Editorial - Who's afraid to wear a watch?

The fear of wearing an important watch in public is spreading all over the place. Is it well-founded or not?

Audemars Piguet Royal OakDid you know that there is an online database of stolen watches? It is The Watch Register, an extension of the Art Loss Register founded by Lloyd's of London, Christie's and Sotheby's in 1990. The register, which has been active since 2017, to date contains reports for around 80,000 missing watches. And it can also be consulted (for a fee) to verify the provenance of a second-hand timepiece before buying it: simply enter the serial number to find out in a few minutes whether it has been reported.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Carbongold Perpetual Calendar

In 2022, some 6,815 stolen watches were added by users, an increase of 60% compared to 2021. This is a thought-provoking figure. The growth in reports, however, may be due to numerous factors, not only to an increased prevalence of crime. Not least, to the increase in popularity of The Watch Register itself.

Patek PhilippeNonetheless, the raw data was picked up by several media outlets, many of which emphasised that the most stolen brand would be Rolex, as if to warn those wishing to buy one.

Richard Mille RM 30-01

Let us remember, however, that among the luxury brands Rolex is the one that puts the largest number of watches on the market each year. And if we think that Patek Philippe's annual production of about 70,000 watches is just 7% of the (estimated) Rolex production, we can well understand how muggers 'prefer' the crowned house.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Platinum

Yet the reports of theft, which are increasingly frequent in our newspapers, often concern very expensive and exclusive watches. The value of the object makes the news, sure, but it does not photograph the reality of our cities. Let us not be so easily convinced that we live in Jena Plissken's New York. Let us read the news circulating on the net with a critical mind and look around us, instead of living immersed in the reality that our smartphones give us.

Tudor Black Bay 54