How to Spot a Gray Market Watch

I often get asked from my friends about watches. I am a big fan of beautiful time pieces and truly believe in finding a great deal on a great timepiece.

We often hear of replicas flooding the market and of many websites offering discounts on amazing timepieces that they claim authentic, the same ones that are found at retailers for thousands more .So whats the catch? Well, There are several catches…

– You don’t get an official warranty when you buy online, you often get a warranty from the seller, not the manufacturer. This leads us to believe that some companies sell you original casing, but not movement and therefore the manufacturer would not fix it anyways if you sent it up.

– The movement cannot be verified authentic or not prior to buying.

– There is also the possibility that the watch is a used movement (original) with new casing, which looks new but is an older model at heart.

– You risk sending a lot of money online, without seeing the timepiece first.

These are some of the criteria you run into when purchasing high dollar piece online and not from an authorized retailer (AD).

To recognize a grey market seller, simply look in “terms and condition” or “warranty” section of the site. It will indicate that the warranty available on the watch is 2 years but through them, not the manufacturer.

Check for an example of a Grey market seller.

As a watch collector, I prefer buying used over Grey Market but to some that are not as picky, take a chance, and wear a replica as your friends will never know.

If  you buy used, remember to only purchase watches that have authentication cards along with stamps of the authorized dealer on them. If they do not, they could have easily been Grey Market purchases, which are worth much less.

Be careful, ask for references and educate yourself prior to buying.