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Old 12 February 2020, 01:00 PM   #1
mahlia0121
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Omega at Retail Price - Ouch.

I was in the omega boutique this evening, and tried on one of the new Seamaster two tones. After leaving in seriously considering purchasing it, I checked Chrono24 and there are several for a good 25-30% below retail BNIB.

I have a buddy who purchased an omega speedmaster sapphire sandwich at full retail price. Moon phase and date complication. Realistically a great value for the complications. Yet, like many other Omegas it drops by $2,000 right out the door. 6,100 to $4000.

I know thereís a discussion of ďvalueĒ and not buying a watch just because of its value. Still, I canít bring myself to buy an omega at retail. Even BNIB Grey is usually 30% cheaper. If Iím wrong, please correct me, but yikes! Iíve never asked for a discount, because I assume it wonít approach grey prices. Anyone else feel this way?


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Old 12 February 2020, 01:03 PM   #2
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Pisses me off that they let this happen.

One of my major turn offs about the brand.
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Old 12 February 2020, 01:05 PM   #3
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Pisses me off that they let this happen.

One of my major turn offs about the brand.


I agree! There are many brands that hold their value. Many that Iíd buy at retail and have! Not interested in profitability, but coming from a business background, I hesitate to pay for anything that I know will immediately depreciate (car excluded here as that is a bit different).


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Old 12 February 2020, 10:34 PM   #4
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Pisses me off that they let this happen.

One of my major turn offs about the brand.
Agreed

Discounts destroy value and yet it is all some people seek.
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Old 13 February 2020, 10:13 AM   #5
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Pisses me off that they let this happen.

One of my major turn offs about the brand.


Yep. Had my FOIS that I bought for $3700. Retail is $5900. Loved it. Was never going to sell it. But someone wanted it worse than I did and I looked around and can replace it for $3200 if I get the itch again.

But I have liquidated a bunch lately so this was just one of a few.


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Old 13 February 2020, 10:32 PM   #6
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Yep. Had my FOIS that I bought for $3700. Retail is $5900. Loved it. Was never going to sell it. But someone wanted it worse than I did and I looked around and can replace it for $3200 if I get the itch again.

But I have liquidated a bunch lately so this was just one of a few.


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I used to own that watch. My wife borrowed it constantly, so I gave it to her. She loves it. Itís her daily wear.


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Old 14 February 2020, 12:27 PM   #7
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Pisses me off that they let this happen.

One of my major turn offs about the brand.
In the Rolex section people complain about not being able to buy steel sports models at ADs. In the Omega section people complain about anyone being able to walk in and buy any steel sports model they want!
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Old 14 February 2020, 09:57 PM   #8
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In the Rolex section people complain about not being able to buy steel sports models at ADs. In the Omega section people complain about anyone being able to walk in and buy any steel sports model they want!


I wouldn't complain about any company meeting customer demand. Getting 18% off and LE can only be a good thing

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Old 17 February 2020, 03:42 AM   #9
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In the Rolex section people complain about not being able to buy steel sports models at ADs. In the Omega section people complain about anyone being able to walk in and buy any steel sports model they want!
Iím not sure if you are referring to me or not.

Clearly, I said nothing at all about availability.
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Old 19 February 2020, 09:41 AM   #10
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Iím not sure if you are referring to me or not.

Clearly, I said nothing at all about availability.
I interpreted your statement as being disappointed in Omega for allowing their watches to be sold at 40% off in the secondary market. The secondary market price is directly related to availability since high availability means lower secondary market price, so this particular statement is indirectly about availability.

I now realize that your statement could have been about being disappointed that official Omega ADs are selling their watches discounted at 40% off. If this was the case then I agree that this is something that Omega could more easily do something about by pressuring their AD network.

I don't think that enforcing no discounts would change the secondary market price much though since that's much more about perceived desirability than original sale price. After all, the reason ADs discount is to entice sales by getting closer to the market price.
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Old 15 February 2020, 05:36 AM   #11
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Pisses me off that they let this happen.

One of my major turn offs about the brand.
Brands are damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Rolex lets the gray market resell at stupid markups and everyone's pissed at Rolex, saying they're purposefully restricting supply to drive up the reputation and pricing and that they should do something about flippers and grays.

And Omega is producing an amazing watch, in sufficient numbers to meet demand (or slightly exceed, since there are discounts) and people are pissed off that the watch depreciates.

In the end, they're just commodities. The Rolex bubble will burst, at some point and a lot of people will be left holding expensive pieces they can't dump any anything resembling a reasonable price.

It's funny to watch the hand wringing about resale value. I'll buy a watch to wear. If I need or want to sell it, bonus if it's worth more, but I fully expect it to not fetch a profit.
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Old 15 February 2020, 06:27 AM   #12
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First, to address the question, "Why does Omega allow this to happen?" The answer is simple, because they make more money this way. It is business school 101 that profit is maximized when marginal revenue and the marginal cost of production are equal. As long as Omega can sell another unit for a price above the marginal cost to produce that unit (inclusive of all overhead, transportation costs, etc.) then they should if their interest is maximizing profitability and share holder value. As Omega the brand is owned by the publicly traded Swatch Group, their interest is undoubtedly the maximization of profit / shareholder value, and the time horizon for that maximization is likely on the order of quarters or a small number of years at the longest.

It is no different for ADs. As long as the "after discounts" revenue associated with the marginal sale is greater than the marginal cost of the watch to the AD, then they should make the sale. Obviously there is some art to determining what the minimum discount is that will get the deal done. However, as long as the sale contributes margin then the profit maximizing decision is to make the sale.

Secondly, there are two reasons a buyer normally sees the value of a watch, whatever the brand, drop when they walk out of an AD. The first reason is that the price they paid is greater than the prevailing market price in their chosen sales channel. Said another way, the buyer failed to negotiate their best price within their preferred channel. Say they received only a 5% discount at the AD when average buyer receives a 15% discount. In this case the buyer will see a immediate 10% drop in value associated with their below average negotiation ability. The second reason is that the level of trust is higher in the AD channel then in either the grey market or private party channels. Perceived risk on the part of the buyer is lower in the AD channel. Lower perceived risk on the part of the buyer is associated with a higher willingness to pay. For this reason market prices tend to be highest in the lowest risk channels. For watches this means AD market price is normally greater than grey market price, and grey market price is higher than private party sales price. Even among grey market and private party sales, some sellers with long track records of reliable transactions can command higher prices than other sellers in the same channel.

How all of that relates to value retention of Omegas is simple. MSRP in the AD channel is normally higher than the market clearing price because Omega is setting its production at the level that it believes will maximize profitability in the short to medium run. They know that there is still much profit to be realized when selling watches at a discount to MSRP, so they make more. Consumers who buy their watch in the AD channel (or grey market channel) are then faced with selling it in higher risk / lower price private party channel. The loss associate with having to move to a higher risk channel when selling are compounded by losses associated with any discount "left on the table" during the negotiation at the time of purchase in the AD channel.

The current situation with Rolex's SS watches is the result of a market inefficiency in the AD channel. For whatever reason, be it intentional or not, Rolex has set production of SS watches at a level below the profit maximizing level. Because Rolex has simultaneously artificially capped pricing in the AD channel at MSRP, it has created an arbitrage opportunity for those buyers able to secure a SS watch through an AD. If Rolex decided to either a) increase production to the profit maximizing level, or b) allow ADs to sell at the actual market clearing price within the channel, then you would see the same value retention behavior for Rolex watches as for Omega watches - only at a higher average price level across the various sales channels.

Sorry for the novel of a post. I hope folks find it interesting.
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Old 19 February 2020, 10:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cgaites View Post
First, to address the question, "Why does Omega allow this to happen?" The answer is simple, because they make more money this way. It is business school 101 that profit is maximized when marginal revenue and the marginal cost of production are equal. As long as Omega can sell another unit for a price above the marginal cost to produce that unit (inclusive of all overhead, transportation costs, etc.) then they should if their interest is maximizing profitability and share holder value. As Omega the brand is owned by the publicly traded Swatch Group, their interest is undoubtedly the maximization of profit / shareholder value, and the time horizon for that maximization is likely on the order of quarters or a small number of years at the longest.

It is no different for ADs. As long as the "after discounts" revenue associated with the marginal sale is greater than the marginal cost of the watch to the AD, then they should make the sale. Obviously there is some art to determining what the minimum discount is that will get the deal done. However, as long as the sale contributes margin then the profit maximizing decision is to make the sale.

Secondly, there are two reasons a buyer normally sees the value of a watch, whatever the brand, drop when they walk out of an AD. The first reason is that the price they paid is greater than the prevailing market price in their chosen sales channel. Said another way, the buyer failed to negotiate their best price within their preferred channel. Say they received only a 5% discount at the AD when average buyer receives a 15% discount. In this case the buyer will see a immediate 10% drop in value associated with their below average negotiation ability. The second reason is that the level of trust is higher in the AD channel then in either the grey market or private party channels. Perceived risk on the part of the buyer is lower in the AD channel. Lower perceived risk on the part of the buyer is associated with a higher willingness to pay. For this reason market prices tend to be highest in the lowest risk channels. For watches this means AD market price is normally greater than grey market price, and grey market price is higher than private party sales price. Even among grey market and private party sales, some sellers with long track records of reliable transactions can command higher prices than other sellers in the same channel.

How all of that relates to value retention of Omegas is simple. MSRP in the AD channel is normally higher than the market clearing price because Omega is setting its production at the level that it believes will maximize profitability in the short to medium run. They know that there is still much profit to be realized when selling watches at a discount to MSRP, so they make more. Consumers who buy their watch in the AD channel (or grey market channel) are then faced with selling it in higher risk / lower price private party channel. The loss associate with having to move to a higher risk channel when selling are compounded by losses associated with any discount "left on the table" during the negotiation at the time of purchase in the AD channel.

The current situation with Rolex's SS watches is the result of a market inefficiency in the AD channel. For whatever reason, be it intentional or not, Rolex has set production of SS watches at a level below the profit maximizing level. Because Rolex has simultaneously artificially capped pricing in the AD channel at MSRP, it has created an arbitrage opportunity for those buyers able to secure a SS watch through an AD. If Rolex decided to either a) increase production to the profit maximizing level, or b) allow ADs to sell at the actual market clearing price within the channel, then you would see the same value retention behavior for Rolex watches as for Omega watches - only at a higher average price level across the various sales channels.

Sorry for the novel of a post. I hope folks find it interesting.
This is a terrific post! What is your background if I can ask?

BTW I bolded the section above that explains the key difference between Rolex and Omega. As a publicly held company, Omega (Swatch) puts more emphasis on profits and revenue while a privately held company like Rolex has more leeway to restrict supply and think long term. Omega has to decide if their shareholders can take the short term pinch for long term gain if they decide to cut back production and restructure. So far no sign of that.
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Old 15 February 2020, 09:34 AM   #14
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It's funny to watch the hand wringing about resale value. I'll buy a watch to wear. If I need or want to sell it, bonus if it's worth more, but I fully expect it to not fetch a profit.


People are never happy.

People complain Rolex watches are unavailable and they can't find any at retail making them too hard and expensive to buy.

Omega watches are readily available and due to this can be bought for a discount new and used. People complain about value.
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Old 17 February 2020, 03:53 AM   #15
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Brands are damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Rolex lets the gray market resell at stupid markups and everyone's pissed at Rolex, saying they're purposefully restricting supply to drive up the reputation and pricing and that they should do something about flippers and grays.

And Omega is producing an amazing watch, in sufficient numbers to meet demand (or slightly exceed, since there are discounts) and people are pissed off that the watch depreciates.

In the end, they're just commodities. The Rolex bubble will burst, at some point and a lot of people will be left holding expensive pieces they can't dump any anything resembling a reasonable price.

It's funny to watch the hand wringing about resale value. I'll buy a watch to wear. If I need or want to sell it, bonus if it's worth more, but I fully expect it to not fetch a profit.
You appear to make a lot of incorrect assumptions about my post.

If you’ve seen anything about my history here, I’m likely one if the biggest fans of omega on the forum.

I also don’t complain about Rolex, or their secondary pricing.

When I buy omega, it’s in the boutique 100% of the time. So much so that omega has flown me to multiple locations across the US for private events.

That said, and I’ve told this directly to the big dogs at omega that it’s frustrating to see how they are allowing their watches to be sold at 40% off of retail. They can and should control this better.

Nothing but endless discount threads here. I find that annoying. I don’t mind paying for quality. What I mind is that someone can then go find the same thing for 40% less. It devalues my purchase. And sadly, it turns me off a brand with good watches.

And no, I don’t buy watches based on their value. If I did, I would not buy at a boutique. But I most certainly do care about the value of something I’m spending money on. Depreciation means little to me. Buying a watch near to full cost and having it worth 40% less because the brand simply wants to sell volume does.
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Old 17 February 2020, 09:40 AM   #16
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You appear to make a lot of incorrect assumptions about my post.

If you’ve seen anything about my history here, I’m likely one if the biggest fans of omega on the forum.

I also don’t complain about Rolex, or their secondary pricing.

When I buy omega, it’s in the boutique 100% of the time. So much so that omega has flown me to multiple locations across the US for private events.

That said, and I’ve told this directly to the big dogs at omega that it’s frustrating to see how they are allowing their watches to be sold at 40% off of retail. They can and should control this better.

Nothing but endless discount threads here. I find that annoying. I don’t mind paying for quality. What I mind is that someone can then go find the same thing for 40% less. It devalues my purchase. And sadly, it turns me off a brand with good watches.

And no, I don’t buy watches based on their value. If I did, I would not buy at a boutique. But I most certainly do care about the value of something I’m spending money on. Depreciation means little to me. Buying a watch near to full cost and having it worth 40% less because the brand simply wants to sell volume does.
Seth I’m glad you got to tell this to Omega. I’m curious as to what they said. The two boutiques I frequent, one in Orlando the other in Toronto will not discount. I guess enough people buy to keep them going. I would like to see them stop this deep discounting.
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Old 17 February 2020, 09:54 PM   #17
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Seth Iím glad you got to tell this to Omega. Iím curious as to what they said. The two boutiques I frequent, one in Orlando the other in Toronto will not discount. I guess enough people buy to keep them going. I would like to see them stop this deep discounting.
Mostly lip service.

They understand and they are working on it. But Iíve been sharing this for years.

And I donít see any difference. Itís time to shore up the supply chain and stop distributing to ADís. Must be only boutiques to control pricing. I donít see that happening though.

Sometimes I think the boutique is just a front. They need them for marketing. Because it truly appears that most buy from AD or gray at a heavy discount.
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Old 17 February 2020, 10:41 PM   #18
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Pisses me off that they let this happen.

One of my major turn offs about the brand.
I read the entire thread and came back to your post brother. Couldnít agree more.

Iím with Gus, I wonder whatíll happen with the Ed White pricing, perhaps theyíve created the right buzz around this one
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Old 12 February 2020, 01:23 PM   #19
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I was at an Omega boutique today. I stop in occasionally but yet to buy. Had a good talk with an SA/WIS for awhile. They will discount. We talked AD vs grey and he knew exactly where I was coming from. The time to deal is when your ready to 'buy now'. I'll be back for a Speedy this summer. I'm thinking of a number, if we're close He'll close the deal if not I'll walk, telling him I'll think, if he calls back in a few days cool, if not then I'll go grey.

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Old 12 February 2020, 02:30 PM   #20
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I was at an Omega boutique today. I stop in occasionally but yet to buy. Had a good talk with an SA/WIS for awhile. They will discount. We talked AD vs grey and he knew exactly where I was coming from. The time to deal is when your ready to 'buy now'. I'll be back for a Speedy this summer. I'm thinking of a number, if we're close He'll close the deal if not I'll walk, telling him I'll think, if he calls back in a few days cool, if not then I'll go grey.

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Tell us how it goes! I should inquire if they can do anything price wise to ďsoften the blowĒ as it were.


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Old 13 February 2020, 04:07 AM   #21
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I was at an Omega boutique today. I stop in occasionally but yet to buy. Had a good talk with an SA/WIS for awhile. They will discount. We talked AD vs grey and he knew exactly where I was coming from. The time to deal is when your ready to 'buy now'. I'll be back for a Speedy this summer. I'm thinking of a number, if we're close He'll close the deal if not I'll walk, telling him I'll think, if he calls back in a few days cool, if not then I'll go grey.

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Good plan, pretty much mine too when I'm ready to buy my Speedmaster. I'll try an AD in New Hampshire first and see what happens.

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Old 12 February 2020, 01:46 PM   #22
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Cannot understand why anyone would buy from a boutique vs. an AD. AD all day cause they'll give you a deep discount.
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Old 12 February 2020, 02:30 PM   #23
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Cannot understand why anyone would buy from a boutique vs. an AD. AD all day cause they'll give you a deep discount.


Didnít know that! Thanks!


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Old 13 February 2020, 07:38 AM   #24
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Cannot understand why anyone would buy from a boutique vs. an AD. AD all day cause they'll give you a deep discount.
+1. Totally agree.
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Old 12 February 2020, 02:03 PM   #25
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i bought speedmaster professional at retail...agreed ouch but i had a great experience and confidence buy
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Old 12 February 2020, 02:12 PM   #26
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I like to buy accessories from the boutique. I've bought a bracelet for my FOIS, replaced the clasp for my Seamaster 300M, Nato straps, and a leather strap. Great to buy those things but I wouldn't buy an actual watch from the boutique anymore.
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Old 12 February 2020, 02:31 PM   #27
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I like to buy accessories from the boutique. I've bought a bracelet for my FOIS, replaced the clasp for my Seamaster 300M, Nato straps, and a leather strap. Great to buy those things but I wouldn't buy an actual watch from the boutique anymore.


Funny! I asked about a bracelet for my FOIS today!


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Old 12 February 2020, 02:18 PM   #28
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Its a fair concern to have, but when you're getting a fair discount at retail, who cares, really?

And 99% of the watch buying public aren't us. If they were, a Rolex would be as common as a Prius. And then we'd complain about that...
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Old 12 February 2020, 02:34 PM   #29
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Its a fair concern to have, but when you're getting a fair discount at retail, who cares, really?

And 99% of the watch buying public aren't us. If they were, a Rolex would be as common as a Prius. And then we'd complain about that...


Iím very new to the idea of the discount at retail. Iíve bought only Rolex and IWC at retail, and the prices held well.

Iíve been glad to belong to a community that gets watches! Always great opinions here. Thanks!


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Old 13 February 2020, 10:39 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
And 99% of the watch buying public aren't us. If they were, a Rolex would be as common as a Prius. And then we'd complain about that...
Rolex are a lot more common than a Prius.
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