Buyer's Guide


If you’re looking to buy a watch in Dubai or the UAE there are a few options:

Buy new from a retail store in a mall or boutique.

Dubai in particular has many great watch stores featuring almost any brand you can think of. But of course, some hot models will always be sold out and you’ll be paying the full, retail price.

Buy from a pre-owned watch dealer or shop. 

This is a popular option as most models come with an authenticity guarantee and some kind of warranty, and the shops will accept credit cards too. The downside here is that you’re still paying at least 15% more than you would if you went directly to the seller. This is due to the markup or profit that the dealer will have to make. Did you know… the shop doesn’t actually own most of the watches they have in stock? Most are sold on a ‘consignment’ basis, where an owner hands in the watch, then if the store sells it they take a 15-35% commission. Imagine if we could just link buyers and sellers directly… this is why WATCHCONNECT exists!

Buying privately.

This is the best option for buying watches at the best prices, just like buying a used car, you’ll get the best deal by going direct to the owner. But there are some things you know and this guide will help you buy with confidence!

In short, here’s how to buy your next watch privately and safely in Dubai or the UAE:

  1. Find your favourite model.
  2. Connect with the seller.
  3. Confirm the price, meeting details and payment terms.
  4. Get the watch professionally authenticated*
  5. Pay the seller in cash and you’re good to go!

*Authentication is recommended depending on the value of the watch, but is not always necessary.

STEPONE - Find your favourite model.

Use our user-friendly filters to easily search for your favourite brand, preferred case size or inclusions, year or condition. If you prefer to negotiate prices with sellers then you can filter by “negotiable” too

STEPTWO - Connect with the seller.

Once you complete the checkout you’ll receive the seller's preferred contact details along with our full buyer's guide, feel free to contact them using either the phone/WhatsApp/email shown and ask for more photos, videos or further info on the watch. 

STEPTHREE - Negotiate.

Virtually all private sellers will be open to a reasonable level of negotiation on price. It is very common in this region to haggle a little, but do not overdo it as you risk putting the seller off entirely. Remember, the seller has the power in this situation, they have the watch you want and you’ve contacted them based on the details already presented.

So in order to negotiate successfully, consider the following: What’s your reason for asking for a lower price on this model? Here are a few reasonable options:

  • You know there’s an equivalent model available locally and the seller is open to offers too
  • The price is significantly higher than the world market price*, even including shipping and taxes
  • You have a watch to trade and are looking for a trade offer

*understand the true market value of almost any watch in the “Market Value” section of the full version of this guide - make your first connection to receive the full guide by email.

It’s always best to prove to the seller that you’re genuine first. This would be best done via a phone call or in-person meeting to view the watch and save any offers or negotiations until you have the watch, and the seller in front of you.

You could also leave the seller with your best offer for their consideration, always mention your payment terms too, cash is king, and how soon you can do the deal is also a key point. These are both reasons the seller might prefer to sell to you over someone else. 

STEPFOUR - Authentication

Make it clear from the get-go if you would look to get the watch authenticated* if you proceed to buy it. Sellers should accept this option for higher-value watches, acceptance to verify is likely enough confirmation that the watch is genuine, but it’s still worth checking out.

*Start making connections and receive the full version of this guide by email - it includes more information on market values and watch authentication services in the UAE.

STEPFIVE - Complete the deal!

As mentioned before, cash is always king in watch deals. It’s the simplest and safest way to pay for your next watch. Even if you buy from a store, some will offer better prices if cash is paid over card. Find a suitable place to meet the seller, the UAE is very safe so carrying even a large amount of money in cash is a perfectly acceptable practice. Some buyers may prefer to meet in a coffee shop or public place, or some buyers may suggest meeting at a jewellery store they know or even a watch store. Meet the seller, check the watch is as described, confirm, pay and that’s it! 

If you arranged to get the watch authenticated then you can ask the seller to bring the watch with them to the service centre, have it checked in 20 minutes, and complete the deal there. 

WATCHCONNECT aims to connect genuine buyers with private sellers in the UAE. Our platform is designed to empower both parties and benefit the whole watch community. It’s important to understand that though we won’t accept any replica or counterfeit watch posts on our site, the final authentication of any watch is the responsibility of the buyer and seller only, we cannot verify a watch’s authenticity based on the photo and info supplied. We always recommend getting watches professionally authenticated.