Buying a Watch Online: Is It a Good Idea?

Buying a Watch Online: Is It a Good Idea?

Most of today’s watch purchases, or at least the research, starts online. Making a final call on what watch to purchase is a highly personal choice, so does this mean it’s a good idea to complete the purchase online?

Here is what you need to know to help you decide whether you should purchase a watch online.

Buying a Watch Online: Should You Do It?

Whether this is your first watch purchase, or you usually buy watches in brick-and-mortar stores, you are here because you want to know whether online sales are a good idea.

The answer lies in how much you value the human interaction and confidence that comes with evaluating and purchasing a watch in person. When you purchase a watch in a store, you get to physically touch and examine the timepiece. You also get to ask as many questions as you need to without having to go back and forth over chat or email.

What’s more, you can also consider other recommendations from a professional – options you might not have considered had you purchased a watch online.

Lastly, there’s the benefit of negotiating and potential discounts, something you cannot generally do online – unless it’s an auction that is.

The only real drawback of purchasing a watch in person is that you may need to drive around to different stores to consider all your options and find the right price. This is a much easier task online.

If you aren’t planning to invest in a rare or luxury watch, making an online purchase is a great option. It’s convenient, easy to compare prices, and you don’t need to leave home.

If you are planning to invest in a luxury watch, here are some of our top tips.

Tips for Buying a Watch Online

If purchasing a watch in a physical store is not a must for you, here are some tips for buying a watch online.

  • Find an authorised dealer. If you want some added peace of mind while shopping online, shop on an authorised dealer’s store. If you cannot find an authorised dealer, do as much research as possible to ensure you’re dealing with a trustworthy and reputable seller. Reviews from past customers can tell you a lot.
  • Do some research. Before you start shopping for a watch, research the makes and models you are interested in and what they generally sell for, so you know what to expect. This will also help narrow down the online stores to consider.
  • Look at the return policy. While you don’t want to have to return a watch, sometimes it is necessary. Be sure to look at the store’s return policy before you complete your purchase.
  • Look at the warranty policy. Next, you want to look at how their warranty policy works. What should you do if something goes wrong?

There are pros and cons to purchasing a watch online versus in-person. In the end, it all comes down to your personal preferences. Just know that there are reputable online stores, which means you don’t always need to purchase a watch from a physical location.

5 Tips for Protecting Your Watch Against the Elements

5 Tips for Protecting Your Watch Against the Elements

When you purchase a new timepiece, you want to wear it as often as you can. However, this also means it’s going to be exposed to the elements. Naturally, the more you invest in a watch, the more you’re concerned with its longevity.

This is why we’ve put together some of our top tips for keeping your watch safe come rain or shine.

Protecting Your Watch Against the Elements: Expert Tips

1. Clean Your Watch Regularly.

Keeping your watch clean will stop dirt and dust from affecting its functionality. If you know how to clean it safely at home using warm water, mild soap, a soft bristle toothbrush and a soft cloth, do so. The other option is to have it professionally cleaned at least once a year.

2. Storage Matters.

Humidity and dust can both affect your timepiece, so think twice about where you choose to store your watch. You want to keep your watch completely dry, so any area where moisture collects is not a good storage option. It’s also important to store your watch in the right box or container. Placing it face down on a hard surface will only lead to unnecessary scratches. You also want to avoid packaging that retains moisture – bubble wrap being an ideal example.

3. Reduce Watch Strain.

If you have a mechanical watch, regularly winding your watch is essential. Not only does this keep it operating as it should, but it also lubricates the watch, which reduces strain. To do this, remove the watch from your wrist to unscrew the crown. Give the dial 20 – 40 turns in a clockwise direction.

4. Schedule In Regular Maintenance.

Scheduling your watch in for regular maintenance is one more thing you need to do and pay for, but it is well worth it. When you maintain your watch, you avoid having to deal with costly repairs or permanent damage. It will also ensure that your watch is protected against the elements.

5. Keep Your Watch Away from Magnets.

Unfortunately, exposing your watch to a magnet can have a negative effect on the internal components. This includes laptops, televisions and other electromagnetic devices. You can’t always avoid magnets completely but being aware of how much you’re exposing your watch can help.

Keeping Your Watch in Good Working Order

With the help of the right horologist, keeping your watch protected and in good working order doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive. At Martins of Glasgow, we service a wide variety of watch brands at a fair price. Contact us on 0141 946 6333 or martin@martinsjewellers.co.uk to discuss your requirements.

What You Need to Know About Insuring Your Luxury Timepiece

What You Need to Know About Insuring Your Luxury Timepiece

If your watches are some of your most cherished items, insurance is a must.

Yes, some timepieces are irreplaceable but at least you would be compensated should it be lost or stolen.

Luxury watch insurance generally offers global coverage and is based on the current market value of your watch.

Watches are often stolen because they are next to impossible to trace and really easy to sell. And unfortunately, watch crime has been on the increase over the last few years.

Tips for Insuring Your Luxury Timepiece

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start your search for the best insurance.

Schedule Regular Valuations

When you know what your watch is worth, you can arrange sufficient coverage. It also means you won’t end up paying more than you need to on a monthly basis. The luxury watch market is always changing, so you never know when the value of your timepiece could change. Having a watch evaluated annually is generally enough to keep your insurance accurate.

Invest in Storage

Ideally, you want to avoid insurance claims altogether, so it helps to invest in quality storage for your luxury timepiece. Not only does this keep your watch protected, but you will probably find that it reduces your insurance premiums too. You can even ask a potential insurer for recommendations on acceptable storage.

Choose Your Insurer Carefully

It makes a real difference when you use an insurer who understands the luxury watch market. It’s also highly recommended that you pay close attention to the specifics of your policy. Many insurers require you to update the value of your watch on a regular basis. There may also be certain circumstances when your timepiece won’t be covered.

We are insured through T H March & Co Limited, Chartered Insurance Brokers for both our business and personal arrangements. If you require obligation-free advice on how best to protect your watch, or other valuable items, why not give them a call on 01822 855555, quoting AM157T.

Keep Your Paperwork Safe

Make a point of hanging on to all the paperwork you received when you purchased your timepiece. Most insurers will request this should you ever need to submit a claim. This includes everything from the certificate of authentication to the details of where you bought it. Luxury watches are complex, so the more information you have on yours, the better.

Be Selective When Wearing Your Timepiece

Another way to ensure you don’t need to deal with unnecessary insurance claims is to be picky about when you wear your luxury watch. Think twice about where you will be going before you leave the house with your favourite watch.

By keeping these tips in mind and shopping around for the right insurer, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your timepiece is as protected as possible.

How to Tell Whether It’s Worth Repairing Your Watch

How to Tell Whether It’s Worth Repairing Your Watch

When you start collecting watches, at one point or another, you will be faced with the question: Is it really worth it to repair this watch?

Sometimes, it’s easy enough to just cut your losses and get rid of the watch. However, if it’s a luxury or sentimental piece, the decision can be a little more difficult.

Repairing a Watch: What to Consider

Here is what you should consider before you make a final call.

What Is the Watch Worth?

In some cases, repairing a watch can end up costing more than what you bought it for. However, if it’s an heirloom or has personal sentimental value, the cost might be worth it. The other scenario when the repairs might be worth it is if you could sell it for a higher price.

Take the time to get your timepiece evaluated and do a little research to see what other enthusiasts are selling the same or similar watches for.

If you won’t be able to sell the watch for much and you have no problems replacing it, a repair doesn’t make much sense. Especially if you can purchase a brand-new watch for cheaper.

Here are the factors that determine the overall value of your watch.

The Cost of Purchasing a New Watch

If you decide that you would rather purchase a new timepiece, find out what it would cost to service and repair. You may be able to purchase a watch at a great price, but you could end up having to budget for much higher service and repair costs.

All watches need to be serviced and if you care for your watch correctly, repairs don’t have to be a common occurrence. It’s worth finding out more about these additional costs before you invest in a new timepiece.

The cost of a watch service or repairs will also depend on the horologists you use and where you are located. Something extra to keep in mind.

If you think you may want to sell the watch a few years down the line, it’s best to do some additional research to ensure it would, in fact, be a true investment. Here are some of our top watch investment tips.

In summary, deciding whether a watch repair is worth it depends on how much it means to you and whether you plan to sell it later on. If you need any further advice, contact us about a watch valuation.

A Guide to Watch Movements: Manual, Automatic & Quartz

A Guide to Watch Movements: Manual, Automatic & Quartz

When you first start shopping around for a watch, it’s difficult not to focus on the different designs and features. However, investing in a timepiece requires more than just picking the right style.

Anyone who is serious about purchasing the right watch should have an understanding of the different watch movements. Namely, quartz, automatic and manual movements.

Watch Movements Explained

Watches are either powered by batteries or mechanics, which is where the different watch movements come into play.

Each movement has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we will take you through now.

Manual Movements

A watch with a manual movement needs to be wound manually. This particular movement has been around for decades and first made an appearance around the 16th century. A manual watch will feature a crown on the side, which is used to adjust the time. However, it also serves another function – winding the mainspring of the watch.

This mainspring is placed in a barrel, which stores power as elastic energy. As you can imagine, all this energy is gradually released to keep the watching moving for several weeks. This is done using an escapement assembly, which is made up of several delicate parts.

The mainspring transfers power to the escapement assembly via the going train, which is made up of wheels of different sizes. These wheels are what allow the hands to move at different speeds.

To keep a manual watch working, you need to regularly wind the mainspring. Some manual watches will even alert you to the fact that the watch needs rewinding.

Automatic Movements

An automatic watch is made with most of the same components as a mechanical watch, including the mainspring, going train and escapement assembly. However, unlike a mechanical watch, which often needs to be wound by a professional, you can wind an automatic watch yourself. What’s more, you can wind the watch simply by wearing it regularly.

Automatic watches first made an appearance in the 18th century, with Rolex later perfecting the system that was developed by John Harwood. The first Daytona, the Cellini Prince and the OysterQuartz are some of the few watches made by Rolex that aren’t automatically wound.

A set of gears connected to the mainspring barrel are what help wind an automatic watch, all with the help of a rotor that swings around freely inside the watch.

Quartz Movements

Lastly, there are quartz watches, which do have some internal mechanics but mostly need wheels to operate the remaining functions, including the hands. This battery-operated timepiece first made an appearance in the 20th century. However, Seiko was the first watchmaker to make quartz wristwatches available commercially.

Quartz watches are known for their affordability and accuracy, all thanks to the quartz regulator. The battery inside the watch passes electricity to a quartz crystal, which produces pulses and vibrations. A dial motor uses these pulses to make the hands of the watch tick.

How to Decide on a Watch Movement

The type of watch movement that’s right for you is mostly dependent on the type of watch you plan to purchase.

For example, many of today’s vintage and high-end luxury watches have mechanical movements. You would also need to decide if you’re willing to wind your watch yourself or if you’re willing to get a professional to assist you. Quartz watches are the most affordable option and are generally easier to find.

It all comes down to preference.

7 Expert Tips for Buying an Engagement Ring in 2021

7 Expert Tips for Buying an Engagement Ring in 2021

One of the most overwhelming parts of getting engaged is choosing a ring. Naturally, you want your partner to love the design just as much as you do, but where do you start?

Choosing an engagement ring is not nearly as simple as it used to be. There’s a lot more to consider than just the metal and the cut of a diamond.

If 2021 is the year you plan to purchase an engagement ring, these tips will help make the process a little less stressful.

Advice for Buying an Engagement Ring That’s Perfect for Your Partner

1. Trends are Fleeting.

You might turn to what’s trending when you first start shopping for an engagement ring, but timeless designs are better. Instead of turning to trends, use your partner’s current jewellery style as a guide. If they love wearing gold, it doesn’t make sense to get them a platinum engagement ring, even if you like it. Remember, your partner will be wearing this piece for the rest of their lives.

2. Consider Your Partner’s Lifestyle.

Speaking of your partner’s preferences, it’s also important to consider their lifestyle. Do they spend a lot of time outdoors? Do they play a particular type of sport? Lifestyle is another factor to consider when deciding on the size and style of the engagement ring.

3. Certificate Grading Isn’t Everything.

When you first start shopping for an engagement ring, you will hear a lot about the Four Cs: Colour, cut, clarity and carat. However, the grading on a certificate is not the only factor that should guide your decision. The look and feel of a stone is just as important as the grading.

4. Neither is Size.

There are still a number of people who believe the size of an engagement ring’s stone is a major factor. However, that go-big-or-go-home mentality is not something you need to jump on board with. Decide what’s more important to you and your partner before you decide that you need to purchase the biggest stone you can afford.

5. Opt for Ethically Sourced Stones.

Give your stone a bit of a backstory by finding out where it came from. It’s always best to purchase stones that were sourced from mines and suppliers that are known for their sustainability. Your jeweller can assist you with this information, but it doesn’t hurt to do a bit of your own research too.

6. Don’t Leave the Setting for Last.

If you’re planning to design your engagement ring from scratch, don’t leave the setting until last. Rather have a good idea of the type of setting you want before you start shopping around for a stone. Again, don’t focus too much on what’s trending, opt for a setting that’s timeless and that both you and your partner will love.

7. Work with a Professional.

One of the easiest ways to make the process of shopping for an engagement ring that much easier is to work with a professional jeweller. When you work with a jeweller, you can create or source a ring that meets all your size, shape and style requirements with ease.

Start Shopping Around

At the end of the day, buying an engagement ring is only about you, your partner and, of course, your budget. Enjoy this exciting part of the process by working with a professional jewellery designer such as Martins of Glasgow.

Contact us to discuss your ring requirements.  

How to Tell Whether It’s Time to Service Your Watch

How to Tell Whether It’s Time to Service Your Watch

You’ve spent a lot of money on your watch, so maintaining and servicing it is essential if you want to enjoy it for many more years to come. Every watch is subject to wear and tear so there is no way around servicing it.

What’s more, being proactive about servicing your watch will help you avoid bigger problems that will only cost more money to correct.

But how do you know whether it’s time to service your watch?

Signs It’s Time to Service Your Watch

Whether you have a mechanical or a quartz watch, there are a few tell-tale signs to look out for that indicate it’s time for a service.

  • Your Watch Feels Different or Parts Feel Loose

When your watch is on your wrist, it’s always moving, which can cause some parts to loosen. On the plus side, if you wear your watch daily, you can easily tell whether it feels different. If it does or you feel that some parts have tightened or loosened, it’s time for a service. If your watch is making a noise or rattles when you move it, it’s important to take it in for repairs immediately.

  • There is Moisture Inside the Watch

Moisture inside a watch is never a good sign and without prompt service, the watch will begin to corrode. As you can imagine, this can cause further damage that will either be expensive to repair or can’t be repaired at all. Even the slightest bit of moisture is an indication that a service is necessary.

  • Your Watch is Running Too Fast or Slow

This is the third most common sign that your watch needs a service sooner rather than later. Watches will always have a margin of error, which means it might be a few seconds too fast or too slow. However, if your watch feels very out in terms of time accuracy, rather get it serviced.

Many people tend to put off a service believing it will be costly, but this isn’t always the case. Watch servicing and repairs only get expensive when a watch isn’t maintained on a regular basis.

Some watch services are quick and cost-effective, particularly when you’re dealing with professional horologists such as Martin’s of Glasgow.

Not sure whether we can service your specific watch? Contact us on 0141 946 6333 or martin@martinsjewellers.co.uk to find out.

It’s best practice to service your watch every three to five years, especially if you wear it regularly.

What You Should Know If Your Watch Glass Breaks

What You Should Know If Your Watch Glass Breaks

A cracked watch glass is not ideal, especially when it’s one of your favourite watches, but it can be repaired. What many watch owners often wonder though is just how expensive this kind of repair will be, particularly if the watch glass is difficult to come by.

Since we often replace watch glass for our clients, we decided to take you through the basics of what you should know if your watch glass breaks.

Dealing with Watch Glass Damage

Watch glass is strong but simply knocking it against something or dropping it at a certain angle is enough to cause scratches and breaks.

Here’s how to deal with these two types of watch glass damage.

Acrylic Scratches

When you wear a watch often enough, small scratches are going to appear on the acrylic. However, if the scratches get bad enough, it’s not only difficult to read the time, but it can lead to cracked acrylic.

If the scratches are merely on the surface of the timepiece, they can sometimes be polished out. Deeper scratches require the acrylic to be replaced, which is generally inexpensive unless it’s anything other than a round shape.

Watch Mineral or Sapphire Glass Chips and Cracks

When watch glass is chipped or cracked, there is a much higher chance of it smashing completely. You want to avoid this because it places the internal mechanisms of your watch at risk.

If at any point you notice chips and cracks in your watch glass, it’s best to bring it in so that it can be replaced. Again, if you are dealing with flat round watch glass, it’s generally much more affordable to replace.

If your watch glass does get smashed before you can get it to Martin’s of Glasgow, and if your watch is quartz or has a hacking seconds hand, pull out the crown immediately. This will prevent any small shards of glass from permanently damaging the hands and internal mechanisms of the watch.

Since it’s difficult to stop a mechanical watch quickly if your watch doesn’t have a hacking seconds hand, all you can do is keep it as still as possible until it gradually stops. You can then bring it in to be repaired.

Replacing Watch Glass – What Types Are Available?

  • Mineral watch glass. This type of watch glass is found in most types of watches. It’s affordable and can be cut to fit most watch shapes. It’s not scratch resistant though.
  • Sapphire crystal. If you want something stronger and scratch resistant, sapphire crystal is a good option. Since it is created in a lab, it’s more expensive.
  • Acrylic watch “glass”. You can only use acrylic “glass” if your watch already has it. This is also a cost-effective option that can be cut into different shapes. It does scratch more easily though.

If you are unsure about which watch glass to choose, we will gladly assist you once you bring your watch in for repairs. It’s best to have your watch glass replaced sooner rather than later if you want to avoid further damage to your favourite timepiece.

You can contact us on 0141 946 6333 or martin@martinsjewellers.co.uk to make an appointment.

The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process – What You Should Know

The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process – What You Should Know

There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a perfect string of pearls, which is why it’s such a tragedy when it breaks. Pearls are usually strung with nylon or silk, which are strong enough materials. However, with age or enough force, the string can break.

If you currently have unstrung pearls lying at the bottom of your jewellery box, it’s about time you restring them so you can enjoy them once again.

In case you’re worried about whether your pearls will be returned in the same condition, we thought it would be helpful to take you through the restringing process.

The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process

Collecting Your Pearls

Before you can repair your pearl necklace, you will need to carefully collect all of the original pearls and place them in a secure box. Keep in mind that if you no longer have all the original pearls, your jeweller will need to source pearls to match your necklace. There is a slight chance the replacement pearls will look slightly different to the originals.

Knotting the String

Once your jeweller has your pearls, the restringing process can begin. Each pearl is carefully placed onto a new string, ensuring no damage occurs. Your jeweller can also either leave the string as is or place small knots in between each pearl, which is highly recommended. Not only does this prevent the pearls from rubbing against each other, but if the string ever breaks again, you won’t lose all the pearls.

Replacing the Clasp

If you still have your original clasp, your jeweller will simply replace it. However, if the clasp is old, you may want to consider replacing it to make the necklace more secure. If you have a multi-strand necklace, a strong clasp is recommended to support the extra weight.

The Finishing Touches

Once the pearls have been restrung and the clasp is in place, a soft cloth is used to clean and shine the pearls. If your necklace has natural pearls, ultrasonic and steam cleaning techniques cannot be used due to their fragile condition.

The pearl restringing process is simple and straightforward when you have a professional assisting you.

Caring for Your Pearl Necklace Going Forward

Now that you can enjoy your pearl necklace again, here are a few tips to help you care for them.

  • Store them correctly. To avoid placing any unnecessary strain on the string of the necklace, don’t hang it up. Rather lay it flat in a lined box and away from any other pieces that could scratch the pearls.
  • Take care during cleaning. Pearls should never be cleaned with water or chemical cleaning products. Wiping the necklace down with a soft cloth is enough to get them looking brand new again.
  • Schedule regular checkups. Lastly, let a professional take a look at the state of your pearl necklace once every two years to ensure you won’t end up with unnecessary breakages or lost pearls.

If you would like to start wearing your pearl necklace again, get in touch with us about our restringing services.

8 Factors That Determine the Value of Your Watch

8 Factors That Determine the Value of Your Watch

You should never consider selling a timepiece without understanding what it is worth first. Understand that if you want to sell your watch for its true value, you are going to need to spend a little time on research and practice a bit of patience.

Naturally, if you decide to have your watch professionally evaluated, it might speed the process up slightly, but it’s still recommended that you have some idea of the value yourself.

How to Determine the Value of Your Watch

Here are the main factors that you or an evaluator would focus on to determine how much your timepiece is worth.

  1. The Make and Model.

This is probably one of the most obvious factors that play a role in the value of your watch. There are certain brands that maintain their value regardless of how old they are – Rolex being one of them. Brands that are known for their limited edition watches or complex movements also tend to have higher values.

  1. Condition of the Timepiece

A brand will not mean much if your watch isn’t in a good condition. If the exterior is severely damaged or important components are missing, the value of the timepiece drops immediately. In some instances, even a minor scratch can affect the value. When your watch is evaluated, both the physical and functional condition is assessed. The end result is a condition grade, which will place your watch at a specific price point.

The exceptions to this are military watches and some vintage watches. A good example is the Rolex 1675 GMT Master 1275 – a 50-year-old watch with a faded bezel and marks on the case from daily wear. As long as the dial and hands are original, it is more valuable than a watch of the same age with a service dial and hands, and possibly a new bezel (Even if the bezel was fitted during a service by Rolex). Naturally, the watch still needs to be in good working condition.

  1. Watch Patina

Patina refers to a watch’s natural ageing process, which alters the appearance of the hands or dials of the timepiece. Believe it or not, patina is a good thing because collectors believe it adds character. If signs of ageing have affected the functioning of the watch in any way though, it will not be worth as much.

  1. Watch Box and Paperwork

If you still have the original box and paperwork that came with the watch, this will have a positive effect on its value. This includes the warranty card and any certification cards. The importance of the box and paperwork also depends on the watch brand and age.

  1. Rarity

Watches that are difficult to come by may be worth more. If you have a limited edition or production run from a renowned brand, it will more than likely increase the value quite dramatically. Naturally, the watch should still be in good condition and meet the other above-mentioned criteria.

  1. Demand

The higher the demand, the more a timepiece is worth. Authentic watches that still have their original markings and serial numbers are also more valuable. With a bit of research on watch trading sites, you can easily find out which watches are currently in high demand.

  1. The Celebrity Factor

Own a watch that was worn in a movie or by a well-known celebrity, this could end up increasing its value. Watches such as those worn by characters such as James Bond are particularly popular.

  1. Market Value

Lastly, one of the final factors that determine how much your watch is currently worth is the market. Spending some time on auction or reseller sites can tell you a lot about what your watch, or similar watches, are currently selling for.  Even sites such as eBay can be a valuable source of information.

Now that you have a better idea of the factors that determine the value of your watch, you can decide whether selling it would be worth your while. If you would prefer to also get a professional opinion, contact Martins of Glasgow about an evaluation.