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Old 31.12.2019, 06:23
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Buying a watch

Let's say you live in the US, but have relatives in CH who could buy and ship a watch for you. Is there likely to be a big price difference?

Thank you for any advice you can provide.
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Old 31.12.2019, 08:03
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Re: Buying a watch

Probably cheaper to get it in the US.
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Old 31.12.2019, 10:24
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Re: Buying a watch

Expensive watches will probably be the same FX-adjusted, maybe differences in sales tax.

Anything under 3k it could very well be cheaper in the US with online shops offering decent deals (like jomashop).


If you're looking at specific watches it could be all over. This is not enough information to hep you out
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Old 31.12.2019, 23:47
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Re: Buying a watch

Thank you, Medea and Don.

Yes, more details would have been helpful. I would love to tell you I am looking for a Rolex or better. The truth is a Tissot (or similar) will do fine.

After posting, I did some internet research and ended up (not surprisingly) on jomashop. They seem to have what I want.

Buying it in the US is probably easier, not having to worry about shipping and possible customs duties. The difference could not be big.

THANK YOU again, and Happy New Year.
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Old 01.01.2020, 11:40
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Re: Buying a watch

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Thank you, Medea and Don.

Yes, more details would have been helpful. I would love to tell you I am looking for a Rolex or better. The truth is a Tissot (or similar) will do fine.

After posting, I did some internet research and ended up (not surprisingly) on jomashop. They seem to have what I want.

Buying it in the US is probably easier, not having to worry about shipping and possible customs duties. The difference could not be big.

THANK YOU again, and Happy New Year.

Tissot makes no real difference where you buy it from, it is very much an entry level watch as such, probably best buying from where you live for the reasons stated.


For a higher end model, read over Chf 4k, you can get some good deals in the poorer European countries as retailers are willing to discount discreetly up to 10-15% and you can claim 20% or so VAT back when you leave the country. .....(don't forget to declare to Swiss customs and pay 7.7% VAT here......)
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Old 02.01.2020, 18:50
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Re: Buying a watch

Thank you, Today only.

I will keep your advice in mind for when I buy a really expensive watch!
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Old 22.01.2020, 14:24
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Re: Buying a watch

Watches are cheaper in the US, with more discount to be had assuming you can manage to do it tax free (Hello Oregon).

I'm talking about watches above 5k, including Swiss made watches.
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Old 22.01.2020, 15:24
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Re: Buying a watch

Definitely cheaper outside of CH if buying expensive (> 1K CHF) watches. I got an Omega at a Swiss watch retailer at LHR airport at a price that worked out to be approx. 1500 CHF cheaper (after taking into account Fx) than the RRP at an Omega boutique in CH.
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Old 22.01.2020, 16:41
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Re: Buying a watch

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Definitely cheaper outside of CH if buying expensive (> 1K CHF) watches. I got an Omega at a Swiss watch retailer at LHR airport at a price that worked out to be approx. 1500 CHF cheaper (after taking into account Fx) than the RRP at an Omega boutique in CH.



You sure about this, Heathrow tends to be very expensive, i can't beleive a saving of Chf 1500.-- on an Omega watch
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Old 22.01.2020, 22:37
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Re: Buying a watch

If it was when the GBP dropped significantly it is possible the difference was this great since shops in LHR don't charge any VAT (unlike Schipol or Munich which only give you half the VAT off). Either way Heathrow doesn't have great prices on watches compared to the US. The Heathrow Louis Vuitton, on the other hand, has exceptionally good prices.
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Old 23.01.2020, 04:31
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Re: Buying a watch

I got my Swiss watch sent to Switzerland from the US. It was 5000 instead of 9000CHF, though it was a discontinued model.
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Old 23.01.2020, 09:17
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Re: Buying a watch

Quote:
You sure about this, Heathrow tends to be very expensive, i can't beleive a saving of Chf 1500.-- on an Omega watch

Yes.

Model: 2018 Omega Seamster 300m, blue dial with metal bracelet

1)
Watches of Switzerland, LHR Terminal 5, Airside
List price: 3300 GBP, which works out as approx. 4190 CHF*

*Purchased last year in June, where the exchange rate was 1.27 (funnily enough thats approx. the current rate today)

2)
Omega boutique in Basel (Kurz)
List price (at the time): 5500 CHF.


Amount saved vs. buying in CH = 1310 CHF on the watch itself

+ the offical rubber strap (they threw it in for 100 GBP, costs 300 CHF in CH) +'service' carry case and clasp tool, bringing approx savings to 1500 CHF
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Old 23.01.2020, 09:25
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Re: Buying a watch

1000 CHF probably if you deduct the VAT you have to pay here? Still a nice amount.
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Old 23.01.2020, 09:28
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Re: Buying a watch

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1000 CHF probably if you deduct the VAT you have to pay here? Still a nice amount.
UK VAT of 20% should be recovered so saving over 2000 CHF
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Old 23.01.2020, 09:29
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Re: Buying a watch

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I got my Swiss watch sent to Switzerland from the US. It was 5000 instead of 9000CHF, though it was a discontinued model.
I am guessing this was bought grey market though a(no official warranty) and not from an authorized reseller (with official warranty)?
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Old 23.01.2020, 09:31
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Re: Buying a watch

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UK VAT of 20% should be recovered so saving over 2000 CHF

Assumed it was Heathrow so already without VAT
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Old 23.01.2020, 09:35
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Re: Buying a watch

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UK VAT of 20% should be recovered so saving over 2000 CHF

Airside is VAT free
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Old 23.01.2020, 09:54
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Re: Buying a watch

I asked about VAT and they gave me some sort of vague response that its 'in between' VAT-free and some level of tax. Didnt bother asking further, as I assume it was indeed VAT-free + some additional charge [the VAT-free price would cheaper than what I paid, based on the UK high street RRP, but not by a huge amount]. They did check I am leaving to an non-EU destination.
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Old 23.01.2020, 13:15
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Re: Buying a watch

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Airside is VAT free
Indeed, however the price is usually the same as in the shops, with the retailer pocketing the VAT.
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Old 24.01.2020, 11:36
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Re: Buying a watch

Most stores at Heathrow are neither duty-free nor VAT free. For flights within the EU, VAT has to be collected in any case. For flights outside the EU, the retailer charges the same price, but pockets the VAT him/herself.
Don't know what happens post 31 January (probably no-one does as the UK government conveniently forgot about most of the consequences of Brexit, but that's for another thread).
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