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What to look for when buying a luxury wristwatch

With demand for fine quality luxury timepieces on the rise, there is also a rise in counterfeit goods flowing into the market says Peter Machlup, a luxury wristwatch trader based in Melrose Arch. And while you may not be able to spot a fake Rolex straight away, there are a few ways to prevent yourself from purchasing an imitation…

Collectors that have eyed luxury wristwatch brands over the past few decades will be au fait with Peter Machlup Fine Wristwatches. Based in Melrose Arch now, Machlup began his career as a jeweller and fast established himself as a purveyor of fine timepieces. Now, he only deals in exemplary brands that hold their value, and is a certifiable expert on vintage, pre-owned and new wristwatches.

Known for his collection of Rolex, Panerai, and Audemars Piguet among others, Machlup is the go-to contact for watch collectors on the hunt for specific pieces that are hard to find.

“I have always only dealt with a few luxury watch brands that are known to keep their value. My promise to my clients is that if I’m prepared to sell it to you, I will be prepared to buy it back.”

Peter Machlup

Based on his years of experience, Machlup can readily advise on what to look out for when buying a luxury wristwatch. “Firstly, a wristwatch without its original papers is immediately worth less. If you are purchasing a wristwatch from a reputable dealer, they will be able to provide these papers for your perusal. With the papers, you will be able to verify the authenticity of the watch with the manufacturer themselves.”

If a wristwatch doesn’t have its original papers, which is often the case with vintage heirlooms passed down between generations, the serial number on the back of the timepiece can be used to verify the watch.

Additionally, it is important to inspect the watch thoroughly explains Peter. “Luxury wristwatches undergo extremely strict manufacturing standards. Take a look at the logos, the lettering, the paint and and the clasps, if anything looks below standard, it’s likely you’re looking at a fake. Because of the materials used, all quality watches also feel heavier than they look. If it’s too light, alarm bells should ring!

Lastly, listen to the tick, or rather the lack of one. “Should the movements of the watch sound at all, the watch could be fake. The hundreds of tiny parts in luxury timepieces are perfectly designed and shouldn’t make a noise at all.”

At Peter Machlup Fine Wristwatches, clients are treated to a unique experience that is far removed from the retail environment. Dealing with Peter in his private office, espresso at the ready, clients are taken through a viewing of the wristwatches they favour, with a few ‘wild cards’ thrown in.

Machlup’s knowledge of each piece in his collection is unrivalled, and clients can expect to be given a history of each brand and which particular pieces are worthwhile collecting. Machlup also offers a free evaluation service for clients, and is always looking to buy pre-owned and vintage wristwatches. If you’re still not sure whether what you’re holding is in fact a genuine timepiece, Machlup will happily look over it for you too!

Written by Kate Els

Image credit: Alessio La Ruffa

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