Our own @jeffhuen is a watch dealer!

So, I just found out that our fellow forum member @jeffhuen is a watch dealer!  He and his brother opened a watch store in 2021!

I know we all come at watches from the perspective of the enthusiast, but I have no idea what life is like for the dealer.  Was hoping that Jeff would be willing to talk about his experiences and answer our questions about being on the other side of the counter, as it were!

Here's my question:  What is your typical customer like?  Are most folks like us?  Do they know lots about watches and specs and what they want?  Or is it just sort of people walking in out of the blue, having no idea what they really want, knowing nothing about watches?

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I’ll also add a question to this. 
 

I tend to see multiple ADs put the same models on sale at the same time and for the same price. When that happens, is it because of a dictum passed down by the manufacturer? If so, that would be odd, since those same watches tend to stay at full price on the brand’s web store. 
 

If this is too inside baseball, feel free to tell me so. 

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Thanks @Omeganut.  The REV WATCHES store and e-commerce site opened a little less than 6 months ago so we're still learning about our customers.  So far, we love that a lot of people come into our store already with a watch in mind.  They've done their research, but maybe haven't seen it in person yet.  Sometimes, pictures don't do the watch justice.  There's just something special about seeing it on your own wrist, feeling the weight / materials, and walking out the door while wearing a new timepiece 😎.  We enjoy it.  

Repairs and straps replacements are other common asks.  On that, I've got a couple questions for the community here:

1) Provided your watch is outside the warranty period - where do you take the watch for repair / restoration?  What do you look for? 

2) What feature do you look for in a replacement or secondary strap?

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OlDirtyBezel

I’ll also add a question to this. 
 

I tend to see multiple ADs put the same models on sale at the same time and for the same price. When that happens, is it because of a dictum passed down by the manufacturer? If so, that would be odd, since those same watches tend to stay at full price on the brand’s web store. 
 

If this is too inside baseball, feel free to tell me so. 

Great question @OlDirtyBezel. We are not notified by the manufacturer as to which models we should put on sale ( or maybe - we didn't get the memo 🙄 ).  More likely - its market forces at play - competitive price matching by actively monitoring competitors or the manufacturers themselves.  There's software for this.

For us - we don't use tech to help dynamically monitor and display the lowest price possible amongst other ADs.  Instead - our pricing is benchmarked against the manufacturers website.  

We do however recognize the practicality of having competitive pricing.  On that - we simply do price matching.  There's a link to our price matching request on every product page.  We normally answer within the hour during business hours.  

https://www.revwatches.com/price-match/

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jeffhuen

Thanks @Omeganut.  The REV WATCHES store and e-commerce site opened a little less than 6 months ago so we're still learning about our customers.  So far, we love that a lot of people come into our store already with a watch in mind.  They've done their research, but maybe haven't seen it in person yet.  Sometimes, pictures don't do the watch justice.  There's just something special about seeing it on your own wrist, feeling the weight / materials, and walking out the door while wearing a new timepiece 😎.  We enjoy it.  

Repairs and straps replacements are other common asks.  On that, I've got a couple questions for the community here:

1) Provided your watch is outside the warranty period - where do you take the watch for repair / restoration?  What do you look for? 

2) What feature do you look for in a replacement or secondary strap?

  1.  I haven't had to take any of my watches in for repair / restoration at this point.  I really have no idea what to look for!  🥺  I would think that some of our members who are constantly working on / having their vintage pieces worked on, like @Relvee @chronotriggered @tempus @Aurelian @SimplyVintageWatches  would have incredible insights!
  2.  I may be the wrong person to answer this one - I'm always on the lookout for "the weirder the better."  Give me a strap made out of zebra leather, and I'm there!
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I've had a nightmare getting a 1940 Movado serviced, most local jewellers send it away to their watch guy.  Unfortunately one time it went losing time and came back not running.  For a lot of the old watches you seem to need an old school watchmaker.  In the UK they seem to retire/die and not be replaced. 

More recently I've used the following

https://www.clock-watches.co.uk

An old school watch repairer who fixed my grandfathers's pocket watch and had the dial re-enamelled.

and

https://luxurywatchrepairs.com

Who sorted out my Movado.

Neither are cheap but the work they did seemed very high quality

Unnecessary pictures of the items below.  The pocket watch was black, didn't run and the dial was chipped, cracked and faded.

HNhuZyryTHYQ9523gayzbfKuiRKmw6Z3GteJWUBz.jpeg?h=320&ixlib=php-3.3.1&s=0dde656ad73271b63ca023658ec88784
ElKVy9Un7HZmtmVjDRq0KHbMssWnOnFP9HSLCLH2.jpeg?h=320&ixlib=php-3.3.1&s=4fa162b540eb7ed5f28cac9ad8f014e6
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Since @Omeganut tagged me, I thought I'd offer my 2 cents.

My collection is actually composed primarily of modern pieces, so I haven't had a lot of experience with repairs. I'm fortunate to have a good watchmaker located 10 minutes away from me, who I have used for any non warranty repairs that I've needed in the short 3+ years I've been collecting. 

From my standpoint, my biggest concern with any repairs or maintenance would be ensuring that they were done correctly, using the proper parts. Ideally, I would also prefer to deal with someone local, eliminating the need for sending the watch away, along with the inherent potential issues with damage or loss in transit. Price is also of concern, but of less importance than the other items mentioned. 

As far as what I look for in replacement straps, much would depend on the watch in question. I'd always be concerned with high quality and a price commensurate with the quality, but my expectations would depend on the watch - the more valuable the watch, the higher the quality I would expect from the strap.

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To answer @jeffhuen, since I have been tagged.
 

Servicing is a nightmare waiting to happen. I think @Relvee kind of summed up the UK market when most of the people you come to rely upon retire and don’t get replaced. Couple this with the slow starvation of parts and movements certain brands are starting to enact, and I think my issues are going to compound over the next few years. This is the risk you take with vintage - the knowledge base and pool of resources just disappears.

Sorry… this isn’t a post filled with my usual brand of whimsy. 
I know I’ve got in trouble for this before, but if I could offer anyone starting watch collecting any advice, don’t buy vintage. You can get almost any style and look of watch with all the trappings of modern movements now so easily. You have homages, microbrands, heritage lines, reissues, re-imaginings, and modding... why buy a watch powered by a cheap 70s p.o.s. pin-pot movement that will lock up every time you tilt it more than 30 degrees from horizontal (that’s my realm of stupidity, back away).

In terms of straps - silicone/rubber and nylon (NATO / Marine Nationale). Comfort is key. I don’t do leather out of choice, and metal is not comfortable and will be replaced if not integral to the watch.

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chronotriggered

To answer @jeffhuen, since I have been tagged.
 

Servicing is a nightmare waiting to happen. I think @Relvee kind of summed up the UK market when most of the people you come to rely upon retire and don’t get replaced. Couple this with the slow starvation of parts and movements certain brands are starting to enact, and I think my issues are going to compound over the next few years. This is the risk you take with vintage - the knowledge base and pool of resources just disappears.

Sorry… this isn’t a post filled with my usual brand of whimsy. 
I know I’ve got in trouble for this before, but if I could offer anyone starting watch collecting any advice, don’t buy vintage. You can get almost any style and look of watch with all the trappings of modern movements now so easily. You have homages, microbrands, heritage lines, reissues, re-imaginings, and modding... why buy a watch powered by a cheap 70s p.o.s. pin-pot movement that will lock up every time you tilt it more than 30 degrees from horizontal (that’s my realm of stupidity, back away).

In terms of straps - silicone/rubber and nylon (NATO / Marine Nationale). Comfort is key. I don’t do leather out of choice, and metal is not comfortable and will be replaced if not integral to the watch.

I absolutely concur that vintage is a minefield.  I wouldn't be there by choice.  I'm in that position with family heirloom pieces and the repairs might well be viewed as uneconomic from a pure collecting point of view.