Want to buy a Rolex? Sterling plunge means UK discounts as high as 19 per cent – and even more if sales tax is rebated for visitors
- The retreat of the pound against the US dollar makes it cheaper for visitors to buy their luxury watch in the UK – if they can find one
- A steel Rolex GMT-Master II that sells for US$11,289 in the US can be bought for US$9,293 in the UK with US dollars
The crash in the value of the British pound has put Rolex and other luxury watches at discounts of as much as 19 per cent for US visitors lucky enough to get their hands on the coveted timepieces.
Promised policy changes by the new British government, including a plan to reintroduce Value Added Tax (VAT) rebates on goods bought in the United Kingdom by visitors, could boost the discounts to as much as 32 per cent, according to watch retail industry publication WatchPro. VAT is a national sales tax.
However, sterling’s continued decline to levels not seen in decades has made that adjustment almost irrelevant.
A Rolex Cosmograph Daytona in white gold that sells for US$32,635 in the US, including seven per cent sales tax, could be bought for US$22,444 in the UK in US dollars when including the VAT rebate, a 31 per cent discount, WatchPro reported.
Rolex is the most popular Swiss luxury watch brand, with a market share close to 29 per cent and annual sales of about 8 billion Swiss francs (US$8.2 billion). The Geneva-based company produces about 1 million watches a year.