New anxiety just dropped! Watch robberies are reportedly on the rise, leading timepiece aficionados to wonder: should I really wear my Audemars Piguet Royal Oak on the subway?

According to The New York Times, thefts involving at least one watch valued at $5,000 or more nearly doubled in Los Angeles County during the first half of 2022. Increases have also been reported in London, leaving collectors nervous about finding themselves at the center of a potentially violent altercation.

Experts warn that robbers typically go after the most recognizable watches, which are usually the models most in demand — so you might want to think twice about accessorizing with that Rolex Submariner you just bought. (According to Reddit — and common sense — Rolex is the brand of choice among thieves.)

Instead, try an understated, lower-priced timepiece for your public jaunts. I'd say an Apple Watch, a classic Casio, or your favorite Timex are relatively failsafe options.

That doesn't mean you can't flex, though. Art dealer Ashkan Baghestani told the Times that his Cartier Tank — a substantially priced yet relatively inexpensive luxury timepiece compared to more ostentatious models — is "the only watch I’m comfortable wearing."

Whether you step out in a Seiko or a Patek, don't be that guy — if you've got a valuable watch collection, get insured.

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