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That question is almost more easily answered by where you should not shop: the mall or jewelry store! You might be drawn in by a beautiful timepiece prominently displayed in the window, but do you really want the sales pressure or higher prices once you walk through the door? We don't either.
Your best bet is an online watch store. Whether you're looking for the next luxury wristwatch to add to your collection or something classic-yet-affordable, you won't find a better selection at any brick-and-mortar store near you. Why browse a few dozen options from a handful of brands and be limited to the retailer's business hours, when you can see thousands of styles and brands whenever you get the whim to shop?
Friday, March 24th
NYC-based Ashford is our favorite place to shop for watches. There's genuinely something for everyone here, from starter wristwatches for under $35 to height-of-luxury investment pieces for over $100K. Customers say that the service is unmatched, and many of them have returned time and again to take advantage of the vast selection and incredible prices. Ashford is our newest first-place winner among watch stores.
Zappos isn't just for shoes anymore. You'll find nearly 1,000 watches to choose from here, from basic Timex designs to designer names like Tissot and Citizen. The site makes it quick and fun to find what you're looking for, and you'll get perks like free shipping (even to Alaska and Hawaii) and 365-day returns. Zappos gets lots of compliments from satisfied shoppers, and this watch store earns a good ranking from us as well.
Ready to add another Swiss-made watch to your collection? Authentic Watches should be the first store you visit if you're looking for a Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Christian Dior, or other luxury brand. For more than 40 years, this family-operated business has delivered world-class watches with attentive customer service, at prices that can't be matched by other retailers.
Zales offers the convenience of an online inventory of more than 2,000 watches with options for in-store pick-up and returns if desired. Popular brands here include Invicta, Movado and Coach, but none of the makers you'd associate with luxury or bargain buys. Zales' range of brands (just 13) and return policy (just 30 days) are more limited than many stores in our review, keeping this retailer from earning our highest rating. However, Zales has a good reputation covering a century in business, and it's a watch store you can trust.
Watches2U is located in the UK, but with free worldwide shipping and super-fast delivery, there's no reason not to look here for your next watch. Choose from among 4,000 wristwatches and don't be surprised when yours arrives within a week. Watches2U offers a 60-day return window too. Thousands of customers have given this store a five-star rating, and it's the biggest independent online watch shop in the UK. If you're not put off by seeing prices in pounds sterling and having to run the numbers to convert to dollars, this store could be fun for you to shop.
WatchCo has a small selection of watches across a few brands. There's nothing truly "luxury" here, with prices mostly under $1,000 and lots of styles that are more technical/sport-based than formal accessories. The store has some customer perks we really like, such as free shipping anywhere in the US on orders over $50, a 110% Price Protection guarantee, and a 365-day return policy. The inventory here is a little too small for WatchCo to merit a higher ranking, but you shouldn't have any concerns about shopping at this online watch store.
Watch Shopping is off to a good start: after only a few years in business, this watch store has an "A+" from the BBB, hundreds of five-star reviews, and more than 5,000 watches in its inventory. We found competitive prices on a wide range of brands, but we're disappointed by the strict return policy and the lack of information about the store itself. On the whole, though, this retailer is already better than average and we hope to see more good things going forward.
World of Watches has a lot to offer: more than 16,000 watches ranging in price from under $20 to over $200,000. Over 100,000 shoppers have left reviews for this watch store, for an impressive average of 4.8 stars. Some customers report problems with watches that stop working after a few months, but you shouldn't have issues if you properly register your warranty with the manufacturer. World of Watches has moved up in our rankings since our last review, and you may want to consider their selection when you buy a watch.
Fossil Group's Watch Station has been around for over 15 years, and you may have seen their retail locations in an outlet mall near you. Their online store has about 2400 watches to choose from, mostly concentrated in brands like Diesel, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani and (of course) Fossil. It's great that Watch Station now allows for in-store returns of online orders, but that's the only upgrade this store has gotten since our last review. This probably isn't going to be your go-to for watches, especially if you want a higher-end brand, but there's no reason to avoid Watch Station either.
Your mind will be blown as you shop for a watch at Jomashop, especially if you're buying a luxury wristwatch. There are over 52,000 watches to choose from, including several dozen in the $500,000-and-up range. As much as we want to love this watch store for its extensive inventory and 30+ years in business, customer comments indicate that the service here leaves a lot to be desired. You may want to keep Jomashop in reserve if you don't find what you're looking for elsewhere.
At first glance, WatchMaxx is a standout among watch stores: amazing prices on luxury watches, with deep discounts making it possible for even budget-minded shoppers to get that designer brand they've always wanted. The BBB gives this retailer an "A+" rating and many customers also award it five stars. But, recent customer feedback indicates that WatchMaxx displays watches for sale that they don't actually have in their inventory, leaving shoppers high and dry for weeks (or months) at a time while the company scrambles to find it among their suppliers. You should probably choose a different store if you need your watch to arrive quickly (or at all).
Brathwait only carries its own brand of minimalist wristwatches: no luxury or classic names here. You won't be overwhelmed by options to choose from, and the prices are all under $700: this watch store prioritizes complete transparency without the crazy markups of other brands. We wish Brathwait had a better track record with respect to shopper satisfaction, but the overall picture here is a love-hate relationship and really inconsistent customer service. Brathwait is nice in theory but their actual performance is subpar. Choose a different watch store.
But wait. What if the watch doesn't fit? Or I don't like it when it arrives? Usually not a problem. Watch stores have already anticipated your concerns, and you'll usually have a generous return window if you need a refund or want to make an exchange. A few retailers even allow you to wear the watch for several weeks before you make your decision - as long as it's still in good condition, without a lot of wear and tear, of course.
Which watch store should get your attention? There are lots of options, and many of them would be a perfectly good choice for your new time-keeper. Here are a few ways you can narrow down the options:
To help you find the right timepiece for that someone special (or yourself!), TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular online watch stores. From everyday wear to black-tie occasions, the perfect watch is out there. Ready to start shopping?
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