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If you’re in the market for a new watch and you have been doing your research, then you’ve seen some authorized dealers (AD), private sellers, and grey market dealer listings across the internet. Now many may be hesitant to purchase from a private party or grey market dealers, and that’s understandable. However, going to your local AD isn’t always the best move, and we will get into why that is!
Going to the grey market for your next watch purchase could have a lot of upside, contrary to what one might think. This includes, but is not limited to, getting a better price, locating hard to obtain watches or very specific references, and much faster than a traditional AD.
So how exactly can you and I benefit from lower than retail pricing by purchasing a watch from a grey market dealer? Oftentimes, if ADs are carrying excess inventory, they will move these pieces at steep discounts to grey market dealers to make room for new releases or inventory that they might be able to sell better. These discounts are then passed on to the end consumer. Almost every brand has some references that trade at a discount, even brands like Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Omega, among many others.
(Photo courtesy of: https://www.aviandco.com/avi-and-co-nyc-luxury-watch-specialist)
Grey market dealers are not only a great way to save some money, in order to save towards your next piece, but they can acquire watches through their large networks and relationships that they have built over the years with others. These watches can include ones that are extremely popular and often require a significant wait time from ADs. Of course, with this kind of demand, you will be paying market prices but it is a necessary evil if you don’t have the patience to wait months, or even years without an update from the authorized dealer.
If you’ve been on the hunt for a very specific watch, grey market dealers become one of your best resources again. It may be a hardly worn vintage piece, an extremely rare and limited edition watch,a birth year with papers, or some unique configuration that was only produced for a Prince. Grey market dealers are not limited to offering you the trade in program stock that some ADs have. They can once again leverage their networks and cast out a call for whatever it is you are looking for and can get the best price out there at the same time.