How can I recover my stolen Rolex? Take These Steps Before It Happens!
5 min readMay 17, 2018


Preparation and prevention is key to safeguarding your Rolex watch!

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The prestige of a Rolex attracts a lot of attention. Sometimes the wrong kind of attention. Criminals think they hit the jackpot when they discover a Rolex in the home they are burglarizing.

Luckily, Rolex keeps a record of every watch produced. There are also steps that you can take today to ensure the safety of your new Rolex Watch.

The first thing any new Rolex owner should do is register their new or second-hand Rolex in the global database.

The registration automatically sets off an alert if any person anywhere in the world tries to register or search for your watch on their website. The simple two-step process for registration involves setting up a free account using your email address. Next, you enter your Rolex’s serial number that is then stored safely in the Rolex Tracker database.

By creating an account on Rolex Tracker, you will always have the serial number stored. explains, “After buying a Rolex people often lose the box or papers. If they have to make a police report and they do not have the serial number it makes the police work impossible.” The simple five-minute process of registering your watch will make it much easier for the police in the event your watch is ever stolen.

If you have already lost your box and paperwork that came with your Rolex you can still find the watch’s serial number. On all Rolex watches, the serial number can be found between the lugs on the side of the case at the 6 o’clock side of the bracelet. The numbers are engraved here by Rolex when the watch is produced. You may need the help of a jeweler to remove and replace the bracelet so you can access the serial number.

It may seem like a long shot retrieving your watch after it has been stolen. Your chances of recovering your stolen watch are much higher if you have registered the serial number at and listed the serial number in the police report. Criminals often continue to break the law and most are eventually caught. If they still have the watch in their possession when arrested the police will enter the serial number into the system and trace it back to the rightful owner.

It is also important to report the watch stolen to the manufacturer using the police report. The watch will likely be sold multiple times after it has been stolen. There is a chance that someone buys the watch thinking it is ‘clean’ and tries to register it themselves. Once they try to register it, alerts will be set off and the authorities will have all the contact information they need to find the person in possession of your stolen watch.

How at risk are you of having your Rolex stolen?

On the FBI’s website, it is estimated that the jewelry and watch industry loses more than $100 million annually in retail thefts. In 1992 the FBI created a program (FBI’s Jewelry & Gem Theft program) to help combat such crimes.

This program works closely with the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, a nonprofit that maintains a registry of stolen watches and jewelry. Websites like also keep records of stolen watches and has details about more than 60,000 lost and stolen watches, involving over 850 brands — one-third of them being Rolexes.

Advances in technology also gave rise to places that can now change the serial number on some watches. Also, thieves can still wear a stolen watch without ever looking up the watch’s serial number. While the chances are slim to recover your watch, there are stories of people getting reunited years later. Taking steps before anything happens is your best chance of recovering your watch if it is ever stolen.

What to do if your Rolex has just been stolen

The sooner you take action the better chance you have to recover your stolen watch. If your Rolex has been stolen, you need to:

  • File a police report and include the serial number of the watch as well as any other unique engravings
  • Submit a copy of the police report to the Rolex database.
  • You may also consider posting an ad on Craigslist letting the thieves know you are willing to ‘buy’ back the watch without pressing charges or for some fixed amount.
  • Calling around to pawn shops in the surrounding areas may also help your chances of recovering your stolen Rolex.
  • If your watch was insured, call the insurance company while the police are doing their report — the sooner you get it documented and the more info you provide the better the chances of getting reimbursement on your watch.

Dealing with recovering a stolen Rolex isn’t a topic luxury watch owners want to think about. Sentimental value cannot be replaced or insured but taking initial precautions with a new watch will help in the event your watch is stolen.

Steps you can take today to protect your Rolex

As we mentioned above, the best first step is to register your watch with the manufacturer’s database. This will dramatically improve your chances and make life easier for the police as they try to recover your watch. For insurance purposes, it is recommended to update a photo journal of your personal property within your home every couple years. Be sure to include the make/model of the safe you use to store your watch in. Take photos of the watch in the safe and store these on a secure external drive — not in the same safe.

We hope that after reading this article you take the preemptive precautions mentioned above to protect your watch. Take action today to store the serial number.



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