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Not safe wearing a nice watch in London?


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I’ve recently moved to the UK. I live in Reading, just outside of London. Someone I was talking to while wearing my JLC said I should avoid wearing it in London. Has it become that dangerous in London? I’m from Taipei where people will return a gold Rolex found on the street. It actually has happened before. It’s completely new to me that London could be so dangerous. It's not like some impoverished place. Are there not enough police keeping people safe? 
 

 

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There are minor "bad elements" in all large western European cities  --  as there also are in many major eastern cities. I don't feel any more endangered wearing an expensive watch in London than

We were out and about yesterday up and down a few back streets, chanced a couple of drinks here and there wearing just a t-shirt, a Rolex and carrying a couple of bags from a well known local designer

The blue trainers are on Big M's feet, I wish any mugger good luck in that endeavour     

There are minor "bad elements" in all large western European cities  --  as there also are in many major eastern cities.

I don't feel any more endangered wearing an expensive watch in London than I do in Paris or Berlin  --  or even Kaohsiung  --  many thousands of people do it every day.

My advice would be to wear your JLC and enjoy it.

HTH

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I dont live in London but i too have read allsorts of tales about robberies etc, in truth a theft can happen anywhere, in any big city the chances will rise, its well documented London has got worse in recent years but i will imagine its still not as bad as many capital cities.

All the same for something to happen you would have to be desperately unlucky, you can take all the usual precautions, dont flaunt it and remember certain areas will heighten the chances of theft, obviously its going to be more visible in summer (weather permitting).A person can worry themselves silly over this, its easy for me to say but i would just wear it as normal, some do stand out more than others though, ultimately its up to you to make a considered decision.

 

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6 minutes ago, sabailand said:

I dont live in London but i too have read allsorts of tales about robberies etc, in truth a theft can happen anywhere, in any big city the chances will rise, its well documented London has got worse in recent years but i will imagine its still not as bad as many capital cities.

 

I wasn't sure if it's just an exaggeration, but while looking into it on the news, it seems high profile people are targeted. I don't know what to make of it, I've also heard the situation has gotten worse, but idk if it's a serious concern. Like you said, robberies happen everywhere, but it's strange for people to make a point of it in a nice city like London. 

9 minutes ago, yokel said:

I don't feel any more endangered wearing an expensive watch in London than I do in Paris or Berlin  --  or even Kaohsiung  --  many thousands of people do it every day.

 

I see, good to hear. I suppose it's more about common sense and having good instincts like most places.  I've grown increasingly nervous about being in Europe and robberies. A friend of mine had her watch stolen in Barcelona on the way to see me. I heard they target asian tourists because East Asians are known to be big spenders in Europe now and don't usually fight back.  

Edited by Andrew0409
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2 hours ago, Andrew0409 said:

I’m from Taipei where people will return a gold Rolex found on the street. It actually has happened before. It’s completely new to me that London could be so dangerous. It's not like some impoverished place. Are there not enough police keeping people safe?

The only place I know where you'd have a fighting chance of getting your lost Rolex returned is Monaco.  In London absolutely no chance short of a miracle.  There's always been a significant level of crime in London, although it used to be far easier to avoid it. Not that long ago even villains had some mutual respect with the police in London. There were lines that would not be crossed and if they were other villains would turn them in.

What's changed noticeably more recently is violent crime. Knives and guns are commonplace in a way they were not 30 years ago. The impoverishment in more in the mind than in the wallet. Respect for the Met (the police) has declined significantly...in lots of ways.  This is partly because of the increased fragmentation and transience of London society over the last 25 years.

2 hours ago, Andrew0409 said:

...it's strange for people to make a point of it in a nice city like London.

Depends what you mean by 'nice'...

By all means wear your JLC, but exercise sensible caution (eg if I were you I wouldn't wear your JLC with a short-sleeved shirt). Keep your eyes and ears open and your wallet and valuables zipped up, beware of pickpockets as much as street robberies by roaming gangs of youths.

Avoid looking like a tourist.

99% of the time you'll encounter no problems, just be sensible and aware of your surroundings.

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Something to be definitely avoided  is being seen coming out of a 'Posh' watch shop in central London with something shiny on your wrist or even in a small neat carrier bag..............:whistling:

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8 hours ago, RTM Boy said:

Not that long ago even villains had some mutual respect with the police in London. There were lines that would not be crossed and if they were other villains would turn them in.

Mmm. There's a YouTube clip of an old school villain telling how he chopped up someone outside a London nightclub with an axe. I must say his diction and attire were impeccable, none of this hooded sweatshirt and slang speech nonsense. I would imagine in today's London, with stop/go slow commuter traffic, it's easier to remove a watch from someone's wrist, than it is to reverse a MK2 Jag through a jewellers window and make a fast getaway. Oh, and "operation Tiberius" Guv.

11 hours ago, Andrew0409 said:

Someone I was talking to while wearing my JLC

Because you had it "on show". Long sleeves, watch under cuff, no one knows what's on your wrist. :thumbsup:

5 hours ago, John_D said:

or even in a small neat carrier bag.

Get a Primark or Lidl carrier bag to carry your valuable purchases in, nobody will nick that.

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8 minutes ago, WRENCH said:

 

Get a Primark or Lidl carrier bag to carry your valuable purchases in, nobody will nick that.


Always find a 5p Co-op plastic carrier bag de rigueur. :yes:

Sainsbury’s or Waitrose if you must ?
 

:biggrin:

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1 hour ago, WRENCH said:

Mmm. There's a YouTube clip of an old school villain telling how he chopped up someone outside a London nightclub with an axe. I must say his diction and attire were impeccable, none of this hooded sweatshirt and slang speech nonsense. I would imagine in today's London, with stop/go slow commuter traffic, it's easier to remove a watch from someone's wrist, than it is to reverse a MK2 Jag through a jewellers window and make a fast getaway. Oh, and "operation Tiberius" Guv.

Lucky enough to have met a few characters like this! One was a positively charming chap, would tell you stories that you would thought were actually episodes of the Sweeney! bumped into his wife one day and asked how 'Dave' was getting on - she was telling me fine, but was on remand for Bullion Fraud, he had hoped for bail, but when the police presented the court with his 4 fake passports, the judge decided he was a flight risk! I remember a long evening discussing the finer points of turning over armoured vehicles and where the weak points were in the 70's and 80's.... last i heard, he was out and they were running a pub in Dublin.

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Not wise to think of "London" , much better to think to "London districts".

There are about a dozen districts of London that I would not feel safe in at all , no matter what watch I was wearing. But the vast majority of the districts of London are fine and no one will care less what watch you are wearing.

Also its wise to separate the professional criminals who have been known to target customers of Boutiques etc etc and can strike anywhere in London ( and any other city for that matter ) from the yobs and the hoods who will be trying to mug you to make a few quid to either be a local hero or to satisfy their drugs habit.

London is a relatively safe city in my opinion. Safer than Paris and many others but not as safe as, say, New York or Rome.

 

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1 hour ago, Richard734 said:

Lucky enough to have met a few characters like this! One was a positively charming chap, would tell you stories that you would thought were actually episodes of the Sweeney!

The Sweeney was popular with coppers and crims because it was so realistic (the same with Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister), more documentary than drama/comedy. That's what I meant by there always being crime in London.

And yes @WRENCH there were very vicious types, especially part of large organised crime gangs, but he was chopping up another crim, not a random ordinary member of the public. If you didn't mix in their circles you had no bother. And there were definitely things they didn't/wouldn't do  eg robbing old ladies.

As for carrier bags, the shiny jeweller's bag with their name in gold print on the side is rather like hanging a large sign around your neck with ROB ME written on it.  I find Wilko carrier bags most likely to be ignored :laugh:

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1 hour ago, RTM Boy said:

 

As for carrier bags, the shiny jeweller's bag with their name in gold print on the side is rather like hanging a large sign around your neck with ROB ME written on it.  I find Wilko carrier bags most likely to be ignored :laugh:

As I think I've mentioned before  --  but, perhaps, still pertinent here  --  I bought my MG Benu through WatchCentre in Bond Street. When the time came to leave, they put the (large) box and papers into an equally large, and very robust, plain carrier bag  --  and put the watch in a nice pouch for me to carry in an inside jacket pocket.

I did feel a bit conspicuous leaving the store, but soon mingled with the other shoppers in the area. Tube and train home  --  all no problem.

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I’ve recently moved to the UK. I live in Reading, just outside of London. Someone I was talking to while wearing my JLC said I should avoid wearing it in London. Has it become that dangerous in London? I’m from Taipei where people will return a gold Rolex found on the street. It actually has happened before. It’s completely new to me that London could be so dangerous. It's not like some impoverished place. Are there not enough police keeping people safe? 
 
 

There’s effectively the same amount of risk in Taipei compared to London.

Perhaps you feel more confident in your own home city as you know the good and bad areas. Same with London; for those that know the capital they are aware of the areas to avoid or to be more cautious.

But don’t be under the illusion that Taipei is ‘safe’ as crime does occur there. Even watch theft that happened less than a year ago and made the news. And unlike the UK where there’s a high level of responsibility and accountability, there’s much more chance of corruption in the Police force.
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2 hours ago, yokel said:

As I think I've mentioned before  --  but, perhaps, still pertinent here  --  I bought my MG Benu through WatchCentre in Bond Street. When the time came to leave, they put the (large) box and papers into an equally large, and very robust, plain carrier bag  --  and put the watch in a nice pouch for me to carry in an inside jacket pocket. 

Very similar to when I bought my Chopard in Bangkok. Except they put the watch in its pouch in my shoulder bag. No need for coats here! 

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I've lived in London for over 20 years now and feel comfortable wearing my watches anywhere I go. I wouldn't so much in Barcelona or Rome to cite just two examples.

Let common sense prevail and you'll be fine. If you go skipping through a housing estate in Canning Town at 2 in the morning, screaming, "I'm wearing a platinum Rolex", you'll get what's coming to you.

No city is 'nice' in the context you've used it (not even Reading) and real life is not The Sound of Music.

 

 

Edited by it'salivejim
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I've been all over wearing one Rolex or another and only once almost got caught out and that was in Amsterdam, fortunately back in those days I was a bit fitter and could run a fairly quick couple of hundred yards, the mugger and his mate were more surprised than I was. Probably not something I'd be stupid enough do these days though. 

:laughing2dw: :laughing2dw:

I'm sure there are places everywhere that you could get into trouble but in general if you're reasonably smart even in London you would probably be a bit unlucky. The last time I was in London I was more worried about them chucking bottles at us for my terrible rendition of 500 Miles on the Kareoke that getting my Rolex nicked. 

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I live in London and am careful - I consider where, when and what time before I choose a watch. It also depends on what I am wearing, some clothes conceal a watch quite well some don't.

The violent watch muggers usually target high-end watches £25k and above - it's a risk reward thing I suppose, that's not to say a £10k to £20k JLC wouldn't be a target - there are opportunists around.

This is an interesting comparison

 

https://www.numbeo.com/crime/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Taiwan&city1=Taipei&country2=United+Kingdom&city2=London

 

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5 hours ago, it'salivejim said:

I've lived in London for over 20 years now and feel comfortable wearing my watches anywhere I go. I wouldn't so much in Barcelona or Rome to cite just two examples.

 

Its funny , cities are very different depending on why, where and when you are there... Napoli has a bad reputation but I have seen how its possible to just blend in there and no one cares less , its the "tourist" thing that can attract crime. Again in Rome I have always felt 100% safe but can see where things could go t1ts-up....

New York was my biggest surprise a couple of years back, after growing up watching French Connection, Shaft, etc etc My visit there washed all those childhood hesitations away. New York is safe for reasons I can not fathom ...

Barcelona I first visited under Franco so then it was a menacing place, but not because of crime , but because of military police .... but the last time I was there about 5 years ago , there was a "dodgy vibe" for sure ..

There are not that many major cities that I have felt 100% safe in ... surprisingly Honolulu is one of them .... despite Hawai'i-Five-O suggesting otherwise....

But watches ( at least the ones I wear ) have nothing to do with anything in these places ...

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I found in New York the safety factor came from the absolute plethora of visible Police presence, in London you'll be lucky to see one roaming the streets.

That would mean the 'opportunist' in London will have more chance and temptation in London.

That being said i am fairly well travelled and have never really felt at risk anywhere, except Categena in Spain, where a chap started following me and 'er, until I stopped just around a corner and waited for him, as soon as he realised he bolted.  Although I think the camera was the attraction, not the watch.

I think realistically the vast majority of places are ostensibly safe.  If you move in criminal circles, expect criminality, if you move in civil circles expect civility.  The only real threat is the opportunist, the only defence from them is vigilance.

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1 hour ago, Biker said:

I found in New York the safety factor came from the absolute plethora of visible Police presence, in London you'll be lucky to see one roaming the streets.

That would mean the 'opportunist' in London will have more chance and temptation in London.

That being said i am fairly well travelled and have never really felt at risk anywhere, except Categena in Spain, where a chap started following me and 'er, until I stopped just around a corner and waited for him, as soon as he realised he bolted.  Although I think the camera was the attraction, not the watch.

I think realistically the vast majority of places are ostensibly safe.  If you move in criminal circles, expect criminality, if you move in civil circles expect civility.  The only real threat is the opportunist, the only defence from them is vigilance.

When you tell someone where you`ve been they often look at you and say.... was it safe, weren`t you scared of being mugged etc, to us they wern`t dangerous at all but some people have only to see something on telly about a place and thats it, to them you only have to step out and your watch/wallets gone, its the places where you least expect problems where incidents occur.

Your right, vigilance is the best defence but dont get paranoid about it......oh and dont drink too much, especially if you`re on your own!

Edited by sabailand
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13 minutes ago, WRENCH said:

Homes and Watson would have been getting on a bit by then. :rofl:

:laugh:

Just me being anally accurate. The quote is not in Sir Arthur's original short story 'The Adventure of the Creeping Man' from 1923.

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4 minutes ago, RTM Boy said:

:laugh:

Just me being anally accurate. The quote is not in Sir Arthur's original short story 'The Adventure of the Creeping Man' from 1923.

Bad in 1968 they say.

 

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