How established or substantial are Miltons ?
The four Miltons shops at Chester, Liverpool ( St.John’s & Church Street ) and Birkenhead employ over 80 people in total and are variously parts of Miltons ( Liverpool ) Ltd, M.S.Milton Ltd and S.S.Milton Ltd. These three businesses are all run by the fourth generation of the Milton family to be in the jewellery / pawnbroking industry. The companies comprise a multi-million pound group, each enjoying memberships of both the National Association of Jewellers and the National Pawnbrokers Association.
Where do your watches come from ?
Our watches are sourced from many places. Many come from official Rolex Agents for whom we provide an especially generous under-writing service on any watches they are offered. We get others from existing customers’ trade-ins and part-exchanges or as straightforward purchases from the public in our high street stores. Some we buy from auctions across the UK, from a small number of quality dealers and other specialist contacts. A few watches come to us having been recovered by insurers or the police after loss and perhaps the settlement of a claim. As we have no bank borrowings and a strong financial position, we are always able to make large payments for stock immediately. Finally, a small number of watches come from our pawnbroking departments. At any one time the Miltons companies may have over £1,000,000 ( yes, a million pounds ! ) lent out to customers against the security of their Rolex watches, and perhaps 10% of them will not return to collect their watch.
Will you buy my watch from me, or take it in part-exchange ?
Absolutely. It does not matter if you bought your watch from us or from someone else. Simply bring it in to one of our stores with the required identification and all the boxes, papers, cards and accessories which came with it, to help us make the strongest offer we can. You may wish to fill in the form on this website or email us for an indicative offer first. We may decline to make an offer on a watch that is not by Rolex, or where we think the costs of service / parts make a deal impossible, or where we think an offer may offend. For example, if you have bought a new watch only recently elsewhere we might prefer that the shop which sold it to you explained about depreciation on new watches.
Please be aware that some dealers inflate the prices of their own watches so that they can make what appears to be a more flattering part-exchange offer. At Miltons we prefer transparency and advise that clients should look critically at both such a deal…and such a dealer.
What warranty do you provide with your watches ?
We provide a TWO YEAR warranty on all Rolex and ONE YEAR on all other makes, unless stated otherwise. Please read the Warranty, Advice, Returns etc page on this website which explains this in detail and also contains important advice about watches. It has been designed as a standalone PDF file so that customers can easily print it out and keep it. Click here to go directly to the relevant page.
Do I not need to take out insurance then ?
We strongly recommend that all clients DO insure their purchases. There are many risks not covered by any warranty, such as accidental damage, theft, fire or simple loss. If you crash your car while driving it from the showroom you cannot claim for that under the warranty, nor can you claim under a warranty if you do not follow the instructions and screw a watch crown in before swimming. Such water damage, if it stains a diamond dial and rusts the movement, can run into thousands of pounds !
Can I buy a watch from you by mail order or online ?
No. Purchases can be made only by visiting one of our four stores in North West England. While we do sell some 500+ Rolexes every year, this represents only a small part of our business and we choose to serve only those customers who can visit us, inspect a watch and pay in person.
Will you move stock from one Miltons shop to another for me?
All four of our shops are within about 30 minutes’ drive from each other and near major public transport links. Since this website provides photographs of the watches available across the group, we have decided for security and administrative purposes not to move stock from shop to shop.
Can you send me some further pictures of a particular watch ?
We regret that, as we do not offer a mail order or internet sales facility, we have chosen not to offer additional photographs on demand. The photograph now provided for every watch will be sufficient for most potential customers to know if it is worthwhile visiting the relevant shop in person to see it. Only by handling and inspecting a watch in person can you really know if it meets the standard you anticipate.
How can I pay for a watch ?
We most commonly accept Chip and Pin credit or debit cards ( but NOT American Express ). We will also accept cash (only Bank of England notes) up to certain limits and provided we have no reason to doubt its propriety. Electronic payments and bankers’ drafts / building society cheques may also be acceptable, but we will not release goods or let title to goods pass until cleared funds have been received. Please note that this may be a few days later than you might expect.
Will you discount for cash ?
No. We price our stock very reasonably at the outset and never have a problem selling it. Our problem is finding sufficient stock! Some dealers will give discount, but ask higher prices in the first instances. We believe our customers deserve better than such sharp practice. All our business is above board and “goes through the books.” We pay the correct tax on all sales.
Can I pay for an item over a few months, or on interest free credit ?
Interest free credit can be the sign of a desperate retailer with fat profit margins on the product in question. We do not need to offer such a doubtful incentive and would rather price our jewellery and watches as reasonably as possible from the outset. We WILL allow customers to pay a 10% deposit on an item, which they may collect when they have paid the balance in full (not later than 12 weeks from the date of the deposit). Please ask in store for details of this simple arrangement, but please note the following : unredeemed pledges (items which pawnbroking clients have not collected in the normal term) may still be reclaimed by the pawnbroking client until you have paid for them in in full. Around 99% of customers who pay a deposit on an unredeemed pledge won’t have a problem. However, any deposit paid on such an item is accepted only on the explicit understanding that Miltons will have to allow the original pawnbroking client to reclaim the item if they redeem it before you have paid the balance in full. In such circumstances our liability to you will be limited to the funds you have paid so far, which will be repayable by a method equivalent to that in which they were paid. If you PAY IN FULL for an unredeemed pledge, this risk does not exist.
Haven’t I seen you on television ?
Probably ! Since 2012 Miltons have been advertising on ITV Granada, while our MD Haywood Milton has over the years been interviewed on BBC1 ( Breakfast Time and The One Show ), BBC2, ITV, Channel 4, Radio 2 ( Jeremy Vine ) and a number of local radio programmes talking about the industry, as well as being quoted often in national and regional press.
Aren’t you an old family jeweller, rather than a specialist watch dealer ?
Indeed, we are fourth generation pawnbrokers and retail jewellers with four stores and over 80 staff, including two NAG Registered Valuers and a number of personnel who formerly worked for Rolex, Omega and Breitling agents. However, the latter make up Miltons’ specialist, full time watch team, handling several thousand prestige watches every year. They and our Managing Director comprise a separate unit within the business specialising in Rolex watches with greater expertise than most standalone watch dealers! It has perhaps been little wonder that the NPA, the NAG, Safergems, the media, police forces, insurers, asset recovery teams and solicitors have come to Miltons’ watch team for specialist advice or presentations.
So you have quite specialist knowledge of Rolex and other watches ?
Indeed so. Only handling, dismantling, examining and recording thousands of such watches as happens at Miltons can give the same depth of experience as we have established and continue to add to. One cannot know everything and the work of the fakers is ever-changing, but we are far better placed than almost anyone to identify quickly what is correct and what is not. Every Rolex crossing our path will have had over twenty elements carefully examined by two different, recorded members of the watch team before sale ! We even have a private collection of extremely rare watches and unrivalled records of case numbers etc, which are a unique resource against which to compare such a piece when it crosses our path. Both the UK National Association of Goldsmiths Registered Valuers and the UK National Pawnbrokers Association have had our M.D. give talks on the subject to their members.
Why do you concentrate so much on Rolex ? Do you sell other brands ?
We find that Rolex make the most commercial, dependable and readily serviced watches, which for the most part also hold their value far better than any other brand. If your budget can stretch to one, it would usually be our advice that you do choose a Rolex. However, we will consider any watch and will usually have an assortment of Breitling, Omega, Cartier, TAG Heuer, Raymond Weil, Gucci and others. Not all of these watches will feature on this website as we sell too many, too fast for it to be worthwhile listing them.
What does it mean when you say a watch is “unworn?”
We sometimes source Rolexes which have not even had their delivery stickers removed and could be considered to be “ex-display” or “as new.” Such a watch will come to us as an unwanted gift, as the result of an insurance settlement or simply as surplus / ex-display stock which a Rolex main agent (often in mainland Europe) was willing to discount for a bulk buyer. Rather than describe such a watch as “new,” we think it appropriate to refer to it as “unworn” and perhaps “still in delivery stickers.” Such watches can offer terrific value: at the time of writing we are selling a number at around 20% less than the new RRP.
I can buy the same watch for less on eBay / from a friend / at an antiques fair…
Good luck with that ! Every week we see disaster stories that began this way, and after the event the sellers always seem to have disappeared, or refuse any responsibility for the problem. You would be most unwise to invest significant sums of money with a seller who doesn’t have great experience of prestige watches and whom you can always go back to if something turns out to be wrong. Will they honour an expensive warranty requirement or stand behind a watch with a “stolen” claim made against it ?
My neighbour says that box and papers are essential for a watch, like a log-book for a car. Is that right ?
Frankly, no. Let us consider Rolex papers or warranty cards. They do not prove the watch is 100% genuine today. They do not prove it is not stolen, either. They do not show its service history. They do show the watch’s unique case number, but do you know how to check that the papers or warranty card match the number of the watch with which they have been presented ? Are you aware that boxes, booklets, warranty cards and papers are now faked to a very high standard ? You need a specialist dealer to do the work for you; boxes and papers are over-valued in ignorance by many, a situation of which the unscrupulous can take advantage. If genuine and correct with an otherwise good watch then boxes and papers may, through market forces alone, add slightly to its value.
Many customers have no interest in keeping boxes and papers having bought a new watch, and either lose them or deliberately throw them away. Others do not wish to sell us their watch with papers that perhaps have their name or address on. If you buy a Rolex, Omega or Breitling from us which does not have its original papers or warranty card, we will usually supply it with our own warranty card, detailing the relevant model and case number(s) for your security. All such numbers are recorded on our comprehensive, secure database.
I’ve heard that Rolex are the most accurate watches in the world; is it true ?
No. Rolexes are usually self-winding, mechanical watches and while they are among the best available their movements when new will typically perform to deliver time-keeping within a range of about +6 to –4 seconds per day. This is a fantastic level of accuracy for a small piece of clockwork, but can mean as much as three minutes variation from true time per month ! Time-keeping is a topic on which there is much to be said, so please ask to speak with our watch team about what to expect, what can affect it and about regulating performance.
Do you service all the watches before sale ?
No, because it is often quite unnecessary. We systematically strip each watch down into its component parts ( bracelet, case, movement, dial etc ) for verification, inspection and re-finishing where necessary. We inspect the movement to assess its condition and see that lubrication is appropriate. Then, after any service work and re-assembly, we test each watch for water resistancy (if relevant) and time-keeping, first on an electronic tester and then in real-life operation over a minimum of three days. It is only then that a Rolex is released for sale and given our two year warranty……though this is very rarely needed !
Is servicing Rolex expensive ?
We generally charge close to cost price for service work to make it as reasonable as possible. Typically a service will cost at least a couple of hundred pounds, with parts like a glass or movement components obviously adding more. We usually use Rolex-trained watch-makers; work can also be carried out through Rolex UK, but it will cost more again. However, should we really think these sums expensive ? Your car runs for a few hours a day at most, but you service it every 12 months and pay a similar amount or more. Your watch has to keep running for 24 hours a day, needs at least equivalent skill to service and in fact typically might have to be serviced only once every five years or so ! Seen that way, watch servicing could be considered perfectly reasonable.
Please be aware that watch servicing is not a quick activity. There are not enough traditional watch-makers in the UK and the nature of their work is such that it must not be rushed. We might expect most watch-makers to complete a service within a month, while Rolex UK might typically complete work in two months.
Will you sell spare links for a Rolex obtained elsewhere?
If we have sufficient steel or bicolour links in stock of the type you need, we maybe able to supply you. Our fee is for supplying and fitting the link(s) only and does not include any verification or testing of the watch or bracelet submitted. Please note that we do NOT supply the trade or do any business by post. For more details click here
Can you supply me with any non-genuine parts like diamond dials or bezels to fit on my existing Rolex watch?
No. We won’t encourage you to spoil a good watch with what are commonly inferior parts. Please listen to the sound advice of our watch team on this often misunderstood subject. Remember, as we do not offer “after-market” parts we have no axe to grind when we generally advise against them.
Can you sell me a box or booklets to put with my fake Rolex ?
I’m looking to buy a Rolex from my mate / neighbour / another jeweller / chap I’ve just met in the pub / a man on the internet calling himself BigJohn1972. Can you just check the watch over for me for free ?
No, but we do offer a chargeable valuation service which may be of use after you have risked your money.
I’ve heard that if I’m thinking of buying a watch privately, perhaps through eBay, I can meet the seller in a Rolex main agent to check it’s real before buying. Is that true?
Haha! While somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the following response well illustrates what nonsense that common belief is :
“A Rolex main agent pays £150,000 to build a Rolex store-in-store to sell his own watches, but you expect him to open the doors to third parties wishing to buy and sell the same product, perhaps give them a glass of champagne, offer them a free authentication service (which he probably isn’t half-qualified to provide) and then give them a goody-bag as they depart having done their business on his premises? Should he not be concerned about taking responsibility for the free appraisal of the strangers’ watch or those genuine, spending customers whom he couldn’t provide with seats because the lucrative, crisp-munching eBay transients had sprawled their biker gear, Lidl bags and cigs across them? It’s not quite clear what’s in any of that for the main agent, but if there’s one thing they love it’s providing a public service for nothing…”
I’ve just bought a Rolex from my mate / neighbour / chap I’ve just met in the pub, but now I need help. Can you sell me some extra links / fix the crown / sort out the time-keeping / get me a genuine dial / tighten the bracelet ?
With regret, no. These are some of the many additional risks you face if you buy from someone other than an established, specialist dealer with a tangible high-street presence.
What steps do you take to identify stolen watches ?
In early 2014, our Director Haywood Milton (representing both Miltons and the National Pawnbrokers Association) met with the British Security Industry Association, the Chairman of the Institute of Registered Valuers and the Managing Director of the UK’s main jewellery insurance broker, T.H.March & Co. Ltd. At that meeting in Worcester was born the Safergems Watch Register, an independent, not-for-profit UK register of stolen watches run by a trade security body working with and receiving data from ALL the UK’s police forces. From late 2014 Rolexes coming in to Miltons were checked against this register and our involvement with its own development remains intimate: we even drafted the logo, which you now see below in final form!
In Spring 2018 we also began to use the Art Loss Register’s separate Watch Register.
Of course, each individual brand is different; Breitling UK, for example, still operate their own register and we would usually try to use that one, too. Some brands do not operate a register, or will not allow trade access to their records of stolen watches (something which we, like many others in the trade and law enforcement, find inexplicable and unjustifiable). In all instances we would insist on excellent proof of identification from a watch seller, and their images are recorded on our CCTV systems for a reasonable period after their business is concluded with us.
It is worth noting that NO register of missing watches, whether operated by the manufacturer or independently, can give a 100% guarantee that a watch has not been stolen. This is where buying from established, large companies like Miltons gives you peace of mind. ; if ever you had a problem with a watch we had sold you, you know that we’ll be here to remedy the situation. Our reputation is our livelihood.
What are your Company details, licences, memberships etc?
Miltons (Liverpool) Ltd is registered in England, Company No. 1015468. Registered office address : 71 Church Street, Liverpool L1 1DG. VAT Reg. No. 164 0227 92. A member of both the National Association of Jewellers and the National Pawnbrokers Association. Registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office for data protection, including CCTV (ref Z6390395). Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The company has FULL permission from the FCA which relates to consumer credit activities (exclusively pawnbroking) and is on the Financial Services Register with FRN 741123.
M.S.Milton Ltd is registered in England, Company No. 1914458. Registered office address : 71 Church Street, Liverpool L1 1DG. VAT Reg. No. 421 9981 35. A member of both the National Association of Jewellers and the National Pawnbrokers Association. Registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office for data protection, including CCTV (ref Z5132975). Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The company has FULL permission from the FCA which relates to consumer credit activities (exclusively pawnbroking) and is on the Financial Services Register with FRN 741080.
S.S.Milton Ltd is registered in England, Company No. 1360380. Registered office address : 71 Church Street, Liverpool L1 1DG. VAT Reg. No. 319 6453 42. A member of both the National Association of Jewellers and the National Pawnbrokers Association. Registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office for data protection, including CCTV (ref Z6853162). Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The company has FULL permission from the FCA which relates to consumer credit activities (exclusively pawnbroking) and is on the Financial Services Register with FRN 741254.
All three companies have also signed up to a special agreement under a scheme approved by the then-Business Secretary, the Rt. Hon. Vince Cable MP. This makes Miltons (Liverpool) Ltd, M.S.Milton Ltd and S.S.Milton Ltd all part of the Trading Standards Primary Authority scheme agreed between the NPA and Surrey County Council Trading Standards.
My information is precious to me. Tell me about Data Protection and GDPR!
There is information that we need from you in order to answer your enquiries, do business with you etc. so in line with the General Data Protection Regulation we publish a privacy notice, available if you click here. We don’t carry out any form of direct marketing, so don’t expect any “spam” marketing emails from us!
Does your website keep a track of me?
We can confirm that to the best of our knowledge this website does not retain any cookies (little bits of information about you or your usage). We do not trade over the internet, nor are we interested in harvesting such data. If you email us or fill in a form we will reply in relation to the specific matter but you may be confident that we are not capturing your information in order to “spam” you later. All three companies are registered separately with the Information Commissioner’s Office but as responsible Data Controllers we invite your direct contact immediately if you have any concerns about the use of your data. We maintain a documented Data Protection Policy.
I like your website and its pictures. Can I copy a bit of it?
We retain all rights and legal protections that could apply to the text, images, design and function we have created for this website. Permission to copy any of it or its components in whole or part is not given unless in writing from the relevant Director, contacted through one of the office addresses above.
Tell me about trading times on Bank Holidays and over Christmas 2017 . . . are you offering any extended trading hours?
We do not open on Bank Holidays.
For Christmas 2017, our stores will be open for the SIX Sundays beginning 19th November, from 10:30 *
We will also stay open late on the THREE Thursday nights from 7th December. *
Through the final week of Christmas, beginning 18th December, we will also stay open beyond normal trading hours if there are sufficient shoppers around to merit it. We usually close early on Christmas Eve. *
We will be CLOSED 25th-27th December inclusive. Normal trading resumes when we RE-OPEN on 28th December, but we will of course be closed for the New Year bank holiday on Monday 1st January.
* On these days, each shop will individually decide its own closing time, judging whether the number of shoppers around makes trading viable. To avoid disappointment, if you might be arriving on the later side please call the relevant shop before making a journey. Shop telephone numbers may be found using the Contact Us menu option at the top of the page.