Are Rolexes Cheaper in Switzerland 2023? Latest News Revealed

As a luxury watch enthusiast, you may wonder if it’s worth traveling to Switzerland to purchase a Rolex at a more affordable price. Surprisingly, there is some truth to the notion that Rolex watches can be cheaper in Switzerland, the birthplace of these renowned timepieces. Let’s dive into the latest news on this topic and discuss the potential savings when buying a Rolex in Switzerland.

But is it really that easy to get a Rolex in Switzerland? After all, it is also important to consider the availability of desired models, potential waiting lists, and possible customs exemptions. As we continue, we’ll explore these factors and help you make an informed decision on whether it’s worth traveling to Switzerland for the iconic timepiece.

Are Rolexes Cheaper in Switzerland?

If you’re a watch enthusiast, you might be wondering whether Rolex watches are cheaper in Switzerland, especially since the country is known for its watchmaking industry. In this article, we will delve into the cost of Rolex watches in Switzerland and compare them with prices in other countries. We will also discuss the impact of VAT and duties on your purchase.

Cost Comparison with Other Countries

While it is generally believed that Rolex watches might be cheaper in Switzerland, the actual savings may not be as significant as you might think. For instance, the tax-free price of a Rolex watch in Switzerland is CHF 7,520 or about $7,800, which represents a 1 to 3% saving compared to prices in other countries. However, these savings can be higher for returning US citizens, who can combine their $800 customs exemptions, potentially resulting in a 3 to 5% savings.

When comparing prices internationally, it’s essential to consider VAT and currency factors. The Swiss Franc, Switzerland’s currency, plays a pivotal role in determining the cost of Swiss watches. As the Swiss Franc tends to be a strong currency, buying from a Swiss dealer may guarantee your watch’s authenticity, but the overall price might not be as competitive as expected.

Impact of VAT and Duties

The European Union (EU) offers some of the best places to buy Rolex watches tax-free due to its high VAT (Value Added Tax) rates. VAT rates vary across EU countries, with the lowest rate at 15% and most countries having a VAT of about 20%. The countries with the highest VAT are Denmark and Sweden, both with a 25% rate.

Additionally, Switzerland offers a tax-free shopping opportunity, refunding the VAT of 7.6% for foreign residents, further impacting Rolex prices. This refund, however, is only applicable at authorized Rolex retailers, such as those found in Zurich and the airport.

It’s crucial to note that when purchasing a Rolex watch overseas, you may also be subject to customs duties upon your return to your home country. Thus, although you might save on VAT, the overall cost might still vary depending on the duties you have to pay.

In conclusion, while Swiss prices for Rolex watches can offer a slight advantage due to tax-free shopping and potential VAT refunds, it’s essential to consider other factors such as currency strength, VAT rates, and customs duties. Before making a purchase, it’s wise to compare costs between different countries and account for any additional fees that might affect your savings.

Authorized Dealers and Buying Process

Are Rolexes Cheaper in Switzerland

Are Rolex watches cheaper in Switzerland? It’s a question many watch enthusiasts have been asking. After doing some research, we found that you can save between 1 to 3% if you buy a Rolex in Switzerland, and possibly up to 3 to 5% if you’re a returning US citizen because of customs exemptions. In this section, we’ll explore authorized dealers and the buying process of Rolex watches in Switzerland.

Selecting a Trusted Dealer

When searching for a Rolex in Switzerland, it’s essential to buy from a trusted authorized dealer or boutique as they offer discounts of 30-35%. Some well-known authorized dealers in Switzerland include Beyer Chronometrie of Zurich and other reputable dealers located in Geneva and international airports such as the Geneva International Airport. Be sure to do your research and seek recommendations from fellow watch enthusiasts.

Demand often exceeds the supply of Rolex watches, creating waitlists at authorized dealers for certain models, especially steel sports models. To get on these waitlists, you’ll need to invest time and money. Persistence is key when navigating the Rolex market.

To increase your chances of getting a Rolex in Switzerland, consider these steps:

  • Join multiple waitlists at different authorized dealers
  • Regularly communicate with dealers and build relationships
  • Be flexible with your desired model and be open to considering alternative options

Rolex Models and Investment Value

Rolex watches have always been considered a solid investment due to their reputation for exceptional quality, durability, and timeless design. In fact, many aficionados treat these timepieces as tangible assets that appreciate in value over time. In this section, we’ll explore popular and in-demand Rolex models, as well as vintage and limited edition watches that have a great potential for investment.

Certain Rolex models are particularly sought after, both for their aesthetic appeal and their potential as investments. Some of the most popular and in-demand models include:

  • Submariner: A classic dive watch known for its robust construction and iconic design. Available in various materials and color combinations, the Submariner is a favorite among collectors.
  • Daytona: A racing-inspired chronograph watch that boasts a combination of performance and style. Its popularity has led to waitlists for some variations, further driving up its value in the pre-owned market.
  • GMT-Master II: A pilot’s watch designed for tracking multiple time zones. Its standout feature is the rotating bezel with a two-tone ceramic insert, which is not only visually striking but also practical for travelers.

Vintage and Limited Edition Watches

Aside from popular models, vintage and limited edition Rolex watches also hold great investment potential, such as:

  • Vintage Models: Older Rolex models, especially those in mint condition, can command high prices due to their rarity and historical significance. Examples include early Submariners, Daytonas, and GMT-Masters.
  • Limited Edition Watches: Rolex occasionally releases limited edition timepieces to commemorate special occasions or collaborations. These watches are highly sought after by collectors, often fetching substantial premiums in the secondary market.

Other high-end watch brands like Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet are also worth considering, particularly the Patek Philippe Nautilus – a luxury sports watch with a distinctive design that has become a status symbol among enthusiasts.

As the luxury watch market continues to experience fluctuations, Rolex watches have also been impacted. Let’s explore some key market insights and trends to understand the current landscape of Rolex in Switzerland and the global market.

Impact of the Pandemic on Rolex Demand

Are Rolexes Cheaper in Switzerland

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on many industries, including the luxury watch market. Due to the limited manufacturing capacity caused by the pandemic, Rolex watches’ availability has become increasingly scarce. This shortage has driven up retail prices as demand for these high-end timepieces continues to grow, particularly for steel models.

As a result of this increased demand and limited stock, Rolex retailers are less likely to offer discounts on their watches. Meanwhile, other luxury watch brands like Hublot, Audemars Piguet, and Zenith are experiencing a similar boom as consumers turn to them in the face of Rolex scarcity.

Swiss Watch Industry Outlook

The Swiss watch industry has been performing strongly, with exports reaching 22.3 billion Swiss francs (about $24.1 billion) in 2020, 2.7 percent higher than in 2019. This growth can be partially attributed to the rising demand for luxury watches like Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Zenith.

Despite these increases, it’s important to consider the possibility of inflation affecting watch prices. The rising cost of living and global economic challenges may contribute to an increase in the retail prices of these luxury brands.

The Swiss watch industry remains a world leader in luxury timepieces, with the top Swiss companies holding a significant market share in 2020. Rolex continues to be a sought-after brand, but it’s important to understand how external factors like the pandemic and global economic trends are influencing prices and availability.

Rolex Manufacturing and Supply Chain

Rolex, the esteemed Swiss watch manufacturer, continues to be a sought-after brand despite increasing manufacturing costs and supply chain challenges. In this article, we’ll provide insights into the Rolex factory and how the company is addressing supply chain hurdles to maintain its product quality and availability for customers.

Rolex Factory Insights

The Rolex factory is located in Plan-les-Ouates, Switzerland, where the brand produces about a million timepieces per year. Despite its high production volume, demand for Rolex watches often outstrips the supply, especially for popular steel sports models like the Submariner which can cost around 8,500 Swiss francs.

Rolex has a reputation for maintaining quality throughout its manufacturing process. The company invests heavily in its factory to ensure cutting-edge technology and a highly skilled workforce. Some factors affecting Rolex manufacturing costs include:

  • High-quality materials
  • New movements
  • Collection popularity
  • Complications

Despite these factors, the average price for most Rolex watches falls between $7,000 – $12,000 MSRP.

Dealing with Supply Chain Challenges

Rolex faced supply chain challenges even before the pandemic. Since 2016, the brand has been dealing with shortages primarily due to low supply and high demand. The ongoing global supply chain disruptions have further complicated the situation, making it increasingly difficult for Rolex to source raw materials and components in a timely manner.

To mitigate these supply chain issues, Rolex has been focusing on fostering long-term relationships with suppliers and ensuring transparency through stringent quality control measures. The company also invests in research and development to create new manufacturing processes that can help improve efficiency and reduce reliance on external suppliers.

In conclusion, understanding Rolex’s manufacturing and supply chain operations offers insights into how the brand consistently delivers high-quality timepieces to consumers. In a world of increasing costs and supply chain challenges, Rolex’s commitment to maintaining its Swiss-made excellence remains unwavering.

Travel and Duty-Free Shopping

When considering purchasing a Rolex watch, it’s important to understand the impact of travel and duty-free shopping on the overall price. In this section, we’ll explore duty-free zones and shopping tips, as well as declaring your purchase at customs to ensure you get the best deal possible.

Duty-Free Zones and Shopping Tips

Duty-free shopping can be an excellent way to save on luxury items like Rolex watches. When purchased in duty-free zones, products are often exempt from certain taxes or duties, allowing you to potentially save a significant amount of money. Some popular duty-free shopping destinations include South America, Brazil, Colombia, and Greece, where you can enjoy tax-free prices on a variety of items.

When shopping for a Rolex in these tax-free zones, keep these tips in mind:

  • Compare the prices: The cost of a Rolex watch may vary by country and store, so be sure to compare prices before making a purchase.
  • Research local dealers: Not all retailers offer duty-free shopping, so it’s essential to research authorized Rolex dealers in your destination to ensure you’re getting a legitimate product.
  • Check for additional fees: While the item’s price may be tax-free, some countries may still charge additional fees, such as import or export taxes, which can affect the overall cost.

Declaring Your Purchase at Customs

When returning home from your travels, you’ll need to declare any expensive items like a Rolex watch at customs. Failure to do so may result in penalties, so it’s crucial to understand the process beforehand.

Here are some steps to follow when declaring your Rolex purchase at customs:

  1. Determine the allowance: Each country has its own allowance for duty-free items. Be sure to check your country’s customs regulations to determine how much you can bring back without being subject to additional fees.
  2. Keep your receipts: Retain all receipts for your purchase, as customs officers may require proof of purchase and price paid.
  3. Fill out the declaration form: Complete the appropriate customs declaration form, accurately listing all items you’re bringing back, including your Rolex watch.
  4. Be prepared to pay any applicable taxes or duties: Depending on your country’s customs regulations, you may need to pay taxes or duties on your Rolex purchase upon returning home. Ensure you have the funds available to cover any necessary fees.

By understanding the ins and outs of travel and duty-free shopping, you can make an informed decision on whether or not purchasing a Rolex watch abroad is worth the potential savings.

Cheapest Countries to Buy Rolex Watches

When it comes to purchasing a Rolex watch, many people wonder if it’s worth making a trip to Switzerland. The latest news reveals that Rolex watches are indeed cheaper in Switzerland, with potential savings of 1 to 3% if you buy the watch there. This lower price is due to lower manufacturing costs, lower taxes on luxury goods, and a weaker Swiss franc.

However, Switzerland may not necessarily be the cheapest country to buy a Rolex. Eastern Europe has emerged as a potential destination for those looking to purchase a Rolex watch at a lower price. Exchange rates and varying taxes often play a significant role in the watch prices across different countries.

While Switzerland offers some savings on Rolex watches, keep in mind that the potential savings can be affected by factors such as exchange rates and how much you will spend on travel to reach the country. In some cases, the extra costs may outweigh the benefits of purchasing a Rolex watch in Switzerland4.

Another important factor to consider when looking for the cheapest country to buy a Rolex watch is Value Added Tax (VAT) rates. In the European Union, VAT rates can range from 17% to 25%5. Some countries, like Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, have high VAT rates5. Always make sure to research tax-free purchasing options if you are a non-resident shopper to maximize your savings.


Is buying watch in Switzerland cheaper?

No, watches are not cheaper in Switzerland. The price of a watch is set by the watchmakers and is the same in Switzerland as in other countries. However, tourists can claim back the VAT on their purchases if they spend over 300 Swiss Francs and export the product within 30 days. 

Can you buy Rolex retail in Switzerland?

Yes, Rolex watches can be purchased at retail stores in Switzerland. However, the price of a Rolex watch is set by the watchmaker and is the same in Switzerland as in other countries.

Why is Rolex in Switzerland?

Rolex is in Switzerland because the company was founded in London in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis. In 1919, they moved the company’s headquarters to Geneva, Switzerland, and adopted the French-language corporate name of Montres Rolex SA.

Are watches tax free in Switzerland?

No, watches are not tax-free in Switzerland. However, tourists can claim back the VAT on their purchases if they spend over 300 Swiss Francs and export the product within 30 days. The tax-free allowance for importation of jewellery and watches is CHF 300 per person per day.

Is Rolex fully made in Switzerland?

Yes, Rolex watches are fully made in Switzerland. All Rolex watches produced today are Swiss Made, meaning they are made in Switzerland with no exceptions. 

What is the best city to buy a watch in Switzerland?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the type of watch you are looking for and your budget. Basel, Bern, Lausanne, and St. Gallen have a higher proportion of chain retailers and will typically stock the top three watch brands sold in Switzerland: Certina, Fossil, and Tissot.

Are Rolex cheaper in Dubai?

Yes, Rolex watches can be cheaper in Dubai due to the country’s no VAT policy. The Dubai airport is famous for cheap Rolex watches. However, it is important to ensure that you are buying from a reputable seller to avoid purchasing counterfeit products. 

Disclosure: We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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