Taking the Gamble out of Bargain Hunting with Pre-Owned Deals

Taking the Gamble out of Bargain Hunting with Pre-Owned Deals

4 min read
Nathan Schultz



Nathan Schultz



I was a reader at WatchGecko long before I was a writer. It's long been a habit of mine to subconsciously navigate to the magazine section of the website when I have a few minutes to spare in the day. While I know WatchGecko is also a retailer, I usually protect my wallet by avoiding any page with a buy button.

Geckota Watches in our Nearly New SectionGeckota Watches in our Pre-Owned Section - Credit WatchGecko

Last month, just as usual, I opened the website without a plan and found myself reading Charlotte’s review of the 35mm Tissot PRX. I looked down at the 43mm Glycine on my wrist, a watch I love but find myself wishing was smaller, and then back at the 35mm PRX on the screen. It looked so comfortable and non-obtrusive- traits noticeably void in my current collection of large watches.

As the 35mm PRX inspired fantasies about adding a smaller watch to my collection of 40+mm watches, I instinctively told myself that now wasn't a good time to buy. I thought about bills, upcoming home heating costs this winter, and other boring stuff. Treating yourself to something unnecessary can be somewhat of a mental game. In the world of GPS accurate timekeeping on cell phones, one watch is a luxury. Any subsequent watches can be hard to justify… but that doesn't stop enthusiasts such as myself from wanting them.

Discovering Unbeatable Deals

FORZO Watches in our Nearly New SectionFORZO Watches in our Pre-Owned Section - Credit WatchGecko

Trying to be a responsible adult, I gave myself that same speech about not needing another timepiece. And just as I had almost squashed the idea of adding a new watch to my collection, a pop up flashed across the screen. I closed it quickly out of habit without actually reading it, but then tried to remember what it had said. Had it advertised something about 60% savings with pre-owned watches, or was my watch lust playing tricks on me?

Curiosity got the better of me and I navigated to the WatchGecko store to find out. And there it was at the top of the list: Pre-Owned Watches. It took but a minute of scrolling before the faded brown dial of the Geckota Airstream Field Watch jumped out at me. At 36mm and with an equally compact lug to lug, it was just the size I had been dreaming about. Retail price? $539- a fair price tag for a Miyota 9039 powered field watch with a screw down crown and a suede strap. But at the newly new price of $299, it was a steal.

Finding Reasons to Click the Buy Button

Nodus Watches in our Nearly New SectionNodus Watches in our Pre-Owned Section - Credit WatchGecko

I love to modify and build watches. It's an aspect of the hobby that allows me to indulge the urge to tinker while creating one of a kind watches in the process. After years of turning individual watch components into complete watches, I tend to think of watches as a sum of their parts. I know how a Miyota 9039 costs, the price of a decent hand set, and how challenging it can be to find a dial void of quality control defects. As a consumer, this insight helps me spot good deals and avoid inflated prices.

My first thought when I compared the “Pre-Owned” price of the Geckota Airstream to the specs was:

That’s one hell of a deal!

Setting aside the cost associated with creating an original design such as the skin diver inspired Airstream, I couldn't build a watch of this spec for a better price. And while I love the opportunity to bust out my watch tools, I can’t offer myself a six month warranty- a standard peace of mind that comes with all pre-owned watches at WatchGecko.

With a deal like this, it's no surprise what happened next. I clicked the buy button, and two days later I had a new watch on my wrist. According to the website, pre-owned means the watch was either a customer return or a former photo sample and could have minor signs of wear. While I can't speak to the condition of every pre-owned watch, mine was flawless. As a watch reviewer, I’ve got a critical eye, and I found no signs of wear on my new 36mm field watch. A more thorough review of my new Airstream is in order. But as a preview, good deal aside, it's a striking watch with a unique blend of sporty elegance. And at 36mm, it's the most comfortable watch in my collection by a mile.

Deals Just in Time for Holiday Shopping

NTH Watches in our Nearly New SectionNTH Watches in our Pre-Owned Section - Credit WatchGecko

Should you consider purchasing a pre-owned watch from WatchGecko? The short answer is, yes. As an enthusiast looking for an alternative to full-priced new watches, I’ve long been stuck with two options: e-commerce sites like eBay, or forums. Competition to snag a deal on eBay has grown in recent years along with market trends. While I once favored the site for finding bargains, the increasingly elusive deals have sent me seeking alternatives. Which leaves the forums. I’ve bought and sold plenty of watches on them, but like eBay, the process isn’t as enjoyable as it once was. Frankly, I’ll be content if I never have to haggle with strangers on the internet again. Praying a warranty-free watch arrives as described always feels like a gamble, an aspect of watch buying I could do without.

But don't just take my word for it, treat yourself to entertaining some deals. Afterall, the holidays are coming up. While the Geckota Airstream was the clear winner for me, I was tempted by pre-owned deals from several of my favorite brands including NTH, Nodus and Squale. Sure, I’ve scratched the itch for a small field watch. But as watch enthusiasts, we have a penchant for finding new watches to lust over. 

This holiday season, treat yourself to a worry free steal of a deal with a pre-owned watch from WatchGecko. 

Shop Pre-Owned Collection here.

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Nathan Schultz

About the Author: Nathan Schultz

Nathan Schultz is a New Hampshire based writer obsessed with affordable mechanical timepieces. When not collecting, modifying and writing about watches, he can be found putting them to the test on local hiking trails.

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