The Rox store in Edinburgh was hit by armed robbers yesterday, with the suggestion that the thieves were targeting a Girard-Perregaux watch worth £500,000.
The Assembly Rooms store was attacked by two armed men at about 5.15pm yesterday evening. One man used an axe to smash glass cabinets while the other, thought to be carrying a gun, forced a shop assistant to open a window display before making off with an undisclosed amount of jewellery.
According to The Scotsman, the thieves may have been targeting a £500,000 Girard-Perregaux Opera Two timepiece, which Rox took stock of in December. It is the only one of its kind in the UK and has an 18ct gold case, taking 500 hours to build. A stock take is thought to be in process, after which police will confirm whether or not the timepiece was taken.
The thieves wore dark hooded jumpers and jogging bottoms during the robbery. The axe-carrying robber is thought to have had a stripe down the sleeve and leg of his clothing. One spoke with a local Scottish accent while the other is believes to be English.
They put on helmets – one white, one red – before fleeing the scene on a motorbike. The motorbike was later found abandoned in Northumberland Street Lane North in the city. It is believed that the axe has also been recovered and is set to undergo forensic tests.
Lothian and Borders police said that tracing the men currently a priority, and that it has a "large number of resources" following up on several lines of enquiry.
Detective inspector Stuart Harkness, of Lothian and Borders Police said that no-one was seriously injured during this incident but notes that it was nonetheless a distressing experience for those who were in the shop at the time.
The store is situated within the Assembly Rooms building on George Street, a busy shopping street in Edinburgh where a large number of shoppers could have potentially witnessed the event.
A Rox spokeswoman told BBC News that the store at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh was targeted by armed robbers on 15 January. She said staff were badly shaken but no-one was hurt.
Rox was targeted in December when a delivery van en route to its Glasgow store was relieved of jewellery thought to be worth "a five-figure sum".