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Buying watches from India


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Morning - does anyone have experience of buying watches from India? I have a bit of a thing for Favre Leuba watches and Ebay seems to be full of quite keenly priced FLs being sold by sellers in India. I'm hestitant to splash out, as I'm unsure how long they might take to be delivered, customs, VAT charges etc - it could make it no worthwhile. I would be interested to hear of any experiences, good or bad! Thanks

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3 minutes ago, DavidYorks said:

Morning - does anyone have experience of buying watches from India? I have a bit of a thing for Favre Leuba watches and Ebay seems to be full of quite keenly priced FLs being sold by sellers in India. I'm hestitant to splash out, as I'm unsure how long they might take to be delivered, customs, VAT charges etc - it could make it no worthwhile. I would be interested to hear of any experiences, good or bad! Thanks

Most of them are made from bits and pieces and are usually redialled, my advice is don't

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3 minutes ago, JoT said:

Most of them are made from bits and pieces and are usually redialled, my advice is don't

The vast range of colours did make me think they may not be 100% as they left the factory....

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Just now, DavidYorks said:

The vast range of colours did make me think they may not be 100% as they left the factory....

That's for sure, I am sure they are fine for the local market but if you want a FL look closer to home but with caution because some of these Indian specials are resold 

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7 minutes ago, JoT said:

That's for sure, I am sure they are fine for the local market but if you want a FL look closer to home but with caution because some of these Indian specials are resold 

Thanks for the advice!

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7 minutes ago, Roman Dorn said:

Thanks folks. I also wondered about watches from India as I see a lot of 'vintage' watches advertised and wondered how original they might be...they do seem to come in an amazing array of colours! 

Pi55 taking aside, in India its a bit of a cultural thing... They have a watch modding subculture and those watches are the result mostly of that. The trouble with the good old inter web is that some sellers now exploit the ignorance of global buyers deliberately. A couple of years back I was mooching around the Bay and found a Titoni watch from an eBay seller that did look sound but a quick run by this forum and the resident Titoni expert @Lampoc soon put me straight.  

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Vast majority of watches advertised out of India are roughly equivalent to those cars you see in Cuba with the front half of a '50's Chevy roughly attached to the back half of a Gaz limousine, packing the engine from a smuggled 80's generator. Sometimes worth buying just to see what you get, and what sort of handbuilding skills have been employed to get it all together. Just never buy assuming that it's what it says on the dial... or working. Had a couple of attempts, first was a "Sandoz" which was so bad the back didn't even fit. A later late night ebay buy of an HMT was much better (guess they've got a lot more HMT parts to mix & match that will vaguely fit together) and worked for several months.

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I got a HMT lubricated with oil out of a Royal Enfield and a limited edition human hair inside. Must have been inspired by Bremont.

2 minutes ago, Craftycockney said:

Leathers

I'd cross that one off. It's leather Jim, but not as we know it.

MJ13_Trek_ST_OS_EP031_002.jpg

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I bought what was purporting to be an Oris early into my watch journey. Not nice.

They tend to be a cheap hand-wind movement, in a probably vintage case, with a (usually not well) repainted dial. Almost certainly not from the factory of the maker named on hte front. 

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21 minutes ago, Perlative Cernometer said:

Sometimes worth buying just to see what you get,,,,,

,,,,, the best example of which has to be this dude on the Coffee and Watches FB page who bought an "Oris" chronograph with a lovely luminous red dial etc etc and working perfectly on delivery. A few months later he had it serviced only to be informed that the movement inside was a genuine Zenith movement. The last I heard he was trying to match that up with a corresponding Zenith case/dial. I am assuming he was EXTREMELY lucky.

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I bought a Seiko 5 a few years ago for about £10 which was undoubtedly a frankenwatch (having learnt what that is after the fact). 

I gave it to my daughter as it has a 34mm case, looks good and the displayed  automatic movement works as it should. 

A bargain for the price paid although I wouldn't knowingly buy one again since frankenwatches aren't really cricket for me personally. 

 

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If you're lucky you'll receive a badly painted dial and a Favre-Leuba movement that's seen better days. At the other end of the scale you'll get a complete knock-off featuring every Indian faker's favourite movement, the FHF 96. Unfortunately Favre-Leuba have long been a favourite for Indian "watchmakers" and they're pretty much spread around the globe now so please be careful wherever you're buying from.

Edited by Lampoc
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I'm actually on the hunt for the best most ludicrous frankenwatch I can find. 

Something made from at least 6 or 7 different makes of watch using genuine parts would be highly amusing (as long as it keeps decent time and lasts a couple of years).

"What kind of watch is that"?

"Oh its a Seikoricohrotarytrafalgaccuristcitizentimex.. they make them in India"

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When I visited India for work trips I bought 1 or 2 (5) special edition watches from Markets, nothing over $30. They lasted about 3-6 months and then disassembled themselves while on my wrist. 

Still great fun while they lasted ;-)

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