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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-18-2006

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

My boyfriend and I have been looking at some Roebelin & Graef (German brand) watches sold by two or three different Ebay sellers (including power sellers Trendline365 and Aloha!!!). There are several models all going for 140-160 Euros. The retail prices for these watches are normally well over 1000 Euros, so the huge difference is making us nervous. The feedback for the sellers is fine, but we are still suspicious. Any suggestions for discerning whether they are counterfeit, old, stolen, or just simply a great bargain?

Thanks,
Rachel
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Community Member
Posts: 394
Registered: ‎08-01-2006

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
I am not familiar with this brand. But, with a lot of current watches, especially smaller brands, the retail price is pretty meaningless. Let me give an example. Once in a while a watch called the "Balmer Commander" is sold on ebay. The "retail" price is $8995.00. They usually sell for less than $350.
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Community Member
Posts: 2,970
Registered: ‎10-13-2005

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
There seems to be a growing number of new companies producing these low-quality mechanical watches. They all take the same approach:

1) Trademark an impressive-sounding German or Swiss name. Often you'll find names that are chosen to sound like another expensive brand and cause confusion.

2) Buy an inexpensive Chinese-manufactured knock-off movement and install it in a cheap thinly plated case with a stamped dial that imitates guilloche engine turning. Add a glass display back and an imitation embossed croc strap.

3) Put up a bogus website stating that the retail value of the watch is $2,000 or some other ridiculous price... even though the watch is NEVER sold in any retail store and never sells for more than $175.

4) Put up magazine ads, late night commercials or auctions with lots of false marketing hype designed to draw in inexperienced watch buyers.

You get what you pay for. The movements in these watches are very poorly finished by swiss standards and are unlikely to last or perform like a fine swiss movement. The cases are so thinly plated that they will often show plating wear-thru after less than a year and become unattractive. These watches are not collectible and you'll find landfills full of them in a few years.

Greg
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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-04-2007

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
also a thing to notice is the boxing of both the roebelin and the buchner & bovalier are the same. also if you look at the tiny engravings shown on the pictures that show the back of the watch, you can see they have identical ingravings: little swirls. the other thing to note is that the websites are very similar in design with the same buttons for navigating between each type of watch
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Community Member
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎07-29-2006

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
These watches are not collectible and you'll find landfills full of them in a few years...you are absolutely right, but you also shouldn't forget that not everyone coming to this forum is a collector. Many people just want to enjoy a good looking watch(?) and go with the present fashion, and in my opinion that a valid point a well.
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Community Member
Posts: 2,970
Registered: ‎10-13-2005

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
2ndtimerbikes,

By focusing only on the issue of collectability in my earlier post, you ignored the bulk of the important information stated. Namely, that many of these particular watch companies use deceptive marketing practices to intentionally mislead buyers about the real MSRP of the watch, the true origin of the movement and parts, and to create brand confusion with names that sound similar to famous brands. Tactics used are often just one step short of fraud.

There is nothing wrong with buying an inexpensive timepiece to tell the time, but when the seller creates the false expectation that you are buying a fine swiss timepiece that normally sells for 50x what you are paying, something is very wrong.

Greg
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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-13-2007

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
gregoryswatches. thanks for your information , very helpful for a first time buyer.my father always told me to watch out for the ones with the pretty face..
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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-15-2007

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
I've bought a Roebelin & Graef Watch last week from E-Bay power seller aloha because I thought It was a good bargain and my budget was limited. The watch looks nice but I'm very disappointed about the precision of the movement : it looses 47 seconds per 24 hours! When I complain about this, the answer it that I should send the watch back at my expenses so that they can check if the fault is covered by the warranty. Suspecting I'm the victim of a fraud, I've been doing some research on the web and found this and other forums. I'm seriously thinking about informing the OLAF which is the European Anti-Fraud Office (http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/index_en.html)
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Community Member
Posts: 240
Registered: ‎07-31-2003

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
This sounds just like the tactics used by Steinhausen. Its a huge build up with a whimper of a real delivery. Just remember that no one will sell brand seen on ebay and that is Montres Allison. Another watch with an impressive name using cheap parts and a very deceptive ad campaign. A regulat on a watch forum I frequent bought one of these and dissected it. See for yourself.
http://www.vikbobil.se/mar.htm
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Community Member
Posts: 240
Registered: ‎07-31-2003

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
Sorry, my reply was mistyped. I meant to say that no one will sell a watch or any item really worth many K's for peanuts. Be wary of such tactics.
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Community Member
Posts: 2,970
Registered: ‎10-13-2005

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
"Another watch with an impressive name using cheap parts.."

Frankly, I'm surprised to hear you referring to the ETA caliber 2824-2 movement in the Montres Allison as "cheap parts", as this is the exact same movement used in several Steinhart models (Aircraft 8, El Patron, etc) that you seem to rave about in other board posts. In another thread on this board, you defended these same ETA movements in the Steinhart brand watches as "robust, reliable and can be adjusted to keep accurate time well w/i the parameters of COSC testing". Your opinion of this movement seems inconsistent... depending solely on which manufacturer purchased the movement from ETA and installed it is a case. This seems to show bias for one manufacturer over another based solely upon the name on the dial.

I'm not a Montres Allison fan (or a fan of any watch using stock ETA movements), but I don't think you can really make a fair comparison between M-A and the Roebelin & Graef brand that the poster asked about. Apples and oranges. The Roebelin & Graef uses a low-grade Chinese-manufactured ETA knock-off movement in a cheap case... nothing like Montres-Allison.

Greg
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Community Member
Posts: 240
Registered: ‎07-31-2003

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
Actually Gregory I think that mvmt. in the MA is a copy of the ETA 2824. I don't think MA uses Swiss mvmts. but rather Chinese versions of them. If it was a real 2824 which I doubt I stand corrected in that regard. If you saw the link I gave for the dissection of that MA the author thinks its not a real 2824 and I agree. If so then the comparison is valid. Read this report about the origin of his watches and their mvmts. Hos entire ad campaign is bogus so there is no reason for me to believe he uses genuine Swiss mvmts.
http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff53378.htm
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Community Member
Posts: 240
Registered: ‎07-31-2003

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
BTW Greg the name is not at all important to me and I am surprised you would say that based on other statements I've made. I made it very clear that its what "inside" that counts for me.
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Community Member
Posts: 240
Registered: ‎07-31-2003

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
Greg: The Gevalia Columbian roast has kicked in :^O and now I see why you said that. If indeed we assume its a real 2824 (which I don't but was not stated) then yes that is logical. The link from ripoffreport states his watches are assembled in HK using Chinese mvmts. and there has been no independent verification of his use of genuine Swiss parts. Also FYI there was another dissection of an MA done on Time zone. This compares it to a fake Frank Muller of similar design which uses Chinese mvmts. The two mvmts. are identical and thus therein lies another reason to compare MA's to others brands with "impressive" ad campaigns that use Chinese mvmts. See the article below.
http://forums.timezone.com/index.php?t=tree&goto=1016&rid=0
BTW the author of this article has a screen name of ei8htoms. On the back plate of other ripoff brands used by TA and presented with similar ad campaigns were names of people on various watch forums who criticized his products. Ei8htoms was only one. He used "Romers" named from Ernie Romers who runs the WUS watch forum, and "TMK" and "Reto" from the forum I participate on. I suppose this is a twisted way for him to strike back at those who IMHO show his product for what it is vs. what he tries to trump it to be.
Finally what is your opinion of Unitas HW mvmts? Thank you, Larry
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Community Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
Hi. Montres Allison uses authentic ETA movements and also some far east movements that they have greatly embellished inhouse. Montres Allison has a webpage showing their atelier at http://www.montresallison.net/ensvizzengarten. You can see Americans with some great equipment in videos and many photos on their site. They make many of their own components including 18k gold components, platinum components, etc. You can see many of their custom watches at http://www.montresallison.com/maforum.

That ro report is obviously from a guy with a major axe to grind. I would recommend not believing everything you read on the internet.
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Community Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
You can also see Terry Allison Jr.'s myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/montresallison for some additional photos.
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Community Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
Hey jacketwatch... In that report by Jocke, he stated on the forums that it was a real ETA movement and even showed pics of the logo. And he got that watch from Baron Harkonnen (Mike Strickland) who admitted on JWs animalhouse that he had taken that watch apart, lost a screw, and then sealed it with the silicone. Montres Allison didn't do that. What do you have to gain by slander? Did you know that in many states, making libelous statements is a felony? Look it up. Criminal libel is a felony. I'd watch what you say. Especially in Colorado. Its a felony there.
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Community Member
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎01-01-2006

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
"let him who is without sin...."
Before you start accusing others of libel, rocco, may I suggest you get your own facts straight: neither jacketwatch nor the article itself represented that the silicone was original with the manufacturer.

In all honesty, your defense of Montres Allison watches would hold a lot more weight with me if your own eBay history wasn't so brief & flimsy and consisted of buying more than dirt-cheap e-books and selling "very rare" watches for $20-30 (plus the one sold today for $170, worth purportedly $10G's & taking "months" to produce) ;-)
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Community Member
Posts: 2,970
Registered: ‎10-13-2005

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
These fake MSRPs are really getting out of hand on the site. They clearly violate Federal Trade Commission Guidelines, Section 233.3 and constitute fraud:

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/guides/decptprc.htm


Greg
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Community Member
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎04-12-2007

Roebelin-Graef Watches -- too good to be true?

in reply to rmg8686
I purchased a Roebelin & Graef 606624 from Skytime Aloha!!! August 1 2005. It said in the listing that it had a 2 yr. warranty. I just noticed that the card itself says 1 yr. The dates stopped functioning. The watch was not very accurate, although I have a R & G Klassik and it is very accurate.
I wrote to Skytime re warranty work but that was just today. I showed the watch to the best Indianapolis watchmaker who is from Germany and he says these are Asian movements and the watches can be had retail in Asia for aroun $50 as he saw them in Bali Indonesia, though likely under another label. Jethrobodinejr Indianapolis
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