Confessions of a Luxury Watch Salesman
Your Lokhandwala sorts are the biggest… they live off their loans, and use these loans to buy an expensive watch. So many of them don’t have anything, but they want to buy an expensive watch so they look good at parties and are recognised as somebody. Roti, kapda aur makaan is now badiya gaadi, badiya ghadi aur badiya kapde.
Any watch can be refurbished and sold as new. A lot of retailers do that in Delhi. I buff a watch, replace the leather straps, and give you a warranty card in a new box. How would you know? And this is a nexus between manufacturers and retailers. They do not print the manufacturing date on the watch. They print caliber, technical specifications, but not the date. Why does this happen only in Delhi? Because people there generally have no idea about watches.
If you come across a very intellectually rich individual, he’s not going to be the sort who wants a Rolex. When you indulge in a watch that costs over Rs 2 lakh, you’re really compensating for something else.
Hublot is the silliest watch to wear because it only tells you the time, and costs over Rs 2 lakh. The company nearly went bankrupt. People fall for it only because they created a brand.
Watches aren’t good investments at all. The only reason a watch gains value is because of inflation, or the value of the dollar. Not because it is out of production, or because it is a limited edition.
The biggest marketing gimmick is the limited edition, which means they can charge double for a watch because only a hundred have been made. If you look at the consumer groups that buy watches, there are the noveau riche, the rich, the wealthy (people who’ve always had money), and then there’s the ridiculously rich. The ridiculously rich want something that no one else can have.
(The confessee has for years persuaded fools to buy exclusive luxury items)
As told to Rahul Bhatia