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ClearDot.gif (85 bytes) It's Time... (cont.)
. . . . . .

We go upstairs, and I tell him I'm looking at Pateks and APs today. No point mentioning Lange, which they don't carry. I tell him I don't want a Rolex or JLC (I have one of each), but maybe some others are in the running, and I can look at those too. And no sports chronos, as I already have several. Michael is very happy.

I look again at the Royal Oaks, but they don't look any better than they did an hour ago. In fact, worse. Since I have spent the morning looking at very good watches (Pateks and Langes), the Royal Oaks are starting to look rougher and rougher. I notice something I somehow missed earlier: The tantalum and pink gold watch lacks the waffle pattern on the face, which I like a lot. Also, their Royal Oaks are pretty scratched up. One of them has a deep gouge, and should be sent back or moved to the 3rd floor. I conclude that Tourneau must get a huge number of lookers who don't buy, and also that even the ones who buy don't want to buy a Royal Oak, or they wouldn't be sitting around long enough to get that badly scratched.

• • • • • •
“You can get any watch for 35% off in the diamond and jewelry district...Well, maybe not a Lange”

I ask about the Patek Neptune, and Michael pulls out one in steel and gold with a black dial (5080). It looks great! It's dressy, but not overly so. I don't have anything at all like it, and it's one of the few Pateks whose looks I can stand. List is only $12,800, very reasonable for a Patek. I like the idea of getting my first, and probably last, Patek on my 50th birthday. Thinking of the Patek ads, I imagine my daughter (I have no son) wearing this watch. I'm now as happy as Michael, who is getting happier by the minute, because he thinks he's going to sell me a watch, and on the 4th floor no less.

Since I might actually want the 5080, I try to start some deal making. "What is your absolutely best price that you can give me on this watch?" I ask. Because Michael seems a little inexperienced, I tell him to go talk to his manager, and I'll wait. He doesn't bother, and just tells me he can knock $1500 off. I quickly calculate that that's only about 12%. Well, I say, I'll think about it, and start to leave. Michael asks me where I'm going, and I tell him. He tells me that when I come back, and I'm ready to buy, he can do a lot better. In fact, he makes me promise to let him get the last word. I follow what he is saying: Tourneau will match whatever price I can get. To protect himself, Michael warns me about unauthorized dealers. I'm not a New Yorker, but I know the town well enough to get his drift. He doesn't mind me walking a few blocks south to Wempe or Tiffany's, but not all the way to 47th St. (The diamond and jewelry district, where you can get any watch for 35% off. Well, maybe not a Lange.) I haven't been that specific with him, so I pretend not to know what an unauthorized dealer is. I get his card, shake his hand, and tell him I'll return. It's a real shame about Tourneau. They could have made this store really a lot of fun to be in, but instead it's a real chore because of those pesky salespeople.

Part 2 will appear in the next issue of psst!

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