Luxury Watch Dealer Ian Tilman Vanishes With Millions Of Dollars In Sydney

"It's a disgrace."

Luxury Watch Dealer Ian Tilman Vanishes With Millions Of Dollars In Sydney

Image: A Current Affair

Luxury watch owners in Sydney, Australia have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars after Ian Tilman, a broker from the city’s Watches R Us, disappeared off the face of the planet, stealing money and luxury timepieces.

Investing in the ever-changing horological market is never a sure thing, but when you’re able to find a collection of luxury pieces or one-off releases that will not only hold their value but increase exponentially, it can be a profitable way of making a living.

From Michael Schumacher to Sylvester Stallone, high-profile celebrities have proven to have the Midas’ touch when sourcing and curating their collections, often turning a tasty profit after the years have added inherent value to some of their luxury pieces… but not all collectors are as fortunate.

RELATED: Sylvester Stallone Spotted Wearing The Perfect Vintage Rolex For A Film Star

Ian Tilman worked out of this Sydney office. Image:

Australian watch collectors have been victims of a luxury rug-pull as a Sydney-based watch dealer named Ian Tilman has successfully walked away with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Tilman would reportedly accept payments from customers in exchange for high-value pieces like Rolex Submariner and Day-Dates but failed to ever deliver them. He would also accept watches on consignment in exchange for a commission but would fail to pay any proceeds from the alleged sales. The business, now in liquidation, has left many clients without their expensive watches or any hope of a refund. ⁠

“By late January I thought ‘Well, these watches should have been flown into the country, I should have them’,” James Wallace told A Current Affair. “He always had an excuse – he was away, he was uncontactable for little periods of time, but then he’d be straight back on the message and contact me with some excuse.”

The company had $68,000 AUD in its account when it was frozen but A Current Affair reported that more than $1.2 million AUD was transferred out to various accounts, just before liquidation, including $52,000 to Tilman before he inevitably vanished.