The grey market is an unofficial and unauthorised market yet it is not illegal and consumers are able to purchase goods from grey market sellers.


In the horological world, many watch buyers, fans or enthusiasts who want a watch are turning to grey market sellers.


Why is this happening?


Firstly, it is important to note that the supply for luxury watches is relatively low. Brands like Rolex, especially Audemars Piguet and Patek have very limited releases. For example, many Audemars Piguet limited edition models see a very small volume of watches produced for customers.


Low Supply, High Demand 


Rolex Submariner ref. 114060 - Image © Time4Diamonds


The demand for these watches are high and with the low supply, customers can be left frustrated as they won’t be able to fulfil their desire of buying a watch.


This is intentional from luxury brands so that they remain premium and exclusive and that their watches don’t lose their rarity.


This leads to the first problem when buying from authorised dealerships.


Waiting Lists & Discontinuations


Due to the low supply, unless someone is a frequent customer of the luxury brands with a track record of purchasing luxury watches, they will be stuck on waiting lists for years, with no guarantee of obtaining the watch.


Frustration can be heightened if their desired model gets discontinued and we have seen some very sought after models removed from brand’s catalogues. If this does happen, there is no possibility of getting the watch despite the fact that one was on a waiting list for that specific watch.


Whereas, on the grey market like here at time4diamonds, there are no waiting lists. 


Therefore, if we have a watch in stock that appeals to you, you can easily contact us and we can book you in for a consultation - it is that simple!


Rolex Daytona ref. 116520 - Image © Time4Diamonds


Values & Prices 


Another reason is that watches are priced fairly, sometimes at a better price than authorised dealerships.


Certain models that have increased in popularity like Rolex sports models such as Daytonas and Submariners have caused their value to also increase making them a strong investment.


However, there are models that may not be so popular or favoured, so what will tend to happen is the value is lower than the retail price. 


Linking to the waiting lists, what is the point of waiting an extremely long time for a watch that is cheaper to buy from grey market sellers?


It is clear as to why people are turning to the grey market as watches are proving to be a difficulty to buy.


With an increase of wanting and owning luxury items in modernity, the attraction for grey market goods has also increased, as brands aren’t willing to change their ethos to match buyer’s demands.


View our watches in stock