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Deeky

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I dropped by multiple stores in Singapore, and there is pretty much nothing in steel from any brand. Singapore's market is so insane that it's basically impossible to get any desirable steel watches from any high end brand with an established history without huge pre-spending (above $100k).

We have 19 Rolex boutiques in an area 1/4 the size of London, and not one has anything other than TT DJs. Cant even buy a 36/41mm DJ/OP in any colour with the purchase of a TT ladies' model.

The GS white birch has a 1 year backorder. VC has stopped taking orders for any Overseas regardless of colour. Even the Octo Finissimo blue dial is on backorder, Zenith's Chronomaster sport is on 3-6 months backorder. Cartier steel watches are now at 3-7% discount if at all (25% was the standard pre-covid). Nothing at PP/AP (no surprise, but buying a perpetual from patek is not enough to get on a waiting list for an Aquanaut, buying a chrono 11.59 is also not enough to get on a waitlist for 37/41mm ROs).

Sometimes I really despise living here, because from reddit posts you can see people from US/EU getting Overseas/hot GS models just by walking in. 36mm OPs (not in blue) also seem possible in certain areas
 

Texasmade

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I actually dropped by Watches of Switzerland at Hudson Yards yesterday with my family to get out of the heat.

First of all, I am such proud dada. Upon entering the store, my 5-year-old daughter pointed at the Patek and Rolex signs and exclaimed: “They have Patek watches and also Rolex! Let’s look at Patek first!”

There were very few Pateks to look at. Obviously, there were no Nautilus or Aquanaut models, but also nothing else other than a few ladies watches. No Calatravas, no smaller complications (annual calendars, travel time, etc.), nothing. Ninety percent of the display slots were empty. This was true last time I was at Wempe in midtown and the Soho Watches of Switzerland as well. Point is, Pateks in general are running scarce.

The Rolex section was even more ridiculous. All slots were empty except for TWO watches, including a 34mm rose gold Datejust. I don’t remember the other, but it was also a smaller ladies model.

Every other brand’s display area was fully-loaded (e.g. Vacheron, Omega, IWC, JLC, etc.). They had like six Speedmaster moon watches ready for purchase, including a couple of the outgoing version.

In some ways, this is to be expected. Perhaps, the broader watch consumer market is simply catching up to more serious collectors, who began heavily consolidating their collections on Patek and Rolex about ~10 years ago. Before then, it was more common for enthusiasts to dabble across the different makers. These days, it’s Patek, Rolex, independents, or you’re a beginner.

Will this change? For reasons discussed before, Patek and Rolex have unique appeal to collectors. The other brands from Richemont and LVMH tend to feel a lot more anonymous and luxury consumerist oriented. Hard to put a finger on exactly why, but one key element is that their marketing tends to feel a lot more forced and their watches feel a lot more influenced by marketing. In contrast, Patek and Rolex exude somewhat of a “we don’t give a fuck what you want” attitude. This reflects their conservativism and reinforces an aura of permanence.

In short, increasingly few people have concentrated collections of watches from the likes of IWC or JLC or even Lange. People who buy those watches tend to be more casual about collecting or will never buy more than one or two. Anecdotally, most of my friends and co-workers who have nice watches from such brands tend to have only that single watch, aren’t serious enthusiasts, and usually bought it because they saw an ad or think the brand is “cool”.

Given the underlying drivers, the current trend toward market bifurcation may be more secular than cyclical, unfortunately.
Yeah, I was there the weekend before. The Patek section was a joke and the Rolex section was an even bigger joke. It's like what's the point to have that much Rolex floor space dedicated to 2 or 3 watches.

Also tbf, the fully loaded Vacheron section was like 4 watches. I remember there was a 1921 and a CdV on the wall display case but don't remember what was in the floor display.
 

TheFoo

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I dropped by multiple stores in Singapore, and there is pretty much nothing in steel from any brand. Singapore's market is so insane that it's basically impossible to get any desirable steel watches from any high end brand with an established history without huge pre-spending (above $100k).

We have 19 Rolex boutiques in an area 1/4 the size of London, and not one has anything other than TT DJs. Cant even buy a 36/41mm DJ/OP in any colour with the purchase of a TT ladies' model.

The GS white birch has a 1 year backorder. VC has stopped taking orders for any Overseas regardless of colour. Even the Octo Finissimo blue dial is on backorder, Zenith's Chronomaster sport is on 3-6 months backorder. Cartier steel watches are now at 3-7% discount if at all (25% was the standard pre-covid). Nothing at PP/AP (no surprise, but buying a perpetual from patek is not enough to get on a waiting list for an Aquanaut, buying a chrono 11.59 is also not enough to get on a waitlist for 37/41mm ROs).

Sometimes I really despise living here, because from reddit posts you can see people from US/EU getting Overseas/hot GS models just by walking in. 36mm OPs (not in blue) also seem possible in certain areas
Who in the US is doing better than this? Sounds like same situation, except with respect to GS.
 

Deeky

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Who in the US is doing better than this? Sounds like same situation, except with respect to GS.
From what I've read (reddit, rolexforums, watchuseek etc), Bvlgari is ready stock, GS is ready stock, Chronomaster is ready stock, VC Overseas can be bought (as long as one is not aiming for a blue dial, and apparently some ADs/boutiques are still willing to take deposits for a blue dial), and getting a 11.59 chrono should also land you on a waiting list for 37/41mm ROs (not blue dials).

This is a pretty big diff from here, where basically everything is on backorder with a 6 month - 1 year wait (even LVMH brands) or just outright impossible without massive purchase histories/bundling.
 

TheFoo

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From what I've read (reddit, rolexforums, watchuseek etc), Bvlgari is ready stock, GS is ready stock, Chronomaster is ready stock, VC Overseas can be bought (as long as one is not aiming for a blue dial, and apparently some ADs/boutiques are still willing to take deposits for a blue dial), and getting a 11.59 chrono should also land you on a waiting list for 37/41mm ROs (not blue dials).

This is a pretty big diff from here, where basically everything is on backorder with a 6 month - 1 year wait (even LVMH brands) or just outright impossible without massive purchase histories/bundling.
I don’t track Bulgari at all, so no idea there. As mentioned, GS is not hard to get—the Soho boutique in NYC is fully stocked and can’t seem to even give away watches to the zero customers that ever walk in. Despite some niche online hobbyist interest, I have a hard time seeing a long-term, significant presence for GS in the U.S.

Grey market for Chronomaster is demanding premiums over retail and I haven’t seen any sitting around.

VC Overseas? Not obtainable. Need a “relationship”. Not sure who is telling you otherwise, but if he is able to simply walk into an AD and buy one he’d be an idiot not to given the immediate profit.
 

am55

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From what I've read (reddit, rolexforums, watchuseek etc), Bvlgari is ready stock, GS is ready stock, Chronomaster is ready stock, VC Overseas can be bought (as long as one is not aiming for a blue dial, and apparently some ADs/boutiques are still willing to take deposits for a blue dial), and getting a 11.59 chrono should also land you on a waiting list for 37/41mm ROs (not blue dials).
Have you tried Bulgari Takashimaya? They had the full octo range last time I popped by.

You can get grey market steel Rolex full range from the first floor shop in the Mandarin Gallery, although at a premium. The Wisma ground floor also has SS Rolex to try (but not buy - the SA told me walk ins apparently will offer to buy everything in the store, and still get denied).

Anyway, not surprising given the price for a small house by Houston or even Sydney standards.
 

Deeky

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Yea I tried Bvlgari boutiques (not ADs). They had basically everything but the blue dial in the satin finish. Most ADs only had the ceramic/sandblasted versions.

I mean, we all know it's possible to get any steel Rolex in the grey market but its just so crazy that even the traditionally less popular DJs/OPs cant even be gotten now with the purchase of a TT diamond ladies DJ. It's just how stupid the market in SG is right now
 

Nickd

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From my local Rolex AD it looks like Rolesor DJ can be got easily at retail, as can ladies OP and DJ. Everything else requires an expression of interest or a trip to the grey market.

I don’t see much if any commentary on this, but it seems like Tudor are filling in the nice but attainable, usable everyday watch position that Rolex had 20 years ago and before, but even then the grey market is trying to ask a premium for Tudor watches (like the GMT I posted) that are easy to get at retail.
 

TheFoo

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From my local Rolex AD it looks like Rolesor DJ can be got easily at retail, as can ladies OP and DJ. Everything else requires an expression of interest or a trip to the grey market.

I don’t see much if any commentary on this, but it seems like Tudor are filling in the nice but attainable, usable everyday watch position that Rolex had 20 years ago and before, but even then the grey market is trying to ask a premium for Tudor watches (like the GMT I posted) that are easy to get at retail.
You can order a Day-Date or PM Datejust. They just aren’t available in stock.
 

mak1277

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From my local Rolex AD it looks like Rolesor DJ can be got easily at retail, as can ladies OP and DJ. Everything else requires an expression of interest or a trip to the grey market.

I don’t see much if any commentary on this, but it seems like Tudor are filling in the nice but attainable, usable everyday watch position that Rolex had 20 years ago and before, but even then the grey market is trying to ask a premium for Tudor watches (like the GMT I posted) that are easy to get at retail.
I still feel like Tudor is a watch for enthusiasts...is that changing? Is the "general watch-buying public" starting to buy them?
 

am55

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Yea I tried Bvlgari boutiques (not ADs). They had basically everything but the blue dial in the satin finish. Most ADs only had the ceramic/sandblasted versions.

I mean, we all know it's possible to get any steel Rolex in the grey market but its just so crazy that even the traditionally less popular DJs/OPs cant even be gotten now with the purchase of a TT diamond ladies DJ. It's just how stupid the market in SG is right now
The other thing is the Grab drivers. Numerically speaking almost all the Rolex I see is when I take a cab, especially in these videoconferencing times.
 

Deeky

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The other thing is the Grab drivers. Numerically speaking almost all the Rolex I see is when I take a cab, especially in these videoconferencing times.
but 90% of those are the TT YG/SS models:rotflmao:

Seriously though, I think I'm just going to give up on Rolex / AP as I don't foresee the market gaining some semblance of sanity in the next 3-5 years. I'd probaby save up a bit more to get VC's cornes de vache or Breguet's Marine chrono
 

Drek Galloche

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Checked out Zenith Vintage chrono reissue yesterday and was surprised how small it looks. Small even for 1970s vintage style.
Interesting Zenith Defy range of watches. Tonn of Longines, Blancpains and Breitling available. Some are very cool. Glaschutte reddish sunburst dials are gorgeous.
 

Deeky

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GO's panomatic line is really good. But unreasonably and ridiculously thick, so will not consider buying one
 

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