Comparing my latest Boutique experiences

Disclaimer. There will be criticism of Rolex here. More specifically about the experience in sales. These are my personal subjective experiences and feelings. Others may have had better experiences or identify more with the brand. But this should not be seen as criticism of the person who wears it.

Recently I had the opportunity to look around for my future watch. There are several to option. Since there are several boutiques in my city, I took the chance to visit them directly and now had the opportunity to compare both experiences. For me it's not about the products, but the service and communication when visiting a Boutique.

Image

Here at Sinn you don't have the feeling of going into a watch shop. You are there where craftsmanship is celebrated and lived. It is small but clean, structured and functional. They have presented ALL existing products cleanly and in a space-saving manner, with a small workshop right next to them for some minor service.

The staff are friendly, respectful but not intrusive. As an enthusiast you immediately speak at eye level. Most of the employees have very good technical and historical knowledge. Starting to talk about models, then about the functions and special features, then about the movements, the individual parts, comparable models. And they are all taken out individually, touched and tested. In the end, I have the feeling that I not only learned everything I wanted to know about a particular watch, but also that I learned an enormous amount from a technical perspective about watches in general. There was an immediate feeling of trust in the brand and its products.

Image

Then it went straight on to...

Image

To be fair, I have to say that it wasn't a direct boutique, but an AD, but almost exclusively with Rolex. The entire building was decorated accordingly from the outside and inside. The few Breitlings and other models were more or less just decoration.

Nevertheless…these are the interfaces between the brand and the customers.

This was my first visit to an official Rolex AD. As a child, I grew up thinking that certain Rolex models were the epitome of a perfect and timeless watch. But over the years, this brand has lost me. I couldn't identify with the brand, the image or with some of the other customers.

I don't want to write anything wrong here. There was nothing wrong with the behavior and handling with me as a customer (mostly). I was received politely and they brought me something to drink.

To get in I had to go through a security gate. Inside, everything was minimalist, clean, bright.

The saleswoman tried hard to give me advice (and what to sell) and even though it had nothing to do with the watch, I found it difficult to listen to her because her makeup was somehow completely smudged, as if she had been slapped several times. She had more lipstick on her teeth than on her lips. And somehow everything felt like that during my visit. Like a loose facade.

The conversations were without substance. From a technical point of view, almost nothing could be said about the individual watches other than what was written in the brochure. Most of the stainless steel models I was interested in were not available. They always get solled quickly, I assume. So we looked at the watches in the brochure or the solid gold models they had.

I couldn't ignore the conversation at the table next to me. The salesperson appeared to be the manager. His client, a business lawyer specializing in M&A. From where I know this? The sales manager wanted to know it from him. You could tell there was a certain level of discomfort in this customer. There were forced conversations about lifestyle, sailing and status symbols. Regarding the watches that the salesman had suggested to him (the customer had not asked for them), he added how little of them are produced and what the probability of making a huge profit on resale would be. I just thought, “What? The seller gives investment recommendations for his watch and recommends him to flip the watches?”

Later the manager also talked to me... he seemed extremely excited/nervous, hectic, extremely cheerful and self-confident at the same time. He didn't listen to me at all. He ignored my answers to his fast talking questions. Also that of his employee, who looked very embarrassed and worried at the moment.

I've seen people on cokaine a few times...that's exactly how they act. That's why I felt even more uncomfortable having a pointless conversation with someone who appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

I thanked them for the service and the catalog presentation and wanted to leave, but they tried several times to persuade me to register on the waiting list for a GMT Master solid gold. However, I didn't want that.

When I was allowed to leave the store through the security gate, I had to exhale heavily.

The feeling afterwards was extremely unpleasant. I felt like I had gone through something superficial, dishonest and unpleasant. More of a feeling of “I don’t belong here.” and “That’s not me and I never wanted to be.”. Not in the way that I’m something better. More that I tricked myself.

I can't say that I have a complete dislike for Rolex now. I still consider some models to be significant icons. But as a watch enthusiast, my identification with this brand is now even further away.

Anyway….I think it was an important experience for me, to set my focus when searching for watches. But I also expect, that this was my last Rolex visit.

Reply
·

To all the brands out there, big or small... Think OF your customer. If you think you know better n Think FOR your customers, you'll lose them one day...

·

There is something to be said for German austerity. 😉

·

I do not have a lot of experience with AD, especially for high end as I do not have that money. It should be a simple thing to do. Take an interest in the customer and his questions, explain the watch and its features and not try and steer them towards something else deliberately. It is the same of course in other sectors, but I assume (rightly or wrongly) that with Rolex AD you visited, a customer comes in, is not as informed and a WC person might be and they try and sell/steer them to their most profitable watch. I suppose to get a truer picture you would have to visit a few. Good luck with that if you do, I don't know if I could bear it on your experience.

·

Your experience sounds terrible. Im not surprised you’re put off. All I’d say is just visit another AD rather than brush off the brand forever.

My first ever visit was completely the opposite. I was welcomed, very polite and organic conversations about watches, family, cultures etc. followed by me sharing what I wanted and why. I had no previous purchase history and was very new into watches itself. And to top it off the SA offered me a watch within 3 weeks of my visit.

·

I kind of wish I had the opportunity to visit a Sinn AD. I bought both of mine unseen, based on online reviews. Lucky you could go have hands on. It’s a great brand 👍

·
Andromeda

To all the brands out there, big or small... Think OF your customer. If you think you know better n Think FOR your customers, you'll lose them one day...

They actually didn't treat me bad. But the whole image inside was somehow uncomfortable.

Interestingly many people feel more attracted from a brand the more it looks down to them or others. The gold puking lady which I used as pictures was from the movie "Triangle of sadness". They also had this funny scene of model campagnes and the difference between H&M and Balenciaga 😊

https://youtu.be/aba6WIyG4Hs?feature=shared

At the end Rolex is successful. I'm glad for them and the customers. But it's really not for me.

·
WatchN2.0

Your experience sounds terrible. Im not surprised you’re put off. All I’d say is just visit another AD rather than brush off the brand forever.

My first ever visit was completely the opposite. I was welcomed, very polite and organic conversations about watches, family, cultures etc. followed by me sharing what I wanted and why. I had no previous purchase history and was very new into watches itself. And to top it off the SA offered me a watch within 3 weeks of my visit.

That sounds like a great experience as it should be.

And I bet that the manager of your AD wasn't on drugs as mine 😅

So, let's see. I think I need a Rolex break at first. But maybe I will check them out another time again if I feel comfortable to do.

·
Draeger22

I kind of wish I had the opportunity to visit a Sinn AD. I bought both of mine unseen, based on online reviews. Lucky you could go have hands on. It’s a great brand 👍

To be honest Sinn is actually not my taste in design. Although I always had a lot of respect. But after my visits I do feel more attracted and wait for the 903 release.

·

I’ll wait for the “got the call” post in a few months. 😂

·
WristCounselor

I’ll wait for the “got the call” post in a few months. 😂

Months or years? 😁