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Thread: I was knocked sideways.

  1. #1
    Master
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    I was knocked sideways.

    The wife and I decided that we fancied a nice quiet afternoon tea whilst in London yesterday and managed to book a table at the Ritz. Afternoon tea in the Ritz is a place I recommend to everyone as it is just a lovely relaxing experience.

    However, before we partook of tea, we took a stroll down the famous Burlington Arcade, that well known row of shops that have thousands of good quality watches for sale at way over the top prices.

    When I first entered from the north side, I peered into a window that was full of Rolex, mainly the 5 digit stuff. The was a 2004 16610 Sub Date identical to one that I have. Nothing special, just a bog standard 16610.

    I bought mine a couple of years ago from the local AD for £4,400 which included a full Rolex service and it is in pristine condition and 100% original.

    The model in the window looked a bit scratched up and was on sale for £11,950. Who on earth pays these prices ? You could buy a Daytona for that.

    I was utterly amazed.

  2. #2
    Master
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    you prob cant buy a daytona there. those shops are for people who have to have the watch or have more money than sense (or both)

  3. #3
    Grand Master
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    Shock horror, Burlington arcade is overpriced!!!!, they have to pay their rent/rates somehow.

    it does make me laugh at the prices when I stroll through.

  4. #4
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by seadog1408 View Post
    Shock horror, Burlington arcade is overpriced!!!!, they have to pay their rent/rates somehow.

    it does make me laugh at the prices when I stroll through.
    +1.......I usually visit once/year and I always end up laughing. The place is unreal, or should that be surreal!

    Austin Kayes is slightly more down to earth, but only slightly.

    They've got to pay their rents/rates somehow.

  5. #5
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    Does anyone have an idea on how often these shops sell a watch? Whenever I have visited the Arcade the shops don’t have any customers inside. And I’ve gone during the weekday & weekends

  6. #6
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmilA View Post
    Does anyone have an idea on how often these shops sell a watch? Whenever I have visited the Arcade the shops don’t have any customers inside. And I’ve gone during the weekday & weekends
    Yes a similar thought went through my head, every watch shop seemed empty with a bored sales assistant playing with their mobile inside. All rather gloomy.

    They do, however, seemed to have stood the test of time, so they must be doing something right.

  7. #7
    How much was your tea at the Ritz compared to a cuppa and a bite at a greasy spoon up North? There is a a reason Burlington is an expensive place to buy/shop, on top of because they can.
    It's just a matter of time...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Yes a similar thought went through my head, every watch shop seemed empty with a bored sales assistant playing with their mobile inside. All rather gloomy.

    They do, however, seemed to have stood the test of time, so they must be doing something right.
    Was it Armour Winston?

    I used to spend a lot of time in that area working back in the late 2000s and recall a Pepsi GMT for £1850 at Dave Duggan. I should have just bought it in hindsight. I understand that rents are very high and they have to make a living, agreed, but surely even the veteran sales folk must be just as amazed at how much they are all selling for now. It really is mind boggling and they're just not worth it even at non Mayfair grey dealer prices.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegamanic View Post
    How much was your tea at the Ritz compared to a cuppa and a bite at a greasy spoon up North? There is a a reason Burlington is an expensive place to buy/shop, on top of because they can.
    Indeed. To most of us their prices are rediculous but we aren't their target market. Their customers are considerably richer than the MickPs of this world!

  10. #10
    Stanley & Pammy too, no doubt...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Who on earth pays these prices ?
    It beats me, someone must be paying it, maybe career criminals who can't get rid of their ill gotten gains perhaps. Really can't be anyone with half a brain, even the bankers with their massive bonus's can't be that stupid, can they?

    Money and sense don't seem to go hand in hand much these days.

    Every time I've ever been down Burlington Arcade I think to myself how do they do it? How do these places survive? Hardly ever see anyone in the shops and they have often come outside to me while I've been looking in the window to tell me I'd better buy something today as "it's an investment as you can't get hold of (insert whichever watch they think I was looking at) and they're only going up in value".

    Neil

  12. #12
    Journeyman
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    It's the Burlington Arcade, don't look in the windows look up to the architecture and enjoy your short walk instead of getting irritated by the shops, well maybe pop in Trumper's (if they are still there) for a haircut and shave as a treat.

  13. #13
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Be interesting to see what they would have offered you for your 16610 compared to the window price watch.

    It is scary to think of the bills these businesses must have to pay for a top location like that and then have to compete with an identical business next door and another down the arcade - no thanks!

  14. #14
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    I’ve always assumed they were targeting oil-rich Middle Eastern tourists and Russian kleptocrats who can afford to pay three times the going rate for the pleasure of walking into a shop in a nice part of town and buying something rare. For me it’s just an enjoyable stroll with the pleasure of seeing the watch that’s on my wrist sitting in the window with a tag saying ‘VERY RARE TEN MILLION POUNDS’ on it. It’s a pleasant dream but in the real world you know it will never happen. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I went in offering to sell, how do they explain they are only going to offer a fraction of what’s in the window?

  15. #15
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmilA View Post
    Does anyone have an idea on how often these shops sell a watch? ...
    They have sales people who would visit you in your hotel room with all the good stuff. The shop is just a front as a loss-leader to offset tax against other profitable businesses of the owner. If they happen to also sell any of the items in the window, then all the better.

  16. #16
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    i used to look at Cartier and Tiffany on Bond St and wonder how they paid the wages/rent but perhaps we don't see their customers. Given the stock they carry and location their outgoings must be large (and profits equally so). Graff was another shop I marvelled at. When it wasnt being robbed there window would routinely have gems priced in £100k's but no customers inside

  17. #17
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    I’ve always assumed they were targeting oil-rich Middle Eastern tourists and Russian kleptocrats who can afford to pay three times the going rate...
    To that you have to add every corrupt Tom, Dock, and Harry from all over the world who is in London "to do business". There is a lot of dodgy money sloshing around in London.

  18. #18
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    A couple of weeks ago I saw an Asian family, probably tourists walk into the store with the several Rolex watches on display which are ordered by year (I can’t remember the name of the store) and walk out a few minutes later with a couple of watches. I’m guessing they cater to the tourist market.

  19. #19
    ^^^ this. I think concept of buying birth year watch is appealing to a lot of people.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    i used to look at Cartier and Tiffany on Bond St and wonder how they paid the wages/rent but perhaps we don't see their customers. Given the stock they carry and location their outgoings must be large (and profits equally so). Graff was another shop I marvelled at. When it wasnt being robbed there window would routinely have gems priced in £100k's but no customers inside
    it as well could be that one pair of earrings cover their rent and another one all wages :)

  21. #21
    Master Der Amf's Avatar
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    There are wine shops in central London that always have a good supply of absurdly priced birth year wines, many of which, naturally, will be from poor vintages that needed drinking young. How the staff sell them with a straight face, I do not know.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by abraxas View Post
    They have sales people who would visit you in your hotel room with all the good stuff. The shop is just a front as a loss-leader to offset tax against other profitable businesses of the owner. If they happen to also sell any of the items in the window, then all the better.
    Certainly expect that to happen.

    And to the poster who mentioned the architecture there, you are totally right. first came across the across the Arcade maybe 12 years ago and didn’t know a thing about watches but enjoyed the design around it and how it was built, that’s what drew me in to walk up & down it.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Omegamanic View Post
    How much was your tea at the Ritz compared to a cuppa and a bite at a greasy spoon up North? There is a a reason Burlington is an expensive place to buy/shop, on top of because they can.
    But they are low value items anyway and you're paying to enjoy your tea and food in a much nicer location and the quality should be better too. On the other hand a standard Sub is still the same watch whichever dealer you buy it from.

    I could understand the price bring a bit higher in these locations but almost double the price (for an already high value item) is madness. I suspect it can only be the super super rich buying from these shops and, as money is no object to them, they only shop in these exclusive locations and cannot be bothered to investigate what a fair price would be.

  24. #24
    Grand Master TaketheCannoli's Avatar
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    Crazy prices. Yesterday I saw a lovely condition used DSSD in a local place for £8250.

  25. #25
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    They are just a couple of years ahead of the market ....

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Normunds View Post
    I think concept of buying birth year watch is appealing to a lot of people.
    Try as I might I can’t get my head around this, I’d never heard of it till approx 10 yrs ago and I laughed when someone told me that folks actually did, the concept of looking for a watch to match your birth-year seemed silly.

    Once I grew beyond childhood I’ve never made a big deal about birthdays either, perhaps that’s why I associate birth year watches with childish behaviour, I lump the whole birthday/birthyear thing together as something adults should grow out of.

    I own watches from the early 50s that are several years older than me, I own a few from the 60s that are a little younger.........the attraction of a 1958 watch to match my birthyear just doesn’t register.

    There’s always scope to swap the parts marked with a serial number to ‘match’ the prospective buyer’s birthyear, very easy to do with 60s Omegas. Tell me your birth-year and I’ll ‘find’ you a watch to match.....it really is that silly.

  27. #27
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluetinfloor View Post
    They are just a couple of years ahead of the market ....
    Or not even that apparently!

    PSA: 16710 for great price
    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?sha...6&share_type=t

  28. #28
    What's this, you saw a Rolex in a shop window and didn't buy it?

    Amazing, fascinating, don't forget to tell us again the next time it happens, you can be sure you will get plenty of interest and replies on here.



    Mitch

  29. #29
    Grand Master
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    Places cater to their demographic.

    I fail to see how this comes as a surprise to anybody.

  30. #30
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Places cater to their demographic.

    I fail to see how this comes as a surprise to anybody.
    Sometimes even knocks from the side come as no surprise. Happens all the time at the expat bar.
    #wtorulez

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Places cater to their demographic.

    I fail to see how this comes as a surprise to anybody.
    I know the place charges top price but is it realistic to expect to sell a 16610 for £11,950

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raffe View Post
    Sometimes even knocks from the side come as no surprise. Happens all the time at the expat bar.
    Can you please give the stero typing rubbish a pass. Keep it for the BP.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    I know the place charges top price but is it realistic to expect to sell a 16610 for £11,950
    Plenty of wealth, plenty of international tourists with the $$$ to drop on shiny things they see in windows, olde worlde location and not everybody is a watch forum enthusiast.
    Cast your net wide enough and you'll find plenty of people who'll assume that the price on the ticket is the going rate and respond appropriately by emptying their wallets.
    I'm not saying its a noble practice, but its certainly one that seems to work otherwise there wouldn't be the turnover to pay the rent.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Plenty of wealth, plenty of international tourists with the $$$ to drop on shiny things they see in windows, olde worlde location and not everybody is a watch forum enthusiast.
    Cast your net wide enough and you'll find plenty of people who'll assume that the price on the ticket is the going rate and respond appropriately by emptying their wallets.
    I'm not saying its a noble practice, but its certainly one that seems to work otherwise there wouldn't be the turnover to pay the rent.
    Like I said previously, they are surviving so they must be doing something right.

  35. #35
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by watchcollector1 View Post
    But they are low value items anyway and you're paying to enjoy your tea and food in a much nicer location and the quality should be better too. On the other hand a standard Sub is still the same watch whichever dealer you buy it from.

    I could understand the price bring a bit higher in these locations but almost double the price (for an already high value item) is madness. I suspect it can only be the super super rich buying from these shops and, as money is no object to them, they only shop in these exclusive locations and cannot be bothered to investigate what a fair price would be.
    If you happen to be a billionaire, then even the prices of the more expensive watches would be like small change found down the back of the sofa, you're not going to miss it. You might not have the time or inclination to find the going rate for one and source it for the best price, or else you know it's probably overpriced like everything in the luxury hotels and restaurants you frequent, but the watch is also right there in front of you which is convenient. It would be much like buying a cup of hipster oat milk flat white coffee for £5, you know the price is stupid but you can't be bothered to look for another coffee shop. Or for that matter shopping in a more expensive supermarket when it's cheaper at a discount one but the discount one isn't round the corner. Then again being that lazy about being taken to the cleaners is probably not the way to become a billionaire in the first place.

  36. #36
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Can you please give the stero typing rubbish a pass. Keep it for the BP.
    Will you come over to play?
    #wtorulez

  37. #37
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    The arcade is always a fun place to walk though.. The disdain with which the vintage Rolex shop staff treat you is comedy.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by abraxas View Post
    To that you have to add every corrupt Tom, Dock, and Harry from all over the world who is in London "to do business". There is a lot of dodgy money sloshing around in London.
    Never mind all that, far more important is hello stranger! Nice to see you back in the fold.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Like I said previously, they are surviving so they must be doing something right.
    So why the knocked sideways drama if you understand the practice?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    So why the knocked sideways drama if you understand the practice?
    I sort of expect £8k but not "£12k, it just reeks of rip off.

    If I was loaded, I would send a minion out to buy one at a decent price.

  41. #41
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    I walked around the arcade last week after a long time. I’ve always enjoyed the architecture and also the vintage watches on display. I do find it funny when on the display the shops write ‘Very Rare’ etc, I suppose for the average person it might work but us watch enthusiasts know better! Still lovely to see the displays with gilt dial Rolexes and complication Pateks.

    The shop that looks the worst is the Vintage watch company, the one selling Rolexes from your birth year. Just looking through the window at the salesmen makes me not want to enter! They’re currently having a 30% ‘sale’ ongoing if anyone’s interested!!!

  42. #42
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    I think I might have seen an extremely rare 16570 Explorer II for about £7k, cheered me up as I was wearing one at the time but sadly mine didn't come with the shop attached so appears to be worth less.

  43. #43
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    what I don't do is criticise the prices that other people sell at


    Ah, maybe not......
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  44. #44
    Master steptoe's Avatar
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    Well seeing as i've actually bought (and sold to dealers) in Burlington arcade and not just looked in the windows, let me tell you that once they know you are serious about buying then the prices are very, very negotiable.

    I'm not talking about the vintage rolex shop with all the "rare" watches permanently on sale, i wouldn't touch any of their stock with a barge pole.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaurav_tzuk View Post
    I walked around the arcade last week after a long time. I’ve always enjoyed the architecture and also the vintage watches on display. I do find it funny when on the display the shops write ‘Very Rare’ etc, I suppose for the average person it might work but us watch enthusiasts know better! Still lovely to see the displays with gilt dial Rolexes and complication Pateks.

    The shop that looks the worst is the Vintage watch company, the one selling Rolexes from your birth year. Just looking through the window at the salesmen makes me not want to enter! They’re currently having a 30% ‘sale’ ongoing if anyone’s interested!!!
    Yes, that shop is certainly the one to avoid. The others have plenty of great eye candy and I do enjoy a walk through the arcade now and again.

  46. #46
    Master sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    I know the place charges top price but is it realistic to expect to sell a 16610 for £11,950
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Like I said previously, they are surviving so they must be doing something right.

  47. #47
    Master
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    [QUOTE=Omegamanic;5010244]How much was your tea at the Ritz compared to a cuppa and a bite at a greasy spoon up North?

    Theres nowt cheap abaht a cuppa a Betty’s tearoom in Harrogate, and thats oop north.

    Steve

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    i used to look at Cartier and Tiffany on Bond St and wonder how they paid the wages/rent but perhaps we don't see their customers. Given the stock they carry and location their outgoings must be large (and profits equally so). Graff was another shop I marvelled at. When it wasnt being robbed there window would routinely have gems priced in £100k's but no customers inside
    I remember going into the Parmigani boutique a few years ago. Really nice sales guy in there he showed me a few pieces and when my girlfriend expressed shock at a 25k watch he showed us a couple of minute repeaters from the safe. He then said he was flying to ME with them to show a client so the shops are more about projecting the brands image than turning a profit.

    The new Hublot boutique is owned by Hublot so the running cost can be absorbed by the group.

    Possibly these shops are the same and sell to private clientele and the shop is just there to provide respectability.


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  49. #49
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    Love the ambiance of the Burlington Arcade but not the prices and it isn't just the watches. Vilebrequin will do you a natty pair of beach shorts of £180.

    But as someone pointed out earlier, if you've many millions or even billions in the bank that sort of money is small change.

    Just about the only things there I can afford are the Macarons from La Duree but they are very tasty.

  50. #50
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    There are many affluent people who pitch shopping experience above vfm. There are also no doubt some people who don't want to mix with us Oiks. Having a whole shop to yourself is a uniquely calming experience and for some worth the premium. Unsurprisingly, we can experience the same by shopping during quiet periods at half the cost - but tbf we are lucky to get a coffee as opposed to champagne and....
    Last edited by Suds; 30th January 2019 at 22:42.

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