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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this might be a silly question, but in the wake of Britain's decision to leave the EU the pound has taken a hit. I just read that apparently it is at a 31 year low. Would this be a good time to buy British watches? Or will British company's adjust the price of their products in pounds to remain consistent in value in stronger currencies (I.e. Raise the price in pounds so that the price in American dollars doesn't change)? I looked up a precista watch I had my eye on today and unfortunately I could not remember what the price of that watch was before the vote, but it didn't seem to drop when I did the unit conversion. Thoughts?


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Regardless of getting a good deal, I've considered picking up a British watch as a show of support. There are some other British goods I'd love to get, but my wife would kill me if I came home with an AI AWM.
 

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As an accountant, and a British citizen, I guess this would depend on the business model of the company - particularly where their watches are manufactured and where their mains sales occur.

Frankly I would expect he price in pounds to be higher due to increased manufacturing costs abroad (weak pound) but you will see a net price movement based on the differential in currency movements between your currency (say US dollars) and the currency where the watch is manufactured (say Euros) once you convert from pounds to dollars. So any potential saving is likely only to occur if the final price of the watch is based on an allocation of overhead costs incurred solely in pounds rather than if a mark-up pricing model is used (which is based on costs).

Short answer, maybe, but don't count on it unless it a wholly made in the UK product (and barely anything is now).

Edit: On reflection, there is also a time lag here where you may be able to take advantage of prices before they are altered to reflect increased production costs abroad, so a short window probably does exist!
 

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I had been eyeing a Brompton bike throughout last year. I opted not to get one back then. I have been thinking about it again though with brexit
 

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It's a good time to buy on watches that they haven't adjusted the price of. I am not sure if watches that used to be for sale for 2,000 GBP are now for sale for 2,200 GBP...but if not then you will be getting a good deal. An example to prove this is that a watch selling for 2,000 GBP 2 weeks ago would be equivalent to 2800-2850 USD, where as right now it would be about 2670 USD
 

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The UK just isn't a competitive place to buy watches in the first place. I'd suggest our American friends look across the Pacific for grey market bargains, as they often do.

In essence we get charged in Sterling for watches not far off what Americans pay in Dollars.
 

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I believe that in the short term you will be able to find decent deals due to the adjustment in the exchange rate. Snag a watch with the good rates, then take off the VAT %, and you have a good deal.

I bought my Rolex blnr PLUS plane ticket to London for much less than what it would have cost me to buy only the watch in the USA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I believe that in the short term you will be able to find decent deals due to the adjustment in the exchange rate. Snag a watch with the good rates, then take off the VAT %, and you have a good deal.

I bought my Rolex blnr PLUS plane ticket to London for much less than what it would have cost me to buy only the watch in the USA.
That is super interesting! When was that?


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The UK just isn't a competitive place to buy watches in the first place. I'd suggest our American friends look across the Pacific for grey market bargains, as they often do.

In essence we get charged in Sterling for watches not far off what Americans pay in Dollars.
^ This
 

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I've had a couple of quotes sent to me. Even minus UK VAT and the lower GBP, UK AD prices are netting out about the same or a little more than decent US grey suppliers.


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The Pound devalued by about 5% relative to the USD from the beginning of this year. Would a 5% sale propel you to buy a watch you wouldn't have considered otherwise?
No. It wouldn't. My initial question didn't have that much research behind it. The thought just crossed my mind after Thursday about how the vote would affect the British watch market.


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That is super interesting! When was that?


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March of this year. I was on the hunt for a blnr, and found a shop in Northern England that had one of the few left in the country. I sent a wire transfer the same day, and once it cleared they shipped it to their branch in London for me to pick up the next weekend.

From what I have heard, Scandinavia offers good prices. The Krone has been beat up the last few days, which means a trip to Norway may be even better...

The only issue is that if you call ahead, unless they really need to offload it, it may be tough to work any discounts beyond your VAT refund.
 

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Bloomberg said it is the perfect time to buy.
bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-28/brexit-gives-europeans-15-000-discount-on-cartier-watch-chart
The example quoted by Bloomberg reflects a 7.5% savings relative to prices on June 23rd (before Brexit). Again, if a 7.5% savings means you're flocking UK sites to stock up on watches then go ahead.

Their example was a $169,000 USD watch which now can be had for $154,000 (btw it was avail for a $2K savings before Brexit, so after Brexit you get an additional $13K in savings).

Change the decimal places and you have a $1,690 watch that now can be had for $1,540.

If you planned on buying the watch anyway...then def get yourself some unplanned savings but if you weren't planning on purchasing, this amount of "savings" isn't really worth it IMHO.
 
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