Grey market sellers might say on their site that they provide a warranty – but that warranty was created by the marketeers themselves and will only be valid through their own repair centers, which aren’t anywhere near the same caliber as the brand-supported and trained repair centers where an authorized retailer will send your watch. Only authorized watch retailers provide a validated original warranty card and brand certificate with each watch purchased.
The grey market, unlike the black market, doesn’t trade specifically in stolen and counterfeit goods. However, without any oversight from the brands themselves and no third-party authority providing authentication, it is impossible for the average client to know whether or not his or her new purchase is genuine (and worth more than the materials it’s made of.)
This is one of the most surprising things about buying a grey market watch online. Your watch could be brand new – but it could also have been sold and worn and then returned to a store, or have been a floor model that sat in a store’s showcase, tried on by dozens of would-be customers, accumulating small scratches, wear to the leather band, and possible internal damage over time.
Unlike authorized e-retailers like Troverie, which have on-hand stock of every watch listed and can ship immediately, grey market sites acquire a watch after a hopeful customer has completed the purchase. So, if you have your eye on a specific model for a graduation gift, anniversary gift, or birthday, be wary: it might very well not reach your loved one in time.
Grey market sellers often use non-OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. For the same reason you take your Audi to an authorized Audi dealership to have your engine serviced to ensure they aren’t using parts made for a Honda Civic, you want to take your watch to a brand-authorized repair center to make sure the incredibly delicate and precise movement is being serviced with the correct parts.
The watch world is not always straightforward and transparent, leading first time buyers and more seasoned customers alike to be led astray with misleading information about warranties, watch condition, and more. Luckily, authorized online sites likes Troverie have taken the guesswork out of purchasing a new watch: unlike grey marketeers, all the watches on Troverie are backed by the manufacturer’s warranty, immediately available, and guaranteed to be brand new. If you’re looking to invest in a timepiece for yourself or give a thoughtful gift to a loved one, consider that with watch shopping, one investment piece is better than a few sub-par watches. Ignoring discount sites and instead trusting your purchase with an online retailer backed by the leading brands themselves will prove to be a smart buy for years to come.