Ultra-rare Rolex watch snatched from seller’s wrist in fake deal at Dudley Costa Coffee

An ultra-rare £33,000 watch has been snatched from the wrist of a Birmingham dealer by a bogus customer. Dennis Chen described the theft of the luxury watch as a blow to his fledgling business.

The 32-year-old head of Mayfair Watch Limited was lured to Costa Coffee in Castlegate Way, Dudley to seal the sale of the gold Rolex Sky-Dweller. Dennis, who started the e-commerce business 12 months ago, walked into the store at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 18, with the Rolex on his wrist.

But upon meeting, his contact – described as well-dressed and Nigerian – asked to try on the timepiece. He then fled the cafe and got into a waiting red Mercedes.

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Dennis said: “To have this happening in broad daylight in England really shocked me. It’s a massive blow to a small business like mine, both financially and reputationally. When it happened, I was in shock and panic. I chased him to the parking lot, but a red Mercedes pulled up with two people inside.”

He claims the thief first made contact when Dennis advertised the watch on eBay. He described himself as the CEO of a number of companies, but the name he gave was wrong, Dennis knows that now.

The Merc’s license plate was also fake, police confirmed. They organized the very public drop-off point – Dennis estimates there were 20 customers present – and he went there hoping to close the deal.

He describes the thief as being in his early 30s, thin and around 6ft tall. He has tried to view CCTV footage from Costa Coffee of the incident, but bosses say they are unable to turn it over. It’s a police matter.

The culprit is now in possession of one of the most sought-after watches in the world.

Bling website diamondsbyraymondlee.com states: “It is almost impossible to obtain the Steel Rolesor Sky-Dweller by simply walking into an authorized Rolex dealer. The watch has a waiting list of two to four years.

“For this reason, the vast majority of people turn to the secondary market, where watches are around 30-60% more expensive than new watches. If you opt for the precious metal options, the second-hand market is also the most logical. Like you can save thousands of dollars for a used gold Sky-Dweller and still retain its full value.”

The site adds: “The Sky-Dweller is one of the most complicated watches ever made by Rolex. This is Rolex’s first annual calendar and it has dual time zone and date functions. Additionally, the bezel is a Ring Command Bezel, which means it works with the movement to control watch functions.

A West Midlands Police spokesperson added: “We are investigating the theft of a Rolex watch from a man in Castlegate Way, Dudley on Friday March 18. The victim had agreed to meet a potential buyer after announcing selling the watch online.

“However, after making an appointment for the watch to be inspected, it was taken by the thief who escaped in a car without paying. citation 20/292601/22.”

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Floyd N. Morlan