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Chrono24 experiences: what we like & dislike

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    Over the last years 2020 and 2021 we have purchased numerous watches on Chrono24. During this period, we have had fakes (and luckily avoided some by thorough inspection of the photo’s, but please note some convincing fakes are hard to spot on pictures) and have facilitated the whole process for many of our customers. This blog will give you some insights as to what we have encountered during buying on the platform of Chrono24.

    This is an independent article and our honest own opinion.

    Sellers on Chrono24

    Considering the vast amount of visitors on the platform on a daily basis, selling on Chrono24 is certain to get some exposure. But who are selling?

    Verified dealer sellers 

    To become a verified dealer you have to fill in details and prove you are a registered business. The commission is based on a percentage between 4%-8% based on an algorithm. As such verified dealers are always commercial companies.

    Private seller sellers

    Private sellers are watch owners who want to sell their own watches. You have to know the commission amounts to (a staggering) 6.5%. Private sellers are responsible for arranging shipping, shipping box and insurance. These costs are not included in the asking price of private seller listings. Make sure to arrange proper insurance and careful shipping (with sufficient safe package material)!

    Top 5 Great things we encountered

    As said, we will provide a balanced Chrono24 review and there are a lot of good things we encountered. These are our top 5 based on our experiences:

    1. Customer service supporting in finding a solution for returning a watch (when fake/incorrect) and reimbursing the customer. They do service the watch buyers in this respect to a great extent.
    2. The option to follow watches and sellers and being updated when sellers upload new watches or prices of watches you “liked” change and you receive a notification of it.
    3. The availability of a lot of watches, even for specific models/references. It is really assuring to know there is a big marketplace where you can (probably) find your next watch.
    4. Since the open watch market is largely presented, Chrono24 is a solid place to look up market prices of certain pieces.
    5. Following the value of your watches in your portfolio is fun.

    Top 8 Annoying things we encountered

    After negotiating with a vast number of sellers we have encountered some annoying things. 

    1. Sellers and Chrono24 are not always cooperating with us at this moment. As you can see read in our Google and Trustpilot reviews, we are an honest company with the sincere goal to support buyers buy a watch safely online. But although some service desk employees have informed us they know about us and see that we already bought tens on watches, the communication to sellers seems not to be on par at this moment. Or the seller has something to hide and doesn't want to proceed with our authentication service... [written on 17-02-2021]
    2. Sellers increasing prices after you agreed to buy it for a certain price. Yes, this indeed happened multiple times. Sellers said for example that we had to pay the commission (e.g. 6.5%) on top of the agreed price or they said the market is more favorable and increased the price.
      Conversation additional fee by seller
    3. Receiving a different watch than listed. Some sellers list  standard photos (for example extracted from the Rolex or Breitling site itself) instead of pictures of the actual watch, so the condition of the watch you see (e.g. when checking for scratches etcetera) might be different from the one you actually receive. Which might result in unpleasant surprises. Occasions when this happens is when sellers list something and after agreeing on the price they will search for the watch themselves (so they will first source, buy and then ship it).
      Conversation on Chrono24
    4. Long waiting times on inquiries with sellers. Some (private) sellers only look on their account every once in a while. And you know, when you want to buy it – you want it fast. Waiting on responses is annoying…
    5. Sellers are in charge of deciding which shipment method they choose. We have encountered packages that were send with the most cheap shipment method, taking up to a week to come in and not protected well enough resulting in a damaged box. Fortunately not even one watch has been gone missing, but I doubt packages are insured accordingly...
    6. Sellers don't actually have watches that are listed and try to sell you another watch instead
      Not available chrono24 review
    7. Sending emails and notification to get to know if you bought the watch on Chrono24 or not. This got a bit on our nerves…
    8. Sellers that refuse to share additional pictures of the set (in this example, of the box & papers) before money is in their pockets..

    To be honest, I hope the team in Karlsrühe will find these Chrono24 experiences and do something about the points above. I think we can all appreciate these things to be covered the next time we buy a watch.

    How to buy a watch safely on Chrono24

    If you want to safely buy a watch, make sure to vet the seller and the watch itself (based on the photos). In order to be fully sure, have your watch authenticated before the two weeks’ notice expires by an authorized dealer or use our Relleb authentication service.

    As this blog is purely about our experiences with buying a watch, we have not included the steps that explain the vetting of a seller and a watch.

    How to vet a seller and a watch

    Read our blog How to safely buy a watch which includes a detailed step by step about how to vet a seller and the watch.

    How to authenticate a watch

    In addition we also have a blog which explains in detail how to authenticate a Rolex Submariner Hulk, providing some insight in what to check. 


    What to do if the watch you purchased a fake watch?

    Sometimes you can flag a fake watch based on the photos by really observing the details of the watch. Unfortunately, photos are often not detailed enough and the movement is almost never shown in the pictures. We will outline what to do when you think you have purchased a watch that is not correct.

    We had 3 fake watches during the last 2 months, a Rolex Datejust with Rhodium Dial, a Rolex GMT BLRO and an Omega Speedmaster (ref 3210.52.00). These were all purchased, and returned to the seller to make sure our customer only receive authentic and correct watches.

    If you think your watch is not correct or you want to be 100% sure you acquired an authentic watch, get your watch authenticated by an experienced watchmaker. You can do this in the following order:

    1. Go to a watchmaker you know which has the expertise to check your watch
    2. Go to an authorized dealer to have you watch checked
    3. Submit your watch for authentication by Relleb

    What is next?

    • The first step is to contact the customer service desk and explain them you think you acquired a fake or incorrect watch (e.g. including aftermarket pieces). Or in case a watchmaker checked the watch, make sure to document (photos and videos) your observations and explain what is wrong.
    • Email your observations to the Chrono24 service desk.
    • The Chrono24 service desk is easy to contact and will usually respond within 24 hours (see also Chrono24 review advantages above). They are very willing to come to a sounding solution for both the seller and the buyer
    • We always recommend to ask for a reimbursement of your authentication costs and to send the watch back to the seller.
    • Even if the watch is actually different from the listing, for example when a New Old Stock watch is bought and you receive it all bashed up, you can contact Chrono24 and request a refund.
    • Make sure to download the listing before your purchase so you are always able to go back to the original listing if required.
    • Make sure to stand your ground as sometimes sellers push that their watches are correct. Make sure to be precise in your case and explain to Chrono24 why you are convinced that your watch is not correct.
    • If you encounter any problems in coming to a sound solution, feel free to contact us here at Relleb and we are happy to help you further.

    Fake watches on Chrono24

    In our blog about “Chrono24 review: how to avoid fakes & more” we explain how fake watches end up for sale.

    The verdict

    This Chrono24 blog shows: they are indeed a legit place and they have great watches for sale. However to be fully sure about the authenticity of your watch and the quality, do your research and have your watch checked by an independent watchmaker.

    If you don’t know a watchmaker and are uncertain in doing your own research, make sure to buy your watch with Relleb protection and have total piece of mind with buying a watch on Chrono24.

    Written by

    Kenny Vaes, watch enthusiast, co-owner of Relleb

    Last updated December 21, 2021

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