Murdered for A Rolex – A Cautionary Tale


Danny Pearce and Rolex

Mother’s heartache after son murdered for Rolex the headline at reads. “Two masked men had demanded the father-of-one’s designer watch, and when he refused to hand it over he was chased before they took turns stabbing him. Ms Holland pulled the Rolex from her injured partner’s wrist and threw it to the muggers in a desperate bid to stop the July 2017 attack.” If this was my old blog . . .

Danny Pearce’s murder would leave Rolex wearers forewarned and forearmed. Literally. Well, not in the U.K., where there is no right to armed self-defense. And large swathes of America, for that matter. But we’re not here to debate guns.

We’re here to contemplate horology in all its forms – getting murdered for your Rolex being a worst case scenario. But there’s no getting around the terrible truth: vicious thugs target Rolex owners. They’re criminal catnip – easily identified, easily fenced and worth a lot of money.

Mr. Pearce is hardly the only person murdered for a Rolex. There’s fellow Brit Paul Tong, Dutchman Bas van Wijk, Singaporian Sally Poh Bee Eng and American Robert J. Rose.

This sad roll call isn’t complete and doesn’t include thousands of Rolex owners mugged for their timepiece, most traumatised by the experience and many injured in the process.


Nor are Rolex-related assaults restricted to “bad neighborhoods” or “third world” countries. The above map displaying seven examples of the highest of high end watch muggings centers on the chi-chi shopping area surrounding Paris’ Arc de Triomph.

Richar Mille RM069 Erotic Turbillion

You’ll notice that Mssr. Mille’s montres are also coveted by the criminal class (for the same reasons as Rolex). In London, a mugger recently followed and attacked a customer leaving London’s Selfridges department store wearing an RM 69 – the most offensive watch ever made. But not as offensive as a public mugging in broad daylight. 

The danger isn’t merely a matter of smash-and-grab. Before Robert J. Rose was murdered for a Rolex, his killers targeted him generally – because he wore a Rolex. So even if you return from an outing wearing a Rolex, Richard Mille or other expensive watch without incident, you may have inadvertently set bad, bad things in motion. 

Murdered for a Rolex - I don't think so

The obvious “answer” to a potentially life-threatening Rolex robbery: don’t buy a Rolex. Or a Richard Mille. Or any obviously expensive watch. Failing that, don’t wear your wrist-borne thug magnet in public. Failing that, when you do step out wearing a pricey piece, increase your situational awareness.

What do you do if the worst occurs? As Scar advised, be prepared! If surrendering your Rolex saves your bacon, don’t be any rasher than that. If fighting back is the thing to do, you don’t need me to tell you how to get ready for that eventuality (cough Krav Maga cough).

The first step to safely wearing a Rolex – or other showy watch-  is to get out of denial. Mission accomplished? God I hope so.


  1. I wish it would report what type of model was stolen so that we would have a better understanding if it’s basic steel models, or the gold versions. This matters a lot, much like telling us the underlying conditions of those who die from COVID (hint, it’s not healthy people which does not include people significantly overweight).

  2. First of all, these “first world countries” are no longer so much first world anything. What’s the average savings rate in the UK now? Retirement funds? How about in France? How many Muslim immigrants do they support with their tax payments? A city like Bangkok is more safe and “first world” in terms of hospitals, education, and even entertainment than large swathes of the west.
    Second, that dude would have gotten murdered for having that face. Heh.
    Third, the UK is an epic shithole.
    And fourth, wearing a white gold Rolex “Smurf” much of the time while traveling, from Cambodia to Myanmar, late nights in Thai strip clubs, all over Vietnam, never ever ever had a problem. All this fear mongering, come ON. People get mugged for any number of reasons. These posts are annoying AF.

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