Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.
I have repeatedly followed this advice in my own life and I must say I am a pretty happy man.
after posting pix of the "Little Shop of Horrifically Cool Watches" I've received a bunch of PMs concerning the shop so... here it is
Spoiler: Warning: Spoiler!
please don't all call at once!
and FYI... he doesn't update his website very often so if you are really looking for something, I would email him. Had I had the funds last time I was there I would have scored my JLC Reverso for quite a deal!
One last thing... ChicagoRon and I have determined that the grumpy, not nice guy who occasionally works there is a curly-haired white dude. John is the guy in my pic who is a very cool and almost-always-willing-to-chat-about-watches, middle-aged Asian guy... just so you know... talk to John!
it is by "Cler Watch" although I know nothing about them. It has that very cool scalloped, border around the face... and tho the colors are not great in the pic, very nice patina and the sub-seconds hand is cobalt blue. as a casual weekender, I really loved it... should have grabbed it. I think he wanted about $650 USD but not having any info I was at a loss.
ah, i see, so buy it for me then!
The Rolex Submariner is always a good option. Consider the 5513 - a vintage one without WG dial marker surrounds in great condition with box and papers is easily doable at $10k.
Stitchy's suggestion of the JLC Memovox TT Deep Sea is an excellent recommendation.
If I may, I'd like to add on the IWC Ingenieur ref 3227. Not strictly a "dive watch" but a good option in the rugged style you like.
Here's a link to one that's NOS: http://www.chrono24.com/en/iwc/inge...01&dosearch=true&urlSubpath=/search/index.htm
Yeah, if you want a diver watch you can't go wrong with the Rolex Sub. Though personally I prefer vintage.
I love my Rolex 1680, but that's due to it being the model I ideated on when I was a kid (along with the Omega PloProf, but that's not a practical watch for daily wear). If the new one turns you on that's the one to go with.
There is an interesting thread on the PuristsPro A. Lange & Sohne subforum right now.
In a nutshell this guy has more than a few 6 (yes, six) figure Langes which he purchased from various ADs (but not the boutique).
He goes to the official boutique in his country to purchase an OEM strap, which he then decides he does not like after a week. He goes back in, and asks for a swap and is outright refused. No checking, no discussion, just refused. He feels slightly indignant, given all the Lange ad copy about being purchasers being part of a family, and because he is a good customer, albeit one which the boutique may not know about. However the boutique should know about him, given they invite him to Lange events... after all, if inviting someone out for a $400 dinner is somehow considered a good investment in future sales, why not a $400 strap? And especially as these Lange events are usually small - limited to 30-50 customers.
It raises some interesting questions about what salesmanship is, and how it does (or does not) keep pace with ad copy. We're entering a period where the Swiss watch industry - mostly under the aegis of luxury conglomerates - is growing at unprecedented speed, where monobrand boutiques are mushrooming everywhere, a situation where even the dead (Perrelet, etc) brands are coming back to life, and where previously dead brands (Breguet, AL&S) are now definitely alive and kicking. Has the aftersales service kept pace?
My take? My initial reaction was "you entitled SOB", but on deeper reflection I now think a smart boutique manager would have swapped the strap, no questions asked. What is a $400 strap to a multimillion $ customer? You burn $10,000 holding a private event for good customers, and you want to quibble over a $400 strap? Even if I purchase an iPad from Circuit City, I can walk into an Apple Store anywhere in the world and be assisted, or have exchanges done with no question - shouldn't AL&S go one step further?
I am a small timer but I think a recent CS experience I had was an example of a good one - my Rouge (last Rouge anecdote, promise) was not purchased in Singapore (where I first saw it in the flesh) because its Singapore MSRP is $3000 (yes, three thousand) above MSRP elsewhere (Asians love their red, apparently). Nor could it be purchased where I live (Australia) as we don't have a JLC boutique. The Australia ADs were worse than useless when it came to trying to source a Rouge, with one telling me emphatically the model didn't exist.
So I had to get it shipped in from overseas. I contacted an AD in Switzerland who has links to the JLC boutique there. He had a Rouge that was loaned (!) to a good customer who decided he didn't want it after a couple of weeks. So it had a month or so out of its 2 year warranty. It was offered at a good discount too (remember this is a boutique only model, so no discount is normal), so I went for it. It arrived and was - as stated - basically NIB.
But the guarantee card had non-matching serial numbers!
This was bad. Remember I had just purchased a near new but essentially still second hand boutique-only watch from an AD, so in a sense I was SOL when it comes to things like this. The AD contacted JLC Switzerland, and not only did they replace the wrong warranty card, they sent it to me Express at their expense, contacted me personally to apologise, and then took pains to follow up with me to check that everything was alright. It may not be much, but it left me feeling good about the company. I may just have been a lowly small timer purchasing a simple Reverso, but I felt I mattered as much as a Spherotourbillon sporting big timer. That goodwill is, IMO, priceless.
Be kind, one of the cheaper in the collection, but my favorite for the weekends
I don't need to be kind - I love Hamilton and Oris for variety / weekend wear. And that one is really nice, although I personally have never loved the riveted pilot style straps, the watch is really well laid out.
A greed with the sentiment - but I like the rivets on a big sporty piece like this - nice! I've owned a number of Hamiltons over the years and they have always served me well.
It's the good will that keeps you coming back for new purchases - and the best salesmen have evolved from fleecing customers for short-term profit to really developing long-term relationships that maximize "lifetime customer value."
OK, now that I've gotten those management buzzwords out of the way, I think you're bringing up a really important point here, apropos. The best salespeople who we'll end up trusting with our money over the long run are exactly the ones who treat us with respect, who take our inquiries seriously, and treat us as we would expect "big timers" to be treated. The dealers I've trusted the most took a chance on me when they didn't know if I would actually spend a dollar - showed me all the watches I wanted to see, patiently responded to technical questions via phone or email, happily had me back if I wanted to see a piece once, twice or thrice, etc. I only have two trusted dealers I do business with right now (one is an AD), and I've purchased a few pieces from them that I hope rewarded them for the time they spent with me.
But there are icky stories of dealers who just stopped responding to emails, didn't take me seriously, didn't treat me well - I didn't need capuccino served up to me every time I visited, I just needed 5 to 10 minutes of their time when I visited. That's not so much, is it? One guy stopped responding to my emails when I was looking for a 3940J because I asked about trade-in options. Strange. So I approached another dealer and I ended up buying a 3940 in platinum. A week later another piece, etc, etc, etc.
To be fair, sales managers will want to focus on maximizing dollars per prospect, so salespeople will want to make sure they don't waste too much time with prospects who don't end up buying. But how will they know which prospects will turn out to be great clients from the get-go, if they don't treat people with whom they interact with some basic modicum of respect?
Stitch and i were talking about this watch yesterday...cant believe i forgot to suggest that. The ingy is an awesome watch. Rugged as hell too. I love the bracelet, but it also looks awesome on a strap..IIRC they did an AMG version on a black kevlar strap that was really sporty looking. Not something i typically like at all but it really looked nice on that.
I gotta say I'm a sucker for good customer service. I happen to think the guy in Apropos' example with the Lange should have definitely gotten better treatment. Is he entitled to it because he bought a Lange? Not necessarily. But I think he's entitled to more than a snub from the boutique of a brand in which he's invested considerably in. Perhaps a little more time and discussion of other possible options from the salesman/saleswoman at the very least. I happen to think Lange should've taken care of the strap for him, but that's just my opinion.
I've never bought from a boutique. Then again, the brands I usually am interested in are available from AD's that have better pricing AND better customer service IMO. I've been to the Panerai boutique in NY, and the Omega boutique in NOVA both of which have been disappointing. But that may speak more about the particular sales associates on the floor on that given day. However I've had excellent service from my local AD's, and it's that excellent service, attention and commitment that keeps me loyal.
I agree with Frills - having a sales person really take a lot of time to show you different models and pieces (without acting like it's a chore) all the while being enthusiastic about the watches themselves is a big plus. Here in the U.S, I think the AD experience can vary wildly depending on region, which brands they stock, and even just who happens to be manning the 'floors' on any given day.
Though we've been at it for years in terms of having passion for watches, it really seems like it's taken off as a whole in the last decade, now capturing the public attention and spotlight (as it should!). I have no experience from overseas, but I wonder how different it is in Asia and Europe. For example I'm frequently told by AD's that discounts in the more affluent areas of Asia are non existent, and there's so much money and desire to own precious time pieces, the whole customer service dynamic is different from here in the U.S., where brick and mortar stores may really need to please every customer they can..?
on a side note, the IWC flaship store in NY is bananas and they treated me great
^^i gotta admit, I think specifically because he bought a lange he is entitled to fantastic treatment from lange. These arent $5k watches. hell, if i bought a few 6 figure watches, id expect them to throw me a party at the boutique that resembled a rap video.
The IWC AD in nashville is really great. I went in with zero plan to buy anything and just oogle over some watches...one of the salesmen knew me from the panerai world...They opened a bottle of champagne, gave me a hat, a few hardbound books, a couple magazines....it was like a fucking party. They were fully aware that i was not going to buy anything. But they spent a good 2 hours with me showing me all kinds of watches...taking stuff out of the safe to show, etc. Its not a busy store, but the couple people that did come in were given drinks and shown anything they wanted to see. I really wish i could have bought something, because i think they deserved the business.
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