, it is important for consumers to be vigilant when shopping for luxury watches online. By following the tips listed above, shoppers can feel confident that they are getting a genuine timepiece and will be able to enjoy their purchase for years to come.

Original Box & Papers

Aside from the watch itself, another important factor when purchasing a luxury watch is whether or not it comes with original box and papers. Many newbie watch buyers are surprised to learn that original boxes and papers add a significant amount of value to the watch. Some say they even make the watch more authentic.

Nevertheless, it’s essential to note that original boxes and papers do not guarantee authenticity. They can easily be forged, so it’s essential to do your research beforehand to ensure that the documents are genuine. In addition, a counterfeit can look just as convincing as an original. In other words, if the counterfeit documents match the watch’s model number and serial number, then you’re likely dealing with a real timepiece.

While the importance of original box and papers is up for debate, most watch experts will agree that a watch without original box and papers will usually sell for less than a similar timepiece with the original box and papers. This is because potential buyers often assume that a watch without the original box and papers is a fake, so it’s not worth paying the same price for it.

As a result, it is crucial to find the right seller when buying a pre-owned watch. This way, you can be sure that the watches are not only genuine but also in good condition.

Furthermore, a watch seller with an established reputation will be more trustworthy than one who is not. This is because they are more likely to have an extensive knowledge of watches and will be able to provide you with a more accurate price estimate.

Moreover, they will be able to answer any questions you may have about the watch’s history and its authenticity. Lastly, a trustworthy seller will be able to provide you with unbiased advice and recommendations for the best luxury watches. This will help you make the most informed decision about your next watch purchase.


In addition to ensuring the authenticity of your watch, a warranty will also protect you from potential damages. When a luxury watch is damaged or defective, it can be very costly to repair. This is why it’s essential to research and understand the terms of a warranty before making any purchases. A good warranty will not only protect you from financial loss but it will also help ensure that the seller provides a satisfactory solution to the problem.

While the exact guidelines that define a luxury watch are often debated, there are a few key things to look for when purchasing a timepiece. For example, the watch must have a high-quality movement and be made with expensive or precious materials (like gold or diamonds). It also needs to be exclusive, which is achieved by low production rates and a price point that is significantly higher than other watches on the market.

Another important consideration is the brand’s reputation for quality and customer service. In general, luxury watch brands will prioritize a consumer’s satisfaction and work to make the experience of buying and owning their product as enjoyable as possible. This is why many of them offer generous warranties and other after-sales services that are designed to keep buyers happy and confident in their purchases.

Purchasing a luxury watch is an investment, so it’s crucial to be familiar with the details and conditions of a warranty before making a purchase. In general, a two year warranty is a standard in the industry, but some brands offer longer warranties that give buyers peace of mind. Additionally, many luxury watch makers have their own specific warranties that cover certain parts or repairs.

In the end, a warranty is more than just a piece of paper; it’s an expression of confidence in a brand’s products. By implementing effective negotiation strategies, ensuring secure transactions, and understanding warranty conditions and after-sales service, buyers can feel confident in their ability to get the best deal on a luxury watch and enjoy their new purchase for years to come. If you have any questions or concerns about the condition of a watch, be sure to contact your local authorized dealer. They’ll be able to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the warranty terms and conditions and answer any other questions you may have.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *