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      02-26-2014, 08:05 PM   #1
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AuthenticWatches.com

Has anyone ever heard of this online company or bought a watch from them?
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      02-26-2014, 08:26 PM   #2
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Yes, a well known gray market dealer in watches. They offer very good prices but since they are not an authorized dealer the watch maker usually doesn't honor the warranty. Authentic (and other gray market dealers) will offer their own warranty instead. Have never purchased from Authentic personally but some gray market dealers will list watches they don't actually have in stock so sourcing the watch once you purchase may (not always) take a while.

Overall their reputation seems to be pretty good but again I have never purchased from them, just familiar from my time on watch forums. Check out watchuseek.com for some good info on watch brands and gray market dealers...
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      02-26-2014, 08:30 PM   #3
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I purchased from them and had no issues. Purchased a TAG Calibre 16
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      02-26-2014, 08:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscarrol View Post
Yes, a well known gray market dealer in watches. They offer very good prices but since they are not an authorized dealer the watch maker usually doesn't honor the warranty.
I bought my Victorinox Dive Master automatic from Amazon (directly from Amazon, not a third party). Amazon is also a gray market dealer that is not authorized to sell Victorinox watches. When the watch arrived, I sent photos and the serial number to Victorinox to ensure its authenticity. Sure enough, they wrote back and said it was 100% legit and they even offered me a 1 year warranty just for checking with them.

So, it's certainly worth a try to contact the company for a warranty, even if you don't buy it from an authorized dealer.
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      02-26-2014, 08:47 PM   #5
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And one more thing. They are the watch company that AmEx uses if you want to buy watches with your AmEx points, etc. I've never done it, but I know that's who AmEx uses.
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      02-26-2014, 08:49 PM   #6
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Good for Victronix! But many of the higher end makers (Brietling for example) will not honor the warranty. At least they say they won't but always worth asking. Might get a positive response!
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      02-26-2014, 09:10 PM   #7
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I understand buying a watch online may or may not come with the manufacturers warranty but if there is a problem, will the manufacturer have any issues with fixing it at a standard price?
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      02-26-2014, 09:19 PM   #8
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Good question! As with most things it likely depends. With Owen's Victronix, it most likely that some makers will service the watch. Ultimately my concern is the third party warranty. Are they using factory parts or lower quality third party parts for repairs? Who knows!

Some watch makers apparently will not service or sell spare parts for watches that are sold through these gray market dealers. Not sure if that's true, just what I've heard. Likely misinformation from an authorized dealer! Perhaps our resident watch expert tony20009 can set the record straight...
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      02-26-2014, 09:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3/4 life View Post
Has anyone ever heard of this online company or bought a watch from them?
Occasionally they have good prices. Always when I've tried their website, it takes forever to load. Now a slow loading website doesn't have a damn thing to do with the watches, but it does have something to do with the way the company is managed and operated. What it says to me is that they are too damn cheap to spend the money to have a well designed site that loads quickly or that they just don't give a damn. It could also mean they are a mom and pop sort of outfit and money's too tight to mention, which is entirely possible.

That said, if I were to have the opportunity to visit their brick and mortar location first and buy something that I knew well and could determine its authenticity myself, I probably wouldn't have any issue buying from them. I provided a BBB link below, but I haven't read what is contained there. I may change my mind depending on what I read.

I will say I read with a grain of salt a lot of reviews I read about various sellers. Competition among sellers is such that it's not beneath some of them to post bogus reviews. I just use good judgement to get a sense if it's just some loon ranting or whether the writer is someone who knows what they are talking about.

As for grey market sellers (GMS) in general, I have to say, my favorite is Alan Furman. No issues with them at all. Well regarded all over the DC area, and let me tell you, there is no shortage of picky folks in the DC area who would have driven them out of business ages ago. Gemnation in NY is another that's good to deal with.



One thing that generally makes me feel better with any GMS is that they have a brick and mortar showroom you can visit. Any outfit that does have proper office/retail space is going to be "on the up and up" and most likely thriving. The "we only do business over the WWW" folks are the one's I won't deal with. They don't have to have a lavish show room as one would find on Madison Ave, NY, but they need to have something that is customer friendly enough, something modest even like a non-street level office sort of thing would be fine, that receives walk in customers (i.e., no appointment) and has ample stock on display.


As for the GMSes out there and whether to use any of them, here're some thoughts from other watchies.
I have to say that while Alan Furman is my first choice among GMSes, sometimes they just don't have the watch I want. The thing is that more often than not over the years, I use the GMSes as bargaining levers in my negotiating with authorized dealers. This is especially the case when I'm buying a major name brand watch.



I mean after all, the only thing a GMS isn't going to give you, and that an authorized dealer (AD)will give you, is the manufacturer's warranty. If that bothers you, print a copy of the maker's warranty from their website and compare it with the one the GMS is offering. If you are satisfied that they are equivalent, buy the thing from the GMS. The reality is that no mainstream maker -- Tag, Hamilton, Rolex, etc. that sells their watches in a shopping mall is going to likely have a watch that goes haywire within the first two years, which is as long as nearly any warranty lasts. (Omega is now offering four years and I think Citizen has some for five years, but I can't see anything going wrong with them before the warranty expires either. It could happen, but I wouldn't expect it to.) I would be pretty worry free were I buying something with a purchased in movement inside too. ETA, Sellita, Miyota, F. Piguet, et al have been making standard movements for ages and many watch repair guys know how to deal with them. Generally, a GMS will have just such a guy onsite if their customer's watch does need service. By contrast, were I buying a more esoteric movement -- say, Ressence's magnetic watch, or GP's constant escapement, or a Corum bridge movement, or anyone's grand complication watch, etc. -- I would probably be pretty keen to stick with an AD.



The one thing worth keeping in mind when buying form a GMS is that most of their watches are what is called "new, old stock" (NOS). What that means is that the watch is new (never sold to a consumer before), but it is also either out of production or it wasn't selling fast at a regular AD's store. What essentially happens is that the AD sells the watches to the GMS buyer and records the sales and maintains his selling quota/goals with regard to the manufacturer.


Lastly, I have seen some folks boo-hooing over AWS. I gotta tell you, a lot of it sounds bogus to me. If not totally bogus, it does sound as though the writer is leaving out some details. It sounds that way because (1) they aren't generally very detailed and specific about what exactly transpired and (2) they seem to always include a lot of irrelevant details, such as how much they spent on or what other watches they own, as if that information has any bearing on the actual facts of their transaction with AWS. I don't know about you, but if I'm going to listen to/read about someone's griping, I want just a complete and objective set of facts. I can draw my own conclusion. I don't need to be convinced by the passion of their outrage; the facts will speak for themselves.

Lastly, I see you are in Houston. Have you sought GMSes in your area? I'm assuming you've already checked Hal Martin's and they don't offer the watch you want? It's one of the few places from which I'd tell someone to buy a used watch. Like most major cities that have a lot of wealth flowing in, often enough, there's wealth that flows out too, along with the status seekers who probably shouldn't have spent that much on a watch to begin with, and those folks sell their watches and the high end pawn shop is the place to buy them. DC has a couple such places. I know L.A. has more than a couple, ditto NYC and Atlanta and most any other big city. Word to the wise though, even buying from a reputable pawn shop, know that buying used watches anywhere is something to do if one knows what one is doing.

All the best.
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      02-26-2014, 10:38 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the valuable input tony2009 & all who responded, Tony you defiantly know your watches! I'll do a little more research before I pull the trigger. I was just curious if authenticwatches.com were legit before I wasted my time scrolling through their site.
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      02-27-2014, 01:24 PM   #11
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I bought my Bell & Ross from Alan Furman. Transaction was very fast and I have never had a problem with the watch, except for a broken strap which B&R replaced free of charge.
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      02-27-2014, 02:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twin fed View Post
I bought my Bell & Ross from Alan Furman.
Which one did you get? I don't own one, but I'm a fan.
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      02-27-2014, 03:31 PM   #13
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I have a BR03 92 in Carbon
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      02-27-2014, 05:00 PM   #14
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I have a BR03 92 in Carbon
Nice.
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      02-28-2014, 02:14 PM   #15
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Yeah it is my favorite watch that I own right now.
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      02-28-2014, 05:44 PM   #16
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I've gotten a couple from them -- no complaints whatsoever. Jomashop also does a good job.

If I were ever purchasing a more expensive watch, I'd go to an AD. For my Longines Hydroconquest (not high end by any stretch, but enough of an investment to make me want some assurances), I went to Topper Jewelers. They offer GM prices with an AD warranty. Just call them up -- great to work with.
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      02-28-2014, 08:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mb135is View Post
I've gotten a couple from them -- no complaints whatsoever. Jomashop also does a good job.

If I were ever purchasing a more expensive watch, I'd go to an AD. For my Longines Hydroconquest (not high end by any stretch, but enough of an investment to make me want some assurances), I went to Topper Jewelers. They offer GM prices with an AD warranty. Just call them up -- great to work with.
+100 on Topper. They are outstanding.

All the best.
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      03-13-2014, 11:12 AM   #18
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Very interesting considering that my wife got my Breitling from authenticwatches.com I'll have to follow up with them & Breitling regarding warranty.
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      03-13-2014, 01:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindovaanything View Post
Very interesting considering that my wife got my Breitling from authenticwatches.com I'll have to follow up with them & Breitling regarding warranty.
Go the the authenticwatches website and read up on their warranty. I doubt Breitling will honor the warranty as the watch was not purchased from an Authorized dealer (AD). Authenticwatches cover purchases with their own warranty... Here is something from their website:

"All orders from AuthenticWatches.com will come with a Certificate of Authenticity. This certificate, with an authorized signature from AuthenticWatches.com, will verify that the watch purchased is guaranteed to be authentic. AuthenticWatches.com does not sell products in accordance to manufacturer suggested retail pricing, therefore warranties offered are facilitated through AuthenticWatches.com to save you both time and money. We have found that forwarding timepieces to the manufacturer generally took far too long to be worked on, due to manufacturers outsourcing their repairs to authorized service centers. The turn-around period for a general repair took anywhere from 8-12 weeks, often times with extra costs involved; whereas, a general repair* processed by AuthenticWatches.com generally takes 4-6 weeks. Based on our years of experience in our industry, we have developed relationships with multiple service centers to both expedite any repair, and lessen the costs involved in non-warranty issues.

We match, or exceed the length of warranty to the amount provided by the manufacturer who produced the watch. Often times, we offer an extra year of warranty in comparison to that of the manufacturers. After any warranty through AuthenticWatches.com expires, you are welcomed to forward your timepiece in for repairs (only if the watch was initially purchased from us) at cost, meaning you will pay exactly what we do and not a penny more. It is just another way we can make sure you have an excellent overall experience with our company."

Bottom line: Check with Breilting but many times watch makers will not honor warranites, will not repair gray market watches and sometimes will not provide parts for repairs. Perhaps Tony will have a better answer but where does Authenticwatches source parts for repair? Are they using OEM parts or third party?
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      03-13-2014, 01:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3/4 life View Post
Has anyone ever heard of this online company or bought a watch from them?
I have purchased several Movados from them. As mentioned they are not "authorized" dealers but I didn't care. The watches are real, with serial numbers and documentation. If anything would have went wrong (nothing ever did) I could have still had it repaired at Movado under warranty
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      03-13-2014, 09:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3/4 life View Post
Has anyone ever heard of this online company or bought a watch from them?
I have purchased several Movados from them. As mentioned they are not "authorized" dealers but I didn't care. The watches are real, with serial numbers and documentation. If anything would have went wrong (nothing ever did) I could have still had it repaired at Movado under warranty
Just curious, have you confirmed this with Movado? The Authenticwatch website explicitly warns that watch makers will not honor warranties so they (Authenticwatches) offer their own warranty in its place...
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      03-13-2014, 11:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Just curious, have you confirmed this with Movado? The Authenticwatch website explicitly warns that watch makers will not honor warranties so they (Authenticwatches) offer their own warranty in its place...
I misspoke I could have it repaired by Movado but it would not be under warranty.

Movado only have a 2 year warranty, so I figured the extra cost purchasing it from an authorized Movado dealers wasn't worth it. I have had the watches for years and just had batteries replaced by Movado (which isn't covered under warranty anyways)

For more expensive watches with longer term warranty, it's probably worth buying from an authorized retailer.
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