A recent retail purchase causes me to acknowledge the value of "retail" and the upside of purchasing one's experience rather than the commodity, itself.
About a month ago, I visited a local Omega AD and purchased a Speedmaster Professional -1861-. After an enjoyable afternoon of touring through our favorite brands, a very well-informed gentleman took me through the attributes of the Omega range and in particular, the watch I purchased. This experience in itself, was really top-shelf. As it turns out, my 1861 powered Speedmaster has been consistently running at +17spd, average, as high as +19spd on one timer.
A return visit to our AD, today, rendered the following:
My sales associate spent about 20 minutes with me, mostly listening, and then asking a few questions. Almost immediately, I was informed that the watch was not presenting the expected performance and that it would be immediately corrected. Their on-site watchmaker (Omega, Rolex, xxx-certified) then took the watch and tested all positions with his timer before and after degaussing. The watch is running with very little variance, but it needs to be regulated. I was told to expect the watch after regulation, pressure test, and cleaning in twenty four hours. The watchmaker invited me to observe the process if I wished. He then went on to explain the various tooling that the shop had acquired to certify with each of the higher market builders, and why it was important to the store to have this capability, etc.. He and the sales representative then explained the warranty concerns (none), the notification process to Omega, etc. Of course, there is no charge and from my point of view, no concern.
I like this. I like speaking with people who not only take the purchase price, but take pride in offering value-added for that expense. The store is pure eye and spec-candy for a watch lover, the staff is immaculate, and the service is really what I would have expected to observe while standing beside my father 50 years ago - not today.
- Posted for no other reason other than a vote in favor of paying the asking price when the right person is asking.
Edit: My Speedmaster is back in-hand, perfect (loupe), and running at +1.5 SPD. Lunch and parking was on the store for the extra trip - their offer.
Also: I fully understand the decision to shop price and opportunity; I've done it with a lot of products over the years, including some timepieces. There is a time/place for such choices. Looking back, I would offer that when something is more than a passing decision, value-added makes it a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. YMMV.