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Thread: High end boutiques - Love em or loathe em?

  1. #1

    High end boutiques - Love em or loathe em?

    What do you guys think about all the new high end brand-specific (or conglomerate specific) boutiques popping up?


    Have you had good experiences, bad experiences?


    I'll throw my two cents in later. Want to see where this thread goes on its own first!

  2. #2
    A great way for them to keep more of their margins, I guess, and also to anger their ADs by having lots of "boutique only" editions. But outside of a few select locations (Shanghai, Hong Kong, NY, maybe Las Vegas) where there's lots of ultra-rich people who don't care if a watch costs $50,000 or $60,000, will there really be enough people willing to pay full retail for the privilege of getting pampered and having a free drink?

    Personally, I don't like sycophants, and don't need to be fussed over all that much, so I'd much rather save a couple of thousand bucks and go elsewhere. Now, if there were a boutique only edition that I desperately wanted and couldn't get elsewhere, that could be a different story. Although I can't imagine that happening, I suppose it's possible.

    YMMV.

  3. #3
    I've always wondered: how much added value there is in boutique, in terms of after sales service?

  4. #4
    Member Teeritz's Avatar
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    The main issues I have with one-brand-only boutiques is that the staff are usually not too clued-in to what their competing brands are up to. And some staff don't have much of an awareness, let alone knowledge, of past models made by their brand.

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  5. #5
    I have to say that I've been to a couple of the Omega ones deliberately wearing a Speedy, made it quite clear I was just looking and received friendly, interested and unpushy service of the highest standard (and usually a magazine). That said, there's something distressingly sterile about Boutiques and I'll take the random museum feel of the Burlington Arcade every time.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Der Amf View Post
    I've always wondered: how much added value there is in boutique, in terms of after sales service?

    Omega actually setup a separate Boutique-only service center with faster turn around times than the regular service center. I think they'll also clean and regulate pieces for free. So SOME value there, not necessarily worth the full MSRP bump though

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by tigerpac View Post
    Omega actually setup a separate Boutique-only service center with faster turn around times than the regular service center. I think they'll also clean and regulate pieces for free. So SOME value there, not necessarily worth the full MSRP bump though
    On site watchmakers, that would be worth extra

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Der Amf View Post
    On site watchmakers, that would be worth extra

    Some do. Omega I think they're 'techs' and not full watchmakers. They can do a number of tasks, so better than nothing.

    VC and Lange boutiques in NYC have on-site watchmakers. But then again so does Wempe as an AD.

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  10. #9
    I like them.

    First they have a much broader and deeper selection than any retailer. It is much more likely that you'll be able to see anything that you want to see from a maker at a boutique than at a regular retailer.

    Second, when I'm looking at things without any intent to buy, I feel much better about doing it at a boutique than at a regular retailer. I don't think it is as bad to waste the time of a corporate employee as opposed to wasting the time of a retail associate who may be heavily dependent on commission earnings.

    Third, the associates in the boutiques are much more knowledgeable about the watches they show, than the average salesperson. It it a tall order to expect a sales person to not only be familiar with the entire product line of multiple makers. Unlike many regular retailers, when a boutique associate can't answer a question, usually there is someone else in the boutique who can provide the answer.

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  12. #10
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    I went to a couple in San Fran and based on their overhead, I can see why they set the prices that they do......
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
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