crime

Thief steals $840,000 watch from Japanese man's wrist in Paris

30 Comments

A Japanese man who stepped out of his Paris hotel for a cigarette was robbed of his $840,000 Swiss watch by a thief who snatched it off his wrist, police sources said Tuesday.

The 30-year-old victim was approached outside the five-star Hotel Napoleon near the Arc de Triomphe late Monday by a man who asked for a cigarette.

The thief then grabbed the man's arm and fled with the rare Richard Mille timepiece, a Tourbillon Diamond Twister estimated to cost some 770,000 euros.

Mille timepieces, with their bulky cases that reveal the intricate inner mechanisms, are highly prized by aficionados -- and instantly recognisable to thieves targeting wealthy tourists in the French capital.

The Parisien newspaper published a map Tuesday pinpointing some two dozen high-value watch nabbings in the "Golden Triangle" and other glitzy areas near the Champs-Elysees avenue so far this year.

It noted at least four other Richard Mille watch robberies, all valued at at least 100,000 euros ($109,000), among the 71 such robberies in Paris and nearby suburbs between January and September.

But the Japanese victim may be luckier than most -- police sources say the assailant dropped a cell phone as he fled, which has been handed over to the police division which investigates serious robberies and organized crime.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
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Seems this young man is more successful at 30 yrs old than most people will be in their lifetime. Hope he gets the watch back or had good insurance for it.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Seems this tourist didn’t follow one of the most basic pieces of advice for travelers: Don’t wear expensive jewelry or watches.

Still, I hope the thief is caught and the watch recovered.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Thanks but no thanks. I'll stick to either my cheap CASIO watch or basic smartwatch. I'll never understand the 'joys' of wearing a really expensive watch. I'd rather use my money for meals in a nice restaurant, or holidays, or gifts for relatives. To each his own.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Robbed? In Paris? Well I am shocked and appalled. /s

8 ( +11 / -3 )

If somebody wants to steal my 1st generation Apple Watch they are welcome to it.

How does a 30 year old guy have enough money to buy a 3/4 of a million dollar watch? Then, he gets it stolen? It would seem he has more money than sense.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

I guess he learned his lesson and would be keeping watch next time

8 ( +9 / -1 )

That is so sad.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

People should be allowed to stand on a public street without fear of being robbed. Doesn't matter if they have $20 or $2M.

I've given up knowing how people got money at any age.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

and instantly recognisable to thieves

Thieves within about five meters, that is.

I shall never have this dilemma, but is the correct way to wear an expensive watch not to cover it with a jacket or shirt sleeve? Should it be on display at all times?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What do you want to bet the phone the robber dropped was stolen?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dumb enough to wear a watch that is worth 100 times more than what many people around the world have in their life savings.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Time and time again, we hear about these tourists predominantly, Japanese getting robbed, credit card fraud etc, you never know who’s watching, probably at the second hand shop now, whoever stole it needs a good slap on the wrist..time for a new watch...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'll never understand the 'joys' of wearing a really expensive watch. I'd rather use my money for meals in a nice restaurant, or holidays, or gifts for relatives.

The same reason people buy expensive art. They appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that goes into, the beauty of it. Best of all, if they need money down the line they can sell it for what they paid or even at a profit - so they can enjoy wearing it for a while and it may cost them nothing in the end. Can't do that with a Casio or a meal in a restaurant.

The thief, though, will only get a tiny fraction of its value. Everybody will know the watch is stolen, and any respected watchmaker who is asked to fix or maintain it will report it if they see it. So whoever buys it will have to deal with that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As I was seated on the terrace of a restaurant in Paris, the moment I tried to put my bag on the chair next to me the waiter came running to me and advised me not to do that, because many clients got theirs snatched. It is sad that many touristic destinations in Europe have become dirt holes cloaking with thieves

3 ( +4 / -1 )

in Paris i wouldn't even wear a 50c watch lol

4 ( +4 / -0 )

While visting Paris, wear your crappiest clothing and accessories. It's even more relevant if you're an Asian tourist somehow ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't even wear a watch any more, as my phone tells me the time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So the foolish man with the grossly overpriced watch on the street was unharmed? I support the thief.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The same reason people buy expensive art. They appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that goes into, the beauty of it. 

Well, each to their own. I have just googled this brand and they are incredibly vulgar and I suspect people are more attracted by the price rather than some vague excuse about the mastery of the workings. Ostentatious displays of wealth are never attractive, so I think the robber has done him a favour.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have just googled this brand and they are incredibly vulgar and I suspect people are more attracted by the price rather than some vague excuse about the mastery of the workings. 

If you say so... Rich people buy Van Gogh paintings to show off their wealth as well. That doesn't mean Van Gogh paintings are ugly or not worth the money. It's a stunning watch, with incredible craftsmanship. And things like this are generally worth what people are willing to pay for them.

To my mind, paying a million dollars for just about anything that is not essential is vulgar. But it's still a work of art timepiece.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Just like any other watch robbery. Everything is relative.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Educator:

Still, I hope the thief is caught and the watch recovered.

In todays Paris?? LOL.... keep on dreaming. The young naive guy should be glad he was not injured.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Still, I hope the thief is caught and the watch recovered.

You can be sure he is living on borrowed time:)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did anyone tell the man that a $6 watch keeps time just as well, if not better? He was snookered.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Someone should tell him smoking kills..hes kind of lucky some places they would have just chopped his hand off to get that watch.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lol...do people still wear those?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some of the really "Old-school" Wealthy in Japan, don't draw attention to themselves by simply dressing down, but never-the-less, are well dressed.

New-Wealth, well that's another matter, and shares the same "look-at-me" syndrome globally, so naturally they get picked off first.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I chuckled at this. I can mention why. First, the victim smokes cigarettes, a very stupid thing to do in light of all the facts available. Second, he spends a ridiculous amount of money on a gewgaw that has no intrinsic value other than it tells time, which can be found more accurately elsewhere. Third, he is not careful in public and could have had a serious injury from a stranger coveting his property.

Having said all that, it certainly is a jungle out there. People will grab anything that isn't nailed down, and many things that are. The longer I live, the less I respect people. They are not, as the saying goes, basically honest. They are basically opportunists, and in many cases try to create their own opportunities.

And finally, how can this thief expect to sell this item without getting discovered? Who would buy it knowing the world is aware it's stolen? Unless of course he wanted it for himself but even then, to whom could he safely show it?

I shake my head sadly at the stupidity of mankind.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where do you pawn a $840K watch? Sheesh....

Just marked Paris off my bucket list.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not the kind of watch you take on vacation with you. Silly tourist ..... Ha Ha Ha

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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