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A rare vintage Patek Phillipe watch was recovered this week by Art Recovery International following a theft that the victim described as “pure Magic”.

In 2016, the theft victim was outside his hotel in Amsterdam when he was approached by two men.  One shook his hand with odd familiarity while the other placed his hand on the victim’s shoulder.  After backing away, the victim thought nothing of the encounter and suspected he was only a victim of mistaken identity.  Later, when getting dressed for dinner, he realised that his Patek Philippe watch was missing.

Incredulous, the victim searched his hotel room and retraced his steps over the previous few days.  Surely he would have known if the two men he met earlier had somehow taken his watch, after all, it was tightly strapped to his wrist.  At the end of his search, the victim finally asked the hotel to review the cctv camera pointed outside the hotel.  To his amazement, he witnessed the two thieves “magically” removing the watch from his wrist without him feeling a thing.  The theft was reported to the Amsterdam police and to  the Patek Philippe centre in Geneva.

Nearly one year later, Patek Philippe notified the victim that his watch had been submitted for repair from a dealer in Germany who bought the vintage timepiece with little or no documentation.  Seized by German police and in liaison with Dutch authorities and Chris Marinello acting on behalf of the Insurer, the watch was recovered.

Marinello offered the Patek back to the theft victim who declined to reimburse his insurer.  “That watch brought me nothing but bad luck” he said. “I’ve bought another Patek but this time with a metal, locking clasp. Thieves would have to remove my arm to get this one off”.  The watch has now been sold on behalf of Underwriters.