Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by BrokenSkunk »

I collect (mainly) vintage watches. My collection currently stands at 45 watches, 3 of which were new and four were "New Old Stock". It is unrealistic to expect that second hand watches will come DNA free.

It takes all sorts to make the world, some people will be fastidiously clean and will look after their posessions. Others simply don't notice the grime.

With ther greatest of respect, it would be a waste of time and energy to expect all vendors to have a high standard of hygine. Like King Canute willing the tide to stay out, it's never going to happen. Some watches will arrive spotless and others ... won't.

When buying a vintage watch I always expect it to need a service and I always expect it to need a clean and maybe a new leather strap. Better to be pleasantly suprised if you don't need to do those things than dissappointed if you do.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by rkovars »

Nothing turns me off more from a listing than pictures of a dirty watch. If someone couldn't take the time to clean it before taking photos what else might be lurking that you can't see.

Watching episodes of Wristwatch Revival will make your skin crawl sometimes. He'll take a bracelet off of an old watch and chunks of biohazard will fall out of the end links.

I don't sell very often but I would make sure it was clean if I did. I regularly (every couple of months) take the bracelets off of watches I am wearing a lot and run them through the ultrasonic cleaner. I'll do it more often if I am spending a lot of time in or around the ocean. I have a couple of Cape Cod detail brushes that I will use on the cases.

I would probably include a ratty strap if it were original and brought something to the whole package. I would include hardware in either case. That would just be good practice and what I would expect.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by kiter65 »

What I don’t understand is why someone would wear a watch in that condition anyway, let alone sell it, I often give my watches a clean. If selling a watch the bracelet would get a bath in the cleaner and the watch would have a very light wipe with cape cod or something similar.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by thomcat00 »

Thanks for all your thoughts and replies. Just a few more addenda. I don’t think my expectations were too high. I contacted the seller about the condition and he apologized; the watch condition wasn’t horrible, it was relatively easy to clean, and when buying a used anything I clean it before using it. The skin grub in the caseback and bracelet is what bothered me most. I was not expecting pristine but he’d stuck a clear film sticker on the case to mail the watch meaning the skin grime was under the sticker.

I’d never publicly shame someone for their personal hygiene, which is why there was no name attached, nor specific mention of the watch or transaction platform. Were there a problem with the watch such as a deliberate misrepresentation I’d provide that in any feedback. If a seller disclosed case dings, bracelet scars, I’m fine. If they failed to disclose such wear and I found it to be significant I’d comment. I expect some degree of life scars of a second hand watch. And I feel my tolerance is pretty high for such. If I land the item at an acceptable price, I’m usually good to go.

Thanks for allowing me to vent.

I’ll quickly add, I’ve experienced some pretty gross circumstances and I’ve survived. I have moved dead bodies, human and animal; I apprenticed with a mortician and I did removal work for a city morgue. I’ve also cleaned out rental properties after tenants who knew they were to be evicted and the absolute mess they leave behind.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by strapline »

@thomcat00 Your post about watch detritus and other nasties reminded me to give one of my watches a thorough clean with a mildly abrasive toothpaste and soft bristled brush. I like my watches tidy ordinarily, but this really bought up the caseback and removed some tiny dead skin flakes, particularly from the six hex bolt heads. Thanks for the prompt...of sorts.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by ItsAliveJim »

What hair was it? :lol:

There are sometimes images in sales posts that make me heave. I can only assume the seller has poor eyesight or just doesn't care for cleanliness.

Either way, unless it's an absolute bargain or a rarity, you move swiftly on.

You wouldn't send a shirt or pair of jeans to a buyer caked in mud, so why a watch?
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by kiter65 »

A wet Saturday morning, after reading this thread I bet a few more of you are going through your collection and giving some a clean :lol:
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by magicman »

I took my Pelagos 39 off in WOS to show the Salesman, as he hadn't seen one.
To say I was embarrassed was an understatement, it wasn't horrendously grubby, but it needed a clean for sure.
I don't judge people too Harsly in the hygienic sense, but I would consider, that the watch may not have been looked after properly, vs a pristine one, which although unsubstantiated, gives me the impression of a careful owner.
If I'm selling, lending etc. I would give mine a thorough clean.
I know people would even get watches serviced before selling. I'm not sure I would go to that length.
If 2 people were selling the same model watch at the same price, and one was unclean, most people would go for the clean one, I imagine.

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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by 0uatiOW »

I’ve bought and sold a few times, here and elsewhere, always given mine a goodish clean before sending, and always received items which had benefited from a similar treatment.

Once, it was clearly evident that the seller (from the SC on this forum) was a smoker. I left positive feedback based on the overall condition of the watch, without complaint, but I decided at the time that I would avoid buying from the same seller again.
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