Almost 80,000 luxury watches worth £1bn stolen or missing, data shows

The Watch Register said there has been a rise in thefts in recent years.

Henry Saker-Clark
Monday 21 August 2023 05:40 BST
Related video: Amir Khan says he feels ‘very unsafe walking around England’ after robbery in London

Luxury watches worth more than £1bn are registered as stolen or missing after a sharp increase, new data shows.

Almost 80,000 watches have been reported as stolen or missing, according to global crime prevention database The Watch Register.

The platform said there has been a “concerning surge” in potential thefts in recent years.

It comes after a number of high-profile jewellery thefts affecting celebrities including former boxer Amir Khan, cyclist Mark Cavendish and racing driver Lando Norris.

Victims can register stolen products with The Watch Register, and the platform is then used by dealers, jewellers, pawnbrokers and auction houses to identify stolen watches.

Recent records show a concerning surge in the registration of luxury watches that have been stolen or lost.

Katya Hills

The platform said it has 78,165 stolen watches on its database.

A total of 6,815 were recorded as being missing or stolen last year, representing a 60% increase in the number of new watches on the global database.

This included a 33 per cent increase for the year in the UK.

The total value of all watches recorded as stolen or lost amounts to over £1bn and includes a number of high-value luxury watches that individually retail between £50,000 to £100,000 or more, it said.

Rolex watches are the most common recorded on the system, accounting for 44 per cent of the total.

Katya Hills, managing director at The Watch Register said: “Recent records show a concerning surge in the registration of luxury watches that have been stolen or lost.

“The considerable value and prestige of these high-end timepieces continues to attract the attention of sophisticated and international criminal networks, making them a prime target for theft.

“The increasing number of stolen luxury watches also serves as a stark reminder of the risks faced in safeguarding such high-value possessions and we advise owners to make sure that they have adequate insurance for their watch, to keep photographs of their watch and to make a note of their watch’s unique serial number, which will aid its recovery in the event of it being lost or stolen.”

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in