At What Point Do You Say Yes to Grey?
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  1. #1
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    At What Point Do You Say Yes to Grey?

    Hey Guys,

    So I'm about to get back into watch collecting after a 6 year hiatus and having to sell my small collection. Originally I thought I'd be going with a Rolex Yachtmaster, which was able to be had on the grey market for about a 5% discount or $555 off. At this I had decided to not go with the grey market, but instead to buy from an AD. Then my mind was changed when I was informed I would be able to get a Daytona within 2018, so obviously I won't be going with the grey market as it's about a 61% premium or $7,595 additional.

    After my Rolex purchase I will be looking to add a dress watch to the collection. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon in white gold w/ grey dial has really caught my eye. The msrp on the watch is $18,800, but can be had on the grey market for a 30% discount or $5,550 off! While a few hundred dollars off would not persuade me to veer from an AD a few thousand just may.

    I was curious at what point would you guys consider veering away from an AD or boutique and purchasing from the grey market? I have not priced this watch from an AD/boutique yet as Tourneau told me this was a boutique only watch and could only be had from JLC. If this is true what could I expect to get off of this watch?

    Thanks
    Mike

  2. #2
    Member JodyH's Avatar
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    Re: At What Point Do You Say Yes to Grey?

    I say yes to grey market when the savings are more than a full factory service.
    That way you're covered if for some reason the watch requires service during what would normally be the factory warranty period.
    I would always pay out of pocket for factory service before I'd utilize a grey market warranty.
    Mr_Finer_Things likes this.
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  3. #3
    Member NightOwl's Avatar
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    At What Point Do You Say Yes to Grey?

    I buy grey if

    Price of grey watch + cost of full service from manufacturer + 10% of grey watch price (something for my trouble if I have to deal with a defective grey watch)< best price from an AD

    Simple as that.
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  5. #4
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: At What Point Do You Say Yes to Grey?

    The question for you (not us) is what value do you place on things like a factory warranty, an ongoing relationship with the AD and the ability to use the AD to send the watch in for factory service after warranty. Are those things worth more to you than a substantial grey market discount?

  6. #5
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    Re: At What Point Do You Say Yes to Grey?

    As I explained in my Explorer review, the difference between gray market and the AD was only a few hundred dollars.
    The 5 year Rolex warranty also made it an easy decision.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35m7G9tbIq4&t=25s

  7. #6
    Member hpark21's Avatar
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    Re: At What Point Do You Say Yes to Grey?

    Quote Originally Posted by John MS View Post
    The question for you (not us) is what value do you place on things like a factory warranty, an ongoing relationship with the AD and the ability to use the AD to send the watch in for factory service after warranty. Are those things worth more to you than a substantial grey market discount?
    My AD NEVER refused to send my watch (which I acquired used) in for warranty or non-warranty service.
    Chronic flipper...


  8. #7
    Member hpark21's Avatar
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    Re: At What Point Do You Say Yes to Grey?

    Quote Originally Posted by larthurl View Post
    As I explained in my Explorer review, the difference between gray market and the AD was only a few hundred dollars.
    The 5 year Rolex warranty also made it an easy decision.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35m7G9tbIq4&t=25s
    Well, this is easy since I haven't seen any substantial grey dealer discount on a Rolex. (Heck, through reliable forum dealers - DavidSW, etc - one can get it close to or cheaper than Grey dealers AND get Factory warranty for Rolex)

    But in the case of JLC/Omega/etc. It becomes tough choice when one can get SUBSTANTIAL - in OP's case $5k+ - discount.
    Chronic flipper...


  9. #8
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: At What Point Do You Say Yes to Grey?

    I like to go AD if I’m spending a good chunk of money (say $2,000) but the intelligent bit of my brain tells me that if the saving is more than the cost of a service and minor repair I should really go grey.

  10. #9
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    Re: At What Point Do You Say Yes to Grey?

    Well many on here have said it makes a difference comparing the price vs cost of servicing (and I agree GM warranties, dont trust them working on your watch). But some people fall into the grouping of a certain amount spent equates to AD over GM. I am of the second camp. I will spend about $2k-3.5k (so far the max I actually spent was $1,850) on GM and on the high end of that limit, this is only if the AD is not offering a decent discount that almost matches this. For really large purchases, I am going AD and requesting a discount. Another factor is having your name on the cards (not a huge deal for some) and another factor is your personal funds. It seems you are looking at spending a good amount of money (Rolex, JLC) in a short amount of time. If you have the money like that, I would not consider GM if you think it might make your mind not at ease.

  11. #10
    Member mleok's Avatar
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    Re: At What Point Do You Say Yes to Grey?

    With a bit of legwork, I've often been able to get very close to the grey market price even on high-end watches such as Patek, Vacheron, and JLC. It's a question of being willing to contact a number of ADs. Definitely with Rolex, the usual grey market discount is inadequate to compensate for the loss of the factory warranty, but options like DavidSW may make more sense. Keep in mind also that some of the smaller, specialized grey market dealers will be able to get you a watch with a full warranty, because they source their watches when ordered, as opposed to keeping inventory on stock.
    chuasam likes this.


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