How to Report (and recover) a Stolen Watch (Complete Guide)
Unfortunately, thefts exist in this world. If you have your watch stolen, there are several steps you can take in order to increase the chances of having it retrieved. In addition, you should do everything you can to make it as difficult as possible for thefts to get rid of the stolen goods, and also increase the chances of having them caught and tracked down.
In this article, we go through the most important things you can do if you have had your watch stolen in order to increase the chances of having it recovered. We hope this can be of great help to you.
Find the serial number and model of your watch
To start with, it is crucial that you clearly define the watch that was stolen. This is of utmost importance in order to increase the chances of ever retrieving it.
With that said, the single most important thing here is the serial number. The serial number is unique to your watch and there is no other watch carrying the same number. Think of your watch’s serial number as its very own social security number that makes it possible to identify it.
It is, therefore, necessary that you know the serial number of your watch so you can use that to report your stolen watch accordingly. This will make it possible to later identify it shall it be found.
If you have not had your watch stolen but want to plan for the worst, make sure you save the serial number of your watch. If you don’t know the serial number of your watch, you can speak to the store/company/person you bought the watch from and ask if they have the serial number. However, if your watch was bought a long time ago, it can be a little more difficult. In that case, try to find the receipt or any original documents which may include information about your watch and its serial number.
On watches, the serial number is usually engraved between the lugs of the case or on the case back.
Report it to the police
The first step when you have had your watch stolen is to report it to your local police. The police have a database over stolen items and will be able to add your stolen watch to this database. With that said, it is important that you have the model, the model number, and the serial number so that they have the exact details and information about your timepiece.
The police generally have access to both national and international databases and will be able to spread the word about your stolen watch to other partners and anti-crime-and theft authorities.
Report it to your insurance company
Generally, in order to file an insurance claim, you need to have a police report. This is why reporting the watch theft to the police is always the first step.
Insurance companies may also have their own database of stolen items. In many cases, this database is done in collaboration with other insurance companies in order to get a wider reach of items and to increase the chances of retrieving these items. Insurance companies normally also work closely with the authorities.
Inform the store you bought it from
If you bought your watch relatively recently, it is a good idea to seek advice from the store you bought it from, and most importantly inform them about your stolen watch. They will be able to note this and possibly inform more sources about your stolen watch.
Report it to the watch brand
Depending on the brand of the watch that was stolen, this may or not work. The best method here is to visit an official retailer of the brand and consult with them. Some watch brands such as Rolex has an internal register of stolen watches, and therefore, it can be a good idea to inform them that your watch has been stolen. In addition, some brands have a customer service email or phone line you can use to contact them. It doesn’t hurt to ask if they have their own database to which you can add your watch so they too can keep their eyes open.
Watches need to be serviced in order to function properly, and fortunately, even stolen watches are taken to service centers to be serviced. When they end up at the official retailers to be serviced by the brands, they will run checks to ensure it is not stolen. If they do find out it has been stolen, they will confiscate it and inform the law enforcement. This means that your stolen watch can be retrieved when and if it is taken to be serviced by the official retailers, or the respective brand if sent directly to them.
Report it to The Watch Register
The watch register ”runs the largest international database of lost and stolen watches available for due diligence, which also includes frauds as well as fake watches. It is the central database used by police forces, insurance companies, and theft victims to register and recover losses. It also offers a database search service to retailers, pawnbrokers, jewelers, auction houses and collectors, which allows them to check the status of a watch prior to transactions.”
The Watch Register database lists over 70,000 lost and stolen watches.
You can register the loss of your watch by completing a form on their website. For this service, they charge a non-refundable admin fee of £10 per watch (plus VAT where applicable). In order to register your watch, you need to have its unique serial number. You must also have proof of loss must in the form of a crime reference number and/or insurance details.
”MyStolenWatсh is an international database of lost and stolen watches. It is a platform that gives everyone the opportunity to enter, free of charge, your lost or stolen watch, with the purpose of being able to trace it.”
If your watch has been stolen, the more places you spread the information to, the better. Get as many eyes and ears out as possible.
With the above mentioned, it is a good idea to spread the news about your stolen watch to as many places as possible online.
Inform local pawn shops about your watch
Share posts about your stolen watch on watch forums
There are many online watch forums that allow you to make a post about your stolen watch. This helps spread the word about your stolen watch, and since these are also found in search engines if someone ever searches for your watch’s serial number, information that this watch is stolen will come up.
When you make a post about your stolen watch in these forums, make sure you include detailed information about your watch, the model, and most importantly, its serial number.
Some (watch) forums and databases where you can post about your stolen watch are:
- Facebook watch groups (primarily dedicated to the brand of your stolen watch)
As mentioned, the more places you spread the information to, the better.