In the first six months of this year, nearly £20 million was stolen through purchase scams where a customer pays for an item that never materialises. This startling statistic from the FT is naturally a worry for those looking to buy a luxury watch online.
Now Chrono24, the world’s leading online marketplace for luxury watches, have beaten the fraudsters, with their trusted, safer way to bid on vintage and pre-owned watches on the web.
Around 12 million visitors scroll through over 400,000 watches on Chrono24 every month. But the German-based retailer had never held an auction until September 20th when bids opened on the 48 luxury watches.
With Chrono24’s background in selling some of the most sought-after vintage timepieces online, they claim to have built a system, which they have called the “Chrono24 Trusted Checkout” that makes the transactions safe and foolproof.
And what we’ve seen so far all points to it being a trustworthy system with nearly 600 bids placed is this sale alone.
This payment system entails the money going to an escrow account until the buyer has and is happy with the watch.
The top timepiece of the auction was the Rolex Submariner from 1955 ref. 6536 that had a starting price of $14,000 and ended up almost doubling to $26,100.
Rolex only produced this model for a year in the early days of the Submariner line. There are a couple of Sub references that are extremely rare as the Swiss brand updated their young dive watch rapidly to become the icon we now know it as. It is thought only about 100 of this reference were ever made, rarity being a big plus in the eyes of collectors.
Sniping is a persistent worry for online auctions, when someone swoops in at the last second to prevent anyone from counterbidding. Chrono24 have implemented popcorn bidding so any bids that are placed in the last 30 seconds will extend the time by an extra 30 seconds until the watch has found a new owner.
There are more auctions planned for the future, focusing on different areas of the vintage and pre-owned watch market. Watch lovers should head to the Chrono24 site for announcements on upcoming auctions.
If you’re looking for some more watch auction action, check out the auction that is selling off a collection of watches owned by Robin Williams…