A lot of luxury watches are sold without papers or boxes. This does not mean that these watches are stolen. It is not uncommon that people lose the papers or box of their watch. How do you know a watch is stolen?
How do you know a watch is stolen?
Ask the seller the serial number of the watch before you buy. You can check the serial number with the manufacturer and in online databases. If the watch does not show up, it is most likely not reported stolen.
The best online registers are:
Not all stolen or lost watches are reported stolen, but apart from checking these there is nothing more you can do as a buyer. A lot of watches are sold without the box or papers.
If the watch would turn up in one of these registers, it does not mean the owner who reported it as stolen can automatically reclaim his watch. There are specific laws that need to be applied, especially if the watch was already bought and sold before in good faith.
Nonetheless, if you ever have a feeling that something is fishy, just pass on the watch and look for something else. If you don’t buy from a trusted retailer you are putting yourself and your investment at risk. Due diligence is important. You need to find out who you’re buying from and discuss what would happen in the event that the watch turns out to be stolen. Are they checking with watch manufacturers if they were ever reported stolen? It’s better to avoid than to take an unnecessary risk.
No mama, no papa
What is a watch with no mama, no papa? These are watches without the original box or papers.
A lot of luxury watches are sold without papers or boxes. In the past, people did not have the same notice of the importance of the papers and box. This does not mean that the watches which are sold without, are stolen. It is not uncommon that people to lose or even throw away the papers or box of their watch. Also, in the past people bought a Rolex to wear it, and did not see the value as an asset or investment.