A man has filed a lawsuit in San Francisco against one of the oldest jewelrystores, alleging that he was duped into spending $220,000 for the chance to buy a rare Patek Philippe timepiece that he never received, the man spends $220k, sues for $500k.
Top Swiss watchmakers including Rolex, Patek Phillipe, and Audemars Piguet are renowned for being unavailable at authorized dealers, especially in recent years as the pandemic has widened the demand-supply gap.
Buyers' fear of missing out has claimed its fair share of victims, who have been deceived or taken advantage of because of their desperation to acquire rare and expensive watches. One of them appears to be this particular case.
When Rezaei inquired about the highly sought Patek Philippe, he was allegedly told that he needed to build up his purchasing history in order to be placed on the waiting list for the watch.
He agreed, desperate to get his hands on a 5980, and began by investing $70,000 in a Patek 5905R in September 2020. It was followed by the purchase of two $100,000 watches from the Swiss watchmaker's women's range.
Finally, in March 2022, Rezaei spent another $50,000 on a diamondbracelet. By this point, he had already spent $220,000 over an 18-month period to obtain a watch worth around $108,000.
This is where the plot takes an unexpected turn. Shreve is one of the oldest family-owned jewelry merchants in the United States, having been founded in 1852. It was, in fact, the second American retailer to carry Patek Philippe.
Despite its long history and affiliation with the Swiss wristwatch, Shreve & Co. lost its title as a Patek-approved dealer in April 2022.
Rezaei had just invested $50,000 in the jewelry and was anticipating his promised 5980, which never arrived. He claimed that the boutique's sales employees kept encouraging him to buy additional merchandise.
The case, filed in San Francisco County Superior Court, claims that Shreve knew it was poised to lose its AD status well before it did so in April 2022.
The boutique chose not to notify the sales employees or him "in order to reap additional sales revenue for as long as possible by inducing its customers to purchase merchandise that they would not otherwise have purchased in order to be offered certain high-demand Patek Philippe watches."
Shreve is accused of fraud, false promise, breach of contract, and intentional and negligent misrepresentation in the case. It was filed on June 9, and Shreve & Company now has 30 days to respond. Rezaei is demanding $500,000 in compensation.