Four Arrested in Audemars Piguet Robbery

The flagship U.S. 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 at the midtown New York City store occurred shortly before noon. According to a company spokesman, two robbers pretending to be customers 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—had been recovered. Company officials believe the watches, which are traceable by their case and movement numbers, eventually will turn up. A list of model numbers of the stolen items is available at www.Timezone.com.

The store was officially opened in June 2003 by dignitaries including actor (and now California governor) Arnold Schwarzenegger; Georges-Henri Meylan, president of parent firm Audemars Piguet SA; François-Henry Bennahmias, president of Audemars Piguet North America; and Jasmine Audemars, chairwoman of Audemars Piguet. A highlight of that event was an auction conducted by Schwarzenegger—a long-time connoisseur of Audemars Piguet watches—and Richard Brierley of Christie’s auction house. Auctioned were limited-edition items from Schwarzenegger’s movie Terminator 3 .