Why are Rolex watch prices in Britain hiking up, despite the pound sterling slump? The luxury Swiss timepiece brand increased price tags by 5 per cent – while demand still outstrips supply

Rolex produces about a million watches a year. Photo: Simon Song

Rolex raised prices for its watches in the UK after the value of the pound fell against the US dollar to near the lowest level in more than three decades.

The largest Swiss luxury watch brand increased the price of its watches sold in Britain by an average of 5 per cent on September 1, a company spokesperson confirmed.

The price hike, first reported by trade publication WatchPro, follows a slide in the value of the British pound against the US dollar to US$1.15 and near the lowest since 1985.

As the pound has weakened, the relative price for Rolex watches became cheaper in the UK compared to other markets.

Rolex Submariner with a lapis lazuli dial. Photo: Wristcheck

The price of a Rolex Submariner without a date function increased to US$8,600 (£7,500) from US$8,200, WatchPro reported. The price of a red and blue bezel GMT Master II jumped to US$10,000 from US$9,600.

Has the Swiss watch market rebounded since the Covid-19 slump?

Rolex raised prices by a similar amount in most major markets including the UK and the US in January.
A man sports a steel Rolex Submariner watch and blue bracelets before Salvatore Ferragamo fashion show, Milan Fashion Week street style in January 2017, in Milan, Italy. Photo: Shutterstock
The most popular Swiss luxury watch brand has a market share close to 29 per cent and annual sales of about US$8.2 billion (8 billion Swiss francs). Demand for Rolex watches has long outstripped supply and most customers are asked to join waiting lists with authorised dealers and wait months, or even years before getting the call.

Rolex produces about a million watches a year.

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  • Swiss luxury watch brand Rolex increased the price of its timepieces sold in Britain from September, despite the pound sterling’s slump against the US dollar
  • The Rolex Submariner’s price increased to US$8,600, while the red and blue bezel GMT Master II jumped to US$10,000 – but customer demand still outstrips supply