West Sussex police are warning jewellers to look out for a Rolex GMT Master II in white gold that was stolen last week and may be offered for sale.
The pre-owned watch was stolen from TH Bakers in Horsham by a man who simply dashed out of the store while trying it on.
Sold new, the watch is worth over £30,000.
TH Baker is not an authorised dealer for Rolex, but has a substantial business in pre-owned luxury watches.
Police have released an image of the watch and the perpetrator in the hope that they will be recognised.
A police spokesman said the male pretended he wanted to see the watch and spoke about payments before running out of the store with the watch in his hand.
“The watch itself is quite distinctive and has the serial number 101Z916 on the rear plate. The male has left the box and original paperwork behind so now not as valuable as it would have been as a complete set,” the police statement adds.
The suspect is described as white, in his mid-30s, and wearing a navy flat cap, blue puffer jacket with checkered shirt underneath, blue chinos and brown shoes.
Anyone who is able to identify the man pictured, or has seen the watch pictured for sale online, should report online or call police on 101 quoting serial 845 of 03/01.