On buying a nice watch . . .
April 29, 2008 11:36 AM   Subscribe

On buying a nice watch: if I go with a local jeweler, the watch I'm after will run me about $900. If I go with an online retailer (or trust someone on the forums at timezone.com) I can get it for $400 - $600. Aside from the cost difference, what are the pros and cons of each?

The watch in question is a 40mm Oris BC3 with a rubber strap.
posted by aladfar to Shopping (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The problem with a watch from an online retailer is that they may not be an authorized dealer. If thatis so, you won't get a valid U.S. warranty with the watch.
posted by AuntLisa at 11:39 AM on April 29, 2008

You definitely need to be careful. I ordered a TAG from Malaysia at about 50% of what it would have cost in the US. I've had it for a number of years ad the US TAG repair center has honored the warranty and repair/cleaned on several occasions. Not sure what kind of luck you will have with other supplier's brands. I know buying a Rolex that did not originate with the local distributor can cause problems.
posted by Carbolic at 12:03 PM on April 29, 2008

Off the top of my head, many (most?) brick-and-mortar jewelers will offer service plans as a part of the purchase price. The online sellers may as well, but I'd feel more comfortable handing my watch to somebody and getting it back in a day or two than mailing it in and waiting for it to be received, serviced, and mailed back.

The warrantee point is a good one too.
posted by lekvar at 12:06 PM on April 29, 2008

You might be surprised at what price the local jeweler can offer. Never pay full price at the jeweler. The easiest way to negotiate may very well be to show him an a price from an authorized online retailer and tell him (or her) that you would much prefer to shop locally, but that the price difference is to big to ignore. They probably won't match the price, but may come a lot closer to it than you would think. Another option is to go used. This is not the kind of product that ever wears out.
posted by caddis at 12:17 PM on April 29, 2008

When I bought my Omega, I just wanted to know if something went wrong I could just walk in and say "fix this" without worrying. That plus caddis' advice made up my mind for me.
posted by Silvertree at 12:23 PM on April 29, 2008

I've had no problems with the two watches I've purchased online.

I've even had warranty work done directly through the manufacturer. The first time I told them up front that the watch was a gift from a relative who bought it on an overseas vacation and they just accepted this without question. The second time I had work done I didn't say anything and no one asked.

A friend of mine has used on-line prices to significantly bid down brick & mortar jewelry stores, but he never could get the price down to the on-line price.
posted by mullacc at 12:52 PM on April 29, 2008

I've bought most of my watches in person, in stores. I did so because I don't like buying watches without seeing/feeling them, and as such I want to support the institutions that allow me to do so. Furthermore, I like that I don't have to worry about it being a high (or low) quality knockoff, and that if I have a problem, I can talk to a person locally.

I pay a slight premium for this, but generally get 20-30% off of the listed price simply by saying something along the lines of 'Make it $1600 and we have a deal.'

That said, if you know exactly what you want, are willing to deal with potential knockoffs, and don't mind that any problems will have you relying on a remote service, you can likely save some money.
posted by Project F at 4:52 PM on April 29, 2008

i live in china.
pick a more common watch and i will send it to you
posted by edtut at 9:52 PM on April 29, 2008

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