In response to the increasing crime rates in major cities across Europe and the United States, the Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet has announced a new program to replace stolen watches – AP Service Guarantee.
This makes Audemars Piguet the first major watch manufacturer to offer theft protection for its customers. Bloomberg reports that for two years after the date of purchase in 2022 or 2023, Audemars Piguet will fix, refund, or replace any stolen or damaged watches.
How do Audemars Piguet customers redeem the guarantee?
Customers who purchased a wristwatch from Audemars Piguet in 2022 or 2023 are eligible to join the new program. The customer is responsible for providing evidence of purchase and ownership in the event of a watch theft. The theft of the watch should also be documented by a legitimate police report.
According to Bloomberg, they will need to submit an image of the timepiece along with its unique serial number. Resold watches are not eligible for coverage under the plan.
After Audemars Piguet has been appeased, it will either issue a refund or replace the stolen timepiece. If the watch is no longer manufactured, a similar model from the current lineup will be made available.
Customers who purchased an Audemars Piguet timepiece in 2022 will be able to participate in the program until 2024. Watches purchased in 2023 will stop working at the end of 2025.
Without a third-party insurer, Audemars Piguet will run the program as a trial and may keep it going if enough customers sign up for it.
Steep increases in both theft and the secondary market demand
According to a Bloomberg report, luxury wristwatches from Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak line fetch prices significantly higher than their original list prices on the secondary market.
The report also stated that high-end watchmakers are on edge because many thefts of expensive timepieces end in violence.
François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet, who is also leaving his position later in 2023, told Bloomberg that watch thefts have been on the rise. With this move, watch collectors and the industry will find a sense of security amidst rising crimes.