Unlike black market watches that are either stolen, fake or counterfeited and mostly illegal, gray market watches are typically legal but occasionally sold by ethically dubious entities. These watches are therefore of fine quality but are often sold at huge discounts. The gray market is a popular solution for many potential buyers who have an eye for luxury products but would love to save cash on the purchase.
Watches that are sold in the grey market are generally authentic timepieces. This therefore means that they are of the right quality and have all the features of the watches sold through authorized channels. The only difference with the gray market watches is that they are sold by unauthorized dealers and are available at significantly lower costs. For example, genuine Rolex Submariner 116610LN model cost is $15000, fake one is around $200 and gray market price is 13000 USD. The gray market is largely based online. Retailers who sell watches in the gray market acquire these products in bulk authorized and genuine dealers. Most of these dealers are often unable to move the products. In a bid to recoup their losses, they sell the unsold products to the gray market retailers at significantly discounted rates.
When authorized retailers get watches from the producers, they are often required to acquire them in bulk. They are however not allowed to sell them back to the respective watch-makers should they be defeated to move the inventory. If the dealers are unable to sell the watches well, they are left with a large inventory that hordes great capital. In order to move the products faster, they get gray market retailers to buy them fast and offer them incentive in terms of large discounts.
Another factor that has contributed to the blossoming of the gray market for watches is the downturn experienced in the luxury watch scene. The popularity of wristwatches has been negatively affected by the advent of smartphones and smartwatches. These new inventions offer more functionality than typical luxury watches and are just as stylish. Besides telling local and international time, there are some smartwatches that are fully fitted with heart rate monitors and other health counters. With the popularity of luxury watches reduced, authorized retailers are left stranded with expensive product in their stores. As a way of minimizing the losses, they sell the product to gray market retailers who in turn lower the prices to attract potential buyers and avid watch collectors.
Telling a gray market watch apart from a genuine market watch can be a pretty daunting task considering the fact that they are both authentic timepieces. There are however certain things that you can look at to help you determine if you are getting your watch from authorized retailer. The price is certainly one of the most obvious. As earlier mentioned, grey market watches are relatively cheaper. You also do not get a warranty from gray market dealers.
If you are on a budget and would like to get an authentic luxury watch, the grey market is the perfect solution. With the exception of the lack of warranty, you enjoy everything else from the quality of the watch to the affordable prices.