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It is ok to buy a watch you've never seen in person if...

  • you've seen the photo

    Votes: 60 65.2%
  • you've seen wrist shots

    Votes: 18 19.6%
  • the watch is considered a smaller puchase

    Votes: 10 10.9%
  • never... always see a watch in person

    Votes: 4 4.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
Some members of WUS only by watches they've tried on. Others will buy watches based on wrist shots or photos. Which do you do? Tell about the purchases that have shaped your opinion.

I bought a Parnis on a whim and it's been my favorite so far despite never having seen it in person before.

 

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I wanted to tick a few options there.

For things I consider a smaller purchase I'll be happy with wrist shots & pics etc.

The larger the purchase the more reluctance I would have to buy without handling it in the metal.

Second Hand/Used I'm happy to buy from good quality pictures if I trust the seller. Similar issues on needing to handle the model, the larger the purchase.
 

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I find it difficult to believe anyone here buys only watches they have seen in person. The success of the classified section and vendor web sites proves just how many of us buy based only on photos and trust of sellers. Unless you live in one of the larger cities, you don't get to see many fine watches in person.
 

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I started collecting 2 1/2 years ago. I'm up to about 31 watches now and never bought a single on in person...they've all be online purchases. I figure it for some reason a watch doesn't look good or doesn't fit right I can just send it back but so far that hasn't happened once. Maybe I've just been lucky but so far online has all been good.

Shawn
 

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I find it difficult to believe anyone here buys only watches they have seen in person. The success of the classified section and vendor web sites proves just how many of us buy based only on photos and trust of sellers. Unless you live in one of the larger cities, you don't get to see many fine watches in person.
Believe it!

It's part of the fun for me. I want to see the watch. Look at it on my wrist. Feel the finish. Etc.

I would never buy a watch I hadn't seen or touched in person.
 

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Between photos, research and reviews, and the brand, you can be pretty sure of what you're getting.

If I could afford to fly to Japan to try on a Seiko domestic, I'd just spend all that money on a Rolex whether I'd tried it on or not. ;-)
 

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Only once at an auction and I acquired a lovely 1950s Zenith automatic for not too much.
Otherwise no, I like to see and touch a watch.
Get a feel for it.
You have to love a watch to wear it.
 

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In this day and age, the majority of purchases will likely be sight unseen over the Internet. For some prestige brands, it might be worth buying in person since authorized dealers (i.e "brick and mortars") sometimes offer a sizable discount off list price.
 

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Believe it!

It's part of the fun for me. I want to see the watch. Look at it on my wrist. Feel the finish. Etc.

I would never buy a watch I hadn't seen or touched in person.
X2

There have been several watches over the years, that I really like in pictures, but once I had the opportunity to hold it and the strap on my wrist, they left my "gotta have one" list.

That said; After many many years, I've just "bought" my first watch from a fellow that assembles his own, and has done so for several years. I'm only getting it from him because of the research I did on him (not one bad review of his customer service or his quality of build), and his three day return policy.
 

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Online photos are very helpful, but wrist shots are meaningless to me. They all make the watches look much, much larger on the wrist than they do in real life. Ideally, wrist shots should be taken from a distance, perhaps in the mirror to create the needed distance between the camera and the watch.
Now would I buy without seeing in person...depends. Either the watch must be cheap and from a seller with an excellent return policy, or the watch must be so highly praised, and so within the parameters of my ideal size range that it seems worth the risk.
 

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I've almost never tried on a watch, before buying.

Photos are essential, however.
 

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All the time. My current interest is in Russian calibers and you just don't see them anywhere but here or on the Internet. Need to see photos of course.
 

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I find it difficult to believe anyone here buys only watches they have seen in person. The success of the classified section and vendor web sites proves just how many of us buy based only on photos and trust of sellers. Unless you live in one of the larger cities, you don't get to see many fine watches in person.
+1 for sure. Thirty years ago trying in person before buying would have been the norm. With the internet it is now possible to buy watches that previously were only seen in one market.
 

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I try to avoid it, but sometimes it is unavoidable. There are too many great watches that are simply not available for viewing in person. Unless you are willing to exclude those from your consideration (I'm not) you have to buy sight unseen after doing as much online research as you can.
 

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I would love to be able to see all the watches that interest me in person, but it's just not feasible where I live. I bought my Speedmaster after having tried it on in person, but I couldn't do that with my other two watches.

Buying my Reverso sight unseen really made me nervous. I waited for a long time after it was released hoping to see it in person somewhere and try it on. But as the year stretched on, I realized that there was little chance I would see one. Even JLC ADs I visited in other cities either hadn't seen one yet or never had one in stock. I was worried that it was going to be too big, so I looked up the dimensions and cut a piece of paper to match. It was a pretty lame stand-in, but it gave me a good idea of what to expect. I finally bit the bullet and placed the order, and it worked out.

The mockup:



and the real thing:

 

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Yep, but I study like crazy, sometimes for months, before I buy.
This.

It's one heck of a bonus if I can actually try one on beforehand, but 90% of the time I just read up on them. (Including the Speedy I'm wearing now, never actually wore one before buying)
 

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I live in a major city a few minutes away from several major ad's; the great majority of my purchases have been made from them and the entirety of my collection were handled before purchase.There is one reason I do not own a grand seiko....I can't get my hands on one before purchase.
 
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