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Old 20 December 2010, 08:51 AM   #121
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It is down to a dealer's discretion, although massive discounts, if found out by Rolex, could prove to be a black mark against an AD. Rolex have a brand image to look after, and they price their watches at a level they feel they should be sold at - if you start discounting by massive amounts, it devalues the brand. It may be excusable in very rare cases, but if it started being a regular occurrence, then the AD can probably say goodbye to their relationship with Rolex. The margins really aren't massive on a Rolex, so it's not in a dealer's interest (given the high overheads and running costs involved with owning a prime luxury shop) to be selling Rolexes at huge discount.

As for authority, there is a deal of authority up to a degree - we just have to use our heads. For bigger discounts, it's best just to ask first rather than blunder in and get a telling off afterwards

If buying more than one, as in any business deal, bigger discounts make sense. I love selling multiple watches at a time, even if we make less than if we sold them individually

My advice for a first time buyer is to do your research. Make sure you know your product, that you know exactly what you want, and a price you'd ideally want the watch at. You can't always get it at the price you want, but if you talk about what you want with confidence and authority, you might be able to get a good deal. Take as long as you need to make your mind up - if that's one visit or twenty one visits, any salesperson worth dealing with will deal with you patiently, and want to help you make a final decision without being pushy

If you have been looking at a watch for a few weeks, and that same watch has had a price rise, then yes, it can be a springboard to get it at the old price at least. We're reasonable people after all, and it's not fair to expect you to pay one price one day, and a higher price the next for exactly the same watch. There's maybe a two week window after a price rise to negotiate like that

Hope this answers your questions sufficiently
Thank you. Your answers are helpful.
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Old 20 December 2010, 08:52 AM   #122
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How often do you run into the "WIS-buyer" ? How long does it take to notice that the person standing in front of you is a WIS; about how many questions does it take (that they ask) and how many does it take for you to find out (that you ask to come to the "aha, your a WIS" moment)??
As I said in an earlier post, maybe 10% are what I'd describe as a WIS-buyer. I can normally tell within a few minutes - you can pick up on their knowledge from the kinds of questions they ask. It's hard to describ, but I guess I must have developed WIS-dar
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Old 20 December 2010, 08:54 AM   #123
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is it still snowing where you are?;)

P.S i followed ypu on twitter about a month ago. and you followed me back.. @tophstewart incase you are wondering?
Hi Toph,

We've managed to avoid the snow luckily, but Scotland, Wales and daaahn Saaaath have been hit pretty hard. And yes, I've been enjoying your tweets, they're top notch
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Old 20 December 2010, 08:59 AM   #124
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As I said in an earlier post, maybe 10% are what I'd describe as a WIS-buyer. I can normally tell within a few minutes - you can pick up on their knowledge from the kinds of questions they ask. It's hard to describ, but I guess I must have developed WIS-dar
What is a WIS buyer?
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Old 20 December 2010, 09:01 AM   #125
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Hi Toph,

We've managed to avoid the snow luckily, but Scotland, Wales and daaahn Saaaath have been hit pretty hard. And yes, I've been enjoying your tweets, they're top notch
It's "Daaaaarrrrrrnnnnn Saaaaaarrrrrrfffffff" actually!


Top thread btw Chris mate....
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Old 20 December 2010, 09:05 AM   #126
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What is a WIS buyer?
WIS stands for watch idiot savant - basically, people like us It's basically the really, really serious collectors
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Old 20 December 2010, 09:06 AM   #127
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It's "Daaaaarrrrrrnnnnn Saaaaaarrrrrrfffffff" actually!


Top thread btw Chris mate....
Bwahaha, I stand corrected Dan! Glad you're enjoying it
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Old 20 December 2010, 09:10 AM   #128
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The old LV sold at a ratio of one to three or four LN 16610s. It was quite a niche product, and wasn't to everyone's tastes. We've had no 16610 LV requests that I know of, but I have been asked a couple of times recently about the old Sea Dweller

We don't carry Panerai, as much as I'd like us to - I have a great deal of respect for the brand, and love their design ethos. We do get the odd person asking about Panerai, but not as many as Breitling, for example. To tell the truth, I had one chap come in wearing a Panerai asking about a Deep Sea a couple of months ago, and I did end up asking to try it on! That's the watch nut in me coming out at work Panerai is more of a niche brand over here, and to be honest, the city where I work simply isn't big enough for a brand like Panerai. Rolex is the highest rated watch brand in the city, and the other major brands are Omega, Breitling and TAG. I would argue that Breitling has been taking more customers away from Rolex than Breitling.

Again, IWC is too much of a niche brand for the city, and there aren't any dealers. They're only really successful in the biggest cities in the country, so people have to travel a fair bit to get hold of them

I'd disagree with two-tone watches, they do sell very steadily. Probably more so in the ladies' watches as compared to the men's, and the focus of two tone sales tend to come from the Datejust line. Saying that, the more saleable two-tone sports watches don't hang around forever

My three favourite models are:

1) The GMT IIc - my idea of the perfect all round Rolex. Practical, sophisticated, great movement and great history. Most people will either love the GMT or the Sub, and I'm a GMT man through and through

2) The Deepsea - I think it's the ultimate weekend watch, the watch you wear when no other watch can hack it. It's an engineering triumph, and a real reminder of why Rolex has the reputation for pushing the boundaries of watchmaking

3) The Datejust - It's an often overlooked model, but it's the backbone of the Rolex range, and for good reason. There isn't a watch in the world that has such a large scope for personalisation - hundreds of combinations, you can really make it your own
Which brand takes more from Rolex, Breitling or Omega?
Thank you so much for giving this forum an opportunity to ask some questions only an "insider" can answer.
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Old 20 December 2010, 09:20 AM   #129
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Which brand takes more from Rolex, Breitling or Omega?
Thank you so much for giving this forum an opportunity to ask some questions only an "insider" can answer.
There's a perception that Omega is a step down from Rolex, whilst Breitling is seen as more on a par. It's not something I necessarily agree with, I think Omega is a great brand, and really pushing boundaries with the new cal. 8500. There does seem to be a different market looking at Omega, though, despite Omega's very conspicuous attempts to directly challenge Rolex (think Aqua Terra vs Datejust, Planet Ocean LM vs. Sub-C, PloProf vs. Deep Sea) - I'm not sure if people are ready for Omega to be on the same level as Rolex. Most purchases for Omega will be below 3000, which is under the entry level prices for Rolexes.
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Old 20 December 2010, 10:12 AM   #130
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Christ, great thread. Thanks again. Just caught up on the prior few pages.

Since you're still not yet fed up with us.....

I'm sure you've seen the numerous TRF threads posted along the lines of "I walked into AD in shorts and flip-flops and couldn't get the time of day. Stupid AD."

My question is, does there tend to be a sizing up of customers based on what they're wearing or what watch they might have on their wrist?
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Old 20 December 2010, 10:20 AM   #131
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Christ, great thread.
Chris, looks like you've been promoted.
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Old 20 December 2010, 10:25 AM   #132
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Sir, a couple more questions please if you would:

- how many people come back and complain that their new Rolex is either running too fast or too slow for their liking? Does this occur often?

- how many people point out that the Rolex coronet on the winding crown does not align perfectly like the ones in the Rolex advertisements, web sites and tv commercials? How do you respond to this criticism?

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Old 20 December 2010, 11:36 AM   #133
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Me and my wife went to an AD 3 weeks ago. My wife is very much interested in the DJ 26mm, floral face, with diamond bezel. However, we were told that the floral is not available in pink color. The rhodium floral face is cool but not to the liking of my wife. Any news if the DJ 26mm will come out with the pink floral face? BTW, you save us a lot of time with our questions here. 2 thumbs up thread!!!
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Old 20 December 2010, 12:35 PM   #134
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Chris, looks like you've been promoted.





This thread could easily be the thread of the year
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Old 20 December 2010, 12:52 PM   #135
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VERY NICE THREAD. Thank you!

I have a couple of questions that relate to how you "size up" customers entering the shop, particularly when you can see their watch easily (I guess better in summer months when people are wearing short sleeves).
  • When you notice a high-end watch on a customer's wrist, does this influence how you interact with them?
  • How important is it for you to get them to take off their own watch? The reason I ask is that I've been into a number of ADs that seem to relish in taking my timepiece and polish it, check it out, etc.
  • If someone walks in with the latest and greatest on their wrist, how does this impact your sales strategy? For example, if two guys came in together with Sub-C and GMTIIc on their wrists, what approach would you use in working with them?
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Old 20 December 2010, 04:40 PM   #136
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Oo, I like this question. I would request the addition of sapphire case backs as an official option - a lot of watch brands do them as a matter of course now, and it seems a shame to keep the movement hidden away. I would also suggest expanding the lady's sports watch range, and, like any GMT enthusiast, the return of bi-colour bezels. I can't think of any requests I've had from customers themselves, but I think all of the above would help improve the range further

I absolutely would love it if Rolex would make a saphire caseback an official option. Being a purist, I like things as they come. Don't really like to modify things much if anything at all. This is, however, just me... as I know many other folks buy after market casebacks and get them installed. I just wish Rolex would do this themselves and sell units this way.

Thank you for all your answers. I'm just lurking and reading.
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Old 20 December 2010, 05:16 PM   #137
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Chris, looks like you've been promoted.
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Old 20 December 2010, 09:03 PM   #138
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VERY NICE THREAD. Thank you!

I have a couple of questions that relate to how you "size up" customers entering the shop, particularly when you can see their watch easily (I guess better in summer months when people are wearing short sleeves).
  • When you notice a high-end watch on a customer's wrist, does this influence how you interact with them?
  • How important is it for you to get them to take off their own watch? The reason I ask is that I've been into a number of ADs that seem to relish in taking my timepiece and polish it, check it out, etc.
  • If someone walks in with the latest and greatest on their wrist, how does this impact your sales strategy? For example, if two guys came in together with Sub-C and GMTIIc on their wrists, what approach would you use in working with them?
I know I'm not Chris, but I happen to love those questions you asked And it makes me remind my pretty bad experience with the local (Hungarian) AD. Yeah, we have only one, so no chance to go to someone else in this country Anyway, I walked into our Rolex AD this Spring, with an Omega Planet Ocean on my wrist, exposed (I was wearing a t-shirt). Once I stepped to the saleslady, she clearly took a good look at what I was wearing. I tried the SS GMT IIC on, I got a price, then I left the store to think about it. I went back the next day with a Breitling B-1 on my wrist (yet again, clearly visible), with a clear and sure determination to purchase the steel GMT IIC I tried on the previous day. This time I didn't check if the saleslady was eying my watch, but the B-1 is quite large and shiny, so I suppose she must have noticed I was wearing another not-so-cheap watch. Anyway, this time I got a higher price quote that didn't match the one I got the previous day. The difference was approx. 4%, but I was shocked that they didn't commit themselves to the price quote they provided less than 24 hours before. I stood there for a few minutes, waiting for something to happen, but nothing. So I walked away, and missed the only opportunity (so far) to acquire a Rolex...

To sum up: I dunno how a nice watch influences someone at an AD, but in my case the influence must have been quite bad Or maybe they just didn't like me, so they thought they wouldn't want to sell me anything.
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Old 20 December 2010, 09:19 PM   #139
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Fiery, a similar experience happened to me in Frankfurt. I stopped to take a look at the Explorer II and took off my Casio Pathfinder. I put my Pathfinder on the demo tray and studied the Rolex in my hand. She had, from the beginning, given me a look. Maybe because I had stubble and a weary traveler look, plus had a Casio?
Regardless, she took a look at the Casio on the tray and said: "We don't take these in trade-in." She said this so matter of factly that although I courteously smiled, she kept her poker face on.

Not a nice experience.
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Old 20 December 2010, 10:26 PM   #140
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Christ, great thread. Thanks again.
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Chris, looks like you've been promoted.
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Well, the man most definitely is wise and all-knowing!

Sorry, Chris!
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Old 20 December 2010, 10:58 PM   #141
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Does this mean I have to answer people's Rolex prayers now?

Anyway, time for round 3 of questions!
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Old 20 December 2010, 11:20 PM   #142
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Christ, great thread. Thanks again. Just caught up on the prior few pages.

Since you're still not yet fed up with us.....

I'm sure you've seen the numerous TRF threads posted along the lines of "I walked into AD in shorts and flip-flops and couldn't get the time of day. Stupid AD."

My question is, does there tend to be a sizing up of customers based on what they're wearing or what watch they might have on their wrist?
If there's one thing I've learned in my time working at the shop is to never judge someone by their appearance. Why would anyone dress up specifically to buy a watch, even multi-millionaires like to dress down sometimes. What I will do is judge people on their actions - if they act oddly, or suspiciously (hard to explain, but you pick up a nose for it), then I'll either get another member of staff to work closely with me, or, in extreme circumstances, refuse to get the watch from the window. We do have security considerations to take into account, and we have to be careful. I have to say, though, it is a rarity for me to have to refuse someone a watch, I think I've only had to do that once in 3 years. A chap came striding in, went straight over to the second hand cabinet, and after looking for maybe two seconds, asked to see a two-tone Datejust with diamond dial. A little odd, so I sat him down, and asked a colleague to bring the watch over and stay with me. He tried it on, and said it wasn't flashy enough, and then decided that he wanted to see an all gold watch, specifically the Day-Date II. Bearing in mind it was a Saturday (busiest day of the week, and at a time someone could attempt a snatch and grab), I said it wouldn't be possible to show him the watch, but I could make an appointment for him to see it in private. He threw my card onto the table and flounced out, which told me one of two things:

1) He was just a timewaster or
2) He was trying to nick something expensive, and realised we weren't just going to get anything out for him

People like that set off alarm bells in my head, I've never seen anyone jump from a pre-owned watch to the most expensive watch in the shop and be serious about it. In any case, I was just glad to have him uff the premeses, and we let security know he'd been acting suspiciously. Turned out he was trying the same tactics with other jewellers in the shopping centre, so I think my gut instinct was right

As for the watches people wear, again, I don't judge. Someone could be wearing a Timex or a Patek Phillippe, and I'd give them exactly the same high level of service. I treat anyone trying on a watch as a potential customer, and the last thing I'd want to do would be to come across as snobby or rude.
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Old 20 December 2010, 11:30 PM   #143
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Sir, a couple more questions please if you would:

- how many people come back and complain that their new Rolex is either running too fast or too slow for their liking? Does this occur often?

- how many people point out that the Rolex coronet on the winding crown does not align perfectly like the ones in the Rolex advertisements, web sites and tv commercials? How do you respond to this criticism?

I have to say, it's pretty rare for someone to come back and complain. Sometimes it's just because they have unrealistically high expectations, and haven't had the accuracy boundaries properly explained to them. In that case, I'll happily explain the COSC testing process, and what they deem to be a highly accurate watch. More often than not, the watch is only gaining or losing 2 or 3 seconds per day, and I'll just tell them they're achieving a great level of accuracy.

I'll often ask a customer complaining of poor timekeeping if they've manually wound their watch recently: quite often, the poor timekeeping (mysteriously losing 3 hours, for example) is just a case of the watch not being wound enough. I'll give it a full wind for them, and recommend they give the watch 40 turns of the crown once a month, ensuring that it remains in its peak power band for more often. Of course, sometimes there are serious issues: if it's under warranty, we'll send it down to Rolex UK to get it sorted, if not, we'll recommend a service and leave it for the customer to make a decision. If there's anything more serious than something a routine service can't solve, then Rolex will send us back an estimate, and then the customer can decide whether to proceed or to have it returned undone. More often than not, timekeeping issues are caused by poor maintenance or lack of winding, but there's always a way to solve such problems. If a customer is adamant there's still an issue, then we'll even go to the extent of having staff wear the watch and keep an eye on the timekeeping - again, a lot of it is down to customers simply not wearing the watch enough

As for the winding crowns, I can't recall ever being asked about the alignment of the crown. I think it's a unique phenomenon found on the internet more than anything. If I was asked about it, I would simply say as long as the crown is screwing down properly and remaining watertight, then it's doing its job properly
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Old 20 December 2010, 11:32 PM   #144
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Me and my wife went to an AD 3 weeks ago. My wife is very much interested in the DJ 26mm, floral face, with diamond bezel. However, we were told that the floral is not available in pink color. The rhodium floral face is cool but not to the liking of my wife. Any news if the DJ 26mm will come out with the pink floral face? BTW, you save us a lot of time with our questions here. 2 thumbs up thread!!!
Are you referring to the new 31mm Datejust with the speckled diamond bezel? In which case, I will investigate for you, we've just received the new master catalogue, which contains an updated dials booklet in
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Old 20 December 2010, 11:57 PM   #145
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VERY NICE THREAD. Thank you!

I have a couple of questions that relate to how you "size up" customers entering the shop, particularly when you can see their watch easily (I guess better in summer months when people are wearing short sleeves).
  • When you notice a high-end watch on a customer's wrist, does this influence how you interact with them?
  • How important is it for you to get them to take off their own watch? The reason I ask is that I've been into a number of ADs that seem to relish in taking my timepiece and polish it, check it out, etc.
  • If someone walks in with the latest and greatest on their wrist, how does this impact your sales strategy? For example, if two guys came in together with Sub-C and GMTIIc on their wrists, what approach would you use in working with them?

I answered your first question a couple of posts ago, I wouldn't let someone wearing a particular watch premeditate my approach or demeanour. However, what a nice watch will do is get me excited, and I'll ask them about it. It's a good icebreaker, and I think it shows that I know a bit about watches - hopefully, it instils a bit of trust in what I'm saying, and helps reduce the level of formality. It stops me from just being a man in a suit trying to take someone's money.

I've never taken someone's watch off their wrist before - I'd find it an invasion of their privacy, it's not something I'd personally like if I was in the same situation. Saying that, I have asked to try on someone's Panerai before, but that was a one time thing! I do like to make a point of complimenting a customer's watch if it is one I do particularly admire - again, just making things a little friendlier. I suppose it's the same if someone came in with the latest Rolex sports watches - I'll comment on how much I think the changes have improved the models, and compliment their good taste. As for strategy, if they don't know what they're looking for, it does help narrow down my suggestions for them - if they solely own sports watches, I might suggest a Datejust, or something a bit different, like a two-tone model for example. I don't follow a set of rules for watch suggestions, I've just got to try and pick up the vibes coming from the customer, and take it from there. Sometimes it works really well straight away, sometimes it takes a little longer - all part of the fun of selling watches.

Hope this answers your questions
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Old 21 December 2010, 01:00 AM   #146
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Wonderful thread. Thanks!
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Old 21 December 2010, 02:06 AM   #147
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Great post and great discussion. This makes lurking the forums worth it. Chris, thank you for sharing your insight and experience. It stuns me each time I go into an AD how ignorant the sales people are of their product. I wish all sales people learned from the forums, which as Chris points out, because Rolex does not do a good job of keeping their sales force informed.

Great discussion and it could not have landed on a better place than TRF!

-Sheldon
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Old 21 December 2010, 02:31 AM   #148
acce1999
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Chris,

Wonderful thread! I've been travelling and have been following this thread via cell phone. Now I am back online on a lap top to go through all the great posts once again.

Well done! Thanks!

Best,

A
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Old 21 December 2010, 02:36 AM   #149
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I have nothing to ask, but I just wanted to say thank you to Chris for this great opportunity. This is the best thread I've read in a very long time. I think it should be a sticky. There's just so much great information. Sincerely, thanks. Hopefully someday, we can sit down and have a pint or two while talking about watches. Take care, have a great Christmas and New Year and again, thanks

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Old 21 December 2010, 03:35 AM   #150
The GMT Master
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Thankyou all for the kind words, it's nice to know I had the right kind of idea I've just seen the "read" counter, 2800 views in 3 days! Incredible! Please keep the questions coming, I'm really enjoying answering them

Just going back to the question about the wall clocks, I had the chance to speak with my boss - apparently Rolex will provide them for an AD, as long as they have somewhere to put it. Apparently the management of the shopping centre I work at weren't keen on us having one of the clocks, which is a shame really. Still, another factoid confirmed
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The Ask An Insider Thread - Now closed but worth a read

Ask An Insider - Round 2: Come and ask me a question!

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