Do luxury watches cost less overseas?

Euan Robb

When it comes to luxury watches, enthusiasts and collectors often eye international markets for the best deals. But is going global really the way to a better bargain?

From tax variations to regional pricing strategies, there's much to consider when hunting for luxury watches outside the UK. Join us as we unravel the complexities of overseas watch pricing and illustrate how Equals Money can become your ultimate ally in the quest for luxury for less.

About Equals Money

Understanding the landscape of luxury watch pricing

Luxury watches are about more than just telling time; they're a statement, an investment, and for many, a passion. But when seeking these prized possessions, discerning buyers may look beyond British shores for potential savings. Here's why and how the price tags can differ:

1. Tax structures and duties

One of the most significant factors affecting watch prices internationally is the local tax system. Many countries impose a Value-Added Tax (VAT) or Goods and Services Tax (GST) on luxury items, which can be reclaimed by tourists upon departure.

  • VAT refunds: By claiming VAT refunds, shoppers from the UK might see substantial savings on watches purchased abroad.
  • Import duties: However, remember that savings might be offset by import duties when bringing a luxury watch back home.

2. Exchange rates: A double-edged sword

Exchange rates can make or break a deal. A favourable exchange rate against the local currency may result in significant savings for a luxury watch bought overseas.

  • Market fluctuations: Watch prices can fluctuate with currency market movements, which savvy buyers monitor closely.

3. Regional pricing strategies

Watch manufacturers may adopt regional pricing, influenced by local demand, competition, and purchasing power. Sometimes, prices are lower in markets closer to where the watch is produced.

  • Brand strategies: Luxury brands strategically price their watches for different markets, which can sometimes work in an overseas buyer's favour.

4. Seasonal sales and retail promotions

Unlike the UK, some international markets may have different sales cycles or retail promotions, leading to attractive seasonal discounts.

  • Retailer discounts: Overseas authorised dealers may offer incentives not found in the UK, presenting an opportunity for savings.

Navigating international payments when buying luxury watches

So, you've found the perfect luxury watch at a price that seems unbeatable overseas. The next hurdle? Getting the most out of your currency exchange.

Equals Money provides an efficient and effective solution for your international payments:

  • Competitive exchange rates: We offer competitive exchange rates for over 140 different global currencies, including Swiss franc, euro, and US dollar.
  • Faster settlements: With same-day and next-working-day transfers available, we make sure your funds reach their destination securely and promptly.
  • Dedicated support: Our team of in-house currency experts are always on hand to guide you through the process and answer any queries.
  • Effective budgeting: Currency exchange rates fluctuate constantly and this can impact how much a luxury watch will cost you natively in pounds. Equals Money offers payment solutions such as forward contracts that allow you to fix a current exchange rate for a payment or transfer up to 24 months in advance, allowing you to know in advance how much your new timepiece will cost you in GBP and budget effectively.* You are committed to the rate you’ve booked regardless of how it moves after the fact, presenting a potential disadvantage in choosing a forward contract. However, many looking to pay out for international schooling find the stability offered by a forward contract outweighs this disadvantage.

In conclusion: Does overseas mean cheaper?

It's not a straightforward 'yes' or 'no'. While there are instances where luxury watches can be purchased for less overseas, it depends on a variety of ever-changing factors, including taxes, exchange rates, and regional pricing. To navigate these financial waters smoothly, partnering with Equals Money for your foreign exchange needs can ensure your international luxury purchase is as smart as it is exciting.

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*Equals Money can only offer forward contracts to facilitate payments for goods and services.

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