Have you thought about why the prices are so different when you shop on different websites, marketplaces and retail shops?
When it's too expensive, you are afraid to overpay when you can buy it at a cheaper price.
When it's too cheap, you start to worry if it's the original watch and if is there any trap for you.
So, today I am going to tell you 3 types of watches in the market that looked like the same thing but are actually different, what's their difference, so you can pick the best for you. We will start from the cheapest to the most expensive.
Of course, the no.1 best-selling watch is always a fake watch. Every famous brand will have its replica version. The more it's sold, the more fakes it has, because the factory knows there is a huge market that will buy their fake products.
Nowadays, the fakes are getting better and better, until even the watch expert cannot tell if it's original by looking at its exterior. They have to open the back case to see the movement of the watch to identify its authenticity.
Some fake watch fans will say:" If the fake is as good as the original, why am I spending 10x or 100x money to buy the original?"
But the truth is fake can never be as good as the original watch, unless its some fashion brands, like Armani Exchange, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, Fossil, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Diesel, Calvin Klein, Guess, Tommy Hilfiger and Maserati.
These fashion brands are not watchmakers, they don't have any special technology or in-house movement, so the OEM factory can use the same material and same movement to build a fake watch that's really 100% the same as the original.
For other well-known watch brands, the fakes can never compete with the original in terms of polishing finished and time accuracy (for mechanical watches), because these details require the most skills and time.
Then, these fake watch supporters will say:" I understand it, but these watches don't worth the price, I can get 80% of the original watch and only pay about 1/10 of the price, I am a smart consumer!"
Honestly, I don't think so. If you want to buy a fake watch, means you really love the brand. A watch brand is built over a long time, they need to research & develop its technologies, compete with other brands in the watch market, and do great marketing to attract customers...
A good brand is not built easily, that's why there are not many top brands in the world. When we buy a watch, it actually supports the brand that we love to keep creating what we want. Instead of buying a fake watch, I would prefer to buy a cheaper watch.
For example, if you cannot afford a RM40,000 Rolex, you can buy a RM15,000 Grand Seiko that has very reliable movement too. If you can afford a RM8,000 Longines, you can buy a RM1,000 Citizen Eco-Drive/Automatic that has very perfect polished finish too. If you cannot afford RM500 G-Shock, you can buy a RM100 Casio digital that is suitable for everyday use too.
You can always buy a watch that's within your budget and has good quality, so you don't need to buy a fake watch, just to pretend like the person you want to be. You can cheat everyone, but not yourself.
If you have decided to buy an original watch, let's talk about the next 2 choices.
Parallel import watches
Parallel import means importing the watch from other countries instead of a local distributor.
So, from this picture, you can see that the brand will sell its stocks to distributors in each country or region, and then distributors sell to authorised dealers. For example, a Malaysia dealer cannot become an authorised dealer of a Singapore distributor. Then, why does parallel import still happen?
It's because every distributor will have stocks that are hard to sell, so if they want to clear these stocks, they will sell them at a much cheaper price, but not to their dealers, so they sell to other countries dealers.
The advantage of parallel import stocks is they get it at a very cheap price, they can sell it at a very cheap price too. Although it's very cheap, it's still original, which comes with a full set box and papers, except the local warranty card.
The disadvantage of parallel import stocks is they can never offer any warranty to you. Think about this, if the parallel import sellers are making little profit from you, they cannot claim a warranty from the local service centre, will they lose money to repair your watch or compensate you for a new watch?
No one will want to lose money. So, it's impossible to get a warranty. Although they may mention 1 year or 2 years warranty in product descriptions, but 99% of them are selling online, and you can never find them to claim your warranty. So, if your watch has any problem, consider yourself bad luck.
And it comes to the second problem, if the service centre doesn't recognise these stocks, how are you going to guarantee their authenticity? They can sell some high grades of replica watches at parallel import prices, boxes and papers are even easier to be produced.
To know if your watch is a replica, it's either you know how to open the back case and identify it or you have to visit an appraiser to check for counterfeits. That requires extra effort, time and money too.
If you don't want to waste your time to find the cheapest deal, then have to worry about the authenticity of the watch, pray it does not have any problem, then your best option will be the last choice we will be talking about.
Find an authorised dealer, and buy a 100% original watch with full set box and papers, that comes with years of warranty. No matter what happens, you can always send the watch to the service centre or any authorised dealer near you.
It seems like the best, but its only disadvantage is expensive. Of course, this is the most expensive among these 3 choices.
But sometimes, you can get some stocks at a very cheap price too. Every watch shop will have stocks that are hard to sell. So, they will want to clear these stocks ASAP. When they are doing promotions, you can find some very cheap deals (Even cheaper than parallel import!).
It depends on your luck and how much you understand watches to get some super amazing deals.
Like us, Watch Empires are an authorised dealer of many affordable brands too, sometimes we also do some promotions, you can check them out on our 'On Sale Now' page.
If you don't want to put too much effort into sourcing the original watch and worry about it, go to an authorised dealer.
If you want to find the cheapest original watch, you are ok with no warranty, find the parallel import seller that has high reviews.
If you want to "fake it until you make it", buy some fake watches. Of course, I don't recommend it. I recommend you find a cheaper brand.
Hope you can get the watch you like! Happy Shopping!