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Old 05-22-2010, 08:41 AM
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Was wondering if anyone could advise if St. Maarten is the best place to buy a gents watch. Has anyone found that the prices are cheaper in the Caribbean than at home or indeed cheaper than on board ship.
Reading some previous posts about St. Maarten it would appear that the ships crew 'shop' here.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:08 AM
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Do you mean high end watches like Rolex, Tag Heuer, or Breitling? I've often felt St. Maarten has better shopping than St. Thomas. I wouldn't buy on the ship. First of all most ships don't have high end watches, or if they do it is a limited selection.
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:32 PM
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Dave, Thanks for taking the time to reply. Not calling at St. Thomas. I do mean 'high end' watches and was just wondering how the prices compare with at home.
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:27 PM
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When buying expensive watches, the truth is your savings would be in not paying sales tax and getting it duty free - at least initially. For instance, Rolex sets the retail price because they don't want to affect the value of the product with dealers undercutting each other. Get caught discounting and they will lose the rights to sell Rolex.

Another interesting point about Rolex - I've been told it is a trademark infringement to enter the U.S. with more than one Rolex in your possession. I've been told Customs could confiscate any of the extra watches.

Most high end watch manufacturers don't want local competition, and for that reason there is only one authorized Rolex dealer on St. Martin although they have stores on both sides of the island. I expect the same is true for the other brands.

Bottom line - you can save a few hundred dollars. Personally I buy my watches locally. I may be paying more but I know they are legitimate and if I have a problem they are 20 minutes away.

I am talking a lot about Rolex because that is what I know about. Lately I've become a bit jaded about that brand because I've had problems with my Rolex watches. I still can't get one to work and another loses time. Of course taking them to be repaired is like taking your Porsche in for an oil change - it may be a simple thing but it'll still cost you a few hundred dollars. Plus, Rolex is the most copied and thus there are a lot of fakes out there. I'm thinking of moving towards other names, which are also less expensive and perhaps more accurate.
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