How to Buy a Used Stainless Steel Watch

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Buy a Used Stainless Steel Watch

Stainless steel watches are functional accessories needed to tell the time in everyday life, as well as being appreciated for their style. There are many different types which range in price and design. Stainless steel watches are durable and long lasting. They are popular among many people because they are easy to wear. Rather that buckling the watch and resizing it each time it is put on, these watches are permanently sized to the wrist measurement of the wearer. Stainless steel watches can be worn in both casual and formal settings, as the metal allows them to match a variety of outfits.

When purchasing a stainless steel watch, buyers should familiarise themselves with the various types of watch movements and displays, consider the common types of watch features, and learn how to care for their stainless steel watch properly. Used stainless steel watches can be found at charity shops, car boot sales, and at retailers such as eBay.

Type of Used Stainless Steel Watch Movement

There are various types of movement that power the watch and mark the passing of time. Watch movements can be entirely mechanical, electronic, or a combination of the two. Buyers should familiarise themselves with the benefits and drawbacks of each type in order to help them to choose the best one for their personal requirements.

Mechanical Used Stainless Steel Watch Movement

The mechanical watch movement is the traditional way of powering watches. This movement is appreciated for its detailed craftsmanship and aesthetic appearance. It uses an escapement device, which enables the gradual release of stored energy to power the timepiece. Some mechanical watches are spring operated. This means that the wearer has to wind the watch manually so that it keeps time accurately. Other watches have a self-winding mechanism driven by the movement of the wearer or a battery.

Although the watch movement is hidden in most watches, there are a few that feature a skeleton movement. This allows the inner workings and mechanical components of the watch to remain visible to the wearer as the watch operates. This design adds a level of interest to the timepiece.

Electronic Used Stainless Steel Watch Movement

An electronic watch, also referred to as a quartz watch, may have a few or no moving parts. The watch movement is powered by the interaction of small crystals that create resonance. The resonance creates a specific and highly stable frequency to pace the timekeeping mechanism accurately. Although the movement itself is electronic, many quartz watches drive mechanical hands. Seiko watches were the first to use a quartz movement. Electronic watches require a power source, so most are battery operated.

Types of Used Stainless Steel Watch Displays

The watch display affects the look and feel of the watch, especially when worn as jewellery. Watches can display the time and related information using two primary methods, analogue and digital.

Analogue Used Stainless Steel Watch Display

Analogue watches are the traditional way of displaying time. They have a numbered dial with at least a mounted hour hand, and often a shorter, rotating minute hand. Some may have a third hand to mark seconds. These watches vary in their different styles of hands and numbers. Numbers may be displayed in a one to 12 numeral format or a simple mark instead of a numeral. The analogue display is popular for watches used for jewellery or collecting.

Digital Used Stainless Steel Watch Display

Digital watch display is often preferred by those that use the watch as a timing device, for example, at the gym. These watches are considered to be more exact. Digital watches require less craftsmanship to manufacture, so they are not recognised for their aesthetic value in the same way as their analogue counterparts.

Features of Used Stainless Steel Watches

Watch features are widely diverse between models. In addition to measuring time, most stainless steel watches also display the current date and day of the week. There are many additional features to consider as seen in the table below.

Stainless Steel Watch Feature


Audible alarm

Designed to wake the wearer up or remind them of an important appointment

Often featured in more expensive watches


The ability to function as a stopwatch

Moon phase

Displays the lunar phase


Used to counteract the effect of gravity

Said to improve the accuracy of time

Perpetual Calendar

Continual calendar that needs no adjustment

When selecting features, it is important to consider what types of functionality will fit a buyer's requirements. Buyers who have a strict exercise regime may benefit from a stainless steel watch with a chronograph, while an audible alarm can diminish the need for a more traditional alarm clock.

Level of Water Resistance for Used Stainless Steel Watches

In addition to the features mentioned above, many stainless steel watches are also designed to be water resistant. Water resistance is the degree to which a watch can withstand exposure to water. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has issued standards for the use of the term "water resistant". Watches that achieve this standard will usually contain a mark indicating the testing pressure. Common ratings are listed below.

Level of Water Resistance (metres)

Watch Uses

30 - 50

Normal wear

Low water exposure


Recreational water sports


Professional water activities

100 - 300

Scuba diving


Scuba diving, helium environment

Buyers who intend to use their watch for everyday use should ensure that the watch can withstand water exposure, such as the washing of hands, showering, and other light wear, while those who swim actively should choose a watch that is at least water resistant up to 100 metres. Buyer's should bear in mind that a watch's ability to withstand water may diminish over time.

Caring for a Used Stainless Steel Watch

When properly cared for, stainless steel watches are attractive, clean, and slightly reflective. However, with continual use, body oils and other residue may begin to settle on the watch band, dulling the surface. When buying a used stainless steel watch, the seller should ensure that the watch looks its best. However, if the surface is dull, then to restore the watch to pristine condition buyers should understand how to clean the stainless steel surface properly with a safe, effective cleaning solution. When cleaning stainless steel watches, it is recommended that buyers use a water and household vinegar solution. Using a cleaning cloth, buyers should gently rub the cleaning solution across the wrist band. The vinegar dissolves any lingering residue and body oils. Buyers should clean the watch's underside as well as between the links on the watch band with a cotton bud. If needed, buyers can use a toothpick to get into tiny crevices that a cotton bud is unable to reach.

Buyers should then rub a thin layer of baby oil or olive oil over the entire watch band using a clean cloth. The oil should be allowed to sit for five minutes. Buyers can then buff the watch band clean with a cloth by rubbing in small vigorous circles to restore the shine to the stainless steel surface.

How to Buy a Used Stainless Steel Watch on eBay

When buying a used stainless steel watch, buyers should begin their search on the eBay homepage. From here, buyers are free to input any related key terms into the search bar. Alternatively, buyers can choose to use the advanced search feature. This allows buyers the opportunity to search for stainless steel watches within a specific price range. It also allows buyers to limit search results to that of Top-rated sellers. To find used stainless steel watches either select the "Used" filter after the main search or include the word "used" in the key terms, for example, "used stainless steel watch".

When searching for a used stainless steel watch, buyers should read the item description thoroughly. The description should clearly communicate the condition of the watch as well as any wear and tear that compromises the watch's appearance or its ability to function properly. If buyers need any additional information, they should use the "Ask a question" feature. This link allows buyers to contact sellers directly. Sellers are usually more than willing to offer any additional information to help with a successful transaction.


Stainless steel watches are recognised for their beauty and durability. This material often lasts much longer than other watch band types, which means that used stainless steel watches can be found in an excellent condition. As opposed to resizing the fit each time the watch is taken on and off, stainless steel watches are permanently resized by removing or adding links to the band. When buying used items, buyers must ask about watch sizing. If the watch is too small, buyers should make sure that extra links are included in the purchase.

Buyers looking for a stainless steel watch should consider the watch movement. Mechanical watches often require the wearer to wind them, while electronic watches are battery operated. Buyers should bear in mind the watch display. Analogue watches are recognised for their aesthetic value and often preferred by those wearing the watch as jewellery. However, digital watches many be better suited for sports training. It is also important to consider the features of the used stainless steel watch. Features vary between models and should be chosen based on the requirements of the buyer. In order to maintain the appearance of the stainless steel and preserve the lifespan of the watch, buyers should care for it and clean it periodically. eBay sellers offer a range of used stainless steel watches.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides