Editor’s note: This article was written by luxury watch expert Anish Bhatt of Watch Anish. Looking for more on watches by Anish? Check out his article, “25 Iconic Watches for 25 Years of eBay.”
You’re probably reading this, because you have an interest in fine watches. I imagine you’ve got a buddy who shares your interest, perhaps you’ve got a couple.
You’ve got a Whatsapp group with a novelty, watch-based name: “Beers and Bezels,” “TAG (Heuer) You’re It,” “Frankie Says Rolex” or something like that.
One day, a friend shares a link to a Rolex Datejust to the group chat, and another friend responds, asking if it’s the real deal.
A reasonable if somewhat cynical question.
You didn’t get where you are today, i.e. a person considering buying a vintage Rolex Datejust, by taking any wooden nickels and believing everything you’re told.
The watch in that link is the genuine article. I know because I’m the one that bought it.
I bought it because I know that every watch sold for $2,000 or more on eBay, to a buyer in the United States, marked with the “Authenticity Guarantee” badge, is shipped to an independent, third-party expert for authentication.
Before your watch arrives on your doorstep, an expert has physically put that highly coveted item on a desk in front of them in a state-of-the-art horological laboratory, looked through a loop and made sure it’s exactly what it claims to be.
You don’t get that in many other retail environments. Usually, the person there telling you it’s the real deal is the same person selling it to you.
Take a moment to consider the value of that service.
If you were incredibly diligent, perhaps you could arrange to have the piece shipped to an external horologist for verification at your own considerable expense.
But if you buy your watch through eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee, eBay picks up the bill for secure two-day shipping and covers the cost of having an industry-accredited expert physically analyze your watch in detail in a specialized facility. If your watch is the genuine article - and it’s a pretty optimistic scammer who tries to get past this level of scrutiny - it will be sent to you within two days, with a signature required.
If your watch doesn’t pass the authentication checks, then you will be refunded in full, with no charge for the verification process or the shipping costs.
You can head over to ebay.com/buyauthentic for all of the very specific terms and conditions, but it pretty much breaks down to this: If you’re buying fine watches then you want to do it on eBay, because they have you covered.
This pretty spectacular service from eBay might be something you want to include on that group chat, along with a big fire emoji.
If that doesn’t get the folks on the group chat talking, then maybe see what they have to say about these Authenticity Guarantee pieces available right now: