I'm quite familiar with cars and work that must be done with a certain amount of mileage or age. With watches there isn't specifically something that gets done the way you would replace X on a car at 80,000 KM. However, after a certain number of years, depending on the watch and if its running well, some people say it should be serviced every 3-5 years others say 5-7 years. Others disagree and say wait until it stops working or isn't telling time properly. At that point the watch is opened, movement disassembled, cleaned, reassembled and lubricated, and some people have the cases/bracelets polished...others prefer not to.
Maybe I missed it in your writing, but is this some sort of present? You say you feel badly about your family paying for this. If this gift is too pricey, or your don't feel good about them buying it, perhaps you should wait and buy one on your own at a later date? Yes, pre-owned from a private person there is a savings over new from an AD or a gray market dealer. However, you aren't getting a new watch, condition could be outstanding, but maybe not. It has no warranty if it stops running for some reason. You have little recourse if there is a problem and its a private sale of a used watch. There is nothing wrong with buying pre-owned from a private party, but there are risks involved so you need to be certain you know the seller has a great reputation and is selling you the real product for a fair price...(particularly, there are lots of fake Rolex watches out there some of the more accurate fakes even use some real Rolex parts from old watches). Be careful and if in doubt, or you don't really know what to look for in terms of authenticity stick with a reputable store be it new or pre-owned. Saving money is one thing, but the seller is very important. If you spend $5,000 and end up with a fake or a "Franken-watch" cobbled from some used parts...then you really haven't saved anything.
yes, it is going to be a gift for my graduation. I just feel bad because they have paid my entire way through school and everything else so I figured I would still get what I want without the exorbitant price tag.
I admit I will have to do my due diligence on the seller. I have also just texted my sister about setting up an appointment with a jeweller she knows to see what he has/if he can get what I need for a decent price.
I want to thank you for both your consideration and patience with me in this matter. It really means a lot to me because buying something like this is a pretty big purchase and it would royally suck to end up with a "franken watch".