The grey watches market is often misunderstood by people. It does not involve fake timepieces, but rather genuine watches that are sold by a non-authorized dealer. These types of products can be second hand watches or timepieces sold by an authorized dealer to an unauthorized one. Simply put, they are not fakes, but authentic watches that may not be brand new, do not have a manufacturer warranty and do not enjoy all the privileges of a genuine watch.
It is called a grey market because it is somehow located at the limit between the black market where the fake timepieces are being sold and the white market where the authorized products are available. The retailers that operate on the grey market have no connection with the production, purchase or selling of counterfeit knockoffs. These are individuals that are looking for opportunities of profiting from the retail of designer timepieces which have considerably lower prices and are more attractive for prospect buyers.
There are many ways of telling if a watch is being sold on the grey market or not. For instance, an authorized dealer will never advertise a designer watch at a major discount. Such promotional discounts damage the image and reputation of the brand. This is why, in almost all cases, if a luxury watch has a price reduction of more than 25%-30% then the website offering it is most likely selling a grey market timepiece. Also, the warranty policy is very important when buying a designer watch so be sure to verify the disclaimer on the authentic brand’s website and confirm that it matches with what it is stated on the dealer’s page.
There are numerous online large retail sites like Amazon, eBay and Overstock where you will find grey watches markets. The retailers that have an account on these websites offer genuine products, identical to the ones you would buy from a jeweler’s store, but at a significantly lower price. Other advantages are the free delivery and the absence of the sales tax. All these aspects make the grey market watches incredibly tempting for fans of luxury timepieces that are looking to make important savings. The downside is that if you buy the watch from an online unauthorized dealer then the product won’t have a manufacturer warranty. Since you did not buy the item from an authorized dealer, no servicing center in the world will accept the watch for repairs and usually local jewelers refuse to work on authentic watches because this process is either too complicated or they don’t have the necessary parts to repair them.
If an unauthorized dealer offers to repair the genuine watch in its own service center then you should really reconsider your purchasing decision. They are most likely to use a mediocre skilled watchmaker that doesn’t have access to authentic parts and the result will be disastrous for your watch. After all, even a grey market watch costs a couple thousand dollars so why would you throw this money out the window when you know that the product won’t come with a factory warranty?