08.07.2021 - News
Rolex to increase UK prices by an average of 5% on 1st October 2018As one of the world’s major luxury watch retailers, Rolex boasts an enormous loyal following and an enviable reputation. But for all those Rolex fans and collectors out there, I have some bittersweet news for you. As of Monday October 1st 2018, the deluxe brand will be increasing its prices by a further 5%. The increase is said to be an average price escalation across the board, so some models may be affected more than others. This news comes at a sad time for many buyers who have twiddled their thumbs patiently whilst on waiting lists, anticipating the day they pick up the phone and hear that their watch has arrived. Although there hasn’t been much coverage of the matter, because I’m sure it’s not really something Rolex are proud to advertise to its customers, the increase has been confirmed as true. So as of today – let the panic buying begin!
What has caused this increase?
Brexit and the economyThe increase will, as far as I know, only affect the UK market. There could be many reasons behind Rolex’s decision to alter its prices, however one of the most important may be the influence of Brexit (the bane of my life) and its consequential impact on EU currencies. It’s important that Rolex ensures its pricing correlates with the exchange rates, and so a price increase at this time may be crucial in keeping the balance. Some people may debate whether the surge is a result of the price increase of gold. However, although this may have been true during the price increase of 2016, it most probably is not true now. The price of gold has been fluctuating since its peak in 2011, and after a slight increase in 2016, the value has stayed relatively low, so I very much doubt the price of gold has anything to do with Rolex’s decision.
Attempts to stop ‘buying tourism’Instead, another reason could be that Rolex is attempting to prevent the UK from being dominated by what’s known as ‘buying tourism’. As a result of the UK’s high VAT rate, non-UK citizens are able to reclaim 20% back on their purchase and grab themselves an absolute bargain. Because of this incredible perk, the UK watch market has attracted a number of non-UK citizen buyers, and as a consequence, many Brits struggle to simply get their names down on a waiting list. The price increase may indicate that Rolex is attempting to ensure all prices around the globe are relatively similar to avoid this problem.
PrestigeFinally, another increase could of course be down to Rolex wanting to maintain its status as an ultra-luxurious and exclusive watch brand. It may be trying to distance itself further from more affordable brands like Tudor and Omega, and establish itself as an elite retailer.
What does this mean for buyers?
The first time buyerRolex’s decision to increase its prices by an average of 5% will come as terrible news to some (we do apologise) and fantastic news to others (go find your party hat’s). If you’ve been torn between deciding whether to spend your money on a watch, the upcoming nuptials or new windows, then unfortunately you will be one of many who will feel the affects more. For example, the GMT-Master II “Pepsi”, which was originally priced at £6800, would cost £7140 after the increase (equalling a rise of about £340). This is of course just an example, as we aren’t too sure which models will experience the price increase as of yet. The pre-owned market will also feel the squeeze because prices of already popular models like ref. 116610LV and ref. 116710BLNR, are likely to continue increasing whilst availability will remain low.
The avid collectorOn the bright side, this is great news for you watch enthusiasts who already own a healthy Rolex collection. The price escalation will have a positive knock-on effect on discontinued and vintage pieces in particular, and will only help to increase your investment. But what we all must remember is that Rolex is currently the world’s most valuable luxury watch retailer, having been valued at £6.6 billion earlier this year (www.statista.com). So, whether there is a 5% price increase on its most popular models or not, it probably will NOT deter you eager beavers from putting your names down on a waiting list or breaking the bank to buy the watch of your dreams. Rolex has managed to build an incredible reputation and devoted fan base over the past 60 years in particular, and as a result, it is and will ALWAYS be, the champion of all watch brands (regardless of price)! The 1st of October has arrived, and just like our sources predicted a Rolex price increase has now arrived. This serves as a constant reminder of the value of the Rolex brand, and the influence of external factors which comes into the luxury watch market. To put into perspective the new Rolex price increase, look at the new prices below;
- Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN - Before £6,250.00 // After £6,550.00
- Rolex Submariner ‘Hulk’ 116610LV - Before £6,600.00 // After £6,950.00
- Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Batman’ 116710BLNR - Before £6,550.00 // After £6,850.00
- Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Pepsi’ 126710BLRO - Before £6,800.00 // After £7,150.00
- Rolex Daytona 116500LN - Before £9,100.00 // After £9,550.00