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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A few weeks ago I saw a Seiko Diver Mohawk at the window of a Seiko AD in my city. Went in and tried it. I did notice however, that near minute 51' there was a noticeable scratch on the bezel. I told the saleslady this, and she said in an angry tone "we do not sell used watches here".

I told her — "I know that, I was not implying that. The scratch is there probably due to store handling, lots of customers trying it, etc".

A few days ago I went past the store, and saw the same watch now wrapped in plastic, and the scratch at min. 51' was not there anymore. 100% sure it's the same watch.

My guess is that when I had told the store about the scratch a few weeks ago, they sent it to their watchmaker upstairs who buffed it out (while he's at it, probably in other places too), and they now wrapped it in plastic to avoid handling issues, etc.

For a pre-owned dealer, I know this is perfectly normal (many times expected) for watches to be polished. But how ethical would it be for an official AD of a brand to buff out a scratch, and then sell as new? Technically, when buffing out scratches you are removing metal (no matter how little it is), thus affecting the original way it came from the factory.

I like that Federico (Delray Watches) and Jacek Kozubek (Tropical Watch) are upfront, and sometimes have on their site for unworn pieces — new/unworn, but with store/display signs of use (something similar along those lines).

What are your thoughts on this?


 

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Yes, it's shady to buff out a watch and pop it right back into the case as new. I always ask if they have a new one in the back and if they don't try to get a discount on the display model. I think ultimately they should be selling display models for a little less because technically it isn't "new/unworn."
 

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How can you be that sure?


I think it would be expected too... but I'd also expect the shop to disclose that to customers.
I guess it depends on the severity. Hairline scratch or a deep indent warrant different approach.

When OP said "technically polishing removes metal", that makes me think the blemish is very minor and not noteworthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess it depends on the severity. Hairline scratch or a deep indent warrant different approach.

When OP said "technically polishing removes metal", that makes me think the blemish is very minor and not noteworthy.
In my first paragraph I did say it was a noticeable scratch. Wish I had taken a photo, but it was definitely not a hairline scratch.
 

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A few weeks ago I saw a Seiko Diver Mohawk at the window of a Seiko AD in my city. Went in and tried it. I did notice however, that near minute 51' there was a noticeable scratch on the bezel. I told the saleslady this, and she said in an angry tone "we do not sell used watches here".

I told her — "I know that, I was not implying that. The scratch is there probably due to store handling, lots of customers trying it, etc".

A few days ago I went past the store, and saw the same watch now wrapped in plastic, and the scratch at min. 51' was not there anymore. 100% sure it's the same watch.

My guess is that when I had told the store about the scratch a few weeks ago, they sent it to their watchmaker upstairs who buffed it out (while he's at it, probably in other places too), and they now wrapped it in plastic to avoid handling issues, etc.

For a pre-owned dealer, I know this is perfectly normal (many times expected) for watches to be polished. But how ethical would it be for an official AD of a brand to buff out a scratch, and then sell as new? Technically, when buffing out scratches you are removing metal (no matter how little it is), thus affecting the original way it came from the factory.

I like that Federico (Delray Watches) and Jacek Kozubek (Tropical Watch) are upfront, and sometimes have on their site for unworn pieces — new/unworn, but with store/display signs of use (something similar along those lines).

What are your thoughts on this?


I tried on a Tudor Black Bay Heritage at an AD about 5 years ago that was pretty scratched up (those huge polished sides are a scratch magnet) and when I mentioned it to the salesperson he told me they would polish it if I bought it. I noped out of there, it should have been a display model, not sold as new. To me this would be the same as the Ray Ban store trying to sell me a scratched pair of glasses (which has happened too - I had them open three boxes before I got a pair that looked undamaged and unworn.)
 

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New and used are just words. The fact is the watch was scratched, it was handled, and it was buffed out.
I agree with this. I don't have a problem with them calling it "new" as it's not been sold to an owner yet. But the facts should be disclosed.
 

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In my first paragraph I did say it was a noticeable scratch. Wish I had taken a photo, but it was definitely not a hairline scratch.
Of course it is noticeable. If it isnt noticeable ... you wouldn't have noticed it. If you cannot tell the scratch was there to begin with after its been polished, then no issues for me.
 

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Don't see an issue. If the watch has mechanical problem for example, you'd expect a watchmaker to perform repair prior to sales too as well wouldn't you?

As long as the watch was not previously sold, it's new.
If it is a new item having an issue, the item should go back to manufacturer, not fixed and sold as new.
 

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Buffing a watch is not always easy or clean.

Its best done when the watch is disassembled. The buffing compound can get in the cracks of the watch and can't be wiped out. Buffing is also done symmetrically. To buff just a damaged spot is not symmetrical. Then there is the heat and vibration of the buffer if the watch was not taken apart. We try to be careful with a new watch, but this one, movement and all, may of been shoved into a wheel that was spinning several hundred RPM. So if the watch was buffed out right, it means it was disassembled which makes the watch even more used.
 

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I gotta see this scratch before I pass judgement.

Not sure why people are up in arms about this over a scratch on a seiko diver that is supposed to get the sh*t kicked out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
There is no way of being 100% certain it is the same watch buffed out. Unless serial numbers were checked. It is certainly possible that the dealer has more than one in stock.
True, there is no way to know 100% certain if it was the exact same watch :). However, I think there's a very high chance it's the same watch for the following reasons:

  • The AD mostly has lower end Seiko's (SNK, DressKX), and very few from the Proxpex line. So my guess is that they are not stocked with divers.
  • After showing interest in the watch, and pointing out the scratch to the saleslady; she never mentioned something around I have another one in the back.
  • Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Mohawk has been discontinued already. When seeing the serial a few weeks ago, all I remember is that it was not recently manufactured. The first number was either 4, 5, or 6. So I think it's from from 2014-16.
 
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