Would you dare to wear a Rolex?

‘London has become a jungle, right? Anyone with anything nice risks having it taken.’ Bobby, the manager of one of Hatton Garden’s watch shops, does business in a windowless room as far from the street as possible, watched over by a thickset guard and a couple security cameras. ‘I’m a paranoid person,’ he says, and he’s right to be. While the level of general theft in London is going down, more and more luxury watches are stolen every year – tens of millions of pounds’ worth. There’s no sophistication to stealing a watch. Gangs smash into shops with machetes or rip them from wearers’ wrists. Last week, Oliver White, a

The curious business of luxury watches

Ian Fleming once said that a gentleman’s choice of timepiece said as much about him as his Savile Row suit. The latter part of that evaluation seems anachronistic now – after all, who apart from Jacob Rees-Mogg wears Savile Row suits with any regularity these days? But the idea of the watch as indicator of taste, status, wealth and much else besides is, arguably, still valid – and perhaps increasingly so. Luxury watch sales are on the up and predicted to rise further – remarkable given the cost-of-living crisis, their inessential nature and an alarming rise in theft. Watches of Switzerland, who recently opened a multi-brand Canary Wharf showroom, saw

In praise of the Casio watch

Of all the accessories one might expect a celebrity with millions in the bank and army of stylists at their disposal to choose, a bargain watch is not the most obvious. Yet Casio timepieces – some of which sell for little as £10, and most of which cost under £50 – appear to have become something of a status symbol among a certain strata of the well-off and well-connected. Take former Manchester United footballer Gerard Piqué (estimated net worth £66 million), who split up with pop star Shakira last year. Recently the Colombian singer, 45, released a ‘revenge’ single with lyrics ridiculing the retired Spanish player, her partner of 11 years,