Omega says 3 former employees made a 'Frankenstein' watch that sold for a record $3.4 million: reports

Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional
An Omega Speedmaster.Aaron Shapiro/Omega
  • Omega says three former employees faked a watch it paid $3.4 million for, per Switzerland's NZZ.

  • A representative told Bloomberg the watch was a "Frankenstein" that was made of several parts.

  • One person involved was reportedly a member of the Omega museum and convinced executives to buy it.

Omega, the Swiss watchmaker, said three former employees created a fake Speedmaster watch that went on to sell for a record $3.4 million, according to multiple reports.

The company told Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) and Bloomberg it was investigating former staffers who it said conspired to get Omega to buy the watch at a hugely inflated price.

The 1957 Speedmaster "Broad Arrow" was auctioned in November 2021 with a guide price of 80,000 to 120,000 Swiss Francs ($88,500 to $133,000).

It was bought by Omega for just over 3.1 million Swiss Francs, or about $3.4 million – a record price for a Speedmaster, per Bloomberg.

But according to a statement Omega gave to Bloomberg, the watch was instead a "Frankenstein" that contained mostly authentic parts from other vintage watches.

"After we confronted them with the facts, they confessed to acting fraudulently and criminally. We are now working to reconstruct everything down to the last detail and also to pin down external accomplices," Omega CEO Raynald Aeschlimann told NZZ.

Among the former staffers allegedly involved in the scandal was a member of the Omega Museum and heritage department, per Bloomberg.

The company told the outlet he'd claimed the watch "was a rare and exceptional timepiece that would be an absolute must" to purchase.

According to NZZ, the auction house Phillips reacted with surprise when told by the outlet that the watch might be a fake. It told Bloomberg it couldn't say who brought the watch to auction.

Omega didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, made outside normal working hours.

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