An Interview with Chronograph.com

In case you haven’t heard about Chronograph.com, it’s a renowned online watch store operating from the island of Singapore in Southeast Asia. It has many loyal, repeat customers and is known for its impressive array of new and discontinued Seiko watches.

Chronograph.com was founded by Mr Lee Wee Wah since the mid 1990s and is instrumental for stocking and providing Seiko watch parts that no other online Seiko dealers dare to.

 

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Chronograph.com is also one of the very Internet watch dealers that sell Japan Domestic Market (JDM) Seiko watches that are normally not sold outside Japan. It’s become a household name in several watch forums with hundreds of satisfied buyers.

Check out this exclusive scoop at GMT+9! Kudos to Bryan Andersen for arranging this first ever interview! 🙂

 

 

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Comments

Mine watch were delivered without original box, without protection, just dropped in the box. See video about unpacking. All my messages regarding deliver were deleted and i was banned!

Today I received the watch I ordered on Nov 5th from chronograph.com This was supposed to be the first of four skx007j-watches I planned on ordering from this vendor. In trying to mitigate the inherent risks of ordering from overseas I intended on ordering one watch at a time. However upon receiving the parcel today I immediately was very disappointed. The total of 4 watches I planned on purchasing from them were meant to be gifted as ‘collection watches’. The original Seiko box was necessary. Instead I received the watch without the original packaging.

I have lost my confidence in chronograph.com and I do not recommend this seller. Please be aware of my experience before you plan you watch purchase.

Sincerely
Sebastian B

Hi Sebastian B,

I’m sorry that you were disappointed in not receiving the original Seiko box. Unless Chronograph.com has explicitly stated that the watch will be shipped with its original gift box, documentation and the manufacturer’s warranty card I don’t think it would be fair to make a sweeping statement on this seller.

For the record, I am in no way affiliated with Chronograph.com. I have purchased watch parts from this business entity in the past, but have never bought watches from them. However, there are some things about the Seiko watch market that you are likely to be not aware of. None of the brand new, Seiko watches that I have bought from eBay sellers based in Singapore ever came with their original boxes or warranties. That’s right. None of them. Instead, I received plain cardboard boxes without any accompanying papers. Not even the manufacturer’s warranty card.

Now, let’s focus at the issue at hand: the original Seiko gift boxes.

1. Like most companies, the Seiko company does not manufacture the watch boxes themselves. They do not have a factory or a division that makes the packaging because it would not be cost effective to make those boxes. It would be a lot cheaper to source the boxes from some third party printing house that specializes in making all kinds of packaging material, including watch boxes. That said, you cannot even order an empty watch box from the Seiko factory. They are meant to be supplied to authorized Seiko watch dealers and not the end customer. If you’re looking for a spare (unused) Seiko watch box, you’ll have to look for a Seiko watch store who is willing to donate or sell you one. That is, if they happen to have one or two spare boxes lying around.

2. Seiko practices a policy which stipulates that the gift boxes are to be distributed only by the regional Seiko head offices or official distributors around the world.

3. Only authorized Seiko retail stores and accredited Seiko Internet resellers get watch stock that are packed with the original gift boxes. This is because they obtain their stock from their respective regional Seiko head offices. eBay merchants who sell Seiko watches are never “official” resellers because they do not get their supply from the regional Seiko distributor but from some third party exporter, usually from overseas. As these wholesale exporters are NOT official Seiko distributors, they do not get the the original gift boxes, instruction manuals or the warranty card from the Seiko factories.

4. Singapore practices a free trade enterprise. You can walk into a department store and choose from two kinds of Seiko watches: those that are obtained from the regional Seiko distributor and those that are classified as “parallel import” or “grey market” ones. While both are in fact, genuine Seiko watches made by the same factory, grey market imports are never sanctioned by the Seiko distributor in Singapore.

5. The Seiko watches that come through the official distribution channel are presented with the original Seiko box, instruction manual and the Seiko warranty card. Grey market versions do not. They are indeed cheaper than their “official” counterparts, but you’ll get a plain box instead. No papers, no manufacturer’s warranty card. If you have any issues with the watch, you’ll have to deal with the seller.

6. Some Seiko models are not brought in by the local Seiko distributor for domestic sale. AFAIK, the Seiko SKX007J is the grey import kind, while the SKX007K are the actual, official models. Guess which version doesn’t get the official Seiko box, papers and manufacturer’s warranty card? That’s right: the SKX007J – the very ones that you have purchased.

7. The “J” model is actually meant for export to the Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. This is why the “J” versions come with the English/Arabic day language on the dial. If you were to buy this exact watch in Dubai for example, you will get the Seiko gift box, papers and the official warranty card – because as far as Seiko is concerned, the SKX007J is “local” to the United Arab Emirates.

So you see, it is not Chronograph.com‘s fault that they did not ship your watch with the Seiko gift boxes that you had expected. How are they going to pass the official packaging material to you when they never received the original box, papers and warranty cards in the first place? If these very watches came with the original boxes, believe me – they would have shipped your watches complete with the Seiko gift boxes, documentation and warranty card.

Yes, it’s kind of odd that the Seiko company practices this unorthodox policy, but that’s the way it is. They have to protect their authorized dealership network; therefore if you want the original watch packaging and manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll have to buy a Seiko that’s sold through the “proper channels”.

Sorry if this had been a long read, but I hope you’ve been duly enlightened. 🙂

Quartzimodo.

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