Luck and Bell & Ross - a Story from a Client ¶
This week one of our clients came to us with quite a story that we wanted to share with our readers. We often hear interesting stories of loss, gain, and personal history around watches – being in the timepiece industry, you soon realize that these are not mere tools or keepers of time, they are personal objects that have stories behind them.
This client, who we will call Mr. M, had recently brought a pair of Bell & Ross watches to us for evaluation for his insurance company. We took the watches in to write up the evaluations, and he came into the store about a week ago to pick up the finished paperwork and his watches.
He put the watches in black felt pouches and tucked them into an empty laptop bag. He stuffed the paperwork in his coat pocket. These details might not sound significant, but they had a big impact on the outcome of this story.
After leaving the store he went to a downtown metro station to head home. It was rush hour, and there was a Canadiens game on at the time so the subway (which is near the Bell Centre where the Canadiens play) was crowded and busy.
While moving through the crowd he suddenly got the wind knocked out of him. Two tall men had rushed him and tried to knock him over from behind. They grabbed his laptop bag and took off into the crowd before he had a chance to react. Not one hour after getting his insurance papers, he had both watches stolen from him.
He went to the police the same evening and filed a report for the two watches. Fearing he would never see them again (theft recovery of watches is quite rare) he was prepared to setup an insurance claim for the loss.
Once home he had an idea. The laptop bag had been empty aside from the watches, and he had stuffed them in black pouches into the inner pockets. Maybe the thieves had expected to find a computer, and ditched the bag when they found it empty. After all, the majority of thefts on the metro system are related to electronics – laptops, phones, and iPods are the usual targets and grab-n-run thieves. They wouldn’t have known there were watches in the bag, as he had kept the evaluation papers in his coat pocket.
He went back to the metro station that night and retraced his steps. Sure enough, he found the bag discarded near the sidewalk. He opened it to find both watches were still inside; the thieves had opened the main part of the bag, saw it was empty, and tossed it right away without searching the inner pockets.
Now he tells us he will never transport watches anywhere other than his wrists.
To say he was lucky is an understatement. The replacement value of the two watches was over 10 000$, and he recovered them without incident or damage. We were astonished to hear his story and relieved that he retrieved them; having been in the business for many years we know that recovery is rare in theft cases, and the sentimental attachment many owners have to their watches far outweighs the monetary value of the pieces. We salute Mr. M and hope he continues to wear his watches in good health. They are lucky timepieces indeed.