How Orlando Bloom recovered his rare watches stolen by the ‘Bling Ring’D.C. Hannay
Actor Orlando Bloom has long been known for his on-screen feats of derring-do in film, as star of the Pirates Of The Caribbean and Lord Of The Rings franchises, and it turns out he’s had some swashbuckling adventures IRL, too. Bloom revealed this week on The Late Late Show with James Corden that when the opportunity arose to recover some of his stolen watch collection taken by the “Bling Ring”, he seized the moment.
Way back in 2009, Bloom’s L.A. home was burgled by the infamous “Bling Ring”, a group of Hollywood teens that tracked celebrities’ movements online and targeted their homes in a series of brazen thefts.
The story was even made into a Sofia Coppola movie in 2013, and it was partially the theft of Bloom’s rare collection that kicked the investigation into overdrive. The culprits were ultimately caught, undone by their own hubris, but the story didn’t end there.
Ten watches were stolen from Orlando’s prized collection, including pieces from IWC, a Bremont, and a green-bezelled Rolex ‘Kermit’ Submariner, but that’s not the half of it. There were also some truly rare Rolex references among the missing, including a GMT-Master “Pepsi” ref. 1675, an Explorer ref. 1016, an Explorer II ref. 1655, a Submariner ref. 6538 “James Bond”, and the uber-rare first edition of the Milgauss (ref. 6543). The total value of the watches stolen was more that US$300,000 at the time, and has only skyrocketed since.
So how did Bloom track down his stolen booty? When Orlando happened to hear from a dealer that had actually sold him some of his collection, he went into full investigation mode. The dealer tipped him off that some of his watches might be surfacing on the underground market, which eventually led Bloom to a pawn shop. It was from there that he took matters into his own hands, consulted with a private investigator, and took action as you’ll see in the video above.
Turns out that Bloom learned a few tricks from Captain Jack Sparrow after all.