Latest round up of Rolex thefts we spotted across the UK;
Ramsdens, like all pawnbrokers, is a target for watch thieves, as they have a wide selection of pre-owned Rolex items in stock. Usually staff are trained to secure the door when customers are in the shop, but thieves often get an accomplice to hold the door open for a moment, pretending to be just another random customer who has turned up 5 mins later.
Police in Preston Lancs have issued a photo of a suspect who asked to see an Oyster Perpetual and then did a runner.
DANCING THIEF CONVICTED
Meanwhile in Birmingham, a thief nabbed a ladies Rolex by doing a strange dance; Local Police released a statement on the trial and conviction;
Police said Abdelhadi Bahou Jabour approached a couple in Birmingham on 10 July and struck up banter.
He then broke out in a dance routine described by police as “part Bruce Forsyth, part Artful Dodger” as he slipped off the woman’s watch. Jabour, from Findern Green, Sneinton, Nottingham, admitted two robberies and an attempted robbery.
After failing to steal the man’s watch, when it snagged on his cuff, West Midlands Police said the 24-year-old jogged away from Colmore Row.
He soon stumbled across another woman wearing a £4,700 Rolex watch, which he also made off with. Jabour is due to be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on 6 October.
A jeweller’s shop was targeted using the old Ted Bundy technique of appearing to be slightly injured, or with a disability of some sort. The incident happened around 3.50pm on Tuesday 10 August when a Rolex Submariner watch, valued at £8,995, was stolen.
A man had entered the store using a crutch to aid his mobility. However, after asking to view the watch, he ran out of the store without paying for it.
The man was described as being black, of a medium build and around 5ft 6/7ins in height. Investigating officers have now released an image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the theft.
That is a very good question, because not everyone wants to build their own watch or invest in a nicely kitted out workbench to accomplish the task. Fact is, some Bergeon tools, case press, blower, head loupe, cleaning ether, screwdrivers, vice, clamps, tweezers, polishing cloths etc can easily add up to over £1000 worth. Yes, you can cheap out, but guess what, those tools will soon scratch your watches.
So here is a short list of some handy builders, who can sort the dream dive watch job out for you.
Tempus offer custom buolds, mainly Seiko dive watches naturally, but they do some Casio stuff too. They also do repairs, like re-lumes, polishing, custom casebacks etc. So you can refurb something that you inherited maybe.
They are UK based by the way.
Cheshire based Seikomods really have the off-the-shelf concept sorted. You can mix n match cases, bezels and dials to your hearts content. Then they ship it out. But wait, they are about to launch a Configurator, which will let customers choose from a wish list and then have Seikomods build it in-house.
As it’s August then the Summer Sales are on, so your NWC watch fan decided to have a nose around online to find the big reductions and try to sift the bargains from the Eternas..sorry, the also rans.
Starting with Jura watches site, we spotted about a grand off a Nomos Glashutte Ahoi Datum, which still seems expensive at £2600 to us. You can buy plenty of dive watches with 200m ability, Swiss movements and 40mm cases from Indie brands for under £1000.
Given the resale value of a Nomos is on par with a Hamilton, you need to chivvy more from the price we think, even if you love the minimalist style of this model.
Also on the Jura site, a Longines Master chronograph with £350 off the list price is worth a look, as the classic lines won’t age too badly and the brand name always attracts buyers if you fancy selling it after a few years. An Oris Big Pilot at just under two grand is another handy discount, of about £600, on a well known watch brand.
As most of you know, H Samuel, Ernest Jones and Zales is the same company – Signet Group – so it’s worth a look to see what has been reduced in price as their staff have failed to bamboozle customers with the `Are you alright there?’ ploy in-store.
H Samuel have Citizen automatics with 50% off, for a retail of £199 – that is undeniably great value. A black and gold Eco-Drive for £130 is another fantastic deal if you are after an everyday watch that needs no battery for about ten years. Please don’t say it lasts forever, you just look like a bellend.
Now I’m a fan of the Casio Edifice range and a Scuderia Alpha Tauri at £149 is a hard-to-resist deal. Bluetooth, schedule timer, worldtimer, great night light – all the Casio features you love and beautiful styling too. Some Edifice models look like kids toys, let’s be blunt, but this one has a touch of class.
The Seiko Prospex models have sold out by the way. No surprises there.
Meanwhile at Ernest Jones they have a Longines Master automatic, 40mm case, three hands, auto reserve indicator near the 6pm position for £1300, down from £1900.
Or how about a Hamilton Jazzmaster at £385? This blue dial model looks fairly decent, steel bracelet and features a quartz movement. Cheap way to own your first Swiss watch.
A Tissot Chronograph on a tan leather strap for £550 isn’t too painful either, nice big 43mm case, water resistance to 200m and a good saving on the £790 RRP.
If you just want a very basic watch then Argo have it covered. How about a Casio 80s style digital in blue for £11.20? I mean yes, you have to drive to the shop to collect it, but jeez…what more do you want?
They also have a black dial Citizen Eco-Drive for £80 and a quartz hunter style pocket watch for £6.99. If you are kitting out a wedding party, then that’s the way to decorate those waistcoats.
A Seiko Prospex Street model might not be your thing, as it’s grey hues look a bit underwhelming, but at £270 it’s a fair price for a new Seiko. We like the Seiko 5 Streetfighter edition at £305 as well.
A Rado Couple Classic is a decent 40mm Swiss watch, with a see-thru caseback and a known brand name, all for £895, which is the absolute limit that you should pay for any Rado. Try selling one at a pawnbrokers if you don’t believe me, these are impossible to sell at a decent margin, so you’ll be pleasantly insulted with a 500 cash offer, even with box n papers.
Finally, an Oris divers Sixty-Five for £1270 is a fair price. It isn’t anything special compared to many Indie brand dive models, but that Oris name and the classic blue dial/black bezel design really does hold a broad appeal.
Price-walking is that thing insurers do at renewal time. You get an email, forget it ane they auto renew; same product but £55 more this year.
So adding an olive green dial version to the Intra-Matic and raising the RRP to over two grand seems kinda the same deal. The old blue or white dial models looked great. In fact I prefer the blue dial Intra’s vibrant punch, it really lifts off the wrist.
But why is the same watch now another £300 to buy? We found a blue dial model on CW Sellors at £1930 with a 10% off pop-up window on the website. That makes it about £1740 retail.
It won’t work Hamilton. Even if you did see off Lewis and his trademark case, don’t get cheeky.
Hublot is celebrating its association with the UEFA EURO 2020™ tournament by presenting the official timepiece of the UEFA EURO 2020™ European Championship – the Big Bang e connected watch – as well as a brand-new podcast.
Hublot is offering this one as a limited-edition of 1,000 pieces.
After a year-long postponement during the pandemic, for the first time in its history the UEFA EURO 2020™ European Championship will be held in 11 cities in 11 different countries. The bezel on the Big Bang e watch sports the colours of the flags of the 12 nations initially planned to host.
Aesthetically, it features the attributes of the brand’s iconic Big Bang model. For greater ergonomics, it is available in a 42 mm case in Black Magic, the spectacular polished black ceramic developed by Hublot technicians, which is water-resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
The sapphire crystal means the AMOLED high definition touchscreen is easy to use while, just like a mechanical watch, the push-button on the rotary crown is used to activate its functions.
It is fitted with a complex electronic module developed in partnership with other brands within the LVMH group. It operates on WearOS by Google software, which has been adapted and perfected to meet Hublot’s requirements, notably via an app specially dedicated to football which enables users to follow the competition in real time.
Amongst the features of this watch, in addition, of course, to following the timing of the matches with timekeeping, half-time, extra time and the end of the match, the Big Bang e also notifies the wearer of cards awarded, player substitutions, penalties and goals. There is also the option to view information on the team line-ups, the players’ rankings and their position on the field.
The watch is priced at £4800 in the UK. Kinda cheeky for a smartwatch we reckon, but Hublot has a devoted fanbase in the world of football, namely the overpaid Premier level players and their entourage, so shifting 1000 of these shouldn’t be too hard.
Moreover, users will also be able to download, free of charge, dials in the colour of their country exclusively developed for the Big Bang e from the Google Play Store, an offer not compatible with other connected watches already available on the market.
In addition, as well as the magnificent rubber strap with titanium deployant buckle clasp supplied as standard, fans will have the opportunity to purchase other straps in the colours of their favourite teams. These will be easily interchangeable thanks to the famous one-click system developed by Hublot.
FREEBIES FOR REFEREES
For the UEFA EURO 2020™ European Championship, Hublot will be equipping all the referees officiating during the tournament with special Big Bang e Referee watches. This special version will help the refereeing body to manage the timekeeping of the matches and any extra time, and will be connected to Goal-line technology and the famous VAR video control system. The board used by the fourth official to show player substitutions will also be sporting Hublot colours.
In its drive to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation, Hublot has pursued its exploration in every dimension of technology and so, from 12th May, is launching a podcast series called “Hublot Fusion Podcast”. Hosted by French sports broadcast journalist Anne-Laure Bonnet, these 12 episodes will feature interviews with footballing legends, as well as with friends and ambassadors of Hublot. The podcasts will focus on the 12 universal values of victory: solidarity, union, passion, commitment, inclusion, equality, friendship, justice, respect, fair play, tolerance and sharing.
In another major new initiative, 200 customers of the Big Bang e joining the Hublotista community will be given a non-fungible token (NFT) containing an excerpt from one of the episodes of the “Hublot Fusion Podcast”! These tokens were developed with the leading ETHEREUM software company : ConsenSys. The tokens strictly comply with the ERC-1155 standard, and their owners can exchange these tokens on platforms which are benchmarks in the world of NFTs, including OpenSea.
The 1,000 Hublot Big Bang e UEFA EURO 2020™ connected watches are available exclusively on the brand’s e-commerce platform www.hublot.com from May 12th until May 26th, and then in Hublot boutiques.
Motorsports watch brand Omologato is moving into race sponsorship to reach new customers. Here’s the press info;
We are delighted to announce Omologato as an Official Race Series Partner of the Pirelli Ferrari formula classic series and Official Watch Partner of the Ferrari Owners’ Club of Great Britain.
This new agreement will burst into life on the 15th and 16th of May 2021 when the PFfc series commences at Brands Hatch, as the Official Support series to the Ferrari Challenge UK and will see the debut of the Omologato logo on the front wings of all Ferraris in the Club’s classic series. Our competitors will also be vying for the newly-created end of season Omologato Trophy and presentation watch.
The PFfc covers Ferrari tipos from the 1970s to the 1990s including 308 GT4s, 328s, 355 Challenge, even a spectacular 550 Maranello and perfectly encapsulates the spirit of close, committed racing. The calendar covers the key UK circuits and an overseas round at Spa-Francorchamps as well as the Club’s own Ferrari Club Competizione event at Croft Circuit on the 26th and 27th of June.
Announcing the new partnership, Ferrari Owners’ Club of Great Britain Chairman Christian Mineeff commented: “We are thrilled to welcome Omologato to the Ferrari Owners’ Club and specifically our Pirelli Ferrari formula classic series where the shared passion for racing between our drivers and Omologato will be brought to life on track. As Official Watch Partner to the Ferrari Owners Club, Omologato will be represented at our flagship events, in our publication, Ferrari magazine and with unique experiences for our members.”
“I’m delighted to be working with the Ferrari Owners’ Club of Great Britain,” added Omologato Founder Shami Kalra. “I’m a motorsport fan to the core and to be involved with such a prestigious partnership is an absolute pleasure. Our announcement coincides with the launch of our Maranello California ’57 watch, which celebrates the year the legendary 250 California GT was launched.”
Two guys from the NE of England had an idea about ten years ago and this year, Winton watches has launched.
The brand name was inspired by Alexander Winton, who emigrated from Britain to the USA in the 1890s and built a car called the Bullet. He was recorded covering the mile at an average speed of 68mph – that was Bugatti Veyron stuff back then. Flat cap n goggles, no tarmac roads.
The Swan automatic (above) is a classic dress watch, with a sapphire crystal, 39mm case diameter, 100m water resistance and a steel bracelet. You also get a see-thru caseback so you can check out the ETA 2824 movement inside. That is a classy engine at this price point, which is just £495. Great value we reckon. And no, we aren’t on commission.
The Anning (pic above) is a more sporty number, with a 42mm case that features a pair of bumper lugs near the crown, offering some chamfered steel protection when you’re out exploring with this watch.
It’s a neat little touch on this sapphire crystal, steel watch, which again is Swiss powered, this time with a Ronda R150 movement. The rotor is decorated with the Winton logo and script by the way, which is viewable via the see-thru caseback.
The Anning has a choice of straps, which cost an extra £15, very reasonable when many Indie brands are asking £30 or more for extra straps.
Two dial colors, Jet Black or Sunburst Blue on the Anning. Price is £475, which is Tissot entry level, Seiko Presage or Citizen Red Arrows territory.
Verdict; An interesting alternative to mainstream watches and if you like the idea of buying British then you are getting some genuine Swiss quality without the VAT and import duty on top – that’s handy.
Green is everywhere this year, from Boris Johnson’s latest attempts to micro-manage our entire lives by banning gas boilers, bacon sandwiches and petrol cars, to the myriad – yes we used myriad – green dial watches showcased by Rolex, IWC, Patek, Tudor and others at Watches & Wonders.
Now TAG has joined th party with a green dial variant on their classic Monaco model. I refuse to say `iconic’ because some herberts on local news websites are now describing their local bus depot as iconinc. It’s laughable. OK then, classic TAG Monaco features like the 39mm case, black sub-dials, plus it a luminous green glow at night on the hands and markers. The see-thru caseback has some green text, plus there’s a dash of green on the movement too.
Yours for £5500 and there are just 500 pieces available. Verdict; we still the Gulf Porsche racing colours is the best TAG Monaco of modern times. There, we said it.
We thought that it was about time we rounded up some of the UK thefts, scams and wrsitwatch frauds that are going on in this crazy world, just so you can be on your guard.
CANVEY ISLAND FAKE ROLEX SELLER
Ellis Cross sold a fake Rolex and pocketed six grand from the fraud. He was rumbled but went off to NYC for a holiday on the proceeds after giving the buyer just £500 back from the 7K purchase price on eBay. But when a witness thought she would co-operate with the Police Cross started to use a bit of intimidation. The Canvey Echo reports that Cross will be sentenced in May. Never assume a Rolex on eBay is real, always assume it’s a replica until you see enough proof to convince you otherwise, especially if the seller is a bit reem from Essex.
FOOTBALLERS ARE TARGETS
The football lifestyle may look fabulous from the outside, but pro thieves are always trying to find out where highly paid professionals reside, so they can steal their watches or cars. Roma player Chris Smalling was recently targeted and had Rolex watches stolen at gunpoint, says the ESPN website. A gang of three men broke in a stole jewels and watches from Smalling and his wife. Not the sort of experience anyone would want to go through.
THEY WILL FOLLOW YOU FOR MILES
A gang of three blokes from London have been jailed after going after Rolex watches in a series of violent robberies.
Freddie Aguis, 29, and Shane Johnson, 30, were each given 16-year extended sentences and John Weaver, 35, was jailed for five-and-a-half years, reports the Eastern Daily Press. The trio admitted following a woman and robbing her in the street in a small town in Norfolk. They carried out a similar mission as they followed a man to Worcester to steal his Rolex. In that incident they forced their way into his home and attacked him with a baseball bat, talking a Rolex valued at 20 grand. The gang are pictured below.
There is a trend now for criminal gangs to have a portfolio of activities, so this could mean that your stolen Rolex is being traded for people, drugs, or even pets. A recent bust in South Wales discovered over 50 missing animals, Rolex watches, a horse box and some cannabis plants growing at one property, says the BBC.
This highlight that your Rolex is something that as an asset value amongst crimnal gangs, it isn’t something that will be pawned for cash, or sold on Gumtree. That’s because the cash price realised would be fairly low, so your serious gangsters will keep the stolen watches and sell – or ransom – kidnapped dogs online, which is a far better way of getting untraceable cash into their little Sopranos corporate machine.
Our top tips for a safer watch collecting life are;
Never post photos online with location services ON your smartphone.
Never meet would-be watch buyers in person unless you already know them
Invest in a small steel safe and have it bolted down to the floor.
If you – or a relative – requires carers or cleaners in your home, then lock the watches away securely and set up a small clock sized camera. Carers and house cleaners are notorious for stealing watches, cash or jewellery.
Never, ever, wear a nice watch or jewellery during a stay in hospital – NHS staff and managers will not investigate properly.