Wherever possible, I steer well clear of politics, mainly because I'm right and everyone else is wrong and they don't like to hear it! However, whilst not wishing to stir the pot in any way, what has become clear to me in recent months, is the cost of of doing business in Europe is becoming increasingly difficult, due in no small part to the unforeseen 20% VAT charge that must be placed on any items coming into the UK from the EU, in line with what has been happening with the rest of the world for some time now.
It's nobody's fault and I'm not looking to reopen any debates on the subject of Brexit, but the fact remains that as a result of the UK leaving the EU on the 31st January the price of buying a watch from the continent has just increased by an automatic 20%. That, as regular readers will know, can be a significant chunk of change on a beautiful vintage Swiss timepiece. It can also be a nasty and unexpected surprise for the unwary buyer tempted by a seemingly attractive list price on a watch from the plethora of international vendors.
Make no mistake, I've sourced many watches from the continent in the years I've been collecting and dealing, and many of my trusted colleagues overseas are just as despondent at the new world we live in. But the fact remains that for many, the cost of buying in their beloved timepieces from the EU has just become untenable.
But fear not, I have a solution (you knew that didn't you). The answer, as it has always been, is right under your nose. Support your UK dealers! In anticipation of the any changes brought about by Brexit, I have reached out to a wider network of suppliers and dealers the length and breadth of the UK, to ensure that the selection of watches I am able to bring to my customers remains unchanged and if anything enhanced. Whats more that selection of UK supplied watches is not subject to any import tariffs or unexpected VAT fees. In other words what you see is what you, at the price you agree it.
And, don’t get me started on the delays we are experiencing at border control into the country or the stories of parcel missing whilst delayed .
So if you're looking for the very latest Swiss, US, Japanese, Italian, French or German timepieces, there really has never been a better time to buy British!