Most watch fans are aware that watch crime is on the rise in the British capital… But one luxury watch shopper has shown the extreme lengths that some watch brands are making customers go to in order to prevent thefts.
The customer in question, who had visited a London watch boutique to pick up his new Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time (ref. 7234R-001) – a watch that retails for AU$70,250 – shared a video to social media that says a lot about how bad things have got in London Town when it comes to watch crime.
In short: the boutique “[made him] walk out the shop with” a Whole Foods paper bag in which to hide his Patek Philippe bag. “That’s what we’ve got to do to protect ourselves,” the buyer commiserates.
Imagine buying a $70k watch just to walk out the store with a 30c bag…
WATCH how the Patek swindle is done below.
While it’s a clever idea, it’s demonstrative of how bad watch crime has got in London… Although it might not have been the smartest move to share the deception on social media. Now the thieves know what’s going on…
According to data from London’s Metropolitan Police, there was a 60% increase in watch theft between May and June this year alone. Crime has steadily been on the rise in London since 2015 (as Statista demonstrates) – with the crime rate briefly falling over 2020/21 during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic only to pick back up this year.
Social media accounts like @watch_crime_ldn and @stolen_watch_group are documenting how almost daily, there are brazen and violent watch thefts in London – many of which are carried out by pairs of thieves on mopeds, which seems to be the modus operandi du jour, to mix our languages.