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Buying Watches In Manhattan: Element In Time

Buying Watches In Manhattan: Element In Time Watch Stores

I was in New York to do a recording session for a friend of mine and whenever I’m in the city I always make it a point to visit one of the very best watch stores in Manhattan – Element In Time, located in the heart of the diamond district. I first found ‘EIT’ while shopping online earlier this year and purchased a Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control from them. The transaction was smooth and they totally deserved the 5-star rating I gave them on Yelp.

As anyone who lives in and/or visits New York will attest, August in not a good month to be walking around the city. Nevertheless, sometime between laying down drum tracks and sound check for the gig we were playing that night, I managed to sneak away to 36 West 47th Street, my Element In Time destination. Now soaked head to toe (and not because of rain), the first thing the ‘EIT’ guys offer me is some water and a roll of paper towels. Taking it all in, the suite becomes more of an oasis as I peruse the huge selection of new and second-hand timepieces.

Buying Watches In Manhattan: Element In Time Watch Stores

“It’s a little bit hot out there, I guess,” remarks one of the guys behind the counter.

“Nice city you got here,” I respond. “Which one is Gary? I mentioned I might be coming by – I’m the guy from L.A who bought the Master…”

“That’d be me. Nice to meet you,” as he extends a warm handshake. “How’s the watch working out?”

“Great,” I tell him. “Thanks so much. It’s a beautiful piece and I couldn’t be happier.” This is the exact sentiment Gary loves to hear.

Buying Watches In Manhattan: Element In Time Watch Stores

We talk about watches for a bit, what we like, what we don’t like. It is clear Gary is more of Panerai guy and shows me the very cool Rubber-B strap currently on his watch. It looks fantastic and we go ahead and put one of these on my Rolex GMT. Voila, new watch! It’s almost as if Rolex made the strap themselves because it is perfectly designed to replace the metal bracelet that butts up against the case of the watch. Opting for the tang buckle, I thank the guys for the cool strap and then make my way back out into the heat.

Buying Watches In Manhattan: Element In Time Watch Stores

On my way to that night’s venue, I realize I would rather have my Rolex clasp on the strap. I call the guys at Element in Time and Gary tells me no problem. Just come on back and he’ll take care of it. Now that’s service!

Dealing with guys like this online is one thing. But to actually experience their enthusiasm, passion and professionalism in person is another matter altogether. I can’t thank these folks enough and look forward to the next watch purchase from them almost as much as my next visit to the city… albeit when it’s a bit cooler.

Buying Watches In Manhattan: Element In Time Watch Stores

First of all, the EIT guys are very knowledgeable and know just about everything there is to know about watches; from the very popular to the most obscure. They are not pushy, nor are they up in your face. Frankly, there was something very un-New York about these New Yorkers and I would not hesitate to recommend Element In Time to anyone.

A good friend made his way into the boutique a couple of weeks ago and was thrilled to show off the ultra-rare Panerai he bought. In this world of collecting where sellers are eagerly looking to try and take advantage of those who perhaps do not know enough, Gary and Alex are a breath of fresh air. And in New York, that is rarefied air for sure.There’s no better group of people to work with and you will not be disappointed!  Element in Time is located at 36 West 47th Street.



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  • peter_byford

    I hate the word ’boutique’ in relation to watches. Further up the article ‘ watch store’ is used & much more suitable. I am also getting sick of the word ‘ passion’ too, like ‘dealers’ where $ signs are paramount. Stores like these are graveyards for unloved, uncared for watches where ‘pride of ownership’ for the original owner has long since gone. Yes, there’s a market for used watches, but don’t chintz it up like this. It’s a business….buy cheap, sell dear, turn a buck.

    • A_watches

      “in this world of collecting where sellers are eagerly looking to try and take advantage of those who perhaps do not know enough”..with the plethora of detailed knowledge out there on the internet, if you can’t be bothered to do your own due diligence then you deserved to be taken advantage of. If I was spending a considerable sum on a watch, I would do all the due diligence I can to ensure i’m getting the time piece I am after at the best price I can find..its common sense, regardless of how friendly the watch sellers are, this is not a factor

      • peter_byford

        I’m not sure whether your reply is a criticism of my comment, or not ?

        • A_watches

          More a continuation of your comment, i agree with you its a business for watch dealers. Most i have encountered would not hesistate in taking advantage of the buyer due to their lack of knowledge, but i think given the information available, it is up to the buyer to do their homework. I couldnt care less about the passion of the dealer or whether he was nice to me, complementary drink glass of champagne. In my mind, you target a watch, do your homework, pay the lowest price u can for the given item. For sellers, they can be all matey with you etc but give you words of comfort, but thats no substitute for buyers own research and common sense.

          • peter_byford

            Ok lol !…..we’re singing from the same hymn sheet on this topic. Yes, many advise seeking the advice from ‘ dealers ‘, as if the word dealer was in itself a recommendation for ‘best customer service’ . Short conversations I’ve had with them reveal , sometimes mind, a lacking in basic knowledge of the subject, 2nd hand car salesmen, but in the watch world lol ! ……I had an online lady advertise an Emperor chronograph with the Landeron 248 movement. ‘ Dealers’ made offers amounting to her practically giving it away….her words,not mine. …….
            Yes, with good money in hand, I do all the homework I can before parting with it, but then I’d like to think I know a little more watch knowledge than average. Unfortunately ‘ caveat emptor’ still applies, as you have alluded to, & I don’t really know what can be done to obviate it. …maybe advise buying new ?….but people like to own vintage or cheaper modern used pieces, so watch stores have a place..
            just remember….’ Everything that glistens is not gold ‘ &/or ‘If anything appears too good to be true, it generally is ‘……, cars, etc etc.

  • iamcalledryan

    This little feast for the eyes is just around the corner from my office – a great lunchtime browser…

    • Their store is literally right next to my girlfriend’s place of business- she’s a jewelry manufacturer – and she has to pull me away from the showroom any time I go and visit her down there. Of course, she has to do that with every watch store in the neighborhood…

  • Boogur T. Wang

    Good piece Mr. Goldman.
    “…there was something very un-New York about these New Yorkers…” this says it all.

    • RandyTorres

      You don’t know much about New York, do you Mr. Wang? Sadly, your comment says much about you.

      • Boogur T. Wang

        Mr. Torres, thank you your penetrating analysis, both of myself, and the use of stereotypical illustration in written social commentary.
        Do you perhaps have a news letter or website where one might go, on a regular basis, to view such valuable insights and social critiques as you may offer?

        Perhaps you “Twitter” your observations on a regular basis? Instagram?
        You do not appear to be hesitant in sharing your vast social knowledge when you deem it neccessary.
        Please, let your light shine!

  • “They are not pushy, nor are they up in your face. Frankly, there was something very un-New York about these New Yorkers…”

    “Gary and Alex are a breath of fresh air. And in New York, that is rarefied air for sure.”

    Do you have a lot of experience with pushy New Yorkers, Scott? I don’t and I’ve been living here for 40 years. The places I visit in pursuit of my hobbies – watches, diving, firearms – are staffed with knowledgeable folk who share my interests and are amiable and honest. In fact, the only watch store I’ve ever visited in NYC that seemed cold, pushy and arrogant was Tourneau, a store owned by a Los Angeles private equity firm.

    • simon

      From one New Yorker to another …..stop taking things so personal. If you walk down 47th st, diamond district, you are bombarded with pushy sales guys trying to lure you into their store. There is so much confrontation between sales people and customers there its almost unbearable. I get what Scott is saying and agree. As for Tourneau…..all of those pushy and arrogant sales people are New Yorkers…… get over yourself.

      • I visit 47th St. at least three times a week, and have been doing so for years. My girlfriend works there. So does her father, two uncles and cousins. I know many of the sellers and dealers in the diamond district, and have never seen “unbearable confrontations” nor have I ever witnessed any shopkeeper “luring” passersby into their stores. Maybe you’re thinking of Canal Street? Check your Rolex and make sure it’s not spelled with two “L”‘s. 😉

        • simon

          And there it is! Your family works on 47th st. No wonder you are so defensive. Your pissed that another location is being promoted by the author. From the tone of your original post and your response, you and probably your family are the aggressive people the author mentions as being difficult. Check the movement of your Rolex, it’s probably says made in China, like many of things on 47th st.

          • So your disdain is not for fellow New Yorkers in general, but particularly those who work on 47th Street? What’s the matter, get fast-talked into a diamond ring with inclusions or a Submariner with mismatched serial numbers? With your level of reading comprehension skills, I can understand how that might happen. My girlfriend is not MY family. HER family are jewelry manufacturers, not watchsellers. I have nothing to do with either industry. But in my experience, there are a plethora of honest, knowledgeable people in the district. There’s a difference between being defensive and correcting someone who is clearly incorrect.

            And really, your first thought was mock someone’s family? Are you 12?

            If your ilk typify the New Yorkers that Scott had dealings with in the past, I can get what he’s saying now, too. Obnoxious, boorish, and not very bright. Who wants to deal with people like that?

          • elliot55

            Valannin, I had no intention of offending anyone with this post and I am sorry if you feel this way. My apologies. To be sure, when I walked into the Element In Time store, they were more about helping me get cooled off and comfortable instead of what watch they were going to sell me. This was the breath of fresh air. Again, my apologies if the post offended you. It was not the intent.

        • elliot55

          For the record, I never used the words “unbearable confrontations” and “luring” in the post. But I certainly appreciate your passion and strong opinion. Thanks for sharing.

    • elliot55

      Hi Valannin –

      I wasn’t saying all New Yorkers are pushy. As a matter of fact, in general I find New Yorkers to be amongst the nicest people. I was merely pointing out the overall pushiness I have experienced when buying stuff in the city. As far as Tourneau goes, honestly speaking I have never got the feeling of them being pushy. Arrogance? Yes, for sure. But pushy? No.

  • RandyTorres

    I don’t know how much Mr. Goldman knows about watches, but when it comes to knowing about New York, it’s pretty clear he doesn’t now shit from shinola. Stay in LA.

    • elliot55

      Ouch. I spend about three months a year in the city. But thanks, Randy, if it makes you happy I will try to stay in Los Angeles a little bit more.

      • RandyTorres

        The City not the city and suit yourself, but we don’t discriminate against Lalalanders.

  • Shinytoys

    And it’s angry Monday Ladies and Gentleman, Place your bets, place your bets…

  • Boogur T. Wang

    I might add that EIT also has a very nice and easy to use website.
    Thanks again to ABTW and Mr. Goldman for bringing this bidness to our attention

  • Omar

    I bought my first Luxury Watch from Element iN Time, an IWC Spitfire Mark XV – circa 2010. Gary was a true gentleman (like family, really). I followed up with buying a SUBC, and EXPII, trading in a JLC Master Calendar. I live in California; all correspondence was conducted via email, or phone. No issues, excellent website, nice blog. This is a good look for Element iN Time NYC!

  • Element iN Time

    Thank you all for the Kind Words, Scott for writing the article, aBlogToWatch for publishing, to our returned clients commenting below, to the ones that called and emailed, and to the ones that question us. It’s great to be spoken of in such a high tone, we will be here to fill the shoes.

    As one good man once said, there isn’t smoke without fire, and the fire here burns strong.
    Come Join the Family,

    Gary Videira
    Element iN Time NYC

  • RBR

    I bought a Cartier white gold Jumping Hour from EIT, I guess about a year ago. The transaction, with minor glitches, was relatively smooth. That watch and its boxes, papers, etc. arrived in great condition.
    I wish their website functioned smoother.
    I rather expected more brands to be available, such as Armin Strom and Arnold & Son. I’m currently a few hours away from taking the plunge on a JLC Reverso Septantieme; after that, I will be shopping for Arnold & Son.
    Still, I’ll keeping visiting their website.