Welcome to the economics of the rich

The British Pound has fallen so much that instead of buying a Rolex in the US, it’s actually cheaper to fly first-class from New York to London, buy the watch, stay in a 5-star hotel and fly back.

Sayan Chakravarty luxurylaunches.com 

What if I told you that you can buy a Rolex at a 30% discount? It immediately grabbed your attention, right? But it’s true; let me explain how. The British pound plummeted to a record low against the US dollar at the beginning of this week, which has created a unique opportunity for those looking to buy a Rolex or any other high-end luxury watch for that matter. Thanks to the currency slump, these watches are available at discounts of as much as 19 percent when compared to their corresponding prices in the US. To bring price parity, brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, and Audemars Piguet have already hiked prices twice already this year in the UK. In fact, most brands increased prices by 5-7% on September 1. However, the rate at which GBP has crashed recently has made the attempts to hike prices pretty much useless.

But you must be wondering, that still doesn’t account for the 30% discount I told you about at the beginning. You see, the UK government is planning to bring back VAT-free shopping for international tourists to help to boost sales. If the promised policy changes go through, the total discounts available on luxury watches will be boosted to as much as 32 percent, according to a report by WatchPro. According to current prices, a steel Rolex GMT-Master II available for US$11,289 in the US can be purchased for US$9,293 in the UK with US dollars, while American visitors can save over $2,800 if they choose to buy a 41mm Rolex DateJust in Oystersteel.

We did a bit of digging around for information and a little math to discover something really interesting. For those in the US, it is currently cheaper to travel to the UK and buy a gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona there even if they choose to fly first class. The highly-coveted Rolex model is around $10,000 cheaper in the UK, while the first-class ticket from New York to London on an American Airlines flight is currently hovering close to $8000. That still leaves you with $2000 in change. Add $1,000 for spending the night at the Bulgari London and you will still be richer by $1,000. The only caveat is it’s almost impossible to get your hands on the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona or any highly sought-after Rolex watch thanks to insane demand and not enough supply. Yet, we still expect a lot of people to take advantage of this unique situation.

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