1. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Aug 21, 2019

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    Carrying on from the discussion we were having over here, how do you think the watch industry should solve this problem, not just the LE watches, but you hear of this happening with Rolex steel watches and of course the Nautilus 5711- people wait a long time for these through the proper channels, but you can find brand new sets on the second hand market easily, albeit at inflated prices.

    The watch brands have tried a few things- you hear in the UK that Rolex dealers hold onto the warranty cards for 12 months after you make a purchase. That's effective...but doesn't feel right either.

    So what's the answer?
     
  2. Hubert

    Hubert Aug 21, 2019

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    How about a Collectors Registry? Or something to that effect.

    One would register with each of their favorite brands as a Collector.

    Based on the purchase history with that brand, the Collector would gain points and raise its status to acquire coveted pieces and limited releases. This could also be linked to discounts and special gifts.

    If a Collector is caught abusing or violating the terms of service, such as reselling the registered pieces for profit within a certain number of moths or years, the membership would be revoked.
     
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  3. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Aug 21, 2019

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    Didn't someone say that you couldn't even get on the list for the 50th Anniversary Monacos unless you were already registered on TAG Heuer's database - ie, you had bought something new from a boutique or AD. Which is fair enough for a LE, but hardly effective since we know how many of those Monacos are being flipped...

    There's a youtuber called Paul Thorpe who is a retired watch dealer who is championing a rebellion against Rolex keeping the warranty cards because (he says) it's not right that if you need to sell your watch urgently in the first year then you don't have your card and so you can't really sell the watch. Frankly, I guess that might be true in very unusual circumstances, but to me I think it's good that Rolex are trying to do 'something' to combat the massive problems they have. Having said that it seems like a lot of this price rigging is done intentionally by professional flippers buying up everything to create the illusion of rarity, while in fact they are holding plenty of stock.

    As to what can be done, I fear very little... after all, if you offer something for sale you can't really then retain control over what that person does with it. And while the 50th Anniversary pieces were very much in demand, in general I shouldn't think TAG are in a position to turn away business. I guess they could potentially do something like offer a rebate, which the owner could collect after say two years as long as they still had the watch (only for special watches) obviously this would just be added on to the sale price in the first place - for genuine buyers it wouldn't be that much of a hardship, if they knew they would get £1000 back, but it might be enough to dissuade those looking to make a quick buck as it would eat into their profit margin.
     
  4. Mr_Orange

    Mr_Orange Aug 22, 2019

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    I'm note sure what you do about Limited Editions since, by their very nature, they are limited.

    Rolex: that is an easy fix. Produce more of their popular models and stop limiting supply. They seem to think it adds to the aura of owning a Rolex but the reality is that it is just fuelling the 'flipper market'.
     
    Edited Aug 22, 2019
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  5. SteveP

    SteveP Aug 22, 2019

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    Well yes, I agree with what's been said so I'm only really repeating the above. There are 2 issues I can see-
    1 even if a watch manufacturer/reseller made a 'policy' that a watch could not be sold until, say, someone was at least in receipt of it, how would they police it-both practically and financially? (so it's a non-starter)
    2 Would/should they be interested? A sales a sale at the end of the day-do they know/care who buys it?

    I don't know the full ins and outs of Rolex's policy but have read something about it. IMO I think it's great. There are things we all do or buy that we regret after and in some situations it can be a financial mistake-potentially a BIG one at that. I see the Rolex issue as one of those situations.....but ONLY, as Aquagraph says, in the rare and unusual situation where someone buys a new Rolex that they are in NEED of selling within the first year. (they must know the policy upfront so it is only due to unforeseen circumstances that this can become an issue.)

    I will try and keep it concise but my blood has boiled a number of times over the last few years EVERY time I see a LE TH Heritage model released-Autavia, The Skipper and Rake, Monacos etc etc....and now the Sinn. I think it's greedy and deprives real collectors of the opportunity to purchase (for) themselves.
    S
     
  6. Pitfitter446

    Pitfitter446 Aug 22, 2019

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    I’m not 100% against the Rolex policy per se, in the case of a buyer needing to sell “soon” after purchase what about resale via Rolex?. Regarding TH and limited editions,(only to begin with) maybe a similar idea as Rolex and a guaranteed buy back value within the first year should the dire need arise, some car purchase schemes can work like this so why not a watch, not such a volume item to track?
    Having seen a few Monaco anniversary models appear in my area right after release, at least one from a second hand watch dealer, I unfortunately suspect collusion with an AD or at least an employee, not many ADs around me we’re stocking any models so surely the few models available would have had genuine TH buyers after them that were known to the AD? I called a couple of likely dealers to enquire and none would confirm that any would be coming to the branch, my friendly AD could not get one as the big retailers had the market cornered.
    Nice as the watches are I flatly refuse to pay a premium for one, or anything else actually, but someone always will and so the practise will continue.
     
  7. imagwai

    imagwai Aug 22, 2019

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    I think Calibre11 got it right with the Siffer Autavia - offer it to established forum members (fans) first, then release to the rest after that. You'll never avoid some flipping, but this is one watch that I've only seen pop up for sale at a premium a few times (and I reckon were mostly genuine sellers rather than scalpers).

    Regarding the Rolex problem, I don't mind what they're doing. I don't think they're purposefully constraining supply, just that they're not willing to make more to meet demand. And I'm fine with that. What I do wish is that ADs would operate a much fairer access policy to these watches. They should operate an allocation list that sees them handed out to customers in order, rather than to whoever spends the most at the AD, and if the ADs can't do it fairly then Rolex should do it for them. They could also check people's ID when going on the list to make sure they are not buying multiple pieces for resale.
     
  8. bdev

    bdev Aug 22, 2019

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    How about a lottery system? Potential buyers contact TAG and are put on a list (one watch per person). The list is numbered and if there are, lets say, 500 watches produced, 500 names are chosen from that list by random draw. This is obviously a simplistic overview of a lottery but you get the idea.
     
  9. Pitfitter446

    Pitfitter446 Aug 22, 2019

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    The above sounds fair but I think a sizeable deposit would also needed with every entry otherwise multiple entries could made by the evil flippers.
    Rolex issue, never going to buy one so they can instruct would be buyers to jump through any hoop, but at least they seem to making some effort against the speculator.
     
  10. Mspeedster

    Mspeedster Aug 22, 2019

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    They could have a legal clause stating you can't sell the watch for a year. This is what Ford did with the Ford GT. Ford famously took John Cena to court when he tried to flip his car.

    Problem for the watch makers is that its too costly to take legal action if such a clause existed. One solution could be if they made an agreement with the auction sites such as ebay and chrono24, allowing the watch makers to report anyone breaking the clause and have the auction sites remove those "illegal" sales.
     
  11. heuer1860

    heuer1860 Aug 22, 2019

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    No easy answer to this one I suggest.

    I think the Rolex system of holding the Warranty booklet etc is a good one.
    If the initial purchaser desperately needs to cash up their watch due to over extending themselves
    then they are more than likely to be able to sell it for at least the price they paid for it.
    What happens to the Warranty when the 12 months are up I'm not sure.
    Maybe sent to the initial purchaser and then given to the new owner maybe.
    Not a full proof method but one which can put a spanner in the works for the Flippers out there.

    I wouldn't have minded if David had said that he was going to hold the Warranty card for 12 months to try and
    alleviate the flipping of the Siffert.
    I would think that the only people who would have spoken out about that would have been the ones
    looking to sell straight away for a financial gain.
    Basically, if you don't like the process, don't buy it.

    At the end of the day, nothing will be perfect, but this seems to be a good way
    to try and control the initial sale and the potential quick resale.
     
  12. imagwai

    imagwai Aug 23, 2019

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    What about someone who might have needed to use their warranty to get their defective watch fixed?!
     
  13. SteveP

    SteveP Aug 23, 2019

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    If Rolex have the system in place they must have considered that as part of it-presumably TH/dc would have to have a similar set up also for this situation.
    In the absence of any other viable solutions this still seems to be the best idea overall.
    S
     
  14. Pitfitter446

    Pitfitter446 Aug 23, 2019

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    I’ve had warranty work done but haven’t been asked for the card, my name and the watch serial number was enough for the dealer to know if the warranty was in date, like cars, we only needed the registration number/chassis number to check if the warranty was valid.
     
  15. heuer1860

    heuer1860 Aug 23, 2019

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    Good question.
    I think is was mentioned above that Rolex holds the warranty card and of course have a record of the watch so any repairs are handled as per usual.
    Just selling a recent LE high profile watch like a Rolex without warranty papers would decrease the resale value to try and stop flipping.
    Thats the theory anyway.
     
  16. Yago

    Yago Aug 23, 2019

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    Once you pay for something in full you should receive the goods in full, including the warranty card. I don't see how Rolex keeping the paperwork for 12 months after purchase can be legal. It's a free market. In any case it would only worsen the problem. Brand new sports Rolexes already trade at a premium over retail. Imagine the kind of premium someone would pay for a 1 year old NIB sub with fresh papers from Rolex. Dealers would simply hold the inventory for an extra year and charge another premium. A way better investment than putting your money in the bank. The market would just shift one year and we'd be back at square one.
     
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  17. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Aug 23, 2019

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    I guess the theory is that after a year the 'hype' has worn off and something else will be the 'hot' watch. Mind you, as far as Rolex goes that doesn't really seem to work...
     
  18. imagwai

    imagwai Aug 23, 2019

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    I agree with this. Even if I buy a watch not intending to flip it, I might change my mind after a few months of ownership, and given I have paid for the watch and I own it, it is my right to do so!
     
  19. Mr_Orange

    Mr_Orange Aug 23, 2019

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  20. jamesbizs

    jamesbizs Aug 23, 2019

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    Rolex has a team of lawyers to take down unauthorized listings. So I can see them easily doing that. Ebay takes their word for it. VERO is the term.