The fight against crime: Audemars Piguet offers new guarantee for stolen watches The fight against crime: Audemars Piguet offers new guarantee for stolen watches

The fight against crime: Audemars Piguet offers new guarantee for stolen watches

Luke Benedictus

Boxer Amir Khan lost his bejewelled Franck Mueller. Formula One driver Lando Norris was forcibly relieved of his £400,000 Richard Mille. They were just two of the unfortunate victims of watch theft, the crime trend that has spiralled into an international epidemic. As crooks have become increasingly knowledgeable about the value of luxury watches, a growing number of robberies are now taking place. The sheer quantity of these crimes has reached such a level that some people are now thinking twice about wearing their expensive watches in certain public situations. Some may even be questioning the wisdom of buying such pieces altogether, given the purchases invite the possibility of them becoming criminal targets. But now one watch brand has hit back with a move that will hopefully reassure their high-end clientele. Audemars Piguet has announced that they will now replace clients’ stolen watches as part of a new service created in response to the watch-related crimewave.

Audemars Piguet stolen watch guarantee

Bloomberg reports that Audemars Piguet boss François-Henry Bennahmias has vowed to replace, refund or repair any stolen or damaged watch bought in 2022 or 2023 for two years. “We listen to our clients and we have to look also at what’s going on in the world right now. We have important cities in Europe and in the US that are not as safe anymore,” Bennahmias told the news service. “That’s a big, big move because no one has ever done that.”

Audemars Piguet stolen watch guarantee

The initiative is indeed the first time a luxury watch brand has ever offered such a warranty and guarantee service to replace or refund the cost of a stolen watch. Any AP customer who bought a watch in 2022 or this year will be eligible for the program. To qualify, they’ll simply have to prove that they bought and still own the watch, and produce a photo of the watch and its serial number. Resold watches are not eligible under the scheme.

Should the watch of one of these registered customers be stolen and if the theft is corroborated by a police report, the clients will be offered the choice of a refund or a replacement. If the watch is no longer being produced, AP will offer a similar model from the new collection. The service will run until the end of 2024 for anyone who bought a watch in 2022. Watches bought in 2023 will be eligible for two years from the date of purchase.

Audemars Piguet stolen watch guarantee

Bennahmias expects about 75% of eligible customers to sign up for the program. Along the way, he is realistic about the possibility of the odd attempted con. Perhaps “we get two or three or five, which are absolute frauds. That’s a part of doing it,” Bennahmias said. “You cannot develop and offer these types of things thinking that everybody’s gonna abuse the system.”

The Audemars Piguet CEO said the theft service program, which won’t have a third party insurer at first, will run as a trial. Whether it’s rolled out on an ongoing basis will depend on the uptake of clients.  “This is nothing for them but a safety net and who wouldn’t want a safety net in today’s world,” Bennahmias said.