Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet has announced that it would replace stolen watches under a new programme that takes note of the rising numbers of crimes in cities across Europe and the US.
In doing so, it has become the first major watch brand to provide a form of security for its clients in case their Audemars Piguet timepiece is stolen.
According to Bloomberg, Audemars Piguet guarantees that it will repair, refund or replace stolen or damaged watches purchased in 2022 or 2023 for a period of two years from the date and year of purchase.
More about the programme
How can Audemars Piguet clients avail the guarantee?
Clients who have bought any Audemars Piguet wristwatches in 2022 or 2023 can register for the new scheme. If their watch is stolen, the onus is on the client to prove that they bought the watch and are its owner. There should also be a valid police report regarding the theft of the watch.
Bloomberg says that they will have to provide a photo of the watch and serial number. Any watch that has been resold is not covered under the plan.
Once Audemars Piguet is satisfied, it will either offer a refund or a replacement of the stolen watch. In a situation where the watch is not produced anymore, a similar model in the current collection will be offered.
The programme for those who bought an Audemars Piguet watch in 2022 will end in 2024. For those who bought a watch in 2023, it will end in 2025.
Audemars Piguet will initially carry out the programme as a trial without a third party insurer and might continue it depending on the number of clients who sign up for it.
High demand in secondary market and rising theft
The Bloomberg report says that the demand for Audemars Piguet watches, such as the timepieces from the Royal Oak collection, in the secondary market is very high and they often sell for far more than their retail price.
The report says that the luxury watchmakers are worried as watch thefts often turn violent.
Audemars Piguet Chief Executive Officer (CEO) François-Henry Bennahmias, who is set to step down later in 2023, too, noted the rise in watch theft to Bloomberg.
“We listen to our clients and we have to look also at what’s going on in the world right now. We have important cities in Europe and in the US that are not as safe anymore,” Bennahmias said.
“That’s a big, big move because no one has ever done that,” the CEO added, referring to the scheme.
(Main image: Audemars Piguet; Featured image: Audemars Piguet/@audemarspiguet/Instagram)