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The Best Watch Stores

Where Is the Best Place to Buy a Watch?

No matter what you're looking for - the latest trends, a fitness design that tracks your steps along with the time, or a once-in-a-lifetime gift to commemorate a special occasion - you're not likely to find the best selection at your local jeweler or department store. Brick-and-mortar locations tend to carry only a few select brands and styles.

Even if you spend the whole day walking the mall or driving from one store to the next, you're probably not going to be impressed by what's available. It's easy to see why even the most discerning customers are turning to online watch stores for their purchases. The world's widest selection of styles and brands is just a click away.

Friday, December 4th

2020 Watch Store Reviews

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Overstock Review 5 Star Rating

Overstock

5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $7.39 to $67,662
TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

For almost 20 years, Overstock has been one of the internet's biggest retailers. They're eager to provide you with high-quality merchandise ranging from home goods to fine jewelry, while still remaining committed to giving back to their community - and to the world - through programs like Worldstock and Overstock Pets.

And, when it comes to watches, Overstock's selection is unparalleled. We're not kidding when we say that they have something for literally everyone. Men's watches? You've got over 11,000 options. Women's? Still impressive at over 10,000 in stock.

If that kind of selection is overwhelming, don't worry. The Overstock site makes it very easy to find what you're looking for. You can start by browsing the main Watches page, with clear images of top sellers by brand, trends, or current deals. Or, you can scroll down a little and use the left-hand navigation to sort all of the in-stock watches by these criteria:

  • Brands: Popular ones include Rolex, Tag Heuer, Omega, Michael Kors, Movado, Gucci, Fossil, Citizen, Invicta, and many more
  • Types: Luxury, Casual, Sport, Divers, Fashion, Dress, Vintage, Fitness, Smartwatch, and so on
  • Price Range
  • Strap Colors
  • Materials: Leather, stainless steel, gold, metal, etc.
  • Case Diameters
  • Movement: Automatic, mechanical, Swiss quartz, Eco-drive, and others
  • Discount
  • Dial Colors
  • Closure Types: Buckle, deployment, push-button, jewelry, bangle, etc.
  • Sales & Promotions
  • Strap Widths
  • Water Resistance Depths
  • Customer Ratings

Once you've selected the watch that interests you, you'll find detailed information about it as you scroll down, including any warranty details and dimensions for both the watch and the box that comes with it, and images showing the watch from multiple angles. You can also add it to your gift registry or to your favorites list, if you'd like to come back to it later.

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As an added bonus, check out the customer "reviews" on some of the more expensive watches. At the time of our evaluation, the highest-priced watch we found was the IWC Men's Portuguese Repeater White Gold Watch, selling for a bargain price of $67,662.49 - a savings of almost $25,000 compared with the list price. If that has you scratching your head, wondering who would pay that much for a watch, you're not alone - and the resulting customer comments are comedy gold.

Overstock's return policy on watches gives you 30 days from delivery. Not surprisingly, the watch needs to be unworn, non-altered, and new in order to qualify for a refund. Your return will need to be returned with a trackable shipping method, and you'll have to provide the tracking number to Overstock. You should also insure your return if the watch is valued at $500 or more. Overstock will thoroughly inspect the watch; your refund may be less than what you paid if they find any blemishes or wear.

For most watches, shipping will be free: Overstock offers complimentary shipping to the lower 48 United States for all orders of $45+, or a flat rate of $4.95 if your purchase is less. If you are a frequent shopper at Overstock, you should consider their Club O Gold rewards program: for $19.95/year, you'll earn 5% back in rewards and get free shipping on every order.

If you enjoy a good discount, keep your eyes open: we got a pop-up offering a 15% discount for signing up for their email newsletter. What we really appreciated was that the pop-up told us that the specific watches we viewed were eligible for that savings: we all know how annoying it is to be given some kind of promotional deal, only to find out later or in the fine print that what we wanted isn't included, right?

Even though Overstock doesn't specialize in watches, they've done an incredible job of bringing the world's best to you, just a click away. From entry-level to height of luxury, the watch selection offered by this retailer is unmatched by any other store. Overstock should be at the top of the list when deciding where to shop for your new watch.

Authentic Watches Review 4.5 Star Rating

Authentic Watches

4.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $225 to $44,500

Authentic Watches has been a family owned-and-operated business since 1979. Originally started as McPherson Jewelers out of southern California, this watch store now sells exclusively Swiss-made luxury watches at the industry's best prices.

Unlike some online watch retailers that claim to sell only authentic merchandise, Authentic Watches' products have the original manufacturers' serial numbers intact, and they guarantee that everything they sell is original and 100% authentic.

Although they specify that they are not authorized resellers of the brands they carry, they do offer an excellent extension of most manufacturer warranties, by giving you an extra year of coverage. If you're looking for even longer warranty coverage, the watch you select may have options up to lifetime protection; you'll find those details on each individual watch's page.

On those individual product pages, you can see multiple views of the watch (including a zoom-in for extra detail), along with more information about the watch's movement mechanism, measurements, and any available customer reviews.

Need an impressive last-minute gift? Authentic Watches has you covered: they offer free overnight shipping on all watch purchases over $50 (not including Saturday delivery).

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Another customer-friendly policy at this store is the price match guarantee. Contact their customer service team prior to placing your order in order to qualify - just be sure that the competitor's terms (i.e. price, warranty, shipping, return policy) matches what Authentic Watches offers.

One unusual benefit offered by this retailer is their 3% discount - if you make your payment via wire transfer, check, or money order for your watch purchase of less than $10,000. We're not sure how many people would go through the hassle of sending in a payment that way, but it's an option.

The return policy may be the only thing about this store that's just average: 30 days from shipment (not delivery), and, like most stores, they insist that the watch be unworn in order to qualify for a full refund. There's no restocking fee on your first return/exchange.

What about Authentic Watches' reputation? No surprise - it's fantastic. Over 39+ years in business, they have gained thousands of loyal customers, as demonstrated by their "A+" rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. You can also check out more than a thousand reviews linked at the bottom of their site, averaging 4.7 out of 5 stars. Overwhelmingly, customers rave about this store's excellent prices, good selection, and best of all, their friendly, efficient representatives when any issues have arisen post-sale.

The only other reason that Authentic Watches doesn't get a full 5-star rating is their watch selection. For customers who only want Swiss-made watches, this is the perfect store - but for shoppers looking for budget-friendly, basic wristwatches or wearable tech, they won't find it here.

Reputation, customer-friendly policies, competitive prices and easy-to-use online store are all of the reasons we recommend shopping at Authentic Watches if you're looking for a beautiful, well-crafted watch from Tissot, Oris, Hublot, and many more Swiss-made brands.

Zappos Review 4.5 Star Rating

Zappos

4.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: Starting at: $24.95

When it comes to shopping for a watch there is a lot to consider. Watches can be a very personal accessory and depending on the occasion, watches need to provide the right functionality to suit the person wearing it! Zappos is a very user-friendly website that makes the process of purchasing a watch easy to personalize. You can begin with basic search terms like: Gender, Style, Material and Features. After that, you can refine your search with terms like: Brand, Category, Color, Performance, Display (analog, digital or dual), Face shape, water resistance, theme and closures.

There is an impressive selection for a site that is not completely devoted to watch sales. You can find something very casual or dress it up a little and explore their luxury options. The prices, like the selection, range, from $24.95 to $2,795.00

The photos on the website are clear and detailed and Zappos even takes it a step further and provides a 3D video which provides a more precise visual of the watch. The lengths they go to is the next best thing to actually being able to try the watch on.

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If you find a watch that appeals to you, the order process is simple and shipping is FREE! If you are not pleased with the watch, the return policy is amazing! You have 365 days to return the item, unworn, in its original packaging.

Zappos is a leader in customer service in the industry and across the board. They are even regarded as a model for companies seeking to strengthen their own customer service. After learning more about Zappos customer service we can see why. Their 24/7 customer service offers the option to live chat online, call or email with questions. We found them to be pleasant and entirely focused on our satisfaction. Pair this level of professionalism with stellar shipping and return policies and you can't go wrong.

Zappos may not have the selection of more specialized online retailers, but with over 2,000 watches to choose from, we think you'll be able to find something to suit your style. They have a variety of watches that span a variety of preferences with fashion watches, luxury, casual, sport and even smart watches.

Whether you are pairing a watch with formal attire or looking for something to track your fitness at the gym, Zappos will have the latest styles to meet your needs. We are confident, you will be pleased with your Zappos shopping experience and we are certain that your satisfaction is top priority to them.

Ashford Review 4 Star Rating

Ashford

4 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $20 to $278,025

Ashford is headquartered in the prestigious 5th Avenue shopping district of New York City and has been in business since 1997. With more than a million customers over the last 20+ years and an "A+" rating at the Better Business Bureau, it's easy to see that this is a company you can trust when buying your next watch.

The selection at Ashford is great, with a total of just under 3,000 watches to choose from. You'll find the full spectrum of styles and price points, from the Corum Men's Classical Tourbillon Minute Repeater at the oh-so-affordable discounted price of $278,025 (marked down from its retail price of $505,500!), all the way down to some cute Valletta bangle watches for under $30. The only category we couldn't find was fitness/wearable tech, so no Fitbits or Garmin GPS models for sale here.

Ashford provides extensive information about each watch they sell, even down to the exact type of bezel and the type of case back. One of our favorite parts of the watches' descriptions is the brand story. You might not find it on every watch on the site, but for most of the higher-end brands you can see their history (e.g. Breitling's early origins in the aviation industry).

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We got an offer of a 15% discount on our purchase if we signed up for the Ashford "A-List" email newsletter.

Ground shipping is free within the continental US, no matter the size of your order.

Ashford's return policy is standard: 30 days and in unworn condition for your watch to qualify for a full refund. If you choose a Certified Pre-Owned timepiece, this return period is shortened to 14 days.

On the other hand, their warranty goes well beyond the norm: two years on any new watch and one year on anything Certified Pre-Owned. This warranty covers the movement, not the straps, crown/stem, and so forth. You can also get a free battery replacement within the first two years that you own you watch.

Ashford customers are almost all very satisfied with their ordering experience: the watches they receive are exactly what they expected, with all of the documentation proving their authenticity. The only complaints we found seemed to come from international customers who had challenges with the checkout/payment process, but we had no issues when placing an order within the US, using a regular credit card.

Because of their good reputation, ample selection, and fantastic extended warranties, Ashford ranks high among online watch stores.

Brathwait Review 3.5 Star Rating

Brathwait

3.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: Starting at $159

Brathwait seeks to provide men and women with elegant, premium watches "without the luxury markup". In their design and marketing alike, this retailer aims for simplicity, luxury, and transparency.

Will you find what you're looking for at Brathwait? That depends. If you want a fitness watch, an entry-level wristwatch, or a variety of brands to choose from, the answer is "no". On the other hand, if you're specifically shopping for a classic-looking, minimalist design, especially with automatic winding, Brathwait may be worth considering.

Brathwait's watch lines consist of the following, available in styles for both men and women:

  • Classic Slim: Swiss quartz precision movement, water resistant to 100 meters, dome sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating; straps available ranging from stainless steel mesh to Melano top grain Italian leather
  • Swiss Classic: similar to the Classic Slim in terms of features and options, the Classic also features a brushed case with luminous hands
  • Automatic Minimalist: featuring the Miyota Ca. 9015 high-beat movement, this model is powered by the kinetic energy of the wearer - no battery required
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Customer reviews of the three Brathwait watches are mixed. With the automatic model, some wearers complain about the amount of noise that it makes, even compared with other automatic models by other manufacturers. We also found some comments that the watch straps aren't always suitable for people with larger wrists. On the other hand, many customers praise the construction, quality, and look of Brathwait's timepieces and were very satisfied with their purchase.

We found Brathwait's return policy to be somewhat confusing. At first, we were excited to see their "try-before-you-keep" policy, until we read that the watch has to be unworn in order to qualify. We're not sure how you try a watch without wearing it, especially for the automatic watches that rely on the wearer's movements for power. In general, however, Brathwait's return policy allows for returns within 30 days of delivery, and they cover the cost of the return shipping.

On a more positive note, Brathwait has a 12-month warranty and free worldwide shipping on all orders. We appreciate these customer-friendly policies.

Brathwait watches do seem to be well-made, stylish, and appropriately priced. But, if you're looking for a variety of styles, brands, or price points, this retailer probably won't meet all of your needs.

Watch Station Review 3 Star Rating

Watch Station

3 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $49.95 to $1,297

If you like shopping at outlet malls, you may already be familiar with Watch Station. As part of the Fossil Group since 2007, this watch retailer has brick-and-mortar stores in over 100 locations worldwide.

When it comes to selection, Watch Station is only average. You won't find much on either end of the price spectrum: no Timex or Rolex, for example. The only brands sold at this store are:

  • Armani Exchange
  • Chaps
  • Diesel
  • DKNY
  • Emporio Armani
  • Fossil
  • Karl Lagerfeld
  • Kate Spade
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Michael Kors
  • Misfit
  • Mon Amie
  • One Eleven
  • Skagen
  • Zodiac

Navigating the site isn't the smoothest, either. For example, clicking on the tabs at the top of the page should take you to the selection for Women's and Men's watches - but instead, you'll have to select a brand or a category like Best Sellers to see what Watch Station has to offer. At the time of our review, their selection included approximately 300 men's watches and 250 women's watches.

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When you find a watch you like, click on it to get more details. Although Watch Station doesn't provide the same depth of information about their watches that we found on similar sites, you can still see important details like water resistance, band width, and length of manufacturer's warranty.

Prices at Watch Station are average. Many department stores sell the same watches at the same price. Oddly enough, the Fossil brand was usually a few dollars more expensive at Watch Station than on competitor sites.

Shipping is free on purchases over $50. You'll pay a flat rate of $9.95 for all other orders.

Watch Station's parent company, Fossil Group, has a great reputation: 34 years in business, along with an "A+" rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. They also offer a generous return policy of 90 days, as long as the watch you're returning is in new condition. There's one caveat: you probably can't return your purchase to one of Watch Station's retail locations. We found more than one customer who said that returning their order via mail was a hassle, with delayed refunds and problems getting confirmation that their return package had been received.

If you have an issue with your watch once you've worn it, you'll need to check the specific manufacturer's warranty that's included with your order.

Watch Station doesn't really impress or disappoint. If you happen to find a watch you like at an attractive price, you're probably going to be satisfied with your purchase. On the other hand, if you're looking for a super-cheap or ultra-luxury watch, you might need to shop somewhere else.

World of Watches Review 2 Star Rating

World of Watches

2 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $16.98 to $29,500

World of Watches is based in Brooklyn, NY. Their selection of watches includes more than 8,000 men's styles and over 5,000 for women, ranging in price from under $20 to over $25,000. They offer a 30-day price match guarantee, free shipping on all orders over $100, and a 100% authenticity guarantee.

The online store is easy to shop. Start by selecting Men's or Women's Watches using the links at the top of the site. From there, the Shopping Options list on the left side will help you narrow down your choices according to price, brand, material, color, and so on. The brand list is impressive, ranging from Armani to Victorinox - with Rolex as the only noticeable exception in their inventory.

Once you've chosen a watch, you'll be able to see more details about the band type and length, water resistance if any, and so forth. We noticed that there was a Warranty Coverage Chart, but there was no link or other information provided there.

Economy shipping is free on orders over $100, or $5.99 for all others. You can upgrade to ground shipping for $9.99 - $4.99 if your order qualified for free economy delivery - or 2nd Day/Next Business Day for additional fees.

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Customer experiences with World of Watches are very mixed. On one third-party site, we found more than 7,000 reviews with an average rating of 9.33 out of 10 stars. Shoppers say they got the watches at the price they wanted, and many of them are repeat customers. But, some of the most recent reviews we found on another external site were cause for concern. Many of them describe watches that stopped working shortly after purchase - and World of Watches' customer service representatives said that there was nothing they could do. And, because their 30-day returns policy only applies to new, unworn watches, customers couldn't send the watches back when they malfunctioned after use.

What about warranties? Looking at the information on the WoW site, they link to another site, Watch Center, with a list of brands and their respective warranties - but that warranty servicing company has very little information, and customers who tried to make warranty claims say that Watch Center is a fake business. World of Watches had received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau a few months before our most recent review, along with an "A-" rating, but we also noticed that they had 6 registered complaints with the BBB in the last year.

Unfortunately, World of Watches has fallen almost to the bottom of the group. Until they are able to show that they're doing a better job at providing the warranty coverage they promise, this online retailer will probably not be your best choice when buying a new watch.

Wrist Watch Review 1.5 Star Rating

Wrist Watch

1.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $44.95 and up

Since 1997, Wristwatch has offered watches from most of today's entry- and mid-level watch brands, such as Citizen, Michael Kors, and Movado.

Unfortunately, the shopping experience on the Wristwatch site is not good. First, when we tried to shop using the "Fine Watches by Price" link, we got no results over $100 - even though we found plenty of options when we shopped by brand. And, many of the watches we liked were marked as "Out of Stock", along with hundreds of watch bands listed at a price of $0. Even clicking on some of the featured products on the main page led to page errors.

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Looking at Wristwatch's return policy, it says that items can be returned within 30 days of delivery. How? Your guess is as good as ours: the Contact Us page only gives an online form, and our phone call to their non-toll-free number at the top of the page went unanswered during regular business hours. Also, the last time we reviewed this retailer, they clearly spelled out that only unworn watches would be accepted for returns, and that there would be a restocking fee. None of that information was there during our most recent evaluation.

With so many reputable online watch stores currently available, there's really no reason to shop at Wristwatch. We can almost guarantee you'll have a more pleasant shopping experience with any of the other watch retailers in our review.

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Continued from above...

From dressy, luxury timepieces designed to accessorize with style, to wearable tech that helps you stay connected, you'll find it all online - with the same warranties you'd get when purchasing at a local retailer.

Another reason to use an online watch store is price. Because these merchants typically don't have a physical storefront, their overhead is much less - and that savings is passed along to the customer. And, many online retailers offer a price match guarantee, so that if you should find your desired watch elsewhere at a lower price, you can rest assured that you're not spending more than necessary.

Among the many watch retailers on the market, how can you decide which one should get your business? As you consider the various online watch stores that carry the styles and brands you want, keep in mind these criteria:

  • Selection. Does the retailer have the brand(s) you want, as well as several styles within that brand? Do you have enough of a variety to choose from?
  • Shopping Experience. Is the online store easy to use? Can you find what you're looking for? Is the ordering process smooth? Does the site help you be well-informed about the watch you're buying?
  • Price. Are the prices competitive with other online watch stores? Is shipping included? Are there any other incentives that can save you money or enhance your purchase?
  • Reputation. What do other customers say about their experience with the online watch store? Is the company rated by and/or accredited with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Satisfaction/Returns Policy. If you receive your watch and it doesn't meet your needs, can you get a refund? Is there a restocking fee? Is the company responsive when customers have complaints?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best watch stores available today. We hope this information helps you to find the best watch at the best price right away!

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Watch Store FAQ

Yes! Despite the fact that we all carry a clock in our pocket (i.e. on our mobile phones), watches remain a very popular accessory.
The most prevalent type of watch on people's wish lists is the smartwatch. People rush to buy the newest "wearable tech" when it hits the stores, and they're particularly sought after by fitness enthusiasts (e.g. Fitbit, Apple Watch). But traditional wristwatches - especially luxury brands - are still on trend for fashion and function.
Brick-and-mortar stores tend to carry just a few brands and styles at a time, and they pass the overhead costs of operating their business on to the customer. On the other hand, shopping online gives you literally the world's best selection at your fingertips, often at prices that easily rival or beat what you'd find at the jeweler.
As long as you purchase your watch from a reputable store, buying your watch online isn't risky at all. You can rest assured that you're getting what you're paying for, and you can always file a dispute with your credit card issuer if a problem arises that isn't being handled appropriately by the merchant.
Most online retailers of watches give you a 30-day return window. However, to be eligible for a refund, the watch usually has to be in unworn condition.
That depends on the store. Some offer free shipping on all orders, while others require a minimum spend (e.g. $50).
You can be sure that if you're buying a $20,000 watch, it's in the retailer's best interest to insure the delivery! You'll probably have to sign for the package as well, which minimizes the likelihood that your watch will be intercepted by "porch pirates" !
Definitely. Watches are still used to commemorate special occasions, like reaching a career milestone or an anniversary. And, with some watches, you can have the back engraved with a special message.
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