The son of a controversial Azerbaijani oligarch has had his one million EURO watch – the lightest time piece on the planet – stolen after he was mugged while on holiday in Ibiza.
Oligarch Rovnag Abdullayev is CEO of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) as well as president of the country’s football association, and the documents published in Spanish media reveal the victim of the spectacular theft that made international headlines was his son, 25-year-old Rashad Abdullayev.
It was reported how the thief, aged around 30, who is believed to be part of a local gang targeting tourists wearing expensive watches, stole the Formula One inspired wristwatch from its Azerbaijani owner in broad daylight on the seafront in Ibiza town after attacking his victim.
The gang was reportedly not put off by the fact that the victim was with a friend, and the short mugging left Abdullayev with bruising on his arm and wrist.
The thief then made off with the watch, leaving the victim staying in a local hotel to call the cops and report the theft.
The watch was revealed to be a Richard Mille (RM) 50-03 McLaren F1 valued at approximately EUR 1,150,000. It is the lightest in the world, weighing only 38 grams with the strap included. Only 75 of the watches have ever been made.
The watch was inspired by the McLaren F1 cars and is a tourbillon – a specific mechanism of watchmaking – that means the entire mechanism inside the case rotates at a rate of one revolution per minute in order to nullify the effects of gravity.
In addition to that, the RM 50-03 features a chronograph function of fractions of a second to measure lap times, a power reserve of 70 hours, and a torsion sensor to avoid winding.
The victim was identified in a leaked police report published by Spanish media, which said that the young man is the son of the controversial state oil company president.
Despite the fact that his monthly state salary is reported by English-language news website Azeri Times to be just 1800 AZN (840 GBP), his son had managed to end up running several companies in Turkey linked with his father’s firm, including one managing top-end real estate by the time he was in his early 20s.
He is also linked with the charity that takes money from the state-owned oil company and uses it to fund Azerbaijani students studying in Turkey. The project, while beneficial for the students, is controversial because the Abdullayev family has been accused of using state money to gain loyalty from the future generation of businessmen and managers.
Watch thefts are big business on the Spanish island during the summer months. The criminal gangs who carry them out are said to have ties with the Camorra, one of Italy’s largest criminal organisations.
It was reported that due to this particular watch’s limited edition status, it will be difficult to resell on the black market, although it might still find its way to a private collector because of its status.