One of the biggest robberies in recent years took place in the German capital a few weeks ago, stealing luxury watches worth over 10 million dollars. It has been reported that burglars have managed to break into the vault owned by Vallog GmbH at Fasanenstrasse in Berlin, according to the German publication T-online.
For the past few years, Watchmaster, one of Europe's largest second-hand watch retailers, has used this facility to store its models. Approximately 2,200 watches were stored in the vault at the time of the break-in, and the thieves were able to steal around 1,000 watches, including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, Audemars Piguet and Breitling, worth approximately $14.5 million.
Tim-Hendrik Mayer, executive director of the Watchmaster company, explained in an interview with T-online that the vault targeted by burglars has a steel door 1.75 meters thick, an alarm system, and several codes, which make it very difficult to break into.
Over 1,200 high-security safes formerly used by private banks are available for rental by the facility. Since the company has refused to disclose any information regarding the extent of the damage caused by the robbers, claiming that it does not wish to jeopardize the investigation, the extent of the damage has not yet been revealed.
According to Watchmaster, however, watches were probably not the primary target of thieves. The Watchmaster company allegedly owned just a small portion of the 1,000 watches stolen in the robbery, the rest belonged to people who sold their watches through the company.
After the National Criminal Police Service cleared Watchmaster of the theft of the watches, the company notified more than 900 aggrieved customers on Wednesday. Police are investigating the burglary and reviewing security footage to identify the perpetrators.
The Watchmaster company, based in Berlin, is one of Europe's most prominent players in the certified and pre-owned luxury watch market. Over 28,000 customers have been served by the company since its inception, according to its official website.
A commission is typically charged by the company to buyers who sell their luxury watches through the online platform, usually between 15 and 20 percent. In addition to Berlin, Watchmaster also has boutiques in London and Paris.