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Looking for my first luxury watch

  1. jankymutt

    jankymutt Mar 17, 2019 9:53am

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    Hi Everyone,

    After 12 years of school and training I am finally in a financial position to purchase a luxury watch. I have been lusting over a Seamaster for many years and would like to purchase the new 42mm Seamaster 300m watch on a rubber band (210.32.42.20.03.001). I know I would save ~$1000 going with last years model, but I want the new ceramic bezel, crystal caseback, new movement, etc..

    My question is: where would you suggest I purchase from? I love the allure of saving $800 going grey market, but would prefer an AD. I found an AD that is willing to sell me the bracelet version for a few hundred off retail and throw in the OEM rubber strap. Should I pounce on that or keep searching? Thanks or any help!
     
  2. maine-iac1

    maine-iac1 Mar 17, 2019 10:04am

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    My $0.02 as a fellow newb. There are some trusted ADs that deliver decent markdowns, approaching grey market prices but with the factory warranty. I'd vote for going that route with the stainless bracelet, and have 'em throw in the rubber band. Should you decide to sell it down the road, the buyer will probably want the original 316 stainless bracelet. And if you keep the watch, then you have options if you want to change the look.
     
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  3. jankymutt

    jankymutt Mar 17, 2019 10:11am

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    Thanks for the input. I think that is the most logical decision. Do you know how much of a discount I can reasonably push for with an AD? As I was walking out the store the AD offered $350 off the version with the bracelet and a rubber strap. Seemed like a decent deal, but perhaps I can push for more? Grey market is around $4k so it seems like $4500 + rubber strap is a decent deal.

    I travel internationally about 3-4 times/year and could also look at the duty free shops, but I feel like if I am kosher and claim the watch upon returning to the US, the customs fees negate any potential savings.
     
  4. cjoedaniel

    cjoedaniel Mar 17, 2019 10:54am

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    My experience with 2 ADs was one offered no discount and one was willing to go down to $4600 if I wrote a check. No offers of any freebies. If you look online that rubber strap is about $280 with the buckle. Worst case you can sell it and recoup some of the initial cost of the watch.
    It seems like ADs can be a hit or miss depending on where you are. I was willing to keep my money local but ended up purchasing from a reseller from this forum with full warranty. Would I do it again? Not sure... When I brought the watch in to get it resized... I felt a disdain from one AD owner as he was shocked that a sale got away from him. Mind you I never visited this branch but just talked to a sales rep on the phone. He kept asking me where I got the watch from and actually wanted to see the warranty card which I brought just in case...
    They are the largest dealer in the state and have an authorized omega watchmaker on site but after that experience I won't be going there for any warranty work. Especially after coming home and discovering a scratch on the bracelet link after resizing and being charged $25... Who knows if I had purchased from him for a few hundred dollars more I'm sure my experience there would have been a lot different.
     
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  5. tjs

    tjs Mar 17, 2019 11:13am

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    I wouldn't be surprised if the scratch wasn't accidental... BTW, it is easy to resize, tools are about $25 and you usually get the tools to swap straps with it.
     
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  6. Foo2rama

    Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Mar 17, 2019 11:18am

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    A grey market level discount on the new model?

    Maybe.
     
  7. FlyingSnoopy

    FlyingSnoopy Mar 17, 2019 1:15pm

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    Well said
     
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  8. jankymutt

    jankymutt Mar 17, 2019 1:29pm

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    Thanks everyone for their replies and help. What about sellers on this forum such as Demollo? Are their promises of valid international warranties accurate? Wiring thousands of dollars to a person in Europe without a storefront makes me nervous. Thanks so much!
     
  9. rainking

    rainking Mar 17, 2019 1:51pm

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    This subject arises here over and over again, and honestly some of you guys way overthink this stuff. In the past 1.5 years I bought a new Speedy pro from Kringkily (forum member) and a Speedmaster ‘57 broad arrow co-ax from a seller on Chrono24 whose name I can’t even remember now. I saved at least $3K between the two of them vs an AD or OB. Both brand new with Omega warranty. The first I got sized by a local jeweler with no issues. The second, I walked into the west coast Swatch service center (I happen to live near it) and handed it to them, they sized it and handed it back without a scratch in 10 min. Didn’t charge me. I simply said it was a shock surprise gift. They never even asked.

    Some people on here act like the aftermath of buying gray market watches is the equivalent of trying to register and then get warranty service on a stolen Ferrari. If you have a new watch with a warranty card, and some jerkoff making $15/hour in an OB or wherever asks you, just say it was a gift. If after that they want to hassle you, tell them to eff off and go somewhere else. I mean, seriously LOL
     
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  10. mgmarsh39

    mgmarsh39 Mar 17, 2019 1:58pm

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    The OB here in Dallas is a very nice place to visit ;). I tend to buy via forums or grey market.

    Size the bracelets myself and go to a local watchmaker for service.
     
  11. jankymutt

    jankymutt Mar 17, 2019 2:05pm

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    Thanks for this post. Your blunt advice and opinion is greatly appreciated! There are just so many posts that scare people towards AD's, but I bet you are 100% correct! Thanks!
     
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  12. Evitzee

    Evitzee Mar 17, 2019 2:26pm

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    If you travel internationally then you can probably save dollars depending on location and currency exchange rate at the time. As far as being duty kosher, well, that is up to you. Frankly the Customs folks don't want to get involved in figuring duty on someones new Omega bought overseas. They don't want to hassle looking it up in their customs book figuring origin, number of jewels, case material, kind of strap, etc. in order to figure some duty. I have a sister-in-law who used to work Customs at JFK airport, they were NOT looking for watches, they were looking for cash and drugs. They had one agent who always went after people who looked like they had new watches on, they told her to stop it, it was diverting their attention to more important aspects of their job. One time I was returning from the UK and got behind a woman who declared some cashmere sweaters at Newark airport. The Customs agent said, 'I have to charge you because you declared them, but next time just pack them in your luggage and forget about it'. So put it into context, if it makes you feel better declaring it do it, otherwise wear it and enjoy it. Just my 2 cents from experience. It's a similar thing with out of state sales, you are supposed to declare it to your state of residence and pay the relevant tax, but no one does it. But since the Supreme Court has now ruled that states can force out of state retailers to charge sales tax that window for savings is closing.

    If you are new to the game I'd buy it from an AD even if you have to pay a little more, peace of mind is important and you don't have to worry about the grey market. Once you get more experienced you can go that route and save real money.
     
    Edited Mar 17, 2019 2:43pm
  13. rainking

    rainking Mar 17, 2019 2:31pm

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    Depending on the watch in question, you can save $1,000 or more with REPUTABLE gray sellers. Now that I think of it, I saved closer to $4K between those two watches I mentioned. At that point I would’ve bought them even without a warranty. Do you know how many full services $4K pays for?

    In my humble opinion, buying from an AD or OB is moronic if there’s a substantialy cheaper option. Some people on here will talk about “the full OB experience.” To each their own for sure but that always cracks me up. Yeah, I want to pay thousands of dollars for the privelege of drinking a glass of champagne and celebrating my purchase for 45 minutes with people I really don’t know who work in a watch store. No thanks. If money is no object, OK then. But those people don’t start threads asking for advice on how to get the best deal ...
     
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  14. Evitzee

    Evitzee Mar 17, 2019 2:34pm

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    ^^^ Agree, you can keep the OB experience, I don't need the cheap glass of bubbly and the chit chat on my wise decision while I pay full retail. I will buy the odd strap or clasp from them because the savings aren't that great and the convenience is good. If I don't buy a watch from them I wouldn't expect to trot in my grey market purchase and expect them to size it, that just wouldn't seem right.
     
    Edited Mar 17, 2019 2:47pm
  15. jankymutt

    jankymutt Mar 17, 2019 2:50pm

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    I travel intl about 3-4 times per year. Next month I'll be in Bangladesh for 4 weeks, however I'm going through Doha which I have heard has a woefully small watch inventory vs. Dubai.

    Last week while returning from Paris the border agent stopped me because I had a Longchamp bag (gift for the wife). He wanted to know how much it cost, see the receipt, etc...It was under the $800 limit so it wasn't a problem, but I was surprised they even bothered to stop and ask (Global Entry too)!

    In the past, I wasn't worried about a watch with the duties/customs fees, but the stop for the purse has me slightly concerned. I guess if an omega watch box was packed away in luggage it wouldn't be a big deal, but if I had some flashy watch on coming in from the Middle East it's probably a red flag.
     
  16. Evitzee

    Evitzee Mar 17, 2019 3:12pm

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    I flew in from Melbourne to San Francisco last week. Entry is mainly electronic these days. You fill out the form regarding purpose of your trip, bringing in samples for business, amount of goods being brought in, etc etc at the electronic kiosk before seeing the Immigration officer who looks at your passport photo to make sure it is you. Then you collect your baggage and walk out, not a Customs officer in sight. Perhaps they are wandering around and spot checking people but I didn't see anyone. Perhaps it depends where the plane is coming from.....Australia is probably considered low risk, one from Mexico City or Bogata, not so much.
     
    Edited Mar 17, 2019 3:20pm
  17. rainking

    rainking Mar 17, 2019 3:34pm

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    This is exactly the sort of overthinking I mentioned. I couldn’t care less about asking them to size a watch for me whether I bought from them or not. Wouldn’t even cross my mind to feel bad about it. Makes no sense. What do people do who buy a watch from one store and then down the road live elsewhere? Never go into their new local OB for anything on that watch because they didn’t buy it there? I wouldn’t necessarily expect them to do it for free, and that’s fine. But this bullshit where employees of stupid watch stores cop an attitude over stuff like this, I have no, and will never have any, tolerance for.
     
    Edited Mar 17, 2019 7:54pm