Luxury watch sales are keeping the entire British watch market afloat right now, fuelling the argument that the weakening pound following Brexit is making the UK one of the cheapest places in the world right now to buy a prestigious timepiece.
The summer influx of super-wealthy shoppers from Asia and the Middle East is being boosted by Americans and Europeans who are snapping up watches at discounts of up to 25% compared to their home countries.
A Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier Stainless Steel Automatic Bracelet Watch is selling this week at New York department store Saks Fifth Avenue for $6050, which converts to £4605 at today’s exchange rate.
The same watch listed on the British Watches of Switzerland website is priced at £3700.
The price differential has driven a massive 35.31% annual increase in sales of watches costing over £1000 in July compared to the same month in 2015.
The unprecedented spike in luxury watch sales, reported by retail analyst GfK today, is in stark contrast to the volume watch market, which is continuing its startling contraction.
Sales of watches costing less than £100 were down 12.3% in July, compared to the same month a year earlier, while watches costing from £100-500 saw sales drop 11.45%.