Whether it was the record-breaking summer temperatures or just the inevitable continuation of a long term trend, growth in the value of watches sold in the UK evaporated in August.
The latest results from retail analyst GfK show that the value of sales dipped by 0.7% in August compared to the same month in 2017.
The value of the pound remains low in historic terms, making the UK an attractive destination for summer holidays. This has boosted sales for luxury watches in London in the two years since the Brexit vote.
Topping record sales in the summer of last year was always going to be tough, and the August numbers confirm the challenge with the value of sales in London falling by 0.9%. The rest of Great Britain did slightly better with year-on-year growth in August of 1.5%.
The luxury end of the market is still outperforming the volume sector, with sales in August up 3.4% for watches priced at more than £1000. Sales of watches priced at £100-500 were hardest hit with a drop of 13.1%; extending a two year run of declines every month.
Declining sales on the high street for cheaper watches do not appear to be compensated with ecommerce sales. The value of sales online dropped by 7.8% in August.
GfK does not include sales of smartwatches from tech companies like Apple and Samsung in its report; nor does it monitor direct to consumer sales by watch brands on their own ecommerce sites.