Richard Mille shooting! No, Mr. Mille wasn’t shot. Nor was the diner wearing a Richard Mille RM 11-03 Flyback Chronograph at Beverly Hills’ Il Pastaio eaterie. But his companion was, by one of three attackers who got away with the $500k watch. Time & Tide retells the tale, based on the victim’s interview with the LA Times . . .
“One of them ran and pulled a gun from his jacket pocket, grabbed me from the back of my chair, choking me and putting a gun to my head,” [Shay] Belhassen said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “His two friends — one of them is yanking my hand and the other is yanking at my watch.”
Belhassen managed to grab the gun with both hands and proceeded to try and wrestle one of the men to the ground. In the ensuing struggle, four shots were fired – one of which hit the leg of the woman he was dining with.
As the founder of The Truth About Guns, I’ve got a couple of tips worth sharing about the Richard Mille shooting. First, nothing you own is worth your life. Second, if a robber’s got a gun to your head, give them what they want.
Unless you’re trained in Krav Maga and the gun’s pointed at the front of your head within reach, that’s no time to counter-attack. Mr. Belhassen is extremely lucky he didn’t get a bullet in his brain, that his unidentified dining companion “only” received a grazing wound to her leg, and no one else was shot.
We’ve learned that Mr. Belhassen is a jeweler at LA’s D.B.S DIAMONDS Jewelry & Watches Store (“Don’t aim for the sky, shoot for the stars”). Added to the fact that there were three bad guys, we can safely conclude that the Richard Mille shooting was no random attack. Cold comfort for Mille owners, but there it is.
Why didn’t the bad guys steal Mr. Belhassen’s diamonds? They’re much easier to fence. So either the Richard Mille RM 11-03 Flyback Chronograph was stolen to order or LA is home to three very stupid watch thieves. Mr. Mille’s ham sandwich-thick timekeeper is easier to spot – and harder to ignore – than a Pointillism painting.
Then again, what isn’t? Anyway, the publicity surrounding the robbery and Mr. Belhassen’s $50k reward for his watch’s safe return makes off-loading his magnificent Mille a dicey proposition.
It is truly a shame that collectors who buy high end watches have to fear wearing them – in broad daylight in a populated area no less. While some may question whether or not it is a good idea to wear such items publicly, victim blaming is not the answer here.
It’s no surprise that Time & Tide cautions readers not to blame Mr. Belhassen for the attack. This sort of publicity can depress the market for the kind of watches that T&T lives to pimp. Truth be told, it isn’t a good idea to wear a Mille or Rolex in public – and not because they’re ugly or gaudy (respectively). But it is a safer proposition in states where gun rights are a thing. Just sayin’ . . .