Narco Bling: Top 6 Watches of Mexican Drug Lords

A redux of a topic I published on nearly six years ago (see: Narco Bling: The Watches of Mexican Drug Kingpins, July 10, 2009), self-proclaimed citizen investigative journalist website recently published a review of the reach of Swiss luxury brands among the Mexican drug lords by analyzing social network profiles of three high ranking members of the infamous Sinaoloa drug cartel:  Ivan and Alfredo Guzmán, two of the most influential sons of El Chapo Guzmán, and José Rodrigo Aréchiga-Gamboa, alias “El Chino Ántrax” (who was arrested in Netherlands at the request of the US authorities in late 2013). The Top 6 Watches of Mexican drug lords, according the’s analysis, are as follows:

      1. Richard Mille
      2. Hublot
      3. Rolex
      4. Audemars Piguet
      5. Urwerk
      6. Romain Jerome

While the top four brands are perhaps not surprisingly given the narco’s penchant for watches that are large, expensive and/or ostentatious, interesting occupants of the #5 and #6 slots were the more obscure independent brands Urwerk and Romain Jerome.  

There is disheartening commentary in the report as well.  The bellingcat author notes, “in times of economic hardship, the flamboyant lives of drug barons are appealing to millions of young and poor Mexicans abandoned by the state…”



I must note that the quality of bellingcat’s analysis may be subject to scrutiny, particularly as the author notes that the authenticity of the social media accounts could not be verified (though, perhaps for obvious reasons).  And also, we all know how easy it is to make oneself look richer than one really on social media simply by taking photos from other accounts and claiming them as one’s own. was launched via a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and has been no stranger to controversial articles.  Even so, I think the analysis is worth a read.

Please click here to see the full story (including many more pics, commentary “Tracking Swiss Watches in Sinaloa: Top 6 Luxury Brands Among Mexican Drug Lords” over at Bellingcat>>>

Introducing the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chrongraph “Italy” Limited Edition

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chrongraph Italy -  dial detail Perpetuelle

With only 500 pieces to be made, this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph is distinguished by a couple of very subtle details.  The Italian touch is found in the red, green and white indices on the 30 seconds subdial counter (3 o’clock), of course a nod to the Italian flag.  Another interesting detail: the rubber strap – believe it or not, in the past, it has be used only one other time on an official Royal Oak chronograph issue – the City of Sails model, created in 2002.  The watch will also include a hand-stitched “large square scale” blue alligator strap inside its presentation box.   Specially made, the box features a metal plate that reproduces the watch’s caseback with the colors of the Italian flag.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chrongraph “Italy” Limited Edition

Limited edition of 500 pieces
Reference: 26326ST.OO.D027CA.01

41mm x 10.95mm steel case, silvered dial with “grand tapisserie” pattern, automatic mechanical AP Cal 2385

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chrongraph Italy - Perpetuelle RO26326ST

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chrongraph Italy - Perpetuelle RO_26326STThe caseback bears the engraving “Swiss Made Limited Edition” which is also special to this edition (not pictured).


The New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph QEII Cup watch titanium - Perpetuelle

Here’s a quick look at limited edition Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph, cased in titanium.  This watch commemorates APs 17th year of sponsorship of the QEII Cup, a thoroughbred horse race held in Hong Kong.   As you can see, this one-off is fashioned after the current ref 26320Royal Oak Chronograph models with 41mm case diameter and the column-wheel chronograph movement cal 2385.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph QEII Cup titanium - Perpetuelle

And of course it is distinguished by its specially engraved caseback.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph QEII Cup titanium caseback - Perpetuelle

The New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver, Ref 15710ST

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Ref. 15710ST.OO.A002CA.02

Last week at SIHH, Audemars Piguet introduced an update to its Royal Oak Offshore Divers series.  Presented as the new reference 15710, these pieces will replace the original ROO Diver, the ref 15703, as I’ll explain further.  The new Ref 15710’s, in steel, follow the prior four version of the ROO Diver (Ref 15703 steel/black dial, forged carbon/yellow, black ceramic/orange, white ceramic/blue).  And though the black dial reference (15710ST.OO.A002CA.01) is essentially the updated version of the 15703, we see now for the first time the ROO Diver offered with a white dial (15710ST.OO.A002CA.02), both of course with AP’s signature “Méga Tapisserie-pattern.”

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Ref 15710ST

This said, the more important news is that the new 15710 is that it is fitted with a sapphire display back, as will all models from here forward.  Otherwise the watch remains unchanged — 42mm case, with the automatic mechanical AP caliber 3120.  And for you existing ROO Diver owners, sorry to say that you will NOT be able to “retrofit” to a sapphire display back as this is an entirely new reference number offered by AP.

These watches will list at $19,000.

Note that while AP states the dial is “silver-toned”, at most angles it looks quite white. 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver white dial Ref 15710ST by TheRealReal

Above Photo: by JSBG


Be sure to catch up on all of our SIHH 2015 coverage, including our brand-by-brand new release list, right here>>>