Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.
That's a fantastic story, heh heh.
Great story. Watch odyssey update - today I went to one of eight AL&S boutiques in the world. Yay for me! The boutique is surprisingly small, a real hole in the wall, but I guess that's to be expected in space-scarce Singapore. It has not officially launched yet, it's sort of in the soft launch phase. Service in the boutique was excellent, with refreshments appearing out of nowhere without any prompting. I was also given a catalogue when I left, once again without any prompting. It is a substantial piece of work, and makes other catalogues look... cheap. After the AL&S boutique I dropped into The Hour Glass to look at some Breguets and you should have seen the look on the HG salespeople when they spotted the AL&S carrier bag... Being possessed of a rather cruel streak, I put the salesman through his paces with a stream of questions about the various Lange models (most of which I knew the answers to already... heh) - he performed remarkably well, with the only hiccup being his explanation of why there was a $2,500 price difference between the WG and PG Lange 1s ("more gold" in the WG version...???!!). A welcome change from the usual clueless AD staff. Some observations.... The Lange 1s are beautiful, as always. I have now set my heart on a WG Lange 1; in partficular ref. 101.027x would be a grail for me. I got to spend nearly 20min with a loupe examining the Lange 1 movement, which was absolutely fantastic. The (new) Grand Langes are in their way possibly even more well proportioned than the Lange 1s - their slimmer profile is noticeable, and very appealing. I had a hard time deciding which I liked better, the Grand or vanilla Lange 1. The Zeitwerk is interesting, but sadly proportioned like a hockey puck. The prices were a little... surprising - the Lange 1 is SGD$45,000, which is approx USD$36,300. The discount was bad, nay, pathetic for Singapore - just 5%. AL&S have withdrawn their brand from The Hour Glass, so Sincere Watches are the only other outfit in town stocking AL&S. The salesman helpfully informed me that the discount was also "locked" at 5% at that other AD. I could have sworn Lange 1s were just $31,000 last year?? It's pretty surprising that you can get Langes cheaper in the USA than in Singapore, watch mecca that it is. Anyway, to make up for the lack of boutique/AD photos, a gratuitous watch photo:
Great story here. Do you go to Singapore often?
Great story. Reminds me a bit of an experience a friend of mine had dealing with Tourneau in NYC years ago.
Not really, maybe once every 2 or so years.
I lived there for a period of time, and it's changed a lot since I've left. It's a great place in some ways, a not so great place in other ways. The food culture there is fantastic, unmatched anywhere else I've been so far. The country is very well run. If you're into material/ephremal things it's a fantastic place to visit/shop/experience various other debauched things, but I don't think it's a good place to settle down or raise children unless you are in the top 0.05% income bracket.
In other words, it's sort of becoming Hong Kong, but with worse weather!
Which Lange boutique did you go to? Just before new years i was looking at some pieces at their Ion boutique and they offered 15% right off the bat.
I went to the monobrand AL&S boutique. IIRC I was told that the Ion AL&S boutique has only been open for a bit under 2 months, so by "boutique" in your post I think you might be referring to the "Atelier" AD, which is run by the Hour Glass - i.e. the AD that lost the AL&S account?
If so, I guess we can see why now!!
If not, maybe I look "prosperous", or maybe they sensed "tourist" and smelt blood, or maybe I need to rethink my bargaining strategy!!
Wait dammit! if you are right this is bad news for me, i was saving for an 1815! Dam you hour glass!
Edit: There was no strategy! you just walked in and asked for their "best price" and they immediately pulled out a calculator and deducted 15%
Friday' shot on the South-German autoban, shitty winter weather.
Extremely true. Rolex and PAMs have much higher resale and trade in values. I found this out firsthand when I was inquiring about possible trade ins. IWC and even JLC as a whole don't hold up their value nearly as well ( as I would've liked)
It made me really appreciate Rolex a little more to be honest.
Yes, there are IWCs that sell at prices beyond their original discounted prices. However, there are plenty that don't...I've seen GSTs, Ingenieurs, and F.A Jones, with ASKING prices at either their original discounted prices...or in the case of the F.A. Jones that my AD wanted to sell me at MSRP...I could now buy it for 30% less than he wanted to sell it to me for...Nice watch, but I'm glad I didn't buy it. Also, if going by internet pricing, remember those are asking prices and not actual SALE prices. Also the appreciation levels I mentioned are based on actual sales, not asking prices. In addition, I don't want to be bothered with tire kickers, people getting buyers remorse and wanting to return a watch after I sell it, so the appreciation of 20-25% even on Ex1s and Ex2s is conservative as the stores I've sold to still make a profit over my selling price.
A good ss DJ after 7-10 years if well taken care of, still has very strong resale. IWC is a great watch, and granted I don't live in NYC, but I can tell you some used watch shops aroud me won't even consider buying anything other than Patek, Rolex, AL&S, AP, Cartier. They won't purchase IWC, GP, JLC, and tons of other great brands. Its not the end all be all, but it says something of the secondary market for those brands.
You mention Rolex doing well in the secondary market because people buy it when they can't afford a new one...but thats true of all brands in the secondary market. Unless one is dedicated to vintage models, or you are searching for a specific model that went out of production, most people want to own a new watch rather than the same model thats 2-4 years old with someone else's name on the paperwork.
As for the interest in AP, IWC, Panerai etc. there is far more advertising today on the part of AP, Omega, Panerai, Tag, and IWC. I don't recall seeing any printed ads for IWC or Panerai prior to the mid 1990s. AP did a little advertising in the 1980s...and in the 1980s when Tag bought Heuer they were originally selling junky quartz watches in Sharper Image catalogs and airplane "Skymall" types of catalogs. Tag has certainly put in a lot of effort to change that image, and IWC has moved toward making some of their own movements.
I did find your final paragraph interesting, and there are a few points I agree with, some I don't. It seemed Rolex didn't do very much with their products for several years in the 90s into early 2000s. Some Rolex models don't excite me, such as the basic Datejust, nice watch but nothing unusual. But its funny that Rolex keeps models largely the same over the years with just slight evolutionary changes, and they are called boring or dowdy here on SF. Patek does virtually nothing with a Calatrava other than beef up case size and price...and well thats a classic no one can criticize because its Patek. I really adore complicated Pateks, they are simply stunning,...but the Calatrava is just grossly overpriced. Also Panerai...it became better known after Hollywood took a liking to them in the 90's. They are interesting designs, but in reality they offer 2 models with some variations. People applaud that that are finally making some of their own movments but no one criticizes them for keeping the same look for decades? Actually, people often love watches that change very little over time...the Speedy Pro, Calatrava, Cartier Tank, and many of TAGs nicest watches seem to be reissues of Heuers from the pre-TAG days. I just think its interesting that Rolex takes a beating for small evolutionary changes, and other brands get a pass.
I do think that with Rolex's price increases have pushed some potential buyers toward Omega, Breitling, and Tag all of which have some products starting at a lower price point. A friend that worked in the industry told me that the number of people that can afford good watches and spend for them, gets smaller at certain levels, its like there is a pyramid. There is a large base at with people willing to spend up to 5K, tapering as you get to 10K then tapering again substantially at 20K and the number spending 20K + is quite small. As Rolex moved above the $5K range many would be buyers that don't want a pre-owned watch move toward less expensive alternative brands. As for Rolex being less glamourous...I've never considered Rolex, Panerai, IWC as glamorous watches. I just think of them as sports watches and any of them could be alternatives for the others depending on needs and personal taste. As for AP it starts in such a different price range that they really are not competitors or alternatives.
Just my 2 cents.
A buddy of mine discovered the same thing with both a IWC and a stunning 8 day Master Reserve limited edition. The store owner came out and said, Sorry, I'm not even interested in seeing IWCs or JLCs...our customers really only want Patek, AL&S, AP, Rolex, and Cartier. And my friend's limited edition JLC is a real beauty!
Not sure if they would consider a PAM, but as you already know PAMs have traditionally had very strong resale value.
Its not expensive but it was a gift from my wife when I got my new job. It is super slim and shirt cuffs slides easily over it.
Citizen Men's BM7190-05A Eco-Drive Stainless Steel Date Watch
Will update with pictures later, but I'm a big Movado fan. Love the sleek look. I have a more casual one, I'm not sure of the model name, and an Esperanza that belonged to my father (http://www.princetonwatches.com/images/watches/0600451.jpg).
I also have a black D&G I found cheap, an old Breil watch I got in Italy quite a while ago but never liked to wear much because of the bulk, an Akkribos XXIV, which I like for the novelty of the empty, see-through face, and an Android skeleton which. I like Android watches quite a lot as well (and am constantly receiving compliments on it), though they're incredibly hard to find.
Nice looking watch. Great gift
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