French businessman loses valuable watches in Schiphol chaos

The recent chaos at Schiphol cost one French traveler 50,000 euros, when he accidentally left a case of rare watches at the security check. He believes they were stolen, Het Parool reports.

A 53-year-old French businessman and watch collector named Matthieu was traveling through Schiphol on his way back to Paris on April 28. At the time, the airport was particularly busy, with not enough employees to handle the influx of May holiday travelers. Matthieu took along a case of six valuable watches he had collected, including a rare 1930s watch and a vintage diving watch.

“I like switching watches,” he explained to Het Parool. “It’s my hobby and when I’m abroad I like to show something to other watch lovers.”

Due to the long lines, Matthieu was in danger of missing his flight. So when security staff asked him to open his bag and dump out the contents, he repacked in a hurry. It was only later on that he realized the watches were missing: “I must have left it in the plastic container at the security check.”

The watch collector immediately called Schiphol, in hopes that his watch case had been found. However, he was met with bad news: the case had never turned up in the lost and found department.

“I can’t imagine that whoever empties the plastic bins hasn’t found it,” he told Het Parool. “I can’t imagine it being thrown away by accident either. This was a chic leather case.”

Matthieu has since filed a report, believing the watches were stolen. The CCTV footage should show what happened, but he doesn’t think the police have looked at it yet.

The watch collector’s main hope is that the unique watches will be recognized if someone tries to sell them. A spokesperson for Schiphol called the incident “very annoying.”

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