The midtown New York City flagship store of luxury Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet was robbed in broad daylight March 2 by six men. Four of the six robbers have since been arrested, says the company.
The violent late-morning theft occurred shortly before noon. Two of the robbers, acting like regular customers, says a company spokesperson, entered the store first. After assaulting a security guard, the six robbers used a sledgehammer to destroy six display cases and then fled with 12 watches and a ring, valued at about $400,000.
At press time, none of the watches—including the most expensive, a women’s diamond Charleston worth $140,000—have been recovered. Company officials believe the watches eventually will turn up, because they’re easily traceable by their case and movement numbers. A list of model numbers of the stolen items is available at www.Timezone.com.
The brand’s U.S. flagship boutique was officially opened in June 2003. Dignitaries at the opening included actor (now California governor) Arnold Schwarzenegger; Georges-Henri Meylan, president of parent firm Audemars SA; François-Henry Bennahmias, president of Audemars Piguet North America; and Jasmine Audemars, chairperson of Audemars Piguet.
A highlight of that event was a live auction, conducted by Schwarzenegger—a long-time connoisseur of Audemars Piguet watches—and Richard Brierley of Christie’s auction house, of limited-edition items from the movie Terminator 3.