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Old 7 January 2023, 08:00 AM   #1
newguy3912
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Buying from Diamond District in NYC?

I'm brand new to this forum, so hopefully this isn't a question that is constantly asked - but I live in NYC and work close to Diamond District. I'm looking to purchase my second Rolex (thinking about an Explorer II but haven't fully decided yet), but my question is whether Diamond District is a good place to buy it or will I be ripped off?

Obviously, this depends on which store i buy it from.. so on that point, does anyone have any recommendation for a particular vendor in the diamond district is trustworthy? The street is pretty intimidating to walk through.

FWIW - I bought my first piece online through a reputable grey market dealer, but I think I prefer to interact with someone live.. especially since I'm so close to Diamond District. Thanks for any advice!
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Old 7 January 2023, 08:59 AM   #2
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Wild Wild West. Crazy prices. Never go on sat , most places are closed in Jewish sabbath. Go with trusted seller here way before nyc diamond district.
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Old 7 January 2023, 09:28 AM   #3
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Lots of scammers out there.
I’ve only dealt with one store there, on the cr of 47 and 6. Michael or Sam

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Old 7 January 2023, 09:48 AM   #4
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Wild Wild West. Crazy prices. Never go on sat , most places are closed in Jewish sabbath. Go with trusted seller here way before nyc diamond district.

This. You might as well go to Vegas and put it all on 32 Red. No, just no.

Buy from one of the top sellers on this forum. Period. Full stop.


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Old 7 January 2023, 11:29 AM   #5
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I like the diamond district. I've bought and sold there over the years. I wouldn't deal with one of the small booths, but if you go to Avi and Co, element in time or motion in time (I can't even remember the correct name), you should be fine.
You work so close..just go and browse. Might need an appt for Avi and Co though since they're upstairs in that bank vault lock thing.
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Old 7 January 2023, 12:22 PM   #6
newguy3912
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I like the diamond district. I've bought and sold there over the years. I wouldn't deal with one of the small booths, but if you go to Avi and Co, element in time or motion in time (I can't even remember the correct name), you should be fine.
You work so close..just go and browse. Might need an appt for Avi and Co though since they're upstairs in that bank vault lock thing.
Thanks for the suggestions. I've seen motion in time on some of the youtube videos and was considering visiting them.

to the other responses about just buying via the sellers on this forum - tbh, the prices do seem pretty competitive. but similar concerns with not knowing who I'm dealing with.... at least in the diamond district, I have a storefront to complain to. With that said, I may still buy here.. if the vendors quote me exorbitant prices.
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Old 7 January 2023, 12:37 PM   #7
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There's also Manhattan Watch Company though the condition of many of their watches leaves a lot to be desired.

You really need to know your stuff and be hard nosed about bargaining to buy on 47th St.

I spent 30 minutes haggling for just a Rolex tang buckle one time. If you like browsing and chatting you could spend all day there.

John Buckley is also located in the Diamond District. He has a tiny stall in one of those buildings on 47th.
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Old 7 January 2023, 11:27 PM   #8
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My god I love the diamond district...Just the hustle and bustle of deals being made...But nit I wouldn't buy there. Here in TRF there are many trusted sellers who are wanting to deal.
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Old 7 January 2023, 11:46 PM   #9
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More likely to go wrong than right.
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Old 8 January 2023, 01:27 AM   #10
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I prefer our Trusted Sellers and you can not go wrong with DavidSW or one of the other big dealers. If you know what you want then it is just about the deal. Get on the phone and make your best deal, have the watch the next day at lunch and start the ownership experience. Good luck.
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Old 8 January 2023, 05:17 AM   #11
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it gives me the heebie jeevies
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Old 8 January 2023, 06:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by newguy3912 View Post
to the other responses about just buying via the sellers on this forum - tbh, the prices do seem pretty competitive.

but similar concerns with not knowing who I'm dealing with.... at least in the diamond district, I have a storefront to complain to. With that said, I may still buy here.. if the vendors quote me exorbitant prices.
Don’t be scared into submission.
Nothing wrong with going to see what they have to offer and then you can back it up by posting a few photos here for feedback before you move forward with a deal.
Happens all the time.
Good luck!
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Old 8 January 2023, 06:40 AM   #13
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I live in NYC and wondered through it many times. Honestly though with the amount of competition there MUST be good deals to be had, no?

Not saying I'd know how to spot them, but can a bajilllion of these shops just survive on the innocent tourists?
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Old 8 January 2023, 06:46 AM   #14
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I live in NYC and wondered through it many times. Honestly though with the amount of competition there MUST be good deals to be had, no?

Not saying I'd know how to spot them, but can a bajilllion of these shops just survive on the innocent tourists?
I don't think most of these shops sell to tourists. Many of them only deal with trade clients.

A lot of them are located in tiny offices in upper floors of obscure office buildings. Some of these dealers won't even let you visit them without you providing several references from other dealers.
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Old 8 January 2023, 06:59 AM   #15
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I live in NYC and wondered through it many times. Honestly though with the amount of competition there MUST be good deals to be had, no?

Not saying I'd know how to spot them, but can a bajilllion of these shops just survive on the innocent tourists?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incroyable12 View Post
I don't think most of these shops sell to tourists. Many of them only deal with trade clients.

A lot of them are located in tiny offices in upper floors of obscure office buildings. Some of these dealers won't even let you visit them without you providing several references from other dealers.
Same thing applies in downtown Los Angeles Jewelry District which has a lot of watch dealers.
Many typically are seen by appointment.
I’ve dealt with a few of them in the past to offer trade-bait for deals, or you can buy direct, or even mix and match.
Direct interaction with dealers can be better if you are informed/prepared and know how to wheel and deal, “per se”.
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Old 8 January 2023, 07:29 AM   #16
newguy3912
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I don't think most of these shops sell to tourists. Many of them only deal with trade clients.

A lot of them are located in tiny offices in upper floors of obscure office buildings. Some of these dealers won't even let you visit them without you providing several references from other dealers.
yup, I know a ton of action happens behind the scenes. I actually but my wedding ring from one of these upper floor vendors through a connection. but for the Rolex, I'd be stuck going to one of the retail stores on the ground floor..
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Old 8 January 2023, 11:43 AM   #17
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There's also a dealer there called Azad Watches who seems solid. Never bought anything from him but chatted with him and he was willing to disclose what was wrong with the watches, etc.

One thing you have to be aware of is that many of these watches have been lightly repolished. Dealers call this "retail ready". They basically buy stuff from groups like Moda and then touch up the wear.

To the layperson everything on 47th St. seems pretty sleazy though.
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Old 8 January 2023, 12:49 PM   #18
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I enjoy going through there while in NYC. For something as normal as an Explorer II, I'm not sure you'll get any better price than from a trusted seller here.

If you go & want to buy, be prepared to make your offer & walk if they don't take it. Leave them your contact info, thank them for their time & walk out. Pretty simple. If your offer is competitive to the market, they'll probably take it. I can't imagine the margins are very high on an Explorer II and they'll make there money on moving it out.
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Old 13 January 2023, 04:18 AM   #19
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I'm brand new to this forum, so hopefully this isn't a question that is constantly asked - but I live in NYC and work close to Diamond District. I'm looking to purchase my second Rolex (thinking about an Explorer II but haven't fully decided yet), but my question is whether Diamond District is a good place to buy it or will I be ripped off?

Obviously, this depends on which store i buy it from.. so on that point, does anyone have any recommendation for a particular vendor in the diamond district is trustworthy? The street is pretty intimidating to walk through.

FWIW - I bought my first piece online through a reputable grey market dealer, but I think I prefer to interact with someone live.. especially since I'm so close to Diamond District. Thanks for any advice!
I just purchased a watch from a dealer w/ a medium sized storefront this week. Second time I've ever been there. I don't buy many watches. I may do a lengthy writeup on the experience but I'm not even sure exactly what to make of it at this point.

They do not want you to be there to browse. To the poster who said you can go there and chat to dealers all day, that was not my experience at all. The first time I went to the diamond district I asked two different dealers to try on a Sea Dweller. Both had the same response -- "will you buy today?" And I'm like no because I've never seen one before and even if I liked it I'd have to think about it. They told me to get lost. Ok, fine. These places aren't show rooms. This several years back, a time when I realistically could have tried these watches out an an AD.

This time I had basically two watches I was choosing between and even that seemed to be trying their patience. I ignored price until I picked the one I wanted. (I was choosing between a DD2 that I could only find at this particular store [somewhat rare but unpopular dial combo] and a DD40 that are plentiful. If I wanted the DD40 I'd have gone some place else cause I wasn't having fun there).

Then I negotiated hard. Brought up Chrono 24 listings. Okay okay, that's china, those two are private. Then I brought up Moda and read him the offer price on the last four listings (in past month). He didn't like this and yea, maybe in theory they are wholesale not retail prices but it is what I could get them for with a comparable amount of sketch I was dealing with at his store. The nice places on 47th street I suppose could be considered "retail establishments" but the smaller places aren't providing a pleasant retail shopping experience. I digress.

Negotiated hard. Was genuinely willing to walk away. Got a better price than expected going in. Shook hands. Didn't charge for shipping, which he initially said was like $150. Small deposit on debit card. Wired funds next morning. Received watch the following morning. Correct/same watch, card, all agreed upon links. Sent me the L box instead of XL box as promised. Included (incorrect) manual, booklet, etc. which wasn't explicitly discussed. Between not charging for shipping, prompt delivery and including some goodies maybe he didn't need to and explicitly shafting me on the box, maybe it's even. Not sure.

There was a bit more to it. It was a generally unpleasant experience shopping in the Diamond District, but I got exactly what I wanted on something I really couldn't find elsewhere, at a price I thought was very fair. Would 100% do again.
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Old 13 January 2023, 11:17 AM   #20
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I just purchased a watch from a dealer w/ a medium sized storefront this week. Second time I've ever been there. I don't buy many watches. I may do a lengthy writeup on the experience but I'm not even sure exactly what to make of it at this point.

They do not want you to be there to browse. To the poster who said you can go there and chat to dealers all day, that was not my experience at all. The first time I went to the diamond district I asked two different dealers to try on a Sea Dweller. Both had the same response -- "will you buy today?" And I'm like no because I've never seen one before and even if I liked it I'd have to think about it. They told me to get lost. Ok, fine. These places aren't show rooms. This several years back, a time when I realistically could have tried these watches out an an AD.

This time I had basically two watches I was choosing between and even that seemed to be trying their patience. I ignored price until I picked the one I wanted. (I was choosing between a DD2 that I could only find at this particular store [somewhat rare but unpopular dial combo] and a DD40 that are plentiful. If I wanted the DD40 I'd have gone some place else cause I wasn't having fun there).

Then I negotiated hard. Brought up Chrono 24 listings. Okay okay, that's china, those two are private. Then I brought up Moda and read him the offer price on the last four listings (in past month). He didn't like this and yea, maybe in theory they are wholesale not retail prices but it is what I could get them for with a comparable amount of sketch I was dealing with at his store. The nice places on 47th street I suppose could be considered "retail establishments" but the smaller places aren't providing a pleasant retail shopping experience. I digress.

Negotiated hard. Was genuinely willing to walk away. Got a better price than expected going in. Shook hands. Didn't charge for shipping, which he initially said was like $150. Small deposit on debit card. Wired funds next morning. Received watch the following morning. Correct/same watch, card, all agreed upon links. Sent me the L box instead of XL box as promised. Included (incorrect) manual, booklet, etc. which wasn't explicitly discussed. Between not charging for shipping, prompt delivery and including some goodies maybe he didn't need to and explicitly shafting me on the box, maybe it's even. Not sure.

There was a bit more to it. It was a generally unpleasant experience shopping in the Diamond District, but I got exactly what I wanted on something I really couldn't find elsewhere, at a price I thought was very fair. Would 100% do again.
Excellent writeup, thanks for that. This mirrors my experience on 47th street as well.
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Old 13 January 2023, 12:31 PM   #21
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I dealt there once at a small desk many, many years ago. Seller was a Russian or Ukrainian immigrant, I forgot. Watch was neo-vintage and pretty rare - like 0 or 1 piece listed on Chrono24 worldwide at any time - and it came with box and certificate. They even brought in a guy from HSWA to open it up for me. The price wasn't bad to begin with but they didn't move whatsoever despite me walking out on them twice over several days. They showed me other watches where they'd have been quite flexible, but not on that one. The third time around I pulled the trigger regardless. The heart wants... No regrets, but the overall atmosphere in the building was not pleasant.
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Old 16 January 2023, 07:36 AM   #22
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My experience, you have to be brief, be bright, and buy (or) be gone.

Not for the average retail customer.
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Old 18 January 2023, 01:23 PM   #23
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I dealt there once at a small desk many, many years ago. Seller was a Russian or Ukrainian immigrant, I forgot. Watch was neo-vintage and pretty rare - like 0 or 1 piece listed on Chrono24 worldwide at any time - and it came with box and certificate. They even brought in a guy from HSWA to open it up for me. The price wasn't bad to begin with but they didn't move whatsoever despite me walking out on them twice over several days. They showed me other watches where they'd have been quite flexible, but not on that one. The third time around I pulled the trigger regardless. The heart wants... No regrets, but the overall atmosphere in the building was not pleasant.
Those people are very hard nosed. I also find the older dealers much harder to deal with than the younger ones.

Some of them can get very indignant.
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Old 18 January 2023, 01:49 PM   #24
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Chum in the water and you’re wearing dog bone boxers. Good luck.


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Old 18 February 2023, 04:14 PM   #25
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I've been buying from there on and off for many years, and I can tell you they do not like chatter boxing.

Its not like the forums. They dont care to talk about the watches history, they care if you gonna buy it or not.

Good luck n be careful.
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Old 15 March 2024, 06:28 AM   #26
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I've been buying from there on and off for many years, and I can tell you they do not like chatter boxing.

Its not like the forums. They dont care to talk about the watches history, they care if you gonna buy it or not.

Good luck n be careful.
and what booths or stores would you recommend ?

thanks
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Old 15 March 2024, 07:53 AM   #27
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Don’t waste your time. Sleezy. Rude and High prices.
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Old 18 March 2024, 11:56 PM   #28
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I bet I've done close to 100 buy or sell transactions in watches, almost all with dealers (rest with AD). In all the years I've never bought or sold to anyone in NYC. Just my experience that you can do better elsewhere on most buys.
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Old 19 March 2024, 12:25 AM   #29
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If these dealers only sell to each other how are they making money? Regular people do buy from them?
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Old 19 March 2024, 10:37 PM   #30
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as mentioned before, John Buckley is a big name in the Rolex game and has become popular on social media recently. He often deals with Yasha from Rex watches, who seems like a nice dude. But, again, diamond district isn't about "nice." While they appear cordial to one another in doing dealer-dealer transactions (they know each other for years), you are merely a sack of meat to them with a wallet so I am not sure you would have the same experience.
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