How you go about dropping $1000-2000 on a watch?
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  1. #1
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    How you go about dropping $1000-2000 on a watch?

    Hi. I've been a mechanical watch wearer for a bit more than a year now and my collection has never gone over $400. I had a Seiko 5, a Citizen ecodrive, and a Tissot. Those purchases were relatively simple and easy to justify. I just saw a few pics, dug around a few forums, and bought it without much worrying.

    I am now in the market for a watch $1000-2000 and don't know how to do about buying a watch for that sum. I'll probably want to buy at an AD since I'm making a pretty big investment (for me anyway) and want to get the most of it. Also, I'd have the benefit of seeing how the wach looks on my wrist. Anyway, I had some questions

    1. How do I know I am paying the "right amount"? I.e. not too much. I know child support ain't cheap, so watch dealers have to make some money on the purchase, but how do I gauge a reasonable price range for a model? Do I go on watchrecon or some online watch shops and look at their prices so that I know what to expect?

    2. Is haggling considered faux pas? If not, how much can you expect to save off the MSRP (if there's one for a watch)? I haven't even been to a watch shop yet and I've got so many questions. I guess if I ever bought a car I might know the answer to this question, but everything I've bought so far was the sticker price (besides a few used things on ebay)

    3. Buying used. If I buy from an AD and the watch has been serviced recently, is there other things I should look for/worry about?

    Sorry if the questions have been asked before, I did use the search function.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    JSI
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    Re: How you go about dropping $1000-2000 on a watch?

    Go to an AD to try them out, and then hunt grey market dealers to get a good price. $1-2K will go a lot further on the grey market.
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    Member little big feather's Avatar
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    Re: How you go about dropping $1000-2000 on a watch?

    I would advise you to find the watch you like....Try it on...Then search the net and find the best deal.
    You can save a good deal buying on line...Why pay the ad for his overhead and unless you are in his store
    allot, why pay for his air conditioned comfort? I've bought 15 watches on the Net and no problems On buying used...Never done it. Good luck
    Any watches posted may be seen as gifts,borrowed or found property and not as personal property of Little Big Feather.

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  5. #4
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    Re: How you go about dropping $1000-2000 on a watch?

    As others have said internet-gray dealers are a good way to evaluate pricing discounts off msrp. I'm not a huge fan of the gray market purchase. I've bought a few less expensive watches online (Citizen,Tissot, Oris) and everything was great until I had trouble with one. It's a crap shoot and I would never buy a $2000+ watch like that. I found that if you build any type of relationship with a dealer you can usually get pricing very close to where its set at gray market sites. Best of luck
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    Member Roller.959's Avatar
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    Re: How you go about dropping $1000-2000 on a watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by stgermaine View Post
    1. How do I know I am paying the "right amount"? I.e. not too much. I know child support ain't cheap, so watch dealers have to make some money on the purchase, but how do I gauge a reasonable price range for a model? Do I go on watchrecon or some online watch shops and look at their prices so that I know what to expect?
    Hmmm...not sure what the child support line is about (Did I miss something? Are watch dealers all divorced men paying child support?), but use that line with a store clerk and you shouldn't be surprised if you get zero discount. As stated above, find the watches you are interested in. Look at the reputable grey market sites like: Ashford, Jomashop, Amazon, Swiss Luxury, World of Watches, Authentic Watches, Alan Furman, Costco, etc... If you decide to go grey market, then that is easy. If you decide to go AD, then this will give you some prices to shoot for, but be prepared not to get near those prices from an AD depending on the watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by stgermaine View Post
    2. Is haggling considered faux pas? If not, how much can you expect to save off the MSRP (if there's one for a watch)? I haven't even been to a watch shop yet and I've got so many questions. I guess if I ever bought a car I might know the answer to this question, but everything I've bought so far was the sticker price (besides a few used things on ebay)
    Haggling at an AD is not considered faux pas...but set a reasonable expectation level with yourself, and like anyone looking at such a purchase, act appropriately. If you go in like it is bazaar, you will not be taken very seriously. Know that if you are dealing with large chain retailers, it is less likely they will deal with you. They have the ability to hold stock longer and fund stock holds with other sales. Smaller retailers will usually be more willing to work with you, AND you will likely get better customer service and maybe even make a "friend" out of the deal. I always like to go in with, "What is the best price you can give me on this piece?" I will do that even if it is already on sale. I will also offer to make an all cash purchase which can pull another 5% off the price.

    Some brands will be discounted before others. I have seen heavier AD discounts with Baume Mercier, Zenith, Raymond Weil, Hamilton, TAG, and Longines among others. The good news is, many of these are the brands that sit at your price range, and none of them are slouches. I'd say a 20% discount from an AD is very fair, 30-35% and you are doing really well, 40% gets you well into grey market pricing and you should not expect the AD to do any better.

    Consider making phone calls once you find the watch you want. If you are open to taking delivery from an AD through the mail, you can make several phone calls and negotiate over the phone. "I am looking at this model and I have found one at the price of $XXXX, I was wondering if you would be able to give me a better deal?" Be nice, be personable, and most AD's will respond positively...even if they say no.

    Quote Originally Posted by stgermaine View Post
    3. Buying used. If I buy from an AD and the watch has been serviced recently, is there other things I should look for/worry about?
    Who conducted the service? The AD? Just because an AD serviced the watch doesn't mean it wasn't serviced by their in-house watch guy who may or may not be good. Look at the finishing. Improper refreshing and polishing can leave you with a case that is really worn...shiny, but worn. Stay the hell away from Ebay unless you know exactly what you are doing. Being that this is your first purchase at this level, I think I'd devote much of my time finding the right deal on a new watch than a used watch. That said, if you want a pre-owned piece from an AD, check out site sponsor Topper.

    Hope this helps. Good Luck!
    Last edited by Roller.959; October 4th, 2013 at 16:06. Reason: Grammar.
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  7. #6
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    Re: How you go about dropping $1000-2000 on a watch?

    This is tough. All my watches that were bought for over $1000 were done at an authorized dealer, except for one, which I bought new from a trusted eBay auction house seller (not by feedback, but by prior dealings with them). Yes, your money will go further on the gray market and there are gray market dealers out there that are trustworthy and have good return policies. However, the discount comes with more than one caveat; if you buy a watch from anywhere but an authorized dealer--gray market, eBay, back alley deal, some guy with watches lining the inside of his coat, wherever--you do not get a warranty. Now usually, this isn't an issue. Most watches need service or other work done 5-7 years after they are purchased, long after the warranty has faded from memory. However, there are cases where watches may need warranty work; and one trip to the factory that's not covered will very easily eat away your savings on the purchase and possibly even more.

    Also, when buying from a gray dealer, you're never 100% certain what you're getting. Authenticity is assured, but depending on the type of watch, it may not be real. I know that when I'm ready to buy a Rolex, for example, there's very little chance I'll buy one from anywhere but an AD (or a used watch through a brick and mortar seller), because if you dumped all the fake Rolexes in the world into the Marianas Trench, I'm certain you could walk across it.

    And you can't really be sure that it's not a return that someone else once owned, albeit briefly.

    If $1000-2000 on a watch is a big purchase for you--and for most people, it is, I know it's one for me--then the safest bet is to go to an authorized dealer. If you're newer to watches, you're going to want to try them on and know what feels good and looks good on you, and then buy it, with all the papers, the pretty box, and the little bag that says that you just got something special. It's a nice feeling--and it removes all uncertainty from the buying experience. But be advised, you do pay a premium for that, risk versus reward and all. You may save 30-35% from a gray dealer and only 15-20% from an AD, so it all comes down to what certainty is worth to you.
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    Re: How you go about dropping $1000-2000 on a watch?

    with regards to how you titled the thread:

    it's not about spending x on a watch; it's about liking a watch and it happens to cost x.

  9. #8
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    Re: How you go about dropping $1000-2000 on a watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by drunken monkey View Post
    with regards to how you titled the thread:

    it's not about spending x on a watch; it's about liking a watch and it happens to cost x.
    Yep. I've always wondered why people decide to spend x when something half that price will do the job.

  10. #9
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    Re: How you go about dropping $1000-2000 on a watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by geoffbot View Post
    Yep. I've always wondered why people decide to spend x when something half that price will do the job.
    If that's the case then anything over $50 for a Timex is probably wasted.

    As for the pricing question, in that price range you should get at least 15% off most everything and sometimes as much as 30% off through ADs. The key is to shop around and ask. Also, don't be afraid to ask for some add ins such as straps or bracelets. Dealers can sometimes include such things at no additional cost easier than they can lower prices below a certain amount.

    You can also watch for promotional events. For example, Jared's ran their rewards event last weekend giving store credit of $100 for each $500 spent. My wife purchased an Omega for me and got their standard 15% discount plus the rewards, which essentially resulted in a 32% discount. The rewards points will then be used to get her a watch she has her eyes on for Christmas. Win-win.

  11. #10
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    Re: How you go about dropping $1000-2000 on a watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by geoffbot View Post
    Yep. I've always wondered why people decide to spend x when something half that price will do the job.
    I'm a little surprised, or maybe just confused, at that comment, and if you feel like expanding on it a bit, I would be interested. As I look at your signature line, it seems that each of your watches is arguably the maximum value for its price, and something half the price might indeed not do the same job. My point is that maybe it does make sense to say "x" is my price, that's what my budget allows, so now the task is to figure the best way to spend that amount of money. That's what WUS, at its best, is all about, it seems. So the outcome of a careful search could go one of two ways: "X" is spent well, and the buyer is satisfied to have something that in at least a somewhat objective sense was "worth it," relative to the other choices, or careful research leads to the buyer spending "Half X," and having a piece equal to what was envisioned at the beginning. (Maybe that latter outcome is what you are getting at.) My question is sincere; you are the moderator, and I figure I might be missing your point.

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