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Why buy Pre-Owned or Second-Hand?

People buy pre-owned or second hand items such as cars, clothes, jewellery and watches for many reasons. For example, people buy them for financial or sentimental reasons.

At Austen’s we have an excellent collection of pre-owned jewellery, pocket watches and Rolex watches.

We find that one of the main reasons people buy pre-owned items is value for money. The price of gold and silver has risen dramatically in the last few years, resulting in pre-owned pieces usually costing much less than an equivalent new modern piece.

Jewellery, silverware and watches are very personal items and often hold memories to the owner. Some people can relate to and enjoy the sense of history attached to an older piece of jewellery, which is not present in a modern piece.

Styles change over the years. In comparison, today’s styles tend to be more simplistic and minimal.

Pre-Owned 18ct Yellow Gold Sapphire and Diamond Carved Head Ring


You can generally tell the age of a piece of jewellery by its style;

Georgian jewellery is recognisable by simplistic lines, whilst in comparison, Victorian jewellery is ornate in decoration. The Art Nouveau style came into fashion at the turn of the last century. Inspired by flowing organic shapes Art Nouveau is characterised by stylised flowers, plants and the female form illustrated in a mixture of curved and vertical lines. Art Nouveau was made popular by Liberty & Co. who was established during the same period. Later, the Art Deco movement in the 1920’s and 30’s took its inspiration from the new machine age, tending to be more geometric in design. Generally these styles are not produced today, although some reproductions are available. Historical styles can be seen mainly in second hand and an ideal place to start your search for the perfect piece.

Jewellery making processes are similar to those used hundreds of years ago, however more modern technology is often used to make the processes more efficient. For example, before the 1930’s & 1940’s diamond cutting was a laborious process and were mainly cut by hand, involving a skilled craftsman analysing each rough crystal. The largest gems are cut from the crystal to produce a beautiful stone with minimal waste. Older cut stones are more individual, as they were hand cut and do not have the precise dimensions as a machine cut stone.

During the 1930’s the older cut was modified until an ideal brilliant cut was devised. The brilliant cut was geometrically more efficient at refracting the light within the stone, creating the fire & sparkle we see today. The modern round brilliant consists of 58 facets (or 57 if the culet is excluded).

The brilliant cut can be applied to any size of diamond; the machine cut ensures that the proportions of the facets and quality of cut are consistent. One craftsman can monitor a number of machines at one time, improving productivity and consistency.

Old cut stones are very popular due to the individuality, no two are the same. If you are looking for a piece of jewellery containing old cut diamonds you will need to purchase a pre-owned piece, as they are no longer cut by hand.

Pre-Owned Platinum Sapphire & Diamond Cluster Ring


The same can be said for second hand silverware;

There are only a handful of silver manufacturing companies remaining in this country.  In Sheffield, there used to be hundreds of small manufacturers specialised in producing handmade silver cutlery and silverware.  As with Jewellery, today’s designs are simplistic and minimal to keep items within modern tastes and to a price point.  Silverware from different periods in time can be identified through style for example Georgian or Victorian.  Older silverware was made entirely by hand and time and great skill was invested in each piece.  Today modern silverware is largely mass produced, using automated processes.  Some skilled craftsman are still required, although not in the same quantities, as not all tasks can be completed by machine.

Due to the high cost of silver and high manufacturing costs modern silverware is quite expensive compared with items that can be purchased second hand.  Silver and labour costs have been lower in previous times compared to new modern pieces.  To commission a handmade item of silver today could prove very expensive, but alternative pieces of decorative silverware can be found in a pre-owned collection.

Pre-Owned Tudor Black Bay Ceramic


There is a very strong market in pre-owned Rolex watches

The demand is due to the high appeal of Rolex watches.  Rolex is one of the most popular and inspirational brands of all time. The quality of Rolex watches is so high, that they last for a long period of time. The majority of the classic Rolex watches were designed in the 1950’s and 60’s. These designs are classic and have shown little change in design.  The new Rolex Submariner looks very similar to the original ‘James Bond’ submariner of the 1960’s. There are slight differences, but advances in materials and technology drive subtle changes.

There have been a significant number of watch manufacturers throughout the 19th & 20th Centuries. The number then was greater than the number of watch makers we see today.

Very few of these manufacturer’s watches exist today due to the materials and quality of their production.  Over the years, manufacturers have ceased trading or were taken over by other companies and skilled craftsmen have been replaced by mechanisation.

It is a testament to manufactures that produced the better quality watches produced by skilled craftsmen that their watches are still in working condition today. This is especially true of Rolex watches.

Rolex watches from the early 1930’s given care and attention will maintain good time-keeping today.

The watch might be decades old but will look very similar to the newer model.  With a Rolex service from an approved Rolex agent the watch will be guaranteed for another twelve months. Many of our pre-owned Rolex watches are returned to the service centre in Kent, and these carry a two year guarantee.

From an investment point of view Rolex is one of only a few brands that retains a good second hand value.

All of our Pre-Owned Rolex watches are available to view or purchase in our Online Shop together with a small selection of second hand jewellery and silverware. You are also very welcome to visit our shop to view our full selection of second hand jewellery, silverware and pocket watches.  If you have any enquiries for a specific Item please do not hesitate to contact us.

Alternatively, if you wish to sell on your Rolex watch or second hand piece of jewellery or silverware we offer a service to sell the item on your behalf, on a commission basis.  Please enquire for commission rates and details.

We regret we are unable to offer interest free credit on our pre-owned jewellery, silverware and watches, and we are unable to post them to you.