Move Fast to Catch Brexit Luxury Watch Bargains
We don’t have much to thank Brexit for, but the bizarre British political drama that unfolded over the summer has led to one unexpected benefit for international luxury watch shoppers – buying your timepiece in the UK could save you a significant amount of cash.
The savings on top-end models like a Rolex Submariner or an Omega Seamaster come courtesy of the crashing value of the pound, which slumped to a 31-year low following the vote. While it might have hammered investment portfolios around the globe, it has opened up a new investment opportunity in the most stylish of the hard luxuries – watches.
As a result, savvy international watch buyers are playing these currency fluctuations to their advantage. Since the weakening of the pound, international sales at British retailers – including Luxe Watches – have risen as collectors, particularly those from the US and Europe, have targeted UK stores to grab a luxury watch bargain.
While Britain is certainly the best place to buy a discounted luxury watch right now, it won’t last forever as the brands are scrambling to fix this pricing black hole. Audemars Piguet has already rolled out a 10% price increase on new models sold in the UK to try to even the playing field, and it is rumoured that Rolex will be doing the same in the not too distant future.
The latest figures from GfK, a retail analyst that tracks watch sales in the UK, shows that total watch sales in the UK in August were up 15.34% on the previous year, with the top end of the market showing the most growth. While sales of watches priced at between £100 and £500 dropped 13.48% year on year, the sales of watches costing more than £1,000 soared 33.4% by value.
Watches: Great Britain Panel Market Price-Point Performance Rate of change Q2 2016 vs Q2 2015. Sales Value GBP Growth %.
(Graph courtesy of Watchpro.com)
Another interesting nugget of information hidden within the GfK stats is that this trend does not seem to be affecting what would traditionally be considered ladies’ watches. Sales of ladies watches in the UK in August inched up just 2.03% while sales of men’s watches rose 22.42% and unisex watches jumped 38.39%.
While any price increases instigated by the big brands will only be applied to new watches, this will undoubtedly have an impact on the pre-owned watch market, pushing prices up. So if you have euros or dollars in the bank and room in your watch box for a clever investment, the time to move is now, before this unique Brexit opportunity slips away.
By Rachael Taylor, Luxe Watches