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Unexpected Benefits Of Buying Watches From Authorized Dealers And Brand Boutiques

Unexpected Benefits Of Buying Watches From Authorized Dealers And Brand Boutiques Watch Buying

Did you know that there are valuable benefits to buying watches at authorized dealers and brand boutiques that aren’t typically advertised, and that you very well might not know about? It’s true, and while our goal isn’t to tell people where to buy their watches, there is an infrequently discussed story here to share with watch lovers.

As a consumer, your job is to get the most value for your money. Smart consumers spend less to get more, and when people overpay, we look down upon them. These natural tendencies of consumer behavior aren’t abandoned when it comes to buying luxury goods such as watches. The point of this article is to show certain “hidden areas of value” that might very well change why and where people make their watch purchase decisions. I first want to put this whole article into context, because people without a lot of experience buying watches might not understand all the places where watches are available, and their various pluses and minuses.

Unexpected Benefits Of Buying Watches From Authorized Dealers And Brand Boutiques Watch Buying

There are official and unofficial ways of getting a watch. Official places to purchase new watches include authorized dealers who carry a range of brands, as well as brand boutiques that carry products from just one brand. Some watch companies make their timepieces “officially available” for purchase online (either directly on their site or via third-party authorized dealers) and some don’t. Unofficial ways of buying watches include a host of “gray market” dealers who aren’t authorized dealers but acquire timepieces in a range of ways.

A discussion of the gray market and why it exists is really for another article. However, we do discuss the basics of buying timepieces in the aBlogtoWatch Watch Buying Guide. Because gray market dealers aren’t bound by pricing policy rules from brands, they can discount a lot. It should be noted that gray market dealers are different from pre-owned watches dealers, who specialize in re-selling used watches. The common sentiment among many watch buyers is that gray market dealers have two main benefits. One is making it easier to purchase watches because they operate mostly via websites, and thus people can buy from anywhere. Second is price. Gray market dealers often offer prices that authorized dealers cannot beat.

Unexpected Benefits Of Buying Watches From Authorized Dealers And Brand Boutiques Watch Buying

Price discounting at authorized dealers does often exist, but it isn’t very deep. Further, at most brand boutiques, no price discounting is allowed by the brand. So, assuming products are available at gray market dealers and all things being even, it makes a lot of sense why consumers often want to purchase their watches at gray market watch stores. In fact, one of the only “published” reasons watch brands offer to encourage people to purchase at authorized dealers and boutiques is warranties. Watches purchased at gray market dealers do not come with official warranties, meaning that if there are issues with the watches the consumer will be forced to pay for repairs that would otherwise fall within warranty coverage – or, in some instances, the grey market dealer will offer their own warranty.

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To be honest, most watch warranties aren’t that great to begin with. They can “save” you in many instances, but customer satisfaction when it comes to watch brand warranties and servicing isn’t that high – but of course, that also depends on the brand… and things are getting better. Nevertheless, if you have a good relationship with an authorized retailer that you purchased a watch from, and you have a legitimate mechanical issue with your watch, then you will be “taken care of” properly.

Unexpected Benefits Of Buying Watches From Authorized Dealers And Brand Boutiques Watch Buying

Are warranties the only benefit of paying full or close to full price for a watch? No. Over the years, I’ve learned of a lot of other interesting benefits that watch customers get from buying timepieces at authorized dealers and/or single brand boutiques. These are benefits that vary by store, city, and brand… as well as the consumer. So I can’t really promise that any of these benefits will apply to you if you buy a watch directly from a brand or at a brand boutique, but there is a good chance at least some of what I am about to discuss will be a welcome surprise when buying a watch through an “official channel.”

In preparing this article, I sent out questions and interviewed a lot of people. I wanted to offer specific examples of the unexpected benefits people might get from buying watches at authorized dealers or at brand boutiques. A lot of brands, while happy to discuss the matter with me off the record, didn’t really want to be specifically mentioned or to have me share what they do for their consumers in this article. That seems strange at first, but it really has to do with protecting the exclusivity of their events and services, as well as not wanting to step on the feet of their authorized dealers. You see, some benefits only exist when you purchase a watch from a brand boutique, while others exist whether you purchase the watch from a brand boutique or an authorized dealer.

That brings me to the second major reason why the brands aren’t willing to be too public about these benefits – they don’t apply to all consumers or at all stores. So, while we can’t make promises, I’d like to discuss some of the likely things you can expect if you decide to purchase watches at authorized dealers or at brand boutiques. The value of these things vary, but are not insignificant – and added up, might very well make up for paying full retail in a lot of instances.

Unexpected Benefits Of Buying Watches From Authorized Dealers And Brand Boutiques Watch Buying

Extended Warranties

In addition to getting the basic 1-3 year warranty most timepieces come with, buying watches from authorized dealers as well as particular brand boutiques can come with extended warranties. It isn’t uncommon for buyers of watches from high-end brand boutiques to receive warranties as long as 5 years in length. These warranties often cover just the movement or major defects, but depending on your relationship with the retailers, warranties can be extremely valuable. In the worst case scenario, a faulty timepiece can be completely replaced with a brand new one. Compare that with no warranties at gray market retailers, who also often have “no return” policies that can infuriate purchasers who receive problematic watches. Most brands further offer zero recourse to consumers who complain to them after having issues with gray market dealers.

Unexpected Benefits Of Buying Watches From Authorized Dealers And Brand Boutiques Watch Buying

Opportunity To Purchase First

Looking forward to buying that hot new watch as soon as possible? Interested in getting your hands on a hard-to-get limited production timepiece? Retailers tend to keep track of what their customers like and also keep waiting lists. They can also make specific requests from a brand headquarters when one of their customers makes it clear they want a particular model ASAP. This doesn’t just apply to when an impatient customer wants a new model, but also in instances when limited production or limited edition models are going to be very difficult to get. Brands like Patek Philippe are famously picky with who they sell their “Grand Complication” models to – and in many instances, they must “know” who their customers are. Other brands simply want to reward their frequent customers that they sell directly to or via authorized dealers. So if you are in the market for a hard-to-get new watch or want to be among the first to get something right out of production, you’ll want to purchase watches the official way.

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  • Can I get a free trip to Switzerland if I buy a Swatch from their local boutique? Then again, the production line for the new Sistem 51 is all robots, so maybe not.
    Seriously, access to a brand is an appealing bonus as most people like being on the “inside” with their luxury providers. I’ve had that relationship with BMW since 2009 and it is a factor in my continuing to buy their cars. So I’m a believer, say hallelujah and pass the perks!

  • Thanks for this. What I am really waiting for is the authoritative write up on the seamy underside of the business, such as grey market and “parallel markets”.
    I had a good buddy many years ago who ran a shop in Shanghai owned by a well known Singaporean AD who gave him much more Tags than he could ever possibly sell in China (Tag was basically unknown at that time there) with the intention of shipping them all to Japan, where Tags were much better known and in demand.
    He oftentimes also came back to Shanghai after visiting the home office with four or five watches on his wrists and in his pockets (for private showings to select clients) of an upstart brand that was fast gaining traction in the watch world and touted by the founder as the “Master of Complications”.

  • Chaz_Hen Yea, there is no shortage of less than noble tactics that take place in the watch industry like there are in most other industries. Reporting on them is something we do from time to time when tempered with the notion of wanting to offer the best for consumers to help them make smart purchase decisions. There is a lot most consumers can see simply by shopping online for watches and being confused about the range of prices available for a lot of models. The gray market and related issues are constantly in flux, and one issue with covering them one year is that the next year the situation might be different. Also, while some of these issues allow consumers to exploit lower prices, they are actually bad for the industry because overall they increase retail prices. If I could say that we have a goal, it is to help retail prices match value propositions as well as possible. That means while it is nice to sometimes benefit from amazing prices, on a larger scale we don’t like these more shady sides to the business because they increase costs for everyone and often result in poor customer experiences such as watches that are broken which the company will not fix, etc.. 

    I do fully encourage people to share stories such as you did about their experiences and when we do take the time to cover some of these matters in a more in-depth way I want to make sure as many of the facts a possible are included as opposed to mere personal experience and information from a few interviews. Like everything having to do with huge price tags there is going to be the shiny external surface and a range of good and bad things on the inside. At the least they all make for good conversation.

  • 5803822

    I was relieved to have a very apologetic reaction from a well known boutique in the Middle East, when in  the first hour of owning my much prized AP  Royal Oak and attempting to change the date, the pinion snapped – so straight back to AP Switzerland and returned within a fortnight and no real problems for the next 25 years, (apart from some very expensive and iffy servicing from a well known Bond Street dealer who later adnitted to outsourcing their servicing to an English crowd.) — Lesson– after warranty send to manufacturer for servicing etc..

  • J8Pax

    Only suckers hobnob at boutiques for their “exclusive” benefits that include paying msrp ( I’m looking at you Omega). As an AD you can either be reasonable or lose to the gray market and other (usually out of state) AD’s.

  • Shawnnny

    I just want the watch that I want for the cheapest price I can find. The few times I’ve been to an AD, I was made to feel like I was shopping for a car. With sales people that didn’t know watches and who thought they were gods gift to the sales industry. However, they are a great place to go look at watches. And, seeing watches in person is important. If I was treated different and could find value in purchasing from them, I would. I can compare the watch industry to the mountain bike industry. I almost never go to a bike shop to purchase anything, unless I need a little something, like right now. There are just to many options, value and convenience to be had by purchasing online.

  • ScubaPro

    Online is for the weak. Amazon is a horrible company, that has screwed more businesses through predatory pricing and tax avoidance than Rolex has mainsprings. But Amazon has killed off the competition, because they’re cheap and that’s all so many people care about. In the case of watches, I’m convinced that getting a good deal is more important than getting a legitimate watch in the eyes of the watch collector set, because the watch spends most of its time in a box or a winder. Who buys anything expensive sight unseen unless they’re just a lazy dink? If anything online shopping has increased all the wasteful consumerism that chokes people’s souls. Just point and click. Now, if you’re stupid enough to leave the house, let tech ease your pain.  just wave your phone and it’s paid for. It’s great, isn’t it? Paying for stuff has always been soooooooo difficult. I might have to pull my wallet out of my jeans!  I’ll pull a muscle!

    Hate, hate hate. I’m a hater. I remember when a watch was something you purchased and wore for decades, so you shopped carefully, in person, and actually tried on the watch you were going to buy. Then the AD sized it perfectly, and you wore it home so you could start your long, adventuresome lives together. Times have changed. No wonder so many non-divers wear dive watches these days. They just. Don’t. Get it. Point. Click. Pose. I need a rugged watch because I’m rugged and it might rain. I’ll put a NATO on it, because I’m likely to have to go undercover and work on a North Atlantic Treaty, and I might break a springbar. Bond wore one, too. Wait, he didn’t? They didn’t exist back then? Oh. 

    Hate hate hate. OK, I’m done. I’m off to my AD, for unlike my computer they’re actually glad to see me. Silly people.

  • WillyChu

    These perks obviously depend on how expensive the watch is.

    One day I’d like to buy the new Omega Seamaster 300 in two tone titanium and red gold, retail $15,000.  Online, I see it selling for $11,000.

    If I went to the jewelry store at my local mall and paid retail, it would certainly make the salesperson’s day, but I doubt Omega is going to invite me the their manufacturing plant, much less pay for a ticket to Switzerland.  But with the $4,000 I saved buying online, I could:

    1) Have 25 – 30 years of 5-year services done on the watch.

    2 Keep the money in reserve in case the watch did need repair that the online repair warranty couldn’t fix; I could send it to Omega myself.

    3) Fly myself and my wife to Switzerland for a long weekend (even better with the strong franc).

  • Boothby17

    As someone who works in the retail side, many of these trips are funded by the dealer if it is indeed bought from an AD rather than corporate boutique. They usually require multiple purchases as well, show loyalty.
    Another reason is to be offered sought after products, we won’t offer SS Rolex Daytona’s unless the person has a record of loyalty toward the brand and us as a retailer!

  • Tekky

    ScubaPro There was a time when marriage was for life, a job was for decades, your gender was static and you could walk safely downtown at midnight on a weekend.  A time when politics was done in the back room,  When doctors advertised cigarettes.  

    You miss those days, huh?  Watches do not go from generation to generation anymore, and those days you refer to spanned only a few decades anyhow.  Fixed lugs were only invented 90 years ago.  Back then, an accurate wristwatch took the average worker weeks to afford; now it’s an hour or so.  You miss that too?

    I have many watches.  My favorite is my Christopher Ward C5 Mk. II.  It is only sold online.  I also have several go-to travel watches – tritium analogs with alarms – none of which could have been purchased locally or within 300 miles of Seattle.  Too niche… cost more than an Invicta or Swiss Legend (for good reason), and not blingy enough.

  • Tekky

    Discussing the watch market is tricky.  It’s not just one market, or even three, but many.  We have…Watches designed solely to tell time – low price, sold at Target and WalMartFashion watches.  Invicta, Swiss Legend, Mossimo.  Sold at mass merchandisers, web, and TV.  With misleading MSRPs, such as “on sale $150 regularly $799” for a quartz mineral-crystal poseur watch.Sports watches.  Smart watches.Well-made mechanical (entry luxury)Luxury watches, more for show and art/craft appreciation than for telling the time.
    Of those six (off the top of my head) categories, only one benefits from the boutique treatment, because it’s the only niche that can support the boutique treatment.  For example, the Swatch boutique in Times Square does not provide the boutique treatment.  You get a well-made fashion watch (though the new automatic does have an interesting movement, the cases are generally ugly and, let’s face it, plastic without much craft involved), at a low price, with no trips to Switzerland and no extra swag.  Of course, you probably paid $150 or less.  But an Omega or Rolex 30 blocks away near Central Park… those set you back 100 times more.  Not ten times more, one hundred times more.  For something about as accurate, made in the same country, but more craft, precious metals and more prestige.  

    The warranty cost isn’t really, in my opinion, part of that price.  There is no warranty.  Having had a Tissot I bought from an AD develop an issue quickly, I trust watch warranties less than I trust American car manufacturer warranties.  If the watch was worn, even once, it is assumed that any problem was due to abuse, even if it’s in pristine unmarked condition.  But the swag, trips and theatre tickets (I’m not kidding), etc., are rolled into that price.  If you don’t buy from the boutique, you may save 15% (which is a lot less impressive sounding than $2,000 is, but it’s the same number), but you also throw away those advantages.

    One big advantage to the boutiques though is the ability to get customization of your watch.  By which I mean swapping out to a difference bracelet, for example.  The Omega store in Manhattan has a lot of stock and many parts; they can swap out the bracelets while you wait for others that will fit perfectly.  Web stores won’t bother and few jewelers will have the selection of Omega parts that the boutique does.

    That customization (and undeniable authenticity) are the main reasons I consider boutiques.

  • Twinbarrel

    I have many timepieces. All acquired in different ways. You can say I am an eclectic collector as I own vintage as well as current edge time pieces. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what I choose to wear tomorrow but today it’s my BLNR. I choose the watch of the day based on my mood, weather, occasion, the company I am with, work… many influences and many choices for me. Every watch speaks to me in a different way as I am emotionally invested with each one. For each watch I remember how I came to acquire the piece.
    The purchase process is always influenced by it’s environment, it’s former owner, the memorable intricacies of the moment where it by means of phone conversations, e-mails, trips to AD or boutique, the sales person and physical handling of offerings to my choice. There are so many facets of the sales/buying process that becomes part it’s character that is identified every single time I see the watch. This intrinsic value is sometimes worth going to an AD for, or a brand boutique. When it’s a highly pleasurable experience it adds to the value for you, but only you (as nobody else sees this).
    I can remember a trip to Paris last year where my wife and I visited many brand boutiques. A taste of the experience: Aside from wonderful educated service were treated to champagne, truffles, macarons, coffee, water, swag, books and also chances to try on timepieces well beyond our means. Concierge service was offered also. For the piece I purchased this experience has become part of the watch to me for as long as I own it (and beyond as a memory).
    There was one brand, however, that we did not have a great experience with at it’s boutique. I might scratch it off as the sales person having a bad day but it emotionally has turned me off to the brand or cooled me off for a while at least. I know it’s silly but a positive buying process is important to me.

  • scottrossonline

    This is a good post but I must say that there isn’t a thing here that would put more value back in the pocket of the consumer than the amount they save by purchasing from an online retailer.  If a consumer were to receive everything listed in this article (which would never happen) it still wouldn’t come close.  The $3000-$4000 I save on a moderately priced watch like an Omega or Rolex, or the $20,000 I save on a high-end piece would require the brands to go a very long way to match.

  • frustin

    scottrossonline i completely agree. Just finished reading this myself, I’m going to be making my first expensive watch purchase next month for my 40th. None of the aspects of this article make me think that a rolex/panerai (depending on which one I go for) boutique is the best way forward, except to try it on and get them to tell me about it.

  • scottrossonline

    ScubaPro With all due respect, this is good-old days syndrome – pure and simple.  In those days, a Rolex was purchased for $1000.  And there was zero retail competition.  Competition is a win for the consumer every time.  I would not buy a watch from Amazon, but since you mention them, I must say that their prices and customer service are both off the charts.  I purchase products through Amazon on a weekly basis and have never encountered a retail organization (with perhaps the exception of Nordstrom) that provided a higher level of customer service.  Moreover, retailers like Best Buy have brought their pricing strategy in line with Amazon to compete which is a win.

    My bet is that when you buy a car, you shop around, and you make sure you get the best price.  Whether that car is a Chevy or a Mercedes, you want the most for your money.  A watch is a manufactured product.  As a lover and collector, I appreciate the craft and dare I say the “art” of horology.  But once a Rolex comes off the assembly line, it’s a Rolex, no matter where I get it.

    The AD’s and brands need to recognize that we are in the 21st century and bring their pricing and distribution strategies into line with the realities of the marketplace.

  • GBD

    The warranty angle is one way that ADs could make themselves more appealing and try to attract gray market buyers. If more ADs and watch companies actually had decent warranties, and if the AD did actually “take care” of you, it could work. But you have today never-ending discussions on watch forums that it’s pointless to buy from ADs because the warranty and after-sales service is so completely worthless and they’re just as likely to damage your watch as they are to fix it. There are exceptions, for sure, but it’s baffling that an industry that charges thousands for its products still can’t get this figured out.

    • Baldrick’s Trousers

      Exactly. Watch brands should be offering benefits such as no quibble manufacturer’s warranties for 5 years or more and free servicing during that period. That will help persuade prospective customers that there are very visible and tangible benefits of purchasing through official channels.

      All the benefits that result from building up a relationship with an authorised dealer are just a bit too hidden and intangible. Most people probably aren’t aware because they only buy a luxury watch once a decade.

      Watch brands should be using sweeter honey to attract people to their official sales channels, not a bigger stick.

  • Rapid01

    I recently purchased a Rolex from a Rolex boutique for one simple reason only, with so many quality fakes around I needed the peace of mind in knowing my watch was genuine.

  • brlumaja

    I find that most people shy away from AD dealers simply because they are buying something they really can’t afford. If you could truly afford a certain watch why not go to the source and just buy it?

    Web site are full of so called “Trusted Sellers” that everyone swears by. I have bought a watch from one and in the end sent it back costing me several hundred dollars. If you buy from one of these sellers you are not getting a 100% deal as you would from an AD end of story. There is always something weather small or large different about the watch or it’s contents. Look closely and you notice: wrong boxes, non English warranty books, protective stickers missing or in different places, minor wear, etc, etc. They are very clever in their wording when listing NIB. 

    If you can look past the small details on a $10k purchase go with it but for me I would rather buy what I can afford from a REAL store that I trust. By the way the watch I bought looked perfect in every way to me until I went to a dealer and the first question they asked was where did you get it. When I returned with the box and accys they knew within 2 seconds it wasn’t from an AD store. They were able to point out protective sticker issues, case possibly opened, and of course the paperwork. They went on to explain that a lot of them come from like new returns and problem watches that are returned. 

    It isn’t about getting ripped off, I buy what I can afford. Rolex could easily put an end to these resellers but they know to help their retailers get rid of old inventory they need them. Watch with certain serial number delivered to certain dealer who returns buyers info. No way to resell as NIB. It is now used.

    • Jim C

      This, as a blanket statement, is just not true:
      “f you buy from one of these sellers you are not getting a 100% deal as you would from an AD end of story. There is always something weather small or large different about the watch or it’s contents. Look closely and you notice: wrong boxes, non English warranty books, protective stickers missing or in different places, minor wear, etc, etc.”

      This may be true of some but, they are well known and quite easy to identify with a little research.

  • 5803822

    WillyChu Are you sure about the benefits to tourists of a strong Swiss franc? You will be paying more for them.

  • scottrossonline

    brlumaja To suggest that the reason people are reluctant to pay full MSRP for a watch available in the market for far less  is because they can’t truly afford it is nonsense.  What would be true is that people “shy away” from full MSRP when they are a) not fools and b) are good stewards of their hard earned cash.  

    Let’s take a very modestly priced icon – the Omega Speedmaster Professional (Caliber 1861).  This watch “retails” at AD’s for $4500.  Comparatively speaking, very affordable.  This watch is available online through multiple sources for roughly $3450 and with any of them there would be zero concern about receiving a forgery.

    So here’s the question.  What is the market value of the watch? It seems that only in high-end horology do people take the position that full MSRP is some sort of badge of honor.  If you exchange the word automobile, 4K television, boat, etc for watch, no one on this forum would suggest that you walk into a dealer and pay full price regardless of the availability of the identical product for thousands less elsewhere.

    This isn’t about trying to buy things you can’t afford.  This is about being smart with your money.

  • WillyChu A strong franc means that you need more dollars to get the same amount of francs as when it was “weak”.

  • emenezes WillyChu As of Jan 14th, anything sold in CHF is now about 20% more expensive than it was on Jan 13th (as SNB ended the EUR price floor/exchange rate support).

  • It would be nice to know about the advantages of buying at a dealer according to the price level, say, 3, 4, 5, 6 or more figures. What are you talking about here then?

  • WillyChu

    It’s obvious that watch manufactures not only allow, but actually need discount online sales outlets.  Manufacturers only sell to AD’s.  So how do online sellers get their stock?  My understanding is that AD’s have to purchase a certain volume of watches in order to be an authorized dealer.  My guess is that this way any individual store can only afford to sell a limited number of brands.  You don’t see watch superstores that have wide selections of competing brands, do you?  What if you are a relatively low volume store?  Well, you order your necessary quota of watches from a manufacturer and sell the rest to the online guy.  Maybe you sell to him at slightly over your wholesale price, so you still make a little; but his overhead is so low that he still has room to sell at a substantial discount below retail.

    This way manufactures can move more stock.  First to those willing to pay full or near full retail at an AD, then secondarily through online discount outlets (and this without warranty obligations or diluting the brand’s “exclusive” image).

  • WillyChu

    MarkCarson emenezes Oops!  You guys are right.  Brain fart.

  • TomBew

    aBlogtoWatch
    >> overall they increase retail prices <<
    Please explain this – I just don’t see how this works … or do you mean “increases MSRP?

  • Omega has sent us on several trips. Park city Utah to go to the Bob Sledding World Cup, Snowmobiling and out two diner all expense paid. They also sent me and my wife to Las Vegas to see the new Omega watches while we where there we went to the Gran Canyon via Helicopter. I also got to go to the Planet Ocean movie showing. It been fun and it certainly has got me to buy more watches.
    The one year financing is also nice sure make a 10-35k purchase a little less painful

  • WillyChu MarkCarson emenezes We’re ALL susceptible to them 😉

  • frustin

    scottrossonline brlumaja again i totally agree. however if money were no object, i think i would go straight to source as I like to be made a fuss of. Though if money were no object my sights would much higher than a GMT Master II or a Panerai PAM000233, mainly because I’d already own these and more.

  • frustin

    omegaworld hmph, i want to go to Utah and Las Vegas.  Clearly you have too many omega watches omegaworld 😉

  • Michael Angelo Vivas Villaluz

    Yeah! If you gonna spend your had earned money, and your smart this should be a given.. ??????????

  • ScubaPro

    WillyChu This is certainly an interesting way of looking at it. However, if you roll back the clock (sorry), does this mean the ADs needed the dude in the trench coat selling watches on the corner to get rid of old stock before the internet?

  • WillyChu

    ScubaPro It is a wonder how higher end watches were ever sold before the Internet.  On the east coast between Virginia and Georgia is exactly one store that sells IWC.  The nearest Panerrai dealer is 5 hours away.  Enjoyed your rant about online click purchases.  Call me lazy, but I would guess that watch sales have increased greatly since the Internet (which is, of course, good for the industry).

  • funkright1

    In conclusion… You get what you pay for. Pay more get more. Pay less get less. These ‘extras’ aren’t free, they’re built into the end price.

  • WillyChu ScubaPro You mean that guy with the inside of his coat lined with watches? And wearing nothing else…

  • MarkCarson WillyChu ScubaPro That was YOU I saw on Kuhio late Saturday night, MC???

  • Chaz_Hen Nope, I was at home chilling. I just have the common look I guess. We do need to get a beer tho Chaz.

  • kearneyimages

    I have bought my watches from an authorised dealer here in Ireland and have noticed the discount has gotten better over the years.  My first, A Breitling Aerospace with UTC listed at €3200 was discounted to €3000.  A Breitling Navitimer World listed at €5700 was discounted to €4400,  an Omega Aqua Terra 150m Day Date listed at €5800 was discounted to €4600 which was less then many grey market US sites.  I would then have to get the watch into Ireland and pay import tax.
    I have found that the dealer experience is good when you have built up a relationship.

  • scottrossonline

    omegaworld My guess is that you’ve spent a small fortune with the brand.  Purchasing one or two watches from an AD would never get you these kinds of perks.

  • jakeman1

    Most of my watches were purchased at Authorized Dealers ex-US.  The savings can be substantial, especially if you are able to have repeat business.  For example, I’ve bought 8 watches from the same salesperson in Singapore, going back to the late 1990s.  There’s no need to haggle..  The prices are outstanding for Rolex, Cartier, Hublot and Patek.  Only a SS Daytona costs the same there as here.

    In the USVI, prices have ranged from awesome (for an ALS Saxonia) to a bit better than the US (e.g., Patek, IWC).

    I recently had the pleasure of buying a watch from the 5th Ave. Omega boutique. True, I would have saved 30% buying in Singapore, but the experience was unique and unhurried.  

    Regarding swag, etc., I’ve been invited to an ALS manufacture tour (all but airfare was covered).  Omega now sends invites, too.

    Regarding warranty and service.  Richemont/IWC was so horrible to deal with that I sold an Ingenieur at a loss and don’t lose sleep.  Thank God Alkis is in NYC for ALS service.  Let’s hope my 324SC movements are the good ones.

    Overall, from the perspective of buying a watch that you plan to keep and have memories from the start, authorized dealers make the experience special.

  • robjohnno

    I purchased a jack heuer 80th birthday limited edition from a local retailer and the price was £3700 but just on the of chance I asked if I could have discount for cash.  The sellor went and asked his manager and straight away I got £700 pound off the price.
    Then a year or so later a i was looking for a Graham oversize chronograph and I was putting a lump sum in the watch then the rest was to be paid by direct debit. The first thing I askew was could I get cash if for the deposit I put down. After a bit of discussion between the woman I was dealing with and her manager I got approximately another £700 off again. 
    All I can say is its always worth asking for a discount !

  • Tekky

    robjohnno That’s pretty impressive.  I typically get a 5% or so discount for paying “cash” – quotes for meaning not credit, i.e. with a check – on jewelry, but not 19%!  20% for services real-cash discount is normal, but I suspect they don’t report every dollar to the various revenuers.  
    I was in L.A. in the 1980s.  Cash was king, but the goods weren’t always good.  Credit would protect you from a lot of malfeasance, since the vendor had been through a check and the credit card company could be chased down was he not valid.  More recently, it seems like cash is almost as reputable as paying with bags of cocaine… who has $10K of cash on them? 😉

  • thebalancecock

    scottrossonline brlumaja But I got a free helicopter ride when I spent 6-figures!  And a box of chocolates my wife got drunk on.

  • This is right if you buy a seiko watch with a authorized dealer. If you are looking for a authorized dealer in Arizona please visit 
    Arizona
    Fine Time and get best price on 
    grand
    seiko watch
    http://www.azfinetime.com/grand-seiko/

  • egznyc

    Tekky ScubaPro I have to say, having visited a few ADs in downtown Seattle last summer, there was a fair amount of variety among the few stores I went to.  One place had some wild Breguets fully skeletonized in precious metals, definitely not something in my price range (and not necessarily something I’d be likely to wear regularly, though really cool nonetheless), another place had some Nomos pieces, among many other brands, another had lots of Omegas and other brands, too, while yet another had some of the more “affordable” brands, but lots of selection within those offerings.  But maybe you really like more unusual offerings.

  • jcalb

    The author’s perspective about ‘buying’ watches for full MSRP is not new nor restricted to watches — motorcycles, jewelry, even food!

    I found that the 90’s has been largely responsible for the breeding of attitudes like the ones expressed in this blog. The Tech bubble created an entire generation of ‘first generation wealth’ that — like everywhere else– lacks common sense on how to handle money. 

    The Japanese use a term to describe the psych of someone that, like this author, sees more than the practical reality of things…  they call such person an ‘OTAKU … someone that is an obsessive compulsive collector. Such compulsion leads to ideas such as the ones expressed in this post. — see description for OTAKU here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otaku

    The argument of paying exorbitant costs for a luxury item is so senseless that I am not sure there is room for a dialogue. Trips! Bags! Las Vegas! — no thank you.

    I for myself find that there is a great reward in finding an excellent timepiece for a fraction of the price and spend my time looking for people that (like me) enjoy caring for and maintaining a beautiful time piece w/out the gauging prices of ADs..
    One of my favorite movie character of all times is the protagonist in the movie The World’s Fastest Indian —  with Sir Anthony Hopkins. I can’t see a personality like the rider abiding by the same values as the author of this article. It boils down to — some of us are ‘makers’ others are ‘takers’.

    Curiously, none of the ‘hidden’ advantages of paying for a full price of the watch listed here had anything to do with the watch itself…all the so call benefits were related to services and senseless ‘white gloved’ services.
    Perhaps I have been around too long.. I just like to get what I want, when I want, for the price I want… and… no, thanks I dont need you to hold the door opened for me…

    Different folks, different strokes … I guess

  • jcalb

    brlumaja clearly we have here someone that is either a first generation wealth person or someone that happened to land on a pile of money. In either case I agree with http://www.livefyre.com/profile/2712456/ response… some of us are makers… others are simply takers. Nothing wrong with that …

  • jcalb

    Boothby17 I wonder if you are still on business.

  • jcalb

    ScubaPro ??? dude… first of all chill… go underwater demolish something… comeback…grab a cup of tea… If only John Wayne types like you should wear a rugged diver’s watch… then… only car racers should wear sports chronographs.. how about the tech geeks what could they wear? … Casio calculator watches… needless to say your argument is a tiny bit silly no?

  • jcalb

    aBlogtoWatch Chaz_Hen With all due respect… 

    “f I could say that we have a goal, it is to help retail prices match value propositions as well as possible. ”

    the above statement is not possible.

  • desmodormic

    what ever you do, do not say yes to “Care for some tea sir””. once you drink it you will feel obliged to buy a watch .  Do you guys feel the same way?

    • Matt

      No! I just talk a lot and drink my free tea 😀

  • I think it’s something special what you feel when buying watches in boutique

  • iebaymall

    Mademoizelle Sefra’s Jewelry Bracelet in 925 sterling silver, crystal and pearls Stones dimensions : – round stone : 1,5 cm diameter – long stone : 3,5 cm lenght Size of the bracelet : from 16 to 18 cm (internal circumference) https://www.cityblis.com/12172/item/8734
    Keywords:
    fashion , accessories , high end designer, jewelry , jewellery , bracelet , crystal , silver pearls

  • Luxuryciti

    Hi friends
    If you want to know about pre-owned watch benifits then its is has the largest watch category in the world. It is larger than any of the brands , including Rolex, Cartier, Omega, Breitling, etc. This market allows for more value to the buyer due to the attractive pricing of pre-owned watches. You can find watches less than 5 years old in very good condition for 50% or more off. For more info visit our website – luxuryciti.com

  • thewatch warehous

    Hey ARIEL
    ADAMS, thanks for posting this useful information. I was recently planning to buy a watch for myself but was confused from where to buy the watch.

    Now i understood that when
    you purchase a product from the authorized distributor, you are certain of a
    genuine product since the seller has established a direct contact and
    relationship with the producer itself. I found some good quality watches at http://www.thewatchwarehouse.com.au/product-category/products/http://www.thewatchwarehouse.com.au/product-category/products/.

  • Elect Exile

    There are benefits to purchasing from an authorized dealer, but the nearest Omega dealer is 4 hours from me. Not everyone that loves watches lives near a large city. My local jewelry stores carry the standard Seiko/Citizen/Bulova/Movado brands. The gray market is a great option for us and offers an almost endless selection of inventory to try that can be delivered the next day.

  • adrian atkins

    Absolutely. Benefits are the rights of every client. Warranties ( http://protect-o.com/ ) are one form of them.

  • Retailer always have to keep an eye on customers interest that is because to boost up their sale. Nice article and brief description of watches.

  • Slamet Riyadi

    The grey market provides the convenience and benefit of being able to purchase the same merchandise at a discount. The warranty is just a piece of paper for the manufacturer saying the amount of time their product is supposed to last.
    I choose to selectively buy items in a store because I build a relationship with the jeweler that will email me new products before they are publicly announced. Or will bump me in the queue for a special repair job because I need my dress watch repaired for a special occasion. However for watches less the $1000 USD forget it and my jeweler agrees. He says you are in the consumer’s market place and price if the only thing that matters. Our opinion is that a product that ever needs repairs before the end of the warranty is junk and should be avoided forever.
    So when you want a real watch head for RGM Watch in PA (yes they have a website) and an American designed and made product they lasts a lifetime and becomes an heirloom.

  • Anushree Bajaj

    Hi, I was looking to buy this watch, can someone tell me where i can find it ?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/89b6174ca65f6a67fbfa1969ebae02925df63e3ecd2e7b6b6f188670b415126e.jpg

  • Voltster

    Does this information really pertain to regular watches that are a few hundred dollars in price? For example a $350 Tissot Quickster retail but discounted to $210 online?

    Or is this really only applicable to watch snobs who want to strap a $20k watch around their wrists?

    I’m honestly torn because to me the entire watch industry is one huge shady business. The unauthorized sellers are extremely shady (Jomashop, Long Island, etc) but so are the actual watch makers IMO.

    I’ve always wondered where exactly these unauthorized dealers get their watches from?

    • Vendetta

      You’re a nasty fellow!

      • Vendetta

        $350 Tissot…. “watch snobs”…. lol.

        • Voltster

          You did see the $20K comment right?

      • Voltster

        And why’s that?

  • Ryan Maryland

    Buying branded watches at authorised dealers really has its perks because you are about to spend thousands for one so it is just right to have the right services for product your bought. No worries there are other stores that offers a much affordable kind of watches that competes well with the designs. This wholesale watches in the UK would surely supple with what you need with a lesser cost.

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