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Brexit’s Impact on the British Watch Market

Brexit’s potential impact on the UK watch market inspired initial worry. In 2016, the Financial Times spoke to David Coleridge, Chairman of the Watch Gallery, who stated that what the watch business needed was ‘growing individual wealth, a stable exchange rate, and free movement of product’; the status of which were uncertain as we ‘charged into the unknown’.

Four years on and we are in the transitional period, our compliance with EU terms and subsequent free trade thus continues. However, with new rules and any negotiated trade agreements due to take effect in January 2021, all industries are preparing for what the changes could mean for them.

We have scoured the blogs, spoken to our trusted friends, and formed our thoughts on the effects Brexit will have on the watch trade. The following article takes you through our perspective on how this change in our country should influence our current buying habits in the lead up to 2021.


Let’s Talk Money –


First thing to consider is that there will be cost implications of any potential trade deal brokered between Britain and the EU. This does not have to be a point of fear, but it is something to bear in mind if you are looking to get into the habit of buying and selling watches from the EU.

If the time comes and we have no deals secured, Britain will be subject to WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms. Sourcing popular waiting list pieces may become more expensive, as the pool of supply would either incur an import duty or be limited to the UK.


New Notoriety –

From this point we find another potential consequence of Brexit for the UK watch trade. Whilst the talk of possible tariffs may seem daunting, it should prompt all luxury watch collectors to consider the rarity of their current collection. The watch that is on your wrist could now become an item that many would want to take off your hands for a price higher than you had initially aimed for. The availability of that Audemars Piguet or Rolex that you are sporting could take a serious hit in the next couple of years. The increasing difficulty to import European watches could turn you into the brand-new owner of a rare and coveted find.


Selling at the right time is key, so make sure to stay aware of the developments in demand, as they could be presenting you with an unexpected win!


Connect and Grow -


We still have access to an enormous marketplace unburdened by tariffs. With that knowledge, our advice is to buy whilst you can. Especially as a no deal situation could mean that those buys return you some major rewards. Making yourself and your watch wish list known to networks and communities that host European stock could be the best move for right now.


Vine Auctioneers proudly consigns stock from all over Europe and has many connections with esteemed traders from across the continent. Follow us on IG @vineauctioneers, sign up to our newsletter, and keep up to date with this blog to learn about our upcoming events.

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