Where do affordable Orient watches come from? Teach you how to distinguish genuine Orient watches.

Hello everyone. I am Michael from Watches Global Store. Today, I will share with you where you can find cheap Orient watches on the market and also help you differentiate between genuine, gray market, and "lego watches."

Gray Market Orient Watches In the past, Orient watches were distributed in Hong Kong by Kowloon Watch Co. They had strict control over which retailers could sell genuine watches. As a result, genuine Orient watches were not commonly found outside authorized dealers, and most small watch shops sold gray market watches. Gray market watches are watches that are purchased directly from wholesalers/retailers in other countries at lower prices, such as buying Orient watches in Japan or Southeast Asia at a lower rate due to exchange rate differences. These watches are still authentic products, but they lack the warranty in Hong Kong, making them less popular among consumers. In areas like Sham Shui Po, Tsuen Wan, Hung Hom, or other old districts, shops selling Orient watches mainly sell gray market watches.

Features of shops selling Gray Market Orient Watches:

  1. The staff will openly state that the watches are gray market, and they may offer some form of warranty or have their own watchmakers for repairs.
  2. Prices are usually 10-15% lower than genuine watches.
  3. There is a chance to find rare treasures, such as Japanese versions of Orient watches.
  4. The styles are often outdated and less trendy, making it difficult to find popular models like the Sun & Moon.

However, buying gray market watches is best left to experienced watch enthusiasts because genuine watches offer better warranties and after-sales services. For example, if a watch requires replacement parts, genuine Orient watches can be sent to authorized service centers for repairs using original parts imported from Japan. On the other hand, local watch shops may not have access to original parts and may use substitute parts instead.

Lego Watches The second category is "lego watches," and we hope you never encounter them. In recent years, there have been numerous questionable advertisements on Facebook offering well-known brand products at half price, such as Apple AirPods or Dyson hairdryers, which have deceived many online users. Similarly, some questionable sellers have started offering Orient watches at half the price through auction sites or independent websites, claiming to have a store in Sham Shui Po. Despite claiming to offer genuine watches with warranties, these "authorized watch shops" sell Orient watches at prices even lower than gray market prices.

Where do these watches come from? Why are they so cheap? After consulting with watch experts and industry veterans, we discovered that some operators in the watch industry assemble watches using second-hand parts to create "lego watches."

Lego watches refer to watches assembled using second-hand or non-original parts in a new watch case. Orient watches have a long history, and finding second-hand movements/parts, stripping them down, and reassembling them in a new case is relatively straightforward. As a consumer, even if a watch is cheaper, it still costs around a thousand dollars or more. However, unethical merchants force consumers to accept watches constructed from parts that have been in use for several years.

Fake Watches In addition to lego watches, there is also the possibility of fake watches. A Japanese movement, for example, costs around USD 30-60. Meanwhile, a similar style with a mainland movement may cost just a tenth of the price of a Japanese movement. Unscrupulous merchants may acquire new watch cases and assemble them with non-original parts to create a new-looking Orient watch. Even if they sell these watches at half the price of genuine products, the profit margin is still exorbitant.

These watch shops promote their products on auction sites and Facebook advertisements, often operating in temporary storefronts. If any issues are exposed, they can simply leave the watch industry and start a new business elsewhere. Therefore, it is crucial to remember that genuine products can always be brought to the Orient watch's official repair center in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, and not just to their easily closed storefronts! Just as high-quality Casio and expensive Rolex watches are prone to counterfeiting by unscrupulous merchants in China, Orient watches are no exception.

Ways to Purchase Genuine Orient Watches Since Orient's distribution changed hands in 2018, it has become easier to find genuine Orient watches in Hong Kong. Most authorized dealers offer discounts, making them more competitive than gray market watches. For your first purchase of an Orient watch, buying genuine products is the best option.

Here are some tips for distinguishing genuine products:

  1. Price is usually the best indicator. If two or three shops are selling watches in the range of HKD 2800-3200, and one suddenly offers it for HKD 1500, you should be cautious.
  2. Genuine products can always be taken to Orient's official repair center in Hong Kong for servicing, without the need to return them to the place of purchase. If you are restricted from taking it to the official repair center, it is a significant red flag.
  3. Shops selling genuine products will often display a certificate of authenticity to assure customers that they are buying genuine products.
  4. If you are unsure about a shop selling genuine products, you can contact LDI, the official distributor of Orient watches in Hong Kong. LDI Inquiry Hotline: 2167 8779 (Office Hours)

After all, the main goal is to prevent customers from making regrettable purchases. Buying gray market watches may result in a lack of warranty coverage, while encountering fake or lego watches can be a complete waste of money. It is essential to do thorough research before purchasing a watch and avoid falling for extremely low prices. I am Michael from Watches Global Store, and I hope this article helps you. If you need to purchase genuine Orient watches, you can visit Watches Global Store.


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