North Korea Sneaking In Tissot

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 16883
Joined: June 12th 2010, 10:00pm
Facebook ID: 0
Location: New York City

North Korea Sneaking In Tissot

Post by TemerityB » May 15th 2018, 9:51pm

From The NK News website:

Tissot watches still for sale in Pyongyang, despite UN Security Council sanctions
Image reveals high-end luxury goods being sold in the North Korean capital

Wristwatches produced by luxury Swiss manufacturer Tissot continue to be on sale in North Korea, images taken in January and obtained by an informed source show, despite UN sanctions forbidding the DPRK from importing luxury goods.

One watch pictured at a hard-currency shop in Pyongyang included a price tag of KPW148,000 – about $1,450 based on NK Pro official exchange rate data in late April – up some 40% from the timepieces’ $975 selling price on Tissot’s official website.

Other models pictured also included a steep markup on prices found online.

The watch pictured in the middle of the photograph works out at approximately $1,320 – selling online sale for $559 at Walmart – while the model on the far right costs about $676 at official exchange rates, up from $375 on the official Tissot website.

Close-up photos of the watches suggest they appear to be authentic goods, featuring matching model numbers to official online listings, Tissot tags, and the brand’s iconic red and black boxes placed behind the displayed models.

Notably, Tissot has had a long-term presence in North Korea, with the Pyongyang-based P&G Co listed as the manufacturers’ “selling agent” since 2007 and their watches featured for years in a dedicated marketing display at the capital’s Yanggakdo hotel.

But the presence of the watches could now constitute a breach of UN Security Council Resolution 2270, which since 2016 expanded a luxury goods ban to explicitly forbid countries exporting “luxury watches: wrist, pocket, and other with a case of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal” to the DPRK.

And if the pictured watches were exported to North Korea in recent years, their presence could also be a direct contradiction of Swiss law, which as of May 2016 listed 27 luxury items banned for export to North Korea, including “watches and timepieces of high value.”

It is unclear how the watches got to North Korea from Switzerland.

NK News has contacted Tissot dozens of times since January to ask whether the Swiss firm continues to maintain any commercial relationship with agents in or representing North Korea.

But Tissot could neither confirm nor deny their commercial status, despite having had over 3 and a half months to consider a position through back-and-forth correspondence with NK News.

One source suggested there might still be a local connection, however.

“There is a Korean businessman in Pyongyang who holds the rights to sell certain Swiss watch brands and still distributes to certain shops around town and sells these watches, which are now much more attainable for a wider range of people” an informed source told NK News on condition of anonymity, adding the watches were locally seen as “as a bit of a treat and minor status symbol.”

It’s possible that businessman is connected to the previously cited P&G Co, which according to state media reports was present in the 2013 Pyongyang Trade Fair.

“The P & G Co. is a selling agent of the Swiss watchmakers, serving concurrently as the Koryo Association for the Development of Economic Cooperation (KAD),” a 2007-dated entry about the company in North Korea’s Foreign Trade publication reads.

“The P & G Co. renders selling service for Swiss watches from the world-renowned TISSOT SA, LONGINES Watch Co. Francillon Ltd., RAMA Watch SA and WENGER S.A. Its mechanical and automatic watches, quartz watches, auto quartz watches and multipurpose pocket-knives are much favored among customers.”

While the prices of the pictured Tissot watches would typically be extremely high for many North Koreans, that hasn’t stopped luxury-class products from growing in popularity there.

Singapore’s OCN Pte (S) Ltd has been linked to the export of multiple types of luxury goods for sale in the Pyongyang-based Pothonggang Ryugyong and Bugsae shops.

Kim Jong Un is said to have given out luxurious watches to not only his family members and senior officials to keep them loyal, but also to gold medal-winning athletes who set new records in Asian games and Olympic games.

One defector told NK News that luxury watches were not as rare in North Korea as many might assume.

“I knew Tissot watches because my uncle used to have one when I was there,” Kim Ilhyuk, who left Hoeryong city in 2016, said. “I knew it was very expensive but had no idea how much it cost him.” ... sanctions/
WatchGeeks will go down in watch forum history as the worst watch related site that existed. Trolls, threats, bannings, and owners and sponsors talking out of their collective asses to fleece people out of hard earned money. - Koimaster
Post Reply

Return to “Tissot”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest