Rolex, Omega & Breitling Thefts Rising, With $1.3 Billion Worth Of Watches Reported Missing

High-end watch thefts are seriously on the rise.

Rolex Watches and Wonders 2023

It’s high time to keep an eye on your luxury watch collection.

Upscale timepieces worth more than $1.3 billion have been reported stolen or missing, with a surge in the number of thefts last year, according to a new report.

The Watch Register—a company that helps owners, auction houses and dealers identify stolen timepieces for a fee—counts roughly 80,000 missing watches in its database.

Unsurprisingly, Rolex is the most coveted brand on the company’s list, making up 44 percent of the reportedly stolen watches. Behind Rolex, the list of most-pilfered timepieces includes OmegaBreitling, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe.


“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,” Katya Hills, managing director at The Watch Register, said in a statement.

Exactly 6,815 watches were added to the company’s swelling database list last year, a 60 percent surge over the previous 12-month period, according to Bloomberg. As secondary-market prices for in-demand watch models surged during the pandemic, so did watch theft and crime.

London’s Metropolitan Police Service launched an operation last year to address the watch thefts after the number of knife-point robberies shot up 60 percent. In Paris, a police task force dedicated to stopping luxury watch theft expanded to 30 agents, Bloomberg News reported last year.

Some brands have taken drastic measures to address the thefts. Audemars Piguet, the maker of the ever-popular Royal Oak, announced in April that it would offer to replace clients’ stolen watches as part of a new service program that would run for two years.