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Everything for a Rolex: there are few, blue sales are growing and a neighborhood is the biggest target for robberies


The assault on a 93-year-old man this week is just the tip of the iceberg for this type of robbery. The small official market enhances the modality. How is the circuit?

What is seen is the fact: Ezequiel Llauro, 93 years old, walks through Recoleta.

It is 6:00 p.m. last Wednesday and when he approaches the corner of Guido and Rodríguez Peña he is surprised by a man who demands his

Rolex watch

at the point of a firearm.

Llauro, who walks helped by his cane, resists the robbery and falls to the ground, now on the street.

The thief shoots him in the left arm and

takes the piece


He gets on the motorcycle and escapes. 

What is not seen is

behind the scenes

of the robbery: the moment in which the victim is selected by "the marker".

The high-end watch-stealing


usually starts with a person who specializes in spotting watches on other people's wrists.

"They go unnoticed; they can be in a cafe, or in a tourist site, and their appearance is like that of the people around them," describes a City Police investigator. 

Then, it calls the so-called


, which is in charge of stealing it and moves in the same radius, waiting for the call.

The common thing is that the "pilot"

accompanies him

, on a motorcycle.

But this time the thief was "cutter" and "pilot" at the same time.         

What is not seen either, and which would help to understand

why so many Rolexes are stolen

, in Argentina and in the world, is the market present.

"Historically, Rolexes

were highly sought after

. It is the watch par excellence, an emblem of expensive pieces. Any person on the planet of whatever social level knows what a Rolex is," warns a person close to the world of fine watchmaking in Argentina.

And he clarifies: "Now it is added that

there is much more demand

than supply. To the point that Rolex created an official second-hand watch department. Certified and guaranteed." 

For years, people have been talking about

"exclusive Rolex lists"

: select customers who


buy watches in official stores.

The rest must wait, even if you have the money to get it.

You will be placed on another waiting list and your turn may take several years.

In Argentina there are

10 official distributors

of the brand (one in Rosario, one in Mendoza, one in the suburbs and the rest in CABA).

Like the rest of the stores in the world, they work "as an exhibition".

Or to write down those interested in the waiting lists.

Rodriguez Peña and Guido, the corner of Recoleta where the assault took place.

But according to the Police, San Nicolás is the neighborhood with the most assaults of this type.

Select customers


it is said, are allowed to buy

one watch per month


A basic Daytona (one of the most sought-after models), for example, is around



That same piece, in the second-hand market, the select client offers it

at double or triple


That the demand is greater than the supply (the brand claims that it produces close to

a million pieces a year

) makes the illegal, stolen market grow.

And make it international.

In Miami, for example, there are second-hand watch fairs, which are offered without papers.

There are users who buy Rolex (new or used, with or without papers) as an investment.

And collectors willing to pay anything to get the watch they want.   

"What we interpret is that there are undoubtedly people dedicated to

reducing stolen watches

and taking them out of the country," says the researcher consulted.

According to official data, so far this year,

63 high-end watches

have been stolen in the City of Buenos Aires.


are Rolex.

It is followed by Cartier, Omega and Audemars Piguet.

Between September and December, another 45 cases were reported.

Two things must be clarified: that most victims

do not usually report

this type of theft, and that summer is the "high season" for watch thieves, since those who wear it wear short sleeves.

Some bands of Argentines arrive in Spain in June, to do the same, in the European "high season".  


% of robberies


in Commune 1


"More than anything in the

San Nicolás

neighborhood ; they follow the victims who leave the 4 or 5 star hotels. There is good cooperation between hoteliers to detect markers," details the source of the City Police.

It is followed by Commune 14 (Palermo) with 11%.

And in the third position is Comuna 2 (Recoleta).

Always according to official data, 80% of the victims are


(35 of that total are North Americans and another 35 Europeans) and 73% are over 60 years of age.

A curious fact is that most of the detainees come from Moreno's party.

"We are detecting Venezuelan and Colombian thieves," adds the researcher.    

As far as


was able to find out , the stolen Rolex route has its first stop at the offices of the so-called "reducers", who are usually jewelers or former jewelers.

They are the ones who have contact with the thieves (they are paid

between 20 and 30% of the official price

of each watch).

Then they will resell it.

To some select clients from Argentina or to colleagues from Europe or the United States, who will sell the same watch again.

There are all kinds of watch routes: pieces that were stolen in Spain and found in China.

Or that they were stolen in Chile and sent to the Middle East. 

"We need

collaboration from Rolex

to combat the modality," adds the researcher.

Although he clarifies: "Those who buy outside the circuit of official distributors are not necessarily certain that they are buying a watch stained with blood. They can calmly believe that they are buying a watch that was sold by a person who was in financial distress, or that He received it by inheritance and preferred to sell it. Because that happens. It is common for watches with these characteristics to be sold."

There is

only one way

to check if a Rolex is stolen.

And it is taking it to its official services.

There you can consult.

"They have a

serial number

. The Police should have access to these lists of stolen watches. Users too. It is the best way to cut the circuit: knowing that what they offer us is stolen," concludes the researcher.

In addition to the second-hand and illegal markets, in recent years the market for great imitations has grown a lot.

Differentiating them, in many cases, became a challenge for specialists.

They are usually made in China.

And their manufacturers send them to any country in the world.

In fact, the Rolex stolen in Recoleta, according to the family of Ezequiel Llauro, who recovered at the Fernández hospital and is out of danger, was an imitation.

The "marker" of the band failed.     


look too

He wanted to enter Uruguay with 5 million Argentine pesos hidden in the trunk of the car and was detained

Quilmes: he killed a thief who was trying to steal his son's bicycle

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-03-18

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