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Well, I am sure most of you are thinking, "another 'advice' thread, geeesh... when will these end.." but before I lose your attention and suffer the scorn of tblackj, let me make my case to why my thread might just be worth a bit of your time..

I received a late eighties Submariner that my father bought new as I graduated from college, and I am happy to report that it has served me well. I truly love the watch, it is both a point of pride and happiness every day when I put it on in the morning. That said, it is time for a new (or should I say another, as the sub isn't going anywhere) watch, and the sub will be going in for a full stay at the RSC.

First let me describe why I think buying a watch in NYC might be for me.. I live in Austin, TX, and while there are few things about this city that I don't love, it is certainly lacking as far as watch boutiques/retailers are concerned outside of Rolex/Tag/Breitling etc.. Your best bet nearby is Dallas or Houston, and even then the selection is spotty. I spend plenty of time online here, TZ, Risti (reading, no posting), yet have never tried on an AP or Panerai, so buying grey market isn't something I am comfortable with.

So this puts me in NYC (visiting a college buddy), with a rainy day/watch bank account just urging to be liquidated, with the three main brands (AP, Panerai, Rolex) being considered very well represented, two of which have dedicated boutiques in the city.

With a budget hovering around ~10k (+/- 2k depending on my mood and the watch, and not against finding something cheaper, or picking up 2..), I have narrowed my search to the following:

-The new Submariner ceramic in stainless/green or stainless/black, eyeing the white gold in blue, but probably not ready for the price range for another year or two. PROS: I truly love the submariner's classic design and sporty appeal. Not much chance of buyer's remorse, as I know I love this watch already. The Rolex service center is in Dallas, and I find myself in the city from time to time, which would make routine servicing easy. CONS: Buying a watch that I already have an earlier version of. The stigma of wearing a Rolex (& before you jump all over me..), in Austin a Rolex will get significant looks compared to an AP/PAM/etc.., as they are easy to spot, and it is considered the go-to, "first watch" among my peers.

-AP Royal Oak (15300/26300/26120), I have yet to be able to try on a Royal Oak, but have seen them in the wild, and it has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. PROS: A Genta design which has stood the test of time. Not common in Austin, most won't know what it is. CONS: Don't know of any at this point, love the design, but haven't tried one on yet, so not sure how it will wear.

-Panerai Luminor (112, but also interested in a PVD/Ceramic model), it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I saw a Panerai in the wild (111 or 112, not sure), and I was amazed at the wrist presence. So I have an open mind concerning the luminor range, also looking forward to trying on a 292. PROS: Very uncommon amongst peers. Lovely simplicity. Love the idea of changing the theme/style of the watch by swapping out straps. CONS: I have read that servicing one takes a longer time than with other watches.

-IWC Pilot - A friend just picked up a Big Pilot 5004, and while it wore a bit large on my wrist, I might be able to get used to it, I am interested in trying on a few of the Pilot models.

So, getting to my questions (in bold):

1. Wempe or Tourneau, that is the question. Are there any other very well stocked retailers that I missing?
2. Will the boutiques only have current models, leaving me SOL on finding/buying special editions from a year or two ago.
3. Concerning the above models, am I just going to get hosed on pricing? From what I can gather the Sub C isn't prevalent just yet, so buying around MSRP is a good buy (or close to it). Not so sure when it comes to AP/PAM/IWC.
4. Last but not least, if anyone knows a great associate at any of the boutiques/retailers, feel free to send it to me in a PM.


TL;DR: Young guy rambles about forthcoming watch purchase, with a few questions at the end. Any comments/criticisms/ideas welcome and encouraged, thanks in advance.
 

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Are you looking to purchase at the above-mentioned stores, or just try on and buy elsewhere? You're more than likely going to overpay if it's the former...

PM me with any specific purchasing questions on AP or Rolex (AD/gray/private).
 

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Don't know about the retailers allthough both are big names so I am sure you would be safe.

I don't think you will get in an AP from a AD for that price range, but you could do the new diver for about 14k or so I think.

If you have a sub my opinion would be to not get the ceramic version but get an LV version if you are stuck on the ceramic, or go GMT so it is not just a "new" version of what you got already.

You can get a PAM in that price range that would be a good divergence from the sub.

I would personally try on all of the cool stuff see which one you like, get some business cards and then come on here and deal with one of the sponsors and see what kind of deal you can strike.

Personally I would get a slightly used PAM GMT and a Blackbird Blacksteel (limited edition:D)for that price range and have a PVD looking and a titanium look with multiple strap options, plus the sub in the steel look. :clap: or go big boy and spend 16k and get the safari and you would never put the sub back on :lol:
 

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Since you already have a Rolex Sub, maybe it's a good idea to move away from Rolex this time. The new case design is great and I like wearing my blue wg sub. Some like the new design but some hate it. I'd recommend getting a Panerai or IWC instead.

AP Royal Oak is a great choice. But you might feel like.."just another bracelet watch" like the Rolex. If you were looking into Offshore, then that would be a different story. I LOVE the offshores:clap:

Big Pilot 5004, another great watch! It's a big watch and the crown does get annoying for some people. Better try borrowing your buddy's for a couple of days.

Panerai, I think you will have more fun with it. Since you said you are a young guy, I think Panerai is a fantastic choice for you. You can wear it with all different kind of straps. Straps are very easy to change. I definitely recommend you to look into some of the newer models. Many beautiful models can be had under $10K. I'm a huge Panerai guy, and I really think you will enjoy wearing one:)

You said you like PVD. Ever consider a JLC special edition Navy Seals Alarm? It's a very sporty piece, not as versatile as Panerai, but a sick looking one! I wonder when mine will be delivered:lol: Let me know if you are interested and I can get you on the waiting list. Only 19 pieces made.;)

It seems to me that you already did enough homework. It's time to go out and try all these badboys on your wrist, you will know the answer by then;) Have fun and let us know what you end up buying:D
 

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3. Concerning the above models, am I just going to get hosed on pricing? From what I can gather the Sub C isn't prevalent just yet, so buying around MSRP is a good buy (or close to it). Not so sure when it comes to AP/PAM/IWC.
I know you clearly stated that you are not interested in buying from grey market, but do expect to pay higher prices if you decide to buy from the boutique or AD in NY. It's not a bad idea to buy from boutique or AD. Buying directly from boutique/AD will build the relationship. If you think you will be a watch collector and frequent buyer in the future, building the relationship with boutique and AD is a good start.
 
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