How To Buy The Perfect Watch For Valentine’s Day
Vintage & Auctions

How To Buy The Perfect Watch For Valentine’s Day

There are so many wonderful things you can gift your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. One of the most poignant and long-lasting presents is a watch.

By Kristen Shirley

Here at Watchonista, we obviously think a watch is a perfect gift for all occasions, especially for Valentine’s Day. We wear our watches with us everywhere, so as a gift, it’s an easy way to be close to the ones you love. But purchasing one online can be an intimidating experience, so we’ve worked with our friends at eBay to put together the ultimate checklist for buying a watch for Valentine’s Day.

Have You Thought About A Pre-Owned Watch?

First and foremost, there’s an enormous range of styles and price points on the market today; you can find truly unique pieces that no one else has. And thanks to eBay you can frequently find great deals, too. Classic timepieces with retro details are very popular right now — watch brands are actually mining their archives and creating new versions of their historic timepieces — but often, you can find the original ones in the vintage market.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona

eBay also offers a way to find discontinued pieces you either missed at retail or that was so difficult to get at the retail level that the only way you can acquire one is at auction. Think of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona or a Patek Philippe Nautilus in stainless steel (RIP). Of course, you’ll have to pay a premium for these timepieces, but it’s a gift they’ll treasure forever.

Nautilus 5711/1A011 Steel Blue Dial Watch (GP-79)

Many people are concerned about authenticity when purchasing pre-owned timepieces, and rightly so. There are disreputable retailers out there, and even some that deal in stolen or fake watches. One of the benefits of eBay is their Authenticity Guarantee.

Vintage TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph

Essentially, watches costing over $2,000 are verified by eBay’s authenticity center. Here, trained experts meticulously examine each piece to confirm authenticity at no extra cost to the buyer. Once they pass muster, the watch is neatly packed up and sent to you. Moreover, if a watch doesn’t come with a box, eBay will even package it in a beautiful box for you. Whether it’s a new timepiece or a vintage delight, be on the lookout for eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee seal before you buy and rest assured that the watch you’re buying is authentic and the real deal.

1956 18K Gold Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 2552 Automatic

How To Pick A Watch

It can be daunting to pick something as personal — and pricey — as a watch for your significant other, but if you follow our steps, you’ll be sure to choose the right one.

Tudor Black Bay GMT

First, think about their personal style and passions. Ask yourself: What type of clothing and accessories do they wear? Do they drive a new or a vintage car? If they wear jewelry, is it silver or gold? What are their hobbies (i.e., SCUBA diving, hiking, horseback riding)? How would you describe their personality? The answers to these questions can add up to create a picture of the kind of watch they would like.

1995 Rolex GMT-Master ref. 167100 Tritium Pepsi Blue Red Steel

While this tip might seem obvious, many people overlook it. Think long and hard about conversations you’ve had in the past year about watches. Did she love her friend’s Bulgari Serpenti watch? Did he talk for hours about how much he loves the Rolex Pepsi dial? Did they offhandedly mention they think Patek Philippe is the chicest? If so, you already have your answer and can head straight to eBay to find it.

Bvlgari Serpenti Snake Steel Silver w/ Diamond Ladies Quartz Watch
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5119R-001 18K Rose Gold Manual Wind

If you can’t think of any hints they’ve dropped, look at the watches they currently own. Does their collection have a theme, like bracelet watches, elegant dress watches, or skeleton watches? If so, you can look for similar pieces to complement their existing style, like a gorgeous Cartier Panthère watch, a classic A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Big Date, or the stunning Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Skeleton.

A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Big Date 315.032
Cartier Ladies Panthere 18k YG & Steel 2 Row Small Silver Dial

If the collection is more eclectic, consider the gaps you could fill. For example, if they have several chronograph watches but don’t have Zenith’s iconic El Primero Chronomaster, one of the most important chronographs ever made, that would be the perfect piece to round out their collection.

Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Blue Open Men's Watch
Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Skeleton watch leather strap

Finally, establish your budget. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to find a meaningful gift. There are great watches to suit all budgets, including deals under $2,000. But, if you’re making a significant purchase, you can rest assured that your money is safe, thanks to eBay’s partnership with for transactions over $10,000. The funds remain in escrow for seven days after you receive the watch so you can examine and accept the piece before presenting it to your loved one.

Patek Philippe Ladies Nautilus

(Images from and Watchonista)

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