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I would be very unlikely to buy a used watch. If I did I would probably want it perfect, so that might mean polished but only if it is not noticeable that it has been polished. So very lightly!

I prefer to live with blemishes I have caused, unless severe, as they can always be polished out later. You can't unpolish a watch though!
 

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Clarify...Am I paying 20K for a used watch or was it a 20K watch that I'm buying for X dollars,but not for 20K!
 
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At that price range I would probably only look at something new.
 

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Yes - I want to see how it was treated, if it's all prettied up I have no idea if the previous owner wore it to work dropping engines in the local Chevy plant or signing papers at his investment firm.
 

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If/when I acquire pre-owned, sans recent verifiable service papers I always send for service and I don't mind polishing to bring it back to pristine condition (whatever it takes) . . .
 

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If I was spending that much money on a used watch, it'd probably be a vintage Rolex Submariner - in the best possible, original, NOSy condition I could find. This means no significant polishing (or ideally no polishing at all).
 
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I aint' gonna pay 20K for a used watch...Polished or not!
New, yes.
 

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would you prefer a unpolished original watch?
I think it would depend on what I (well, actually "you") want to do with that watch.

If it is mainly to be a collector's item, then I'd want to keep it as original as possible. This
means keeping it in good but unmodified condition (polishing cannot be undone and it
modifies it, so I'd prefer not to do it). I.e. keep it as original as possible to give the next
buyer maximum options.

If it is mainly going to be worn as usual, then any modifications that enhances its
functionality would be good to have.
 

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For that sort of money I could buy both of the Rolex watches that are on my grail list. But to answer your question, I'd want all bright and shiny.
 

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true what CTT1760 said,
kinda depends on your purpose, too

if it's meant as a collector's item, then unmodified would be best,

if you want to wear it, then I would prefer 'lightly polished' ...

and at 20K, I'd definitely know what it is I'm getting (extensive knowledge of the watch) and who it is I'm getting it from (trusted, reputable seller/person)
 

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I think the common theme you will find is if the watch has collectors value (say a Rolex DRSD) then leave any patina on it. So I guess my rule of thumb would be if it cost significantly less than the $20K new (indicating it is at least some what collectable) I would leave it otherwise I would have it brought back to new sparkle.
 

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Yes - I want to see how it was treated, if it's all prettied up I have no idea if the previous owner wore it to work dropping engines in the local Chevy plant or signing papers at his investment firm.
Yes, and for the same reason as Donf states. Plus, I've passed on a couple of watches in this price range because they had been overpolished to the point where an original chamfer edge on the lugs had been rounded out or eliminated entirely, or the original brushed finish erased. To me, that's an indication of some pretty severe abuse by a previous owner.
 

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Yes - I want to see how it was treated, if it's all prettied up I have no idea if the previous owner wore it to work dropping engines in the local Chevy plant or signing papers at his investment firm.

Which one is more preferable?
 

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If I'm spending that kind of money on a used watch, it better be vintage and it better be all original and unpolished. I would never buy "last year's" Patek for $20k, but some rare Daytona, sure.
 
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