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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know if you guys already know this, but according to WatchTime the GS line will be officially sold by Seiko outside of Japan! :eek:
 

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For me in Europe that might be bad news!
Why?
Seikos are much higher priced here and there can be some trouble with customs if you want to import one, as they might send the to Seiko to check if it's a fake (at least I know, that things like that happened in Germany). Well as long as this watch is only available outside Europe, Seiko will not make any trouble, but if the same model is sold considerably higher here in Europe the Japanese dealer might be pressurized by Seiko.

Cheers,

Axel
 

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Here in the US, the upcoming Seiko Boutiques will be located in New York City and San Francisco


For South America, looks like either Sao Paulo, Brazil or Buenos Aires, Argentina will be getting a Seiko Boutique as well.


Check the map for upcoming Seiko Boutique locations around the world....

http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/8098/grandseikolocationsinno.jpg



In the link below, you'll find a complete listing of the existing Seiko Boutiques....


http://www.seikowatches.com/press/2009/pdf/jul_rls0907-02.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #5
From the pic it looks like only Buenos Aires will get a boutique :'( .
 

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You already have Seiko Boutiques in Paris and Amsterdam.

Axel66 said:
For me in Europe that might be bad news!
Why?
Seikos are much higher priced here and there can be some trouble with customs if you want to import one, as they might send the to Seiko to check if it's a fake (at least I know, that things like that happened in Germany). Well as long as this watch is only available outside Europe, Seiko will not make any trouble, but if the same model is sold considerably higher here in Europe the Japanese dealer might be pressurized by Seiko.

Cheers,

Axel
 

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I understand that a Seiko boutique will be coming to London. Should be nice to browse but unless I win the lottery I expect I'll be be more likely to make actual purchases from certain well known Japanese online vendors.
 

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markrlondon said:
I understand that a Seiko boutique will be coming to London. Should be nice to browse but unless I win the lottery I expect I'll be be more likely to make actual purchases from certain well known Japanese online vendors.
I've been wondering about the same point that Axel raised. Once Seiko goes international with GS, they may force our well-known JDM dealers (at least the ones who are Seiko authorized dealers) to stop selling GS watches to foreign customers. I think Seiko was ok with these guys selling GS watches abroad because they weren't competing with Seiko's distribution abroad, but once GS becomes an international line, Seiko may not ignore this anymore. This is why I viewed the news of GS becoming international as bad news...
 

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While I am all for Seiko finally making available their high end stock internationally, I don't know if I like the substantial price hike involved. Also I have to ask, Wasn't credor specifically designed to be Seiko's international high end brand? It's pretty crazy that Credor never really left japan in any real quantity and now GS is doing so. Are the boutiques carrying Credor as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Being honest, I'm more interested in hearing about having local repair and maintenance then being able to buy them locally - buying stuff is what the interweb is for.
 

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Isthmus said:
While I am all for Seiko finally making available their high end stock internationally, I don't know if I like the substantial price hike involved. Also I have to ask, Wasn't credor specifically designed to be Seiko's international high end brand? It's pretty crazy that Credor never really left japan in any real quantity and now GS is doing so. Are the boutiques carrying Credor as well?

Gabe, I am also at a loss with Seiko's long term strategy with Credor.


I don't think any of the existing Seiko Boutiques carry the Credor line, but I could be wrong.


In terms of price hikes, this is why our 3 online amigos from Japan are for. ;D
 

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minidriver said:
In terms of price hikes, this is why our 3 online amigos from Japan are for. ;D
You're assuming that Seiko will still let the amigos sell GS abroad. I'm not so sure - they basically become gray market dealers once Seiko starts distributing GS internationally themselves.
 

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ocularguy said:
You're assuming that Seiko will still let the amigos sell GS abroad. I'm not so sure - they basically become gray market dealers once Seiko starts distributing GS internationally themselves.

Well, obviously Seiko Japan never objected for them to distribute their "forbidden fruit" to non-Japanese customers. I would say that thanks to these "amigos" Grand Seikos and the vast majority of JDM products enjoy the high levels of awareness that they do in the WIS community.


Also remember that at least 2 of these amigos have well established brick and mortar shops in Japan and their businesses have been family owned for generations. They are Seiko ADs and I believe them to be GS Master Shop certified as well. From that perspective, there is nothing Grey Market about them.


I don't think the mere presence of Seiko Boutiques here in the United States will prevent us from sourcing GS watches directly from Japan. Unless Seiko Japan tells them to stop selling GS' online or risk losing their Seiko certificates and AD status, I just don't see that happening in the foreseeable future. Besides, with only 2 Seiko Boutique outlets (One in NYC and the other in San Francisco) they are not really a stone throw away for most of us. Also keep in mind that there are 2-3 Seiko boutiques in Europe and our Japan amigos still ship GS watches to the old continent.
 

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minidriver,

I hope you are right, and Seiko will continue letting the amigos sell GS abroad, but my expectation is that they'll stop letting them do it at some point. What you'll see happening is that the US outlets will start complaining about being undermined by Seiko ADs in Japan who divert goods to the US at a lower price, and Seiko Japan will be forced to do something about this channel conflict. Certainly Swiss brands wouldn't tolerate something like this, and unless Seiko has a completely different mentality, they will have to act as well.
 

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Time will tell for sure. The Japanese have never been known to exercise extremely tight control of their distribution channels but this could be an instance where they will, if that's what they intend to do, restrict the Japan based ADs from selling product overseas.


The Swiss have done so not only to ensure "exclusivity" of their product but also to control pricing and discount ratios. I have a big problem with the way the Swatch Group conducts business to the point of extortion/black mailing.


Also remember that a lot of people that like fine watches don't necessarily frequent watch discussion forums in the internet. These folks are usually uninformed regarding prices and have no knowledge of the Japan amigos. The Seiko Boutiques will also target the uninformed customer that will be asked to pay full retail price for their watches. This is akin of people that buy watches at big dept stores and think that they are getting a great deal when granted a 20%-25% off discount.


Another important aspect to consider is some hesitant folks who have knowledge of Grand Seikos, etc, but will not pull the trigger on a $5K watch sight-unseen. Having the option to walk into a brick and mortar store and "try before you buy" may also appeal to these folks and likely would not mind paying for the convenience as well.
 

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ocularguy said:
I've been wondering about the same point that Axel raised. Once Seiko goes international with GS, they may force our well-known JDM dealers (at least the ones who are Seiko authorized dealers) to stop selling GS watches to foreign customers.
This is certainly a risk but I don't think it will materialise for two reasons:

1) The kind of people who buy online from S/C/H/etc. are not, by and large, the kind of people towards whom the boutiques are aimed. In general the two channels are seeking different customer profiles so there is no significant competition between the two supply routes.

2) I have faith in the market to find a way around any artificial barriers that the manufacturer might put in place. The massive preponderance of grey dealers for other manufacturers' watches demonstrates this. Where there is market desire there is usually a way to fulfil it.
 

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ocularguy said:
they basically become gray market dealers once Seiko starts distributing GS internationally themselves.
I don't see a problem with that. There is probably enough margin overall to support a grey dealer tier just as with other manufacturers' watches. I.e. The Japanese ADs sell to grey dealers who then do the international distribution.

I don't think this will be necessary but it's feasible.

We'll still be able to by GSs at good prices.
 

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ocularguy said:
What you'll see happening is that the US outlets will start complaining about being undermined by Seiko ADs in Japan who divert goods to the US at a lower price
This is only if the boutiques and the Japanese online vendors target the same customer segments. The fact is, however, that they do not (as far as I can see).

WISs buy from the Japanese online vendors but it's the non-WIS wealthy who are targetted by the boutiques. The non-WIS wealthy vastly outnumber us WISs (whether or not we are wealthy).
 

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markrlondon said:
This is only if the boutiques and the Japanese online vendors target the same customer segments. The fact is, however, that they do not (as far as I can see).

WISs buy from the Japanese online vendors but it's the non-WIS wealthy who are targetted by the boutiques. The non-WIS wealthy vastly outnumber us WISs (whether or not we are wealthy).
What you'll see happening is that some people will go to the boutiques to check out the watches and try them on. Then they will try to haggle on the prices based on what they can get from the amigos. Then they will tell the boutique people thanks, but no thanks, I'm going to order it from the guy in Japan. After this happens a few times, the boutiques will contact Seiko Japan and tell them to get their act together on the channel conflict. It's pretty much unavoidable in my view... Even if most boutique customers are not WIS and not aware of the Japanese dealers, the minority who are and who will open their mouth at the boutiques will be enough to make the boutique people think that they're losing a lot of potential business and that this problem needs to be fixed.

I agree that some other gray market route may emerge, but it won't be as nice as buying directly from a Japanese AD.
 
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