shopping for watch?

Jan 5th, 2007, 06:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
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shopping for watch?

My husband and i will be in anguilla for his 40th and he would like a very nice watch for his birthday. Should we wait and get it in St. maarten? is the shopping cheaper there? TIA!
emcash is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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Are you asking if watches are cheaper on St. Martin than on Anguilla or are the cheaper on St. Martin then they are at home (wherever that may be)?

If it's the former, than the answer is you'll have a much better selection and most likely get a better deal on St. Martin. FYI - there's very little shopping on Anguilla and I doubt you'd find a "very nice watch" on Anguilla.

If your question is the latter than chances are watches could very well be less expensive on St. Martin than "back home" but the only way you'd know is to be a savey shopper and do your research to see what similar watches are selling for where you now live. That way you'll be able to negotiate your best deal and know a good price when you see it.

St. Martin has plenty of "Duty Free" shopping so certain things can be had at bargain prices but "Duty Free" doesn't necessarilly mean every item in every store will be cheaper than it is "back home".

Many times the prices for items like watches are similar to what you'd find at home but there's no sales tax in St. Martin and that can add up to substantial savings if you are buying an expensive item and live in an area with a high sales tax rate. Again, you have to be an informed shopper to get the best value.

One other thing you have to consider is the watch's warranty. Will the manufacture honor the warranty in your "home country" if it is purchased in another country (such as St. Martin)? Do not automatically assume they will - this is something you have to check directly with the manufacturer as policies differ from company to company and you cannot rely solely on the seller to give you the information.

For what it's worth I live in the US and a few years ago I was in the market for an expensive brand named watch. I knew I'd be making to back to back trips to St. Martin so on the first trip I priced the watch I wanted. When I returned home I went to a local jeweler and saw the same watch and after some discussion the shop owner agreed to sell me the watch for the same price I'd seen in St. Martin. He also agreed to ship it for free to a relative who lived in a nearby state so I wouldn't have to pay sales tax. In a few days I had my watch for a good price and knew that I'd have no future problems with the warranty if it was ever needed. I've since bought several other items from that jeweler (including several similar watches for family menbers) all at very good prices. It pays to shop around.
A_Traveller is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Thanks A- I'm sorry my post wasn't clear-- I meant St. M as opposed to the states. Thanks for your post.
emcash is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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We recently had a really bad experience purchasing a watch for my husband in SXM therefore I really would not recommend it. A lot of the items you see in duty free shops are not new models and / or have been in the shops for a long time. We bought a Raymond Weil which just after purchase had to have a complete overhaul to the tune of $350. The oil inside the watch had completely dried up and the watch stopped working soon after we bought it. We went through RW for the warranty and they first claimed that store was not an authorized dealer, they were but it took a lot of doing to find how they were listed with RW (they were not listed by the store name) RW finally told us that this was a very old watch (brand new , but old if that makes sense). We did get it fixed because the watch cost more than 2x that amount and we had just purchased it. After getting the watch fixed 2 more times we are done. It is in RW in NYC and we are not paying the $13 to have it shipped home to us. The repairs this time are $250 because now the warranty is expired.
Most places you will find its not really such a good deal (price-wise) the only difference really was not paying tax. Well, I would rather have paid tax then go through the nightmare we went through. Now my husband has an ESQ which was about $250 and I bought it online. No issues with it at all.
I think the bottom line is if you are going to spend the money its worth the piece of mind buying locally so you can reach the store and return / do the warranty, etc. if you need to. We would not purchase a watch there again.

MIM04 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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Recently bought a watch there (SXM) and it was a bit cheaper then the same watch at my local COSTCO (about $5) but then did save the sales tax both state and local so overall saved some. Now, if the only reason to go the islands is to shop and save money foget it. Going on holiday and you might need a new watch or diamond, etc, then you can save some money but not an astounding amount. I think the bigger savings are in the diamonds etc. but as the other poster said do your homework.
Curt is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 11:56 AM
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We had a good experience buying a watch in SXM (& a few other baubles) but we spent $60 for 2 round trips on the ferry and $50 from Marigot roundtrip to Phillipsburg. Had a blast but it was an excursion & it cost. There are some watch places in Marigot. We asked friends in Anguilla and locals who had jewelry that we liked & went with their recommendations about where to shop. I beleive we saved money but probably ate it up in travel to & from.
MaryD is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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It is inaccurate to state that the watches sold in Dt. maarten are not new models or have been in the shops a long time. That simply is not true. I am sorry the previous poster had a problem but most of the shops do carry the latets models and the stock is constantly changing. The best thing to do is check your prices at home and on the internet before you leave and then see how the prices on the island compare.
Barbara1 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 02:53 PM
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St Martin does have nice jewelry stores. We have bought a few items there and have been very pleased.

I think a lot depends on the watch and the cost.

We shopped for a Rolex in Mexico/Caribbean for several years before we decided to get it locally due to the concerns of where/who to go to if something went wrong with it.

We felt it was worth the extra money spent to have a local jeweler to go to.
We did the same thing when we bought a Breitling. Went to the same jeweler, who gave us a better deal as an established customer, and we went right back to him for both watches when they needed fit adjustments.

For a bit less money, but a special occasion, we bought a Concord Sportivo diamond watch while in Jamaica. We got it after haggling for $2,500 less than it retails in the US for. When we got back to the States, our jeweler was amazed at the deal we got.

My point is that it depends on how much you want to spend and how much you are willing to deal with the possibility you may have issues that someone local may not want to deal with.

Be careful and make sure you buy only from a reputable store.
Diana is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 05:44 PM
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Barbara, I did not say "All shops" have this issue. I was told by the dealer Raymond Weil that many shops have this problem as there are SO many stores and not all are able to turn their inventory. I know of many really good dealers in the Caribbean which do not have this problem do to high volume of sales. However, given that in many cases you are not really saving money why not just buy at home. We would have saved ourselves a lot of time and heartache and money if we had purchased locally. Also, we have purchased watches in St Thomas before, but they were inexpensive and lasted how long they should have.
I just wanted the OP to be aware that it does not always work out and there is not a lot of recourse when it does not, given the distance, etc.
Again GL to the OP
MIM04 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 245
So you need a watch in STM.....humm...

If your connecting flight is thru St. Thomas...and you have time...i'd shop there..

If you are US citizen...easier to collect if something is bogus...STM? you gave no recourse..

avoid Royal Caribbean St Thomas.

I'd use a certified Rolex guy at Royal Dane mall--he also has the best vintage watches...

Business is "swiss Watch company"
[email protected]

Now THATS a great gift!

marbleheadguy is offline  
Jan 6th, 2007, 04:38 AM
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Our experience in all of the Caribbean is the savings may be %5 on a $1000 watch, at best. On the high end watches Rolex, Tiffany, etc. thee is little to know difference.
But in the US if you want an Omega, Concord, Movado, Weill or similar you can offer a local jewler-not a chain-20% less than retail and get it for at least 10-15% off retail.
StanKase is offline  
Jan 6th, 2007, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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We were in SXM last summer and went to Marigot looking for a Rolex. The store that we went to did not have the latest models. I also noticed that the prices were not that different than those at home, but Duty Free would make a difference in the end. Back home, we asked our jeweler friend about buying Rolex watches and he said to make sure that the watch would come with the proper paperwork to ensure that it could be worked on at any jeweler.
I prefer to shop "at home" so that I can go directly to the source if there are any problems.
iw is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I have purchased two watches for my husband in Phillipsburg. We have gone to Joe's on the main street. Both times we were able to get great deals on his Fortis Watch. I would check prices at home before you go, I did that both times, so I knew I got a great deal. Last time I was with a friend she stoped in and purchased a Tissot there and got a great deal as well.
kski32 is offline  

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