Watch Certificate: authentication certificate for luxury watches
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Recommendations to follow when buying a second-hand watch in relation to stolen items

Buying a second-hand watch can be risky, so it is imperative that you follow certain tips to ensure that you are as protected as possible against the risk of receiving stolen goods and the financial loss that can result.


1. Checking the seller
Ask for the seller's full contact details (name, phone, email, address) and bring a copy of their ID with you when you are offered a watch. This should be the first step before any further verification. If a seller wishes to remain anonymous or gives false information, consider this a red flag. Merchants need to mitigate risk and remain compliant using a KYC and anti-money laundering platform such as SmartSearch.

2. Provenance
Ask the seller for the watch's ownership history and note all information provided.

3. Secure the watch
Take the watch to a safe place for inspection, e.g. to another room or behind the counter, out of sight of the seller. Explain to the seller that the watch should be kept in the shop until the pre-checks are completed.


4. Authenticity checks
Check the authenticity of the watch and all its parts, including the movement. Check that the serial number of the watch matches the number on the documents.

5. Secure payment
If the above checks are validated, pay by bank transfer, not by cash or cheque.

7. Invoice
Keep an invoice of the transaction with the seller's details and the details of the watch, including the serial number.

8. Future Sale Controls
The result of your search operated by Watch Certificate™ in partnership with THE WATCH REGISTER database
displays the status of the watch at the time the search was submitted. The status of any watch may change in the future and it is therefore advisable to request a search update at the point of future sale.

9. Defective Title Insurance
This is recommended for merchants as an additional level of protection against possible future claims and any financial loss that may result.

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Regarding The Watch Register:
Watch Certificate™ performs theft status checks with The Watch Register - the world's largest international database of stolen watches. It currently lists over 70,000 stolen watches, and is updated regularly - including by police forces.