International Swiss watchmaking conglomerate Swatch Group has confirmed that prices for at least six of its brands will increase by 5% in the UK according to a recent WatchPro news report. The price adjustment is due to take place starting March 1st, 2017, and follows the pound’s recent 15% loss in value against the Swiss franc. This is the first price increase we’ve seen since the Brexit decision in June of last year and it presents yet another unexpected economic development for an industry that seems to be increasingly fragile.
According to the briefing received by WatchPro, Swatch Group’s headquarters confirmed that “Omega, Longines, Rado, Tissot, Hamilton, and Certina will increase their prices by around 5% from March 1st.” While price hikes are typical for this industry, Swatch has managed to hold out a bit longer than its competitors. Just recently companies like Rolex along with LVMH and Richemont brands increased their own prices in response to the recent economic shift.
It’s true that, at face value, a 5% increase limited to a specific territory might not seem like something to be too concerned about. However, Swatch has made it clear that these adjustments are becoming necessary and their recent announcements last fall referencing price hikes for ETA movements serve as clear evidence that these adjustments may be coming more frequently.
While it can also appear to be an overall parent company ruling, Swatch is insisting that the move was based on decisions taken by each individual brand. As of now, there hasn’t been any mention of additional brands intending to take part in the increase, but Swatch headquarters stressed that any future price adjustment decisions would be communicated well in advance.
As pioneering flight gave way to regular flight services to join the nation, Hamilton was called on to put its precision to the evaluation in the atmosphere. It had been chosen because the timekeeper for its first official US Airmail flight. A trip to the North Pole, the first flight to Hawaii from California, also keeping time to get the first non-stop coast-to-coast support from New York to San Francisco promptly followed and reinforced Hamilton’s place as a first selection to get pilots.Based in Switzerland since 2003, the brand has continued its work with all the flying community, hammering associations with pilots from different areas of aviation with the goal of developing new products for its cockpit. Although modern cockpits bear little relation to those from 1918, many pilots nevertheless enjoy an analog copy to their digitized instruments in case of a crisis. With features ranging from second time zones to float angle, landing speed, and fuel requirement calculators, Hamilton is a brand that prides itself on meeting the requirements of acute pilots in addition to impressing those people who appreciate a timeless aviation appearance in a watch. The new Hamilton Khaki X-Wind car Chrono Limited Edition brings inspiration from Hamilton’s long aviation history but has a firm focus on the long run with its innovative new elements.Congratulations to Hamilton about celebrating its first 100 years of time the heavens. To learn more about Hamilton’s aviation centenary celebrations, and the Hamilton Khaki X-Wind car Chrono Limited Edition (priced at $2,595), visit Hamilton’s official website and follow @Hamiltonwatch on its social networking stations.
One factor that can’t be ignored is the pressure these price changes put on UK retailers. They make it increasingly difficult to compete against American, European, and Asian retailers while setting a generally uncertain tone within the industry overall. But with a financial environment as delicate as the Swiss watch industry, it’s evident that massive changes like the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union are sure to create consequences for brands, retailers, and most certainly, buyers.
As mentioned previously, these price increases will, for the time being, only apply to the six brands specified earlier. In a time when value proposition regarding pricing and quality is quickly climbing to the top of the priority list for most buyers, a 5% increase such as this could be detrimental for a great number of enthusiasts. This is especially true considering that several of the brands affected are generally regarded as more popular budget-friendly brands. As with most major adjustments, only time will tell if the there will be negative effects in the long run but price hikes during a time of economic fragility within the industry can only serve to make things a little more bleak. swatchgroup.com