The Watch Register

Avoid buying stolen goods ▪ Minimise financial loss ▪ Protect your reputation

Recover your lost and stolen watches

The database

The Watch Register is the largest international database of lost and stolen watches available for due diligence searching and recovery services.

The Watch Register is the central database used by police forces, insurance companies, private individuals and the trade worldwide to record losses.

It also offers a search service to pawnbrokers, dealers, auction houses and collectors, which allows them to check the status of a watch prior to transaction.The Watch Register currently checks over 100,000 watches on the pre-owned watch market in this way each year.

The database currently lists over 70,000 watches and is growing rapidly. 10,000 lost and stolen watches were registered in the last year alone.It includes all the major brands, as well as vintage and pocket watches. Rolex watches constitute one third of the database.

The Watch Register is part of the Art Loss Register, which is the world’s largest private database of stolen art and collectibles. Founded in 1990, the company has been gathering data on stolen watches and providing a due diligence service to the trade for over 25 years.

Database Searching: Check Before You Buy or Sell

Benefits of searching

  • Check before purchase if a watch is reported lost, stolen or fraudulent.
  • Protect your reputation and avoid selling a stolen watch.
  • Minimise the risk of financial loss and having to reimburse a customer.
  • Demonstrate due diligence and good practice, and avoid handling stolen goods.
  • Obtain a Watch Register search certificate as evidence of your goodfaith.

Searching options

To submit a search, provide the brand, model and serial number of watch using the online search form.

All searches are processed within 5 minutes during office hours (Monday to Saturday, 10am – 7pm NL time).

You will receive a Watch Register Certificate by email if the watch is clear from the database. Certificates can be provided to your customers or kept as a record of your due diligence.

The Watch Register offers one-off searches and subscription bundles of 20, 50, 500, 1000 or 1500 search credits (price list below). All credits are valid for one year.   

  EUR EUR / search
One-off search 13 13
20 searches web 85 4.25
50 searches web 150 3.00
500 searches web 1350 2.70
1000 searches web 2400 2.40
1500 searches web 3150 2.10

Registration of lost and stolen watches

Register your lost or stolen watches on the Watch Register database to maximise your chances of recovery. Watches must be registered with a serial number in order for them to be uniquely identifiable, as well as a crime reference number or insurance details as proof of loss. Once registered, the Watch Register will search for your watch on the international market until recovery and inform you immediately when it is located. The cost of registration is€13 per watch. Report your loss using the online loss registration form.

Recommendations for dealers

  1. It is advisable to check all luxury pre-owned watches against the Watch Register database as a standard practice.
  2. Watches should be searched against the database before a potential transaction.
  3. The contact details of your seller should be taken beforesearching a watch against the database (name, telephone number, email address) and request a copy of their ID.
  4. If the seller is unwilling to provide this information, then this is a warning sign that it is not good business.
  5. Verify the authenticity of the watch and all its parts.
  6. Payment should be made by bank transfer, not in cash or by cheque. Request an invoice or purchase receipt that specifies the details of the watch and its serial number.
  7. The result of your search is the status of the watch at the time that the search is submitted. The status of any watch may change in future and it is therefore advisable to search the watch against the databaseat the point of every sale.
  8. If a watch you search is a match for one registered on the database then you will be expected to co-operate fully with the Watch Register and,if required, the Police. You will be provided with the details of loss including the crime reference number or insurer’s reference. The watch should be held securely by the person who is in possession of it at the time, and the contact details of your seller will need to be provided so that the matter can be resolved.

For more information on any of these services please contact +44 207 841 5788 or