Are watches cheaper in America?

Euan Robb

With the rise of global travel and online shopping, more people are exploring the potential of purchasing luxury items, like watches, abroad. A common question on the minds of UK watch enthusiasts: "Are watches genuinely cheaper in America?" Let's discuss the topic and explore why Equals Money's international payments service could be the perfect partner for your foreign exchange needs.

About Equals Money

Are watches cheaper in America?

The Attraction of American Watch Prices

  1. Currency Strength: The US dollar (USD) and the British Pound (GBP) have always had a fluctuating relationship. At times when the pound is strong, your purchasing power in America increases, potentially making watches more affordable.
  2. Tax Differences: Unlike the UK's VAT, the US has variable state sales taxes, some of which are considerably lower. This can lead to significant savings, especially on high-end watches.
  3. Competitive Retail Environment: America's vast market size and fierce retail competition can sometimes result in better pricing for consumers.

Factors to Consider Before Making a Purchase

  1. Warranty Concerns: Some watch brands offer international warranties, while others don't. It's essential to know the warranty status of the watch you're eyeing.
  2. Import Duties: When bringing a watch back to the UK, you might have to pay customs duties. This can affect the total savings you might have achieved by buying in the US.
  3. After-Sales Service: If your watch needs servicing or repairs, it might be more challenging to access these services for a watch bought abroad.

How Equals Money Facilitates Your American Watch Purchase

When considering buying a luxury watch from the US, the currency exchange process can often be a sticking point. That's where Equals Money comes in.

  1. Competitive Exchange Rates: Equals Money offers competitive exchange rates for over 100 currencies and payment solutions such as forward contracts that enable you to fix a current exchange rate for a payment or transfer up to 24 months in advance. This allows you to know in advance how much a watch purchase will cost you in GBP and will allow you to effectively define your budget (if you have one).* 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 make large purchases abroad find the stability offered by a forward contract outweighs this disadvantage.
  2. Seamless Transfers: If you're purchasing a watch online, transferring funds abroad can be a hassle. Equals Money simplifies the process with its efficient same-day and next-working-day international transfers.


While the prospect of potentially cheaper watch prices in America is tempting, it's crucial to account for all factors involved in the purchase process. For UK watch enthusiasts looking to make the most of their money, partnering with a trusted foreign exchange service like Equals Money can make the experience smoother and more beneficial.

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

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