Breitling watches are made in Switzerland but are not sold there at a discount


August 08, 1993|By New York Times News Service

Q: I'm looking to buy a Breitling watch, which I believe is Swiss.

Is there a street in Switzerland or some other country where you can get Breitling watches cheaply?

A: Breitling watches are indeed Swiss, but according to the president of the New York office of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Peter Laetsch, there is nowhere in Switzerland where watches are discounted.

There are many places around the world where such discounts are given -- Hong Kong is a leading example. Some discounts may indeed be genuine, but there is always the risk that you may be buying a counterfeit product, a thriving business these days for high-priced items.

Mr. Laetsch adds his own warning. He says there is simply no way of knowing whether a watch presented for sale as new, but at a discount, has actually been reconditioned or contains parts that never belonged to it.

For peace of mind, he adds, anyone interested in buying a Breitling should visit, say, the Bahnhofstrasse, in Zurich, a street lined with jewelers.

But take lots of money. In the United States Breitlings start at $800 and go up to $13,000, $14,000 and even $15,000 for 18-carat watches with a gold bracelet. But such watches, especially those made of 18-carat gold, would generally tend to hold their value.

Prices in Switzerland would be roughly comparable, he says.

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