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Seiko Boutique NYC - JDM goodness so close to home!

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Quick backstory- despite being a serial watch flipper, I have always had a soft spot for Seiko. My first watch purchase was a Fossil Blue when I was about 10 years old, when the base metal wore through and my skin turned green,I wanted to get a "nice watch" to replace it. So at age 12 my first $150+ watch purchase was a yellow faced Seiko quartz chrono which I still have (and still works!). From there I purchased a Seiko Kinetic for $300+ when those hit the scene, and have purchased other models during the next 20 or so years.

So lets get to the Boutique story.

I purchased a DOA SKX173 from the Seiko outlet in NJ, when I was returning it the store manager (Justin, he's a great guy) told me that the Boutique was getting in "some limited editions, and a two-toned diver this week." I asked if he meant the MM300 LE, he wasn't 100% sure and gave me the store manager's contact info. I had just purchased an SBDC027 and was not sure if I wanted to upgrade so soon, but this was a 1 in a 1000 watch that I have loved since the SBDX001 days.

I called the boutique a few days ago and ask if they had any SBDX012 or SBDC027 in stock. "Yes, 2 of each, but we can't hold them unless you're serious" was the reply. I wasn't sure what to do, I knew I wanted one but with the wife by my side it would not be easy to make that type of purchase. I told him that I was very serious, but I needed to see this in person before I could commit to such a large purchase, and would love if they could hold one for me.

Go into the city with my wife for a doctor's appointment, and after she finishes we head off to Madison Ave. The Seiko Boutique is sandwiched between high end watch stores, luxury watch boutiques (Panerai is not far away), and other designer spots. Little Seiko doesn't have much of a presence on the outside, and their store is very tiny. We were the only customers in the shop, which is -exactly- how I like to shop.

The first thing that draws my eye is a case of JDM models- they had Tunas (Darth, Spring Drive, regular), many of the Prospex models, the SBDC027, and the SBDX012 in a display case. While we can all visit Chino and Seiya's websites, there is something totally different when you see these in person. With my wife over my shoulder I could not express how giddy I was, as I wanted to look at ALL of these and try them all on, knowing for future purchases which ones I'd want.

The saleslady asked if we needed help, I told her that I had spoken to her coworker on the phone and they were holding a MM300 for me. The salesman offered us something to drink and suggested I look around first, then he would show me the MM300. The boutique is very tiny, it seemed like 1/2 was devoted to Astron models, 1/4 was Grand Seiko, Galante, and Credor, and 1/4 were Prospex and everything else. I wanted to handle a Grand Seiko in person, but this was not the trip for that.

So I took off my Sumo 027 and tried on the MM300. I knew from the second it touched my wrist that it was the right watch for me and could very well be "the one watch" for a while. I felt the same way about the Sumo, but I love a tall chunky watch. I tried to conjure up excuses in my mind to stop me from wanting it, but "oh wow, it wears much taller than the Sumo" was all I could say. I would not tell my wife how much this "only a Seiko" would cost, but she knew it was expensive. I looked over, tried to give her my best puppy dog eyes, but she told me to stop looking at her that way.

I took the watch off and tried on a Spring Drive Tuna. This is another one I was considering down the road, and it was very nice, but the boutique was asking $4200- way too much when you can get it for under $3000 online. The salesman of course had the perfect reply- "when you buy from us you get the full 3 year AD warranty PLUS another extended year from the boutique." Touché!

I go over to my wife and somehow get her to give me the OK, I still don't know how it happened, but she told me that I owed her a nice lunch. I tell the salesman that I will be taking the MM300 and they start the purchase process. This was the first time I've bought from a "boutique" and most watches I buy come from online sellers. They completed the transaction with an iPad and filled out all of the warranty cards for me. The watch was $2500+tax, so for just over $2700 I managed to snag a 1 in 1000 JDM piece with full US warranty. He offers to size it for me and I agree because the pin and collar bracelets are annoying to do, and we leave for lunch.

I come back 40 minutes later and get my prize, he also tells me that they give free gifts to their customers- a Seiko Astron hat, a Seiko travel case, and a Seiko polishing microfiber cloth. I love free stuff and was thankful, and went on my merry way.

TL;DR - go to Seiko boutique, buy LE MM300, get extra goodies and a 4 year warranty for less than the online sellers are asking for the SBDX012.

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OH SNAP! They're selling the LE MM300 at the Seiko boutique at NYC!? I have to check it out! Congrats on the fine purchase and for sharing!

By the way, I know exactly how you felt. When I last visited with a fellow WUS buddy, we were like kids in a candy shop. We had to try on all the forum favorites. Absolutely awesome experience.

 

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Yup- check the boutique website and they'll have a list of all the models they stock. After the Outlet manager told me about the new arrivals I checked their website and saw it there as a "boutique exclusive." They had 1 LEMM300 left (display model, mine still had all the factory plastic on it) and 1 SBDC027 (display model) left Saturday afternoon. You can always call ahead and they will let you know if they have something.

 

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Sadly for me there really aren't any good Seiko dealers that I know of in Scotland - all the places that sell Seikos just have a bunch of less-interesting Kinetics and Solars. Good functional watches, no doubt, but for people like us who lust after the tasty automatics it's a bit like giving a starving dog a rubber bone...

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