Here at Official, we receive a lot of enquires. Some questions come up repeatedly so we thought it would be a great idea to create a FAQ page about our watches.
Are your watches genuine?
We firmly believe that a fake watch looks better after its been obliterated with a hammer.
When purchasing or accepting watches in part exchange, we will thoroughly inspect the watch, including its movement. It will be immediately rejected should it display characteristics or serial markings known to be associated with “replica” items.
How do you know your used watches aren’t stolen?
We check all purchased watches against an international authentication register. This allows us to ascertain whether the watch has been stolen or reported as such. Any watch that has been recorded as stolen or subject to an insurance claim will be rejected. The international registers are updated whenever a watch is added and constantly monitored. We also receive notifications of stolen watches, break-ins, robberies etc. These flags include manufacturer, model, and serial numbers.
Can I claim VAT back?
No, sorry. We work on the margin invoice scheme. VAT can only be reclaimed by people who are living outside of the EU who purchase from an Authorised Dealer in the UK. This makes them the first purchaser of a new watch which they can then export home and reclaim value added tax under the VAT retail export scheme. This leads on to the next question…
Your advert says unworn. Is it new?
Because we purchase the watches that we sell, they are no longer classed as “new”. Official Watches has owned them prior to onward sale. Therefore, they are classed as “unworn” because the purchasing customer would become the second owner. There is no difference between the two above and beyond wording but we cannot technically class our watches as new and it would be unfair to do so.
Available To Order Watches:
We are able to source a lot of different brands and offer them to customers for a discount. Sometimes our prices are met with suspicion.
How come you’re selling at £7,500 when RRP is £10,000. Is it used? What’s wrong with it?
All of our available to order pieces are unworn unless specified. If a model has been discontinued but we are able to find it for you used, we will let you know the year of production and condition prior to offering the piece. As a general rule, if our stock code is ATO – the watches are unworn with full-term manufacturers warranty dated on day of dispatch. There is nothing wrong with them. They are not marked, ex-display, or damaged in any way.
OK, but how come you’re selling so cheap?
We can offer big discounts on some brands of watches – Hublot, Omega, Breitling, IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre, Jacob&Co, etc due to a number of factors.
1) We do not hold these watches in physical stock. Not stocking them reduces costs. We aren’t paying for showroom space, spotlighting, insurance, additional staff and security. These costs are all factored into recommended retail prices.
2) We work closely with a huge network of suppliers and trade partners. Because we have spent years building up good relationships with our colleagues across the world. We are treated well and given the very best prices because we buy (and sell) regularly and reliably.
Why does it take between 4 and 8 weeks to get my watch? You just have to order it and it arrives so why the wait? Its been 10 days now. Where is my watch?
Our ordering process usually spans over 4-8 weeks, sometimes a little more over Christmas due to demand and the Swiss industry taking an extended break over the festivities.
It can be frustrating for customers and we do understand that.
3) We use bulk shipping rather than individual shipping. Sending a single watch with its box and paperwork internationally is expensive when you factor in carriage and insurance numbering into the thousands of pounds. If you want to be completely safe, expect to pay £500 for it. Most people would prefer the £500 to remain in their wallets, and so would we.
In order to bulk ship we have to create a package. This usually consists of 20-30 watches, so if you are the first order in a package of 20, 19 watches later it will be ready to ship. This process takes a bit of time. Once we have created a package, the watches are sent to us fully insured and guarded without their display packaging. We don’t track individual watches progress.
Watch boxes and paperwork are of a greater weight and lesser value. Subsequently they are shipped by “ground services” to keep the cost to customer down. This means that the watches can land with us at the beginning of the week, and the warranties and paperwork arrive at the end of the week. This is an infinitely cheaper method of delivery which offers additional security by separating the watches from their documents and packaging.
What is the ordering process?
Once you’ve found the watch that you’d like to order on our site, just click the “Enquire now” button next to the watch and let us know. Alternatively you can fire us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if that’s easier or if you have something specific in mind that isn’t on our site. We can find most things.
To place an order for one of our ATO watches we require a 30% deposit. Once we have received the deposit we place the order with our suppliers. When the watch arrives in our showroom, we will let you know and arrange payment of the remaining 70% prior to dispatch.
Alternatively you’re welcome to come in to collect and have a coffee/beer and a chat about watches. We’re always up for that.
You can purchase from Official Watches via Chrono24 if you would like the security of their trusted checkout service.
We are not able to offer the same level of discount on watches purchased via Chrono24 because not content with charging us an eye-watering monthly fee, they also charge a 4% tax on watches sold via their platform. Their advice to us when we questioned this was to raise our prices. We didn’t and we won’t. Instead, we will quite happily tell you that if you want a bigger discount – speak to us directly. We have two showrooms in London and have been operating for well over 15 years. We also have a sterling reputation on TrustPilot.
Why do you take a deposit? Why can’t you just order it, get it in, and then I’ll buy it.
Honestly? Because if we did that we could end up with piles of watches that people have ordered with no intention of purchasing after a few too many shandies on a Friday night, or watches which totally committed to until the car blew its turbo last week. Life happens but we need to protect ourselves a little too. We hope you understand.
What if you can’t get the watch?
In the unlikely event that we can’t deliver – we would let you know as soon as possible and refund you in full.
What if I change my mind? Can I get a refund?
We refund in full if there is an issue with the cosmetics or the mechanics of the watch we have supplied. We are unable to refund deposits for changed minds. We would urge customers to please find a boutique or showroom and try on the watch to make sure that they’re happy with the size, shape, fit and finish prior to placing orders. We would like to avoid issues like this just as much as you would –
We are one of the best in the industry at sourcing and supplying hard to find and rare watches. Limited edition Richard Mille, full factory diamond Nautilus, A.P ceramic tourbillons and open worked, Jacob & Co Astronomia etc. We can find them all as we have a global network.
To order speciality, rare, or high value pieces, we require full payment in advance prior to placing the order. We wouldn’t expect our suppliers to send on a “pay you later” promise under these circumstances.
Trading In, Part Exchanging, Selling Your Watch To Us:
If you would like to sell your watch, please complete our web form or email us at email@example.com
In order to make a fair and correct assessment we need to know – brand, model, year, condition, if the watch is complete with box and papers. We also need to know what price you would like to achieve.
We hear “make me a sensible offer” “make me a bid” every day but cannot be both buyer and seller. If we know how much you’re looking for then we can happily match it or negotiate. We’re a simple and transparent lot. Please extend us the same courtesy.
Over the phone.
We don’t give values over the phone. We need to see the watch.
We are not being difficult but definitions regarding condition can vary wildly. A “couple of hairlines” to one person could equal “have you been at this with an angle grinder?” to another. People may think that their watch is in excellent condition because it’s all shiny with no scratches, but seeing it could reveal that its gleaming because its been really badly over polished to the point that the lugs are like toothpicks and the case is soft. Alternatively it could be unmarked because its spent its life in a safe and seen very little wear, in which case absolute happy days. We can’t call any of this without visual inspection and we wouldn’t want to disappoint anybody by having to revoke or reduce what we offer.
We cannot give “ballpark figures” over the phone. We need to see the watch.
We are often asked to give a ballpark figure over the phone. This tends to be so that people can call up other dealers to let them know that Official offered X, so they would like XX.
We like to keep our friends in the industry.