Gray markets, which were once loathed by the Swiss watchmakers is now quietly being used to counter dampened sales and to reduce piling inventory. Gray markets, unlike fakes, deal in original and new products at steep discounts. While watches sold via this medium don’t carry a manufacturer warranty (and could even be refused a service), it is an acceptable trade-off against a steep (sometimes even 50%) discount. Also, their ownership is 100 percent legal.
So, where should you be looking to buy these watches?
Well, there are many such businesses in the US and some of them make $10 million a year too. To name a few, they are SwissLuxury.com, Jomashop.com, AuthenticWatches.com and PrestigeTime.com. Some brands like Patek Philippe and Richard Mille keep a tight control on production and therefore are not available in these gray markets. Omega and Tag Heuer are available easily, whereas, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin and Swatch’s Breguetcan also be purchased from gray markets.