When you think of Paris, you probably think of romantic candlelit dinners or the copious amounts of good wine available for a couple dollars at the supermarket. What you probably don’t think of is the theft, despite Parisian thieves having a pretty ballsy reputation. Who can forget the brazen theft of Kim Kardashian three years ago? Now though a fresh warning has been issued to tourists to the capital following one of the costliest thefts of its kind in recent history.
A Japanese business had his US$840,000 Richard Mille Tourbillon Diamond Twister taken straight off his wrist outside of the 5-star Hotel Napoleon, situated in the heart of the Paris shopping district. The theft near the Champs-Elysées took place at 9:30 pm while the businessman was having a smoke outside and was approached by an individual who asked for a cigarette. The ruse worked as the thief was able to see the watch and snatch it straight off his wrist.
The Richard Mille watch is considered a piece of high-end jewellery featuring a diamond-embedded spiral that emanates from the escapement. The watch is considered a women’s watch which explains the equal focus on jewellery and high-tech watchmaking. The watch is technically small by Richard Mille standards but like any of their watches is more masculine and noticeable given it’s connected to automobile racing. Only 30 pieces were made in total, so you can understand the value and gravity behind this theft.
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Theft in the capital is rising according to police, in the first eight months of this year alone 71 watch thefts have been reported stolen costing roughly US$2.44 million. This represents a 28% rise in luxury watch thefts when compared to last year and the police are blaming the internet for the rise. That pesky internet to blame once again for our problems.
According to French police, petty thieves are going online to find ways to swipe watches, with other popular methods including bumping into car mirrors so a driver leans out to fix it while someone jumps him and approaching drunk people outside of nightclubs on Champs-Elysées. Unfortunately for you if you wear a recognisable watch like a Rolex or Cartier you are more likely to be targeted as thieves tend to go for brands they can recognise. These watches are also more likely to be able to be sold on the black market without papers making it a pretty sweet payday.
The takeaway here is to stop showing off your watch in public and keep it covered, which does defeat the purpose of having a nice watch. But it’s better than a stolen one.