Mugger sentenced to 9 years in prison for stealing £692K RM 69 Erotic WatchZach Blass
Editor’s note: I remember it like it was yesterday. I was standing next to a stripper pole with a lovely girl named Agnes, who toured me through all the functions of the brand new RM 69 random-phrase-generating watch by Richard Mille. We then tried it out, so to speak. Lots of fun. But is it fun enough to risk nine years jail for, if you don’t happen to have the funds to buy one of the only 30 models in existence? That’s a question one mugger has plenty of time to ponder now. Zach has more … – Andrew
While we are currently exploring ’11 Days of Londoners’, which celebrates some of the brilliant people who live in the UK capital, let it be acknowledged there is a dark side to the town. Last week another Londoner was targeted for their rare luxury timepiece. It is clear criminals of the UK are tuned into the watch marketplace, and are watch-spotting potential victims for their rare and expensive watches. Gang member Mehdi Didda and his associates had taken to camping outside of high-end stores and boutiques, stalking their prey over multiple days for the right time to pounce. Ngoc Cao was one such target, as Didda and his partners in crime observed he had a coveted Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon watch on his wrist.
The RM 69 was a limited edition watch of 30 pieces released back in 2015. While you would think the tourbillon was the star complication of the offering, it’s the “oracle” complication that has drawn the interest of enthusiasts and buyers. With a button at the 10 position of the case, three titanium rollers within the titanium baseplate of the movement flip to create randomised messages with a sexual nature.
The button found at the 8 position will even deactivate and retract the hands of the watch in order for the wearer to have a clear view of the erotic message beneath the crystal. It caught the eyes of collectors and celebrities worldwide for its cheeky nature as an erotic timepiece – with even a reference number of 69 to drive home the innuendo. One buyer has certainly amplified the reach of the notoriety and existence of the watch, with Drake promoting his purchase on his Instagram to flex to his millions of followers.
According to LAD Bible, “Didda was convicted of conspiracy to rob, handling stolen goods and possessing criminal property, while his accomplice Mohamed Safri, 36, was convicted of conspiracy to rob, but cleared of conspiracy to handle stolen goods.” After caught in possession with the stolen watch, Mehdi Didda received a jail sentence of nine years. Partner in crime Mohamed Safri was handed a sentence of eight years in prison, due to his role in conspiring to take the watch but having no hands-on involvement in the mugging in central London.
As enthusiasts and collectors, we frequently jest how we would give up kidneys or other organs to acquire rare and expensive watches to call our own. But they are jabs – commentary on the unavailability of the model, whether out of reach financially or a product hard to find available at a local authorised dealer.
While we joke, it is evident that there are those who truly will go to unsavoury lengths to steal sought-after timepieces and turn a quick profit. Watches are no longer just discovered in catalogues and books in scarce supply, they now receive attention all over the internet – with readers more informed than ever on the industry and marketplace. While we would never suggest one avoid luxury timepieces they have their hearts set on, we would remind all who obtain prized creations from esteemed manufactures to be extra cognisant of their surroundings, and to be aware of the risks posed by an increasingly luxury watch aware world.