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Gen watch prices across the world, where would you buy?


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Since I have a problem with my GPS  I always happen to end up in so many strange cities, countries and parts of the world.

Right now I am in Prague. And I suddenly got this briliant plan of looking for a watch. Perhaps they are cheaper here than at home. Or at any other place for that sake.

By searching this forum for 10 years I just recently found out who has the best sub, I am not stupid, I learn pretty fast! ;)

So now, being an expert, I have tried to bargain at some watch stores, saying for example that "I can get a quartz Sub for 1/1000 of that price" etc. That never left with me much success. You can not imagine how arogant those sales people in the watch stores can act!!! Service minded? Yeah, sure!

Anyways, I have made some good deals (I hope)

One was in Malaysia, since the currency there is crying. Got a Omega Seamaster Chrono for about $3.700 at the airport. Didn't even have to argue with the price .. (which left me with a feeling of being f*cked again !! argh) 

Qatar (and probably UAE) also has some good prices.
In 2013 they had an offer at an Omega store in Doha. Buy for more that $1000 and get a value coupon for 50% of the price.
Meaning, if I bought an Omega, which was cheaper than in my country anyways. I could buy another one for half the price!
Being smart with my money and not looking longer ahead than my own nouse tip, I of course refused the offer.
Since my mind realized what I missed at that time, I have never slept!

So, since my quest for the best Sub is successfully over, my new quest is .. any experience in (world wide) where you get the best deals if you buy a gen ?


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Tax free sales are a good place to start looking. I've bought in the Channel Islands and saved 20% straight away, plus a negotiated further discount. 

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1 hour ago, Sogeha said:

I would say the widest availability of secondhand models is in the US and prices do seem better than Europe. How is the Hong Kong second hand and vintage market? I'm hoping to travel in Asia in the near future.

it seems theres a used watch store on every corner in kowloon. tiny hole in the wall places with no security. lots of vintage rolex watches. when i was there in 2011 i could of had a 5513 for $3500 U.S. that was the asking price. keep in mind a lot of the watches there are fixed for sale, and the 5513 i looked at had end links from a 14060. who knows what else it was pieced together with. i would definitely ask to see the inside of the case when buying in hong kong. I remember seeing lots of modern subs on the second hand market in kowloon wrapped in cling film and piled in the store window, all genuine, tossed aside with little care.

I hear Germany has good prices for certain Rolex models and Japan is supposed to have the best prices on used Omegas.

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US seemingly is very goof for Rolex from what I can make out on the boards, I used to buy from Dealer in Amsterdam when I lived in Oz so saved the Vat which was great too, looked at few Tudor pieces in Paris and not badly priced,  the wife caught me recently at the airport and luckily I saved a good 30% there too :)  

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I have also the same experience on Thailand. Even second hand watches are pretty expencive there.

Am in Budapest, Hungary now, and was pretty tempted when visiting a Rolex store here.
Since I origin form a country outside European Union I get 19% tax refund.

They have 2 GMT watches where price seem pretty good:

Rolex GMT Black: USD 7 778
Rolex GMT BLack, Steel/Gold : USD 12 040

Prices are after tax refund.
Got some day to think of the offer still, beofre I make up my mind ...

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  • 3 months later...

Great thread. I think it really depends in the brand you are looking for. For example, IWC in Asia you can ask for more discount when new as the brand simply doesn't do as well compared to Europe or perhaps the US. As people in Asia simply prefer Rolex more than IWC.

Rolex is a tricky one as we are now entering a period of uncertainty as the US presidency and Brexit and other issues where we have seen a lot of swings with FX. For example I personally based in the UK and the US pricing is no longer that attractive anymore as the sterling had tanked.

Since the HKD is pegged with USD I won't see any issues with people who uses USD.

My dad is a watch dealer so he has been saying a lot of new watches is worth buying in Dubai.

For vintage Thailand seems to be interesting as they don't seem to know the vintage market in great detail. For example he managed to pick up a pristine 20mm big logo rivet bracelet for $500USD. As we all know they go north from around $2k plus just for the clasp let alone the rivet bracelet.

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When I was in Dubai half a year ago I sneaked into a few shops while my gf was wandering in front of the wedding rings at the gold souk in Deira. Prices are reasonable and both watches with and without papers are available.



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  • 2 months later...

Here are some prices from Doha Airport, Qatar. March 2017













TAG HEUER, HEUER 01: USD 4 070 (Very tempting to buy this one actually ...)



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If I were in the market, I believe I would wait awhile unless you are buying Rolex , Breguet, or another really high end watch. From the looks of things there is a continuing slide in the market for mid to high end watches. According to and article in the Wall Street Journal, in the first 10 months of 2016, Switzerland reimported watches valued at 1.3 billion francs which had previously been exported. In another article I read, it stated that the Swiss were buying and re-importing watches previous sold to dealers around the world, this in and attempt to prevent deep discounting and grey market sales. At some point those watches will have to go back out for sale. Someone from Swatch group said that they were not re-importing as watches "didn't have an expiration date like foodstuff". True to a point, but if you are an AD or a store selling watches, you can only afford a certain dollar level of inventory. If it's not moving then you can't buy more. And any good businessman will tell you that while watches don't spoil, they do get stale, especially if the manufacturer is turning out new models. The logical action is to put the watches on sale and try to turn over the inventory. So my point is, unless economic conditions Improve, I would bet in a few months, there are going to be some really good deals to be had.



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2 hours ago, paulvillo said:

Some good piece of advices here.

I'd corroborate with [mention=34236]altesporsche[/mention] on LHR prices, and would add Paris if you know the right people for 30% eligible "VAT" discounts on current Rolex and Cartier.


I just hate flying through Charles du Gaulle ? Such an annoying airport lol 


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Terminal 2 is fine really.
Would avoid flying anything other than AirFrance and - by all means - Terminal 1!!

Differently from LHR, I meant ADs in Paris mate.

Last December I got this 36mm purple dial 116000 (bottom left) to the wife for €3,400

Few CDG AD prices as of Dec/16:

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I just hate flying through Charles du Gaulle Such an annoying airport lol 

I agree, since I don't speak French (at least not the kind they speak in France!!) I find it very difficult and confusing. We avoid it at all costs. My wife and I travel to Europe pretty frequently, and we both prefer Schiphol. Haven't bought any new gens in a long time so no idea where to get a good deal. Much prefer gently used. Let the original buyer take the big first year depreciation hit.

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As far as rolex is concerned, the random serial numbers will help quite a bit but some of their Goofy Designs of the recent past will haunt them for years to come.

One Goofy Design for example = the oversize DJ with the 'too wide bezel'.  They look like a 13 inch wheel with a wide whitewall tire mounted on it.  They fixed it with the latest design but with examples of both models in a showcase, anyone with design sense will go for the newer model leaving the older watches in the showcase.

Small detail changes to boost sales in slow moving models will not help much either because the buyer usually wants the latest model, leaving older models in the showcase.



"...watches "didn't have an expiration date like foodstuff"."

"watches don't spoil, they do get stale"


Two or three years in a hot showcase may dry the oil out. 

Sucker:  "I've had this new watch only one year and it will not keep time."   

AD:  "Sir, our factory certified technician says you have mistreated this fine watch and it needs the factory authorized full overhaul, only $1350 USD...plus parts and tax." 

Sucker:  "Let me talk to your technician!"

AD  "Sir, he will not talk to the 'little people'.  Let me walk you to the door."



"US seemingly is very good for Rolex from what I can make out on the boards..."


US rolex ADs used to whizz down their leg when the word 'discount' was mentioned but times have changed.  Many smaller ADs are not in very good financial shape and offers are now being listened to. 

They still have at least four big problems though:

1...Younger people do not care much for watches.

2...Guys like me would not give half list price for 90% of the offerings.  So...why not buy 'em and flip 'em?  Because they will not sell for much outside the AD environment.  Credit cards!  In store credit!  Two years same as ca$h!

3...Vintage watches are 'IN'.  Newer models, not so much.

4...Women no longer want the hassle of an automatic watch and lady model DJ, OP, Prez used to be big sellers.  (bought my wife a brand new sapphire tutone OP...wore it for a month, been in the safe for years)


Cartier announced they were buying back nearly one quarter billion $$ dealer stock last fall.  What are they going to do with all this stuff if they change designs before they can sell it thereby making it obsolete?

Breitling has been on and off the rocks for years.  Their 'in house' chronograph blew up in their face because of reliability problems and most of their chronograph dials look like a Las Vegas slot machine.   (What time is it?  Hell-if-I-know)

Patek Philippe watches make me laugh.  The price of a small house for $1000 in gold and $1 in brass.

Omegas are Swatches.  :pimp:

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