An authentic Rolex watch is considered as a worthy investment that will last a long time. It’s a symbol of elegance, performance and dependability.
Watch aficionados buy a Rolex watch because they are attracted by the brand’s incredible history and tradition, and contribution to innovation in the world of watches.
Others are drawn by the qualities that are attached to the name ‘’Rolex’’, which evokes success, wealth and prestige. Rolex has such a strong reputation that it’s watches maintain their value better than many other prestigious brands.
Perhaps then it’s no surprise that some unscrupulous people want to get their hands on a Rolex watch – and some will go to extreme measures to do so.
Watch crime on the streets isn’t a new thing, but it is scary and worrying. All watch enthusiasts are aware of it… or at least, they should be. Violent watch robberies – and even murder – is headline news and it may put off even the most ardent Rolex fans from wearing their timepiece in public.
And there are many Rolex owners that are not comfortable walking around in public anymore with their Rolex on their wrist for fear of being harmed in an attack and having their prized possession stolen.
So a big question is…. “Is it safe to wear a Rolex out and about nowadays?”
I do have conflicting thoughts though…..
Whilst on one hand I feel… “What is the point of buying a Rolex, if you are going to leave it locked away at home and not wear it?” After all, it is made to be worn – whether in the city or the wild – and even in the extreme outdoors.
Then my other thought is “What is the point of wearing a nice watch if it potentially puts you in risk of danger and there is a chance it could be taken?”
And my conclusion is this…
It’s OK to wear a nice watch, as long as you have your metaphorical guard up and you are aware and vigilant whilst wearing it out and about.
Here are a few tips to help keep you safer on the streets while wearing your Rolex.
1. Think Ahead
It’s important to think and plan ahead, to where you are going and your route there and back. Calculate the risk. Personally – where I’m going is a huge factor on the watch I wear – not just from a style perspective but from a safety one too
Are you going out during the day? Or night? Will you be walking the streets? What sort of areas will you be in? Will you be going on public transport? Crowded places? Higher risk places.
Position yourself well against the environment – don’t dress or act in ways that will draw unwanted attention. Remain alert about your surroundings and potential dangers.
Gauge the environment you will be visiting ahead of time to think about what watch you will wear. Be savvy and extra cautious if it’s an area where there’s a lot of street crime or has a bad reputation.
2. Be Vigilant In Your Immediate Surroundings
Always be vigilant in your immediate surroundings and conscious about your watch.
We wear nice watches because they make us feel good.
We are always aware that we are wearing a nice watch. It’s not something we can forget. So be mindful of who can see it. Conceal it when appropriate and don’t obviously show off.
There is a saying which is worth remembering – If you come off as a victim, you may become a victim. If you look like a target, you may become a target. So be streetwise.
Whenever I feel there’s a possible threat – and you can usually sense danger and spot possible threats a little way off… pull your sleeve over your watch to hide it.
If I’m not able to do this because I’m wearing a short sleeve then I would go so far as to take it off. Don’t be afraid to take your watch off if you are unsure and want to prevent risk. Be inconspicuous in removing it though. Make sure no one sees you doing it.
3. Insure Your Watch
So consider insurance for your watch and watch collection.
My logic is to “Only wear it out and about it if you can potentially afford to lose it”.
I’m not talking “out and about” to low risk places. I am talking about high risk places. It pains me very much to mention this. But if your watch forms part of your life savings (which is a very real situation in many cases), part of a deposit on your next house or your investment portfolio on your wrist, and you risk losing that on the streets – then do NOT take the risk.
If your £2000 or £20,000 watch is one of many and you can afford to lose it – (apart from the annoyance, inconvenience and danger of the loss) then – OK. That’s different.
Of course, it’s all relative – I know – and a £500 watch to someone has a similar value to a £20,000 watch to someone else. But I hope you understand my point here.
Whatever the case – for peace of mind, insure it and if it has high sentimental value and is irreplaceable, consider wearing a different watch if walking the streets at night. Also be careful talking on mobile phones as it exposes your wrist and what is on it.
Be wary if a stranger asks you for the time… Just say “I don’t know.”
Spotters might look out for actions like this. A spotter is someone who has the job of looking out for people wearing nice watches on the street, in bars, clubs, restaurants and then informing the bad guys so that they can do their naughty work later on.
4. Carry A Decoy
I bought an Invicta dive watch for £100 because from afar, it looks remarkably like my Rolex submariner. I was wearing my Submariner out in the city – but between venues at night and whilst on the tube, I would switch. I kept the Invicta in my wife’s handbag and when it was time to hit the streets at the end of the night, I would change watches. Bit of an inconvenience, yes but I didn’t know the area or the people I was with.
It was worth it for peace of mind. I wanted to have my nice watch on while in the safety of the venues however outside on the street, at night, I didn’t want to take the risk.
After all, I didn’t really care for anyone to see what watch I had on at 2am after a few drinks. That audience isn’t important. If someone did try to rob me 1) I would be in less of a ‘fight’ mood to resist or put up a struggle knowing what they would be taking. And 2) In the heat of the moment, it is unlikely they would check the fine details. They would get what they think is a Rolex, but is just a £100 sacrificial Invicta.
Just an idea for you. Just make sure the switch isn’t obvious.
5. Think Different
If you walk around flashing a solid gold Rolex, an AP or a Richard Mille – the harsh reality is that you are potentially asking for trouble. There are so many cool, understated luxury watches out there that spotters wouldn’t even know about.
And perhaps consider putting your nice watch on a Nato or Leather strap to dress it down a bit. Be creative with your watch choice
I hope those 5 tips help.
Since most people in the big wide world are unobservant about wrist watches, and unless you intend to flash and flaunt your Rolex and your wealth to people around you, I believe there’s no need to keep your wonderful watch hidden away under lock and key.
The reality is, most people will not recognise a Rolex or a Fine luxury watch and most law-abiding people will not care what watch you are wearing.
The watch community in the grand scheme of things is pretty small.
And it is a shame that such a small niche of people can be so heavily targeted by so few.
Just make sure your watch is insured, be streetwise and don’t give thieves a reason to target you!