Paris thief swipes €770,000 watch from man’s wrist

The thief made off with a Richard Mille Tourbillon Diamond Twister. (Image: Screenrgrab from the Richard Mille website)

A Japanese man who stepped out of his Paris hotel for a cigarette was robbed of his €770,000 Swiss watch by a thief who snatched it off his wrist, police sources said yesterday.

The 30-year-old victim was approached outside the five-star Hotel Napoleon near the Arc de Triomphe late Monday by a man who asked for a cigarette.

Mille timepieces, with their bulky cases that reveal the intricate inner mechanisms, are highly prized by aficionados – and instantly recognisable to thieves targeting wealthy tourists in the French capital.

The Parisien newspaper published a map Tuesday pinpointing some two dozen high-value watch nabbings in the “Golden Triangle” and other glitzy areas near the Champs-Elysees avenue so far this year.

It noted at least four other Richard Mille watch robberies, all valued at at least 100,000 euros, among the 71 such robberies in Paris and nearby suburbs between January and September.

But the Japanese victim may be luckier than most – police sources say the assailant dropped a cellphone as he fled, which has been handed over to the police division which investigates serious robberies and organised crime.

Source: AFP/ga