Britain, particularly London, is not known for its bargains. But, thanks to the unexpected result of the EU Referendum, that’s all changed. Britain has rolled the dice and the luxury watch market has been dealt a fortunate hand…but for how long can this lucky streak continue?
Before Brexit hit the country like a hurricane, industry experts predicted a price hike due to the anticipated collapse of the pound. Even Rolex, who hadn’t altered their prices since 2012, were rumoured to have an increase in the works. But since the country voted to leave the EU, some brands have been slow to act.
Any brand that resisted the urge to raise prices and decided instead to ride out the dip in Sterling, are seriously good value right now (especially if you’re a tourist able to buy without tax!). But even the brands that have raised their prices are set to get cheaper (again) as the currency is predicted to collapse further as the Good Ship Britannia sails for stormy seas.
But how long can this fortuitous situation for the travelling consumer continue? What’s going to happen long term when the dust settles?
Out in the Cold or Blazing a Trail?
Britain has always been held in high esteem by fashionistas. London is many a designer’s spiritual home, and the diversity of the city has given birth to some of the greatest cultural phenomena in history.
But the ‘coolness’ of Britain is under threat thanks to 52% of the population proclaiming they’d rather go it alone. Britain used to be cool because it was the plucky member of the gang, but it seems they might have gone one step too far by shunning the bonds history forged for a reason.
There are many uncertainties around the future of the relationship between Britain and the EU. There could be major changes, but the likelihood is a perpetuation of the status quo under a new banner that champions diversity instead of unity.
Whichever way the country goes, the truth of the matter is this: Brexit has created a startling window of opportunity for overseas watch collectors to add to their stash, but how long that window remains open is anyone’s guess.
Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.