Watches costing over £700,000 apiece were taken from the firm’s local premises by agents belonging to the FSB security service
Russian agents seized millions of dollars’ worth of Audemars Piguet watches in Moscow in an apparent retaliation for Swiss sanctions banning luxury goods exports, The Guardian reported, citing Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag.
According to the paper, the watches which cost more than £700,000 apiece were taken from the firm’s local premises by agents belonging to the FSB security service.
The move was apparently conducted in retaliation to the imposed sanctions banning the export of luxury goods to Russia placed by Switzerland in response to the invasion of Ukraine. However, Russian authorities have reportedly cited issues with customs as the reason for the seizure of the watches.
The Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet closed its boutiques in Moscow and suspended exports to Russia on February 24. Additionally, the country has been facing massive suspension of exports by all major Swiss watchmakers including LVMH, Swatch Group, Richemontm Rolex, Patek Philippe and Breitling.
According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Russia accounts for 260m Swiss Francs worth of exports and was the 17th largest export market for Swiss watches in 2021.
The story was originally published in The Guardian. You can read it here.
Image Courtesy: Audemars Piguet Website