April 13, 2024

Working towards gray import 3Posted by Robert-Jan Broer on

Watch companies seem to open boutiques of their own brand more and more. Europastar posted on the 20th of December that Carl F. Bucherer has opened the first shop to sell Carl F. Bucherer watches exclusively.

Brands like IWC, Cartier and Omega have their boutiques popping up like mushrooms these days. This must be a real pain in the butt for the dealers who are located near these boutiques.

Picture taken from the IWC website

Why would someone go to a dealer and buy an IWC from them when there is this all nice dressed up IWC-only store only a street away? Unless you have some kind of relationship with a specific dealer. As a result of this, dealers probably will throw out these brands from their collection. Another option which is more likely (if the brand is part of their best selling brands in their collection), is to obtain these watches through different channels and offer them with some serious percentages off the retail price. I am talking gray import here ofcourse. Why would you, as a watch shop, release a good selling brand? I think brands with their own boutiques aren’t very respectful to their own dealer network to be honest.

Anyway, although this boutiques have all the fancy stuff inside, I prefer a watch shop (authorised dealer or not) to buy my watches from. In the end, it is about the watch. And if I can get the same watch for some decent %’s off with a warranty card and with the same good service, why not?