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

Recover your lost and stolen watches

Chasing Chrono recommend that all users of our site use The Watch Register database (www.thewatchregister.com) to check the ownership history of watches for theft and loss prior to purchase or sale. The Watch Register service issues a Certificate for every watch searched which is clear from the database as evidence of the due diligence checks carried out.

  • Dealers can upload a copy of their Certificate and specify its date of issue when listing a watch for sale to improve buyer confidence.
  • Buyers can request a Certificate from dealers for watches they are interested in purchasing, or request a Certificate in their name. Buyers should ensure Certificates have an up-to-date result at the time of their purchase.

The database

The Watch Register database is the largest international resource for the location and recovery of lost and stolen watches. It is the central database used by police forces, insurance companies, private individuals and the trade worldwide to record losses. It also offers a due diligence search service to the trade and collectors, which allows them to check the status of watches prior to transactions. The database includes all the major brands, as well as vintage and pocket watches.

The Watch Register database 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 30 years.


Database Searching: Check Before You Buy or Sell

Benefits of searching

Check before transaction if a pre-owned watch is reported lost, stolen or implicated in fraud:

  • Avoid buying or selling stolen goods
  • Protect your reputation
  • Minimise the risk of financial loss due to confiscation or compensation
  • Avoid practical and legal complications
  • Improve buyer confidence by offering a Certificate from The Watch Register database as supporting documentation for pre-owned watches

How to search

Every luxury pre-owned watch should be searched against the database prior to transaction, to ensure the best protection against stolen property and fraud. This includes watches with their box and papers, and watches whose condition is brand new.

Searches can be submitted via the online search form, by SMS or by Whatsapp. All users must have an account on The Watch Register website (sign up here).

Submit the brand, model and serial number of a watch to search it against the database. Searches are processed within 5 minutes during office hours (Monday to Saturday, 09.00 – 18.00 UK time). A Certificate will be issued for any watch you search which is clear from the database.

T&Cs: All users are required to record the contact details of their seller prior to searching a watch against the database and, if the watch is in their possession, to hold it securely in the event of a match with the database.

If a watch you search matches one on the database, The Watch Register team will follow up with you to resolve the matter.

The Watch Register database offers one-off searches or bundles of 20, 50, 500, 1000 or 1500 search credits that are valid for one year. Credits can be purchased here. To use the SMS or Whatsapp search service, select ‘Text or Web’ credits at checkout.

For additional guidance on how to protect yourself when buying a pre-owned watch, consult The Watch Register Due Diligence Guidelines.


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 team will search for your watch on the international market until recovery and inform you immediately when it is located. The cost of registration is £15/€17.50/$20 per watch (+ VAT where applicable). Report your loss using the online loss registration form.

For more information on any of these services contact The Watch Register team on +44 207 841 5781 or info@thewatchregister.com.