Buying a luxury watch from eBay and/or from a grey market seller can be a bit of scary experience. eBay recently introduced this Authenticity Guarantee program and I thought it would be helpful for curious watch aficionados to share my experience with this.
This was a new watch purchase from a grey market seller with a good reputation for selling only authentic watches. The experience may be entirely different for other sellers on eBay and pre-owned watches.
I have ordered a good number of watches from Jomashop and always had a great experience with them. Never disappointed with the watches and the return process is easy. Buying through eBay may have some extra assurance and protection as any disputes will probably turn out in favor of the buyer. And you sometimes can take advantage of lower prices and discount codes through eBay.
I recently ordered an Omega Railmaster though the same eBay program from Jomashop and the experience was the same. That watch was returned to Jomashop because it just wasn't for me. It was sent back to the same authenticator, eBay processed the refund and all was good. I also ordered and returned a Grand Seiko from Govberg Jewelers and the experience was the same.
There always are good and bad experiences with buying and returning watches but I think people tend to share the bad experiences more often than the good ones. All the details about the eBay Authenticity Guarantee for watches can be found here: eBay Authenticity Guarantee for Watches
This Omega Aqua Terra was shipped from Jomashop in Brooklyn, NY to the authenticator in Dayton, Ohio. It took 2 days to process the order and 5 days to arrive at the authenticator. This was actually the slightly disappointing part of the entire process because you always want to get your new watch as soon as possible. But everything is still moving slower these days so it is what it is.
The address of the authenticator leads to Stoll & Co, a factory authorized service center for many brands. I actually had two watches repaired by them and both with great results and customer service. I don't know how many different authenticators are used by eBay but my 3 watch purchases all went through Dayton, Ohio.
The watch was authenticated and shipped to my home in Michigan the same day as it arrived. This was with 2-day service and the package arrived on time. I had it delivered to my work because someone obviously has to sign for these high value shipments.
The security seal and type of box gives the assurance nobody else can open the box without obvious damage to the box.
That satisfying sound and feel of tearing of that carton strip.. you know what I am talking about!
There is a printed card with all the watch details including the serial number of the watch.
I bought an Omega Planet Ocean from an authorized dealer 2.5 years ago and this packaging, manuals, box and watch cards are exactly the same.
Watches purchased from grey market dealers usually don’t include a manufacturer’s warranty so the warranty card obviously wasn’t included for this Omega watch.
The watch was nicely wrapped in plastic. There also was some bubble wrap inside the box to make sure the watch would stay in place on its cushion.
You can’t remove the plastic without breaking the security seal. This was different from the Railmaster I purchased which did not have any of this plastic. It just had this security seal.
You can try it on your wrist for size but that’s about it.
I was already sure this Aqua Terra was going to be a keeper so the security seal and plastic was removed quickly.
The hang tag, sticker on the case back, serial number on the watch card and the actual watch all matched and all looked genuine. Serial numbers in pictures are obscured because this is the internet after all.
Protective plastic on the the crystal and back of the watch, as well on the metal pieces of the strap and deployant clasp. This sure looked like a factory fresh example of this beautiful watch.
The orange tag is from Jomashop and no returns allowed after this is removed.
And here it was in all its glory after removing the protective plastic. I am not going into any details of the actual watch in this post but I am sure a long term review like I did with my Planet Ocean will probably follow soon.