USD to CHF Woes
Deep Thoughts, MB&F, Uncategorized

USD to CHF Woes

We, American watch collectors and professionals, are in for some rough times.  As of this writing, 1 US Dollar = .86 Swiss Francs (CHF).  Here’s the one year chart:

Unfortunately there are no good solutions here.  Earlier this year, MB&F had to raise the USD price over the CHF for the first time ever.  Now we are going to have to raise our USD prices again to keep up.  Even at $205,000, an HM4 in the US is STILL cheaper than the 178.000CHF world price.  And, if you’re lucky enough to snap one up at the current $188,000 retail, you’re getting nearly a 10% discount at full retail.

All the big brands either have already or are just about to raise prices.  Unfortunately that’s not the end of it.  It’s likely that prices will not be able to be raised as high as they should for fear of stalling sales, so that is going to mean dealers are simply not going to get the same quality of inventory.  I’ve been fighting to keep my MB&F deliveries on schedule, but I know it’s tough for a head office to send a piece out and immediately lose significant margin due to the exchange rate.  I have already heard from various retailers who are struggling to secure inventory from many of the big groups.

The scary part is there is no end in sight.  If you had to bet and knew the USD was going to move 5 points, would you bet it jumps up to .91 or down to .81?  Unfortunately I’d take the negative side of that bet.  For foreign buyers, the US is going to become a true bargain.  For the rest of us, I fear it’s going to be very difficult to find what we want here – and if we do, we better be ready to pay up big time.