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Is this a normal business practice done by Patek in Asia?

November 22 2006 at 12:21 PM
bmccaw  (Login bmccaw)
PP Discussion Group


Recently I have asked my dealer (in Hong Kong) to place an order for 5970 and 5004, he asked me that I have to provide him my business card in order to put in such request. He told me this is an absolute requirment by the Asia Patek Office in order to know what type of client I am. If I don't comply, I cannot order any grand complications.

I have been a loyal and repeated customer over a number of years, my personal information was registered during each of my previous purchase, I assume Patek in Geneva has a thorough record of who I am and what I have been collecting.

I wonder why their Asia region Patek office need to ask me for extra information about my business and need to get my business card in order to allow me to place an order?

Is the above requirement true? Or there is something wrong with the dealer? Or someone in the Asia Patek Office is doing something out of ordinary?

Appreciate you guys' guidance and suggestion of course of action.

Thanks.
Bmccaw

PS: Anyone has the contact information of Asia Patek Office will be helpful.

 
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AuthorReply

SuitbertW
(Login wsw_de)

You can find local distributors...

November 22 2006, 12:58 PM 

...on the Patek Philippe website:
www.patek.com
got ot "retail network", than "distributors".

For Hong Kong it's :
HONG KONG - Libertas Ltd.
12 Floor, Yue Hwa IntÂ’l Building, - 1, Kowloon Park Drive, Tsimshatsui - Kowloon
Tel.: 00852 231 77 866 Fax: 00852 299 20 424


For what I know, orders for complicated pieces usually require the name of the customer.
May be it was just some sort of unfortunate wording of this request?


Best regards
Suitbert

 
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happy_wis
(Login happy_wis)
PP Discussion Group

Is it somehow (partially) owned by PP?

November 22 2006, 7:24 PM 

Hi Suitbert,

Do you know if it is owned (partially) by PP? Or just a PP's "business partner"?

p.s.: I was told both from different sources... just wondering who is correct.

 
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WatchFan1
(Login WatchFan1)
PP Discussion Group

I have heard about similar practice by some ADs in UK and USA

November 22 2006, 1:50 PM 



...when it comes to popular and 'smaller production' references like
5004, 5970, 10 Day TB. SkyMoon TB etc.
I believe that they only want to make sure that the watch is being purchased
by someone who will actually wear it - and not a gray market dealer.

(As such I see the practice being pretty resonable).




_See Rolex Wallpapers & Technical Data about most current Rolex models: HERE_

 
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happy_wis
(Login happy_wis)
PP Discussion Group

IMO....

November 22 2006, 4:42 PM 

I believe that there are two ways how an AD get "hot models" from the distributor...

1. The AD "order" (i.e. bought) "enough" slow-moving models from the distributor, then the distributor "grant" the AD few pieces of "hot models" to "compensate".

2. The AD "order" the hot models from the distributor (for its VIP client). As the distributor, in general, prefer using the first "method" (as it can move the slow-moving models) to distribute the hot models, they are setting up a lot of "obstacle" for the clients who want to get the hot models by means of "ordering"

Don't be upset (even I hate it personally).... it is part of the game.

p.s. The above is also true if you replace the word "distributor" with "AD".... and "AD" with "end user". If you cannot go with "method 1", it may means that the AD does not think that you have bought "enough" "slow-moving" models from them...

 
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happy_wis
(Login happy_wis)
PP Discussion Group

One more thing....

November 22 2006, 4:51 PM 

People always think that the AD/distributor can make BIG money already by selling the hot models to the clients.... And there is no point to keep the hot models in store and not selling it to anyone who is willing to pay the price (even at list).

I was a believer of the above... until one day I woke up.... The AD/distributor can make even more BIG $$$ if they sell the hot models with the slow-moving ones...

Relax and take it easy. I was really piss-off until I know what they really *want*.

 
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Gary G
(Login ggetz)
AP Discussion Group

Don't get me started

November 24 2006, 3:53 PM 

I'm encountering exactly the same phenomenon in trying to order a Ferrari 599 -- even though I'm a past client of the factory, have owned several of their cars over the years, etc. I apparently haven't bought enough slow-moving (i.e., used) cars from the local dealers over the past several years --so I'm basically out of luck.

Of course, it feels good being on the "right" side of this equation (having a great relationship with your local watch AD, who then gives you preferred access to items from time to time), but also feels rotten being on the outside -- especially when you've been a faithful past client of the manufacturer as you apparently have.

Best,

Gary G

 
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bmccaw
(Login bmccaw)
PP Discussion Group

Thanks for all your info....

November 22 2006, 5:35 PM 

I have been buying from this HK AD for almost 8 years. Yes I bought quite a few slow models, but I also bought some perpetual calendar, and 5960, 5712....

I understand if I am a new customer who walk in with lots of cash and only request the grand complications models. However I have been building up the relationship for over a lot period of time and bought regularly year after year.

I think they have registered my NAME and other personal information many times for each purchased I have made. The Distributor locally should have it in their database.

I have asked London Patek Salon, NO such requirement is needed except your name and a phone number. Of course if you are a regular repeated customer, they are more than glad to assist you. I have been purchasing from them as well over last few years. (As I discover also the other AD in Hong Kong doesn't even care about my personal info, except my last name, they would sell anything who walk in...)

Thanks for you guys' insight, I think someone from the Distributor and the AD are self-indulging themselves that I have to buy from them... They will lose my business and I will take it somewhere else.


 
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happy_wis
(Login happy_wis)
PP Discussion Group

Yes, I agree. "Elsewhere" is the answer....

November 22 2006, 5:53 PM 

Actually, I had similar experience as well...

I was looking for a special PP and ALL THE ADs in the region said "it is impossible to get one".... And no further action was done by them. Then I called the distributor and they said it is none of their business as they just "provide" watches to the ADs and it is up to the ADs how to deal with the watches...

In the end... the ADs said they cannot get one.... and the distributor said "it is none of our business"...

Well... you bet... I went elsewhere finally. From this, what I feel is that the distributor does not care the "end" clients. They just want to sell the watches to the ADs.

Good luck. Hope you can get your 5970/5004 from elsewhere.

 
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bigmin
(Login djemi)
PP Discussion Group

Patek's control in HK

November 22 2006, 9:33 PM 

The HongKong market is well regulated directly by Patek office.Hence most AD in HK do not charge a premium for hard to get pieces or offer big discount for less movable items.Its still possible to walk in and buy some popular semi complicated watches in HongKong.
Patek know its in their long term interest to enable as many new or walk in customers to have the chance to buy some of the more popular watches.Hence to put some control on the "investment/filpping" type of collectors.
Just compare the MRSP + premium prices in Singapore where its not supervised directly by Patek but by their agent,for the Nautilus & complicated series with HongKong's.
Its also in your interest to have your name submitted.This is how maybe one day with enough points accumulated you would get the invitation from Mr.Stern to the nautilus etc new launches or new Patek Salon,and get to buy really limited wathces.

 
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happy_wis
(Login happy_wis)
PP Discussion Group

Well... yes and no.... IMHO....

November 22 2006, 10:26 PM 

Yes, Hong Kong is good for walk-in customers (especially from overseas or from mainland China).... but for their layol local customers.... probably not.

I heard from AD in HK that they prefer to deal with people from overseas (or China) as they have less demand. They just come in, get the watch and pay the money.

With local customers, they have to maintain the so-called customer relationship.... something that costs money/resources to do it. With walk-in / one-time customers, they don't have to do it.

As fellow purist bmccaw said, he has been buying from the same AD for 8 years, bought many different models (including slow-moving ones to grand complication).... but still he is treated as a total stranger... I cannot see "customer-relationship" here.

He also mentioned that he did register all his PPs but still.... not getting what he deserved.

Regarding the invitation by Mr Stern or the boutique. Well... may be... but as far as I know you have to buy from the boutique in order to be their client. Local clients buying from local ADs will not give you such privilege.... no matter you register your PP or not.

From the HK ADs/distributor point of view, as long as there are "enough" customers to move their watches, they are ok with what they are doing now.

p.s.:
1. bmccaw, you are not alone. I did experience similar and I have given up now.
2. In HK, I believe that they don't have to ask for the "premium" as they usually have enough supply of the "hot models". It doesn't make sense for them to "kill the hen, and take out all the eggs in one-go"

 
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bmccaw
(Login bmccaw)
PP Discussion Group

Re: Well... yes and no.... IMHO....

November 22 2006, 10:52 PM 

I certainly share your feelings. Personally I felt these distributors and ADs are not doing their job.

To ask for extra personal information from a client in order for them to 'just put their name on the ordering list' is the most ridiculous business practice I have ever heard. As I have been buying for such a long time. A business card can't tell you much and in my opinion, its the people in charge here who has this culture to pry into other people's business...

If my name is not good enough to buy a watch and purchasing such item suppose to be something memorable and happy, these distributors in HK have destroy the very essence and virtue of true and fine retailing... 'customer is always right!'

I will try to convert this complaint to Patek in Geneva and hopefully also to the distributor here in HK.

Whether they want to self-indulge themselves and think they can play hard to get in this business... My next 10 years of purchase will go to those friendly dealers in other countries.

If MR Stern can read this, hope he will understand.


 
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happy_wis
(Login happy_wis)
PP Discussion Group

Buying PP is not just "fun" anymore...

November 22 2006, 11:08 PM 

It takes more effort now... You have to do the homework...to be cunning with the ADs...

It used to be a fun and enjoyable activity but not now with our smart ADs/distributor.

I don't think the HK distributor will do anything (as I did complain before)... but I think/hope that PP Geneva may take it seriously.

Sorry, (IMHO), "customer is always right" is not applicable to PP's HK ADs/distributor.

Instead, I feel that the attitude "PP's HK distributor is always right" is the norm here. They can control who get the "hot models".... and this attitude is propagating to the ADs as well....

Well... as long as the "model" is working and working "fine" from their point of view, it is very hard to change it...

 
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bmccaw
(Login bmccaw)
PP Discussion Group

I was registered, still registered in every purchase...

November 22 2006, 10:43 PM 

Talk about invitation, yes I was invited to go to Geneva for the Nautilas launch, which in my opinion is nothing special except for someone who like to satisfy their vanity, albeit you get the first chance to see the new models... Maybe because I also purchased some watches from my London Patek Salon that might be why I've got my invitation.

I've got the VIP invitation from HK distributor for the PP show last week as well...

IMHO, I love my collections and I really don't care much about the social events organized by PP or their distributors. If they can sell me the watch on the spot, I would love to take it right there. The satisfaction of able to spot and buy a good watch is already a thrill to me... I don't just collect them and put them in safety box, I wear them and play with them. The chance to meet Mr Stern or not does not change my enthusiasm of these fine timepieces which put together meticulously by master watch maker...




 
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happy_wis
(Login happy_wis)
PP Discussion Group

Exactly! Well said! (nt)

November 22 2006, 10:54 PM 

.

 
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bigmin
(Login djemi)
PP Discussion Group

Seller Market

November 23 2006, 2:55 AM 

Lets face it,its up to Patek whether they want to sell it to you.We can vote with our wallet/feet but I don't think it bothers Patek.The 5004 or even the 5970 queue is not getting any shorter.The ADs are just respondng to market reality.
Thats why I buy/collect also Seikos,GP,IWC etc.Helps to sooth our feelings.
As the photomast head in watchrap-its about friendship/relationship.Mr.Stern might not care much about being your friend or your order but at least he will be courteous when meeting you.And like the invitation to the new Geneva Salon,you get to buy two very limited edition especially the beautiful 5105 which will definitely cure your many hurt feelings before.

 
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