The Watch Register, a global crime prevention database, has revealed that it has currently 80,000 watches registered as stolen or missing, whose total value amounts to over £1 billion. 

The number of luxury watches registered on The Watch Register, which holds the world’s largest and most established international database of lost and stolen watches, has been increasing year on year.  Last year (2022), The Watch Register saw 6,815 watches newly recorded as being missing or stolen, representing a 60% increase in the number of missing or stolen watches added to its global database during 2021.

The Watch Register estimates that the total value of missing or stolen watches that it has currently on its global database amounts to over £1 billion.  This value includes a number of high-value luxury watches that individually retail between £50,000 to £100,000 or more.  Around 90% of the database’s high-status timepieces are men’s models, whose higher retail value make them an attractive target for thieves. From the models of watches that are commonly targeted in street robberies and smash-and-grabs, it is clear that thieves are increasingly sophisticated and knowledgeable about the watches that will re-sell for the highest values.

In terms of the most popular brand of high-end watches registered on The Watch Register’s database, Rolex accounts for 44% of all stolen or lost watches.  This is followed by Omega (7%), Breitling (6%) and Tag Heuer (5%).

Table of top 6 luxury watch brands listed as stolen / missing on The Watch Register database

Brand Percentage of overall watches listed missing / stolen
Rolex 44%
Omega 7%
Breitling 6%
Tag Heuer 5%
Cartier 4%
Patek Philippe 3%


The trade in stolen luxury watches spans across continents and The Watch Register’s database has stolen and missing timepieces registered by owners located across the world, with thefts of watches recorded in over 90 different countries. The ability to record stolen watches on a database to enable a recovery is dependent on keeping a record of the serial number. In some countries, such as the USA, serial numbers are less commonly recorded by insurers and police than in the UK, which limits recovery potential.

Table of top 6 countries listed as “country of theft” on The Watch Register database

Country Percentage of overall watches listed missing / stolen by country
England 47%
Germany 9%
USA 9%
Switzerland 8%
Hong Kong 5%
Sweden 4%


Katya Hills, Managing Director at The Watch Register said: “Recent records show a concerning surge in the registration of luxury watches that have been stolen or lost.  The considerable value and prestige of these high-end timepieces continues to attract the attention of sophisticated and international criminal networks, making them a prime target for theft.