Rafael Nadal’s Watch Found, Hotel Barman Arrested

Rafael Nadal must be breathing a huge sigh of relief right now. We reported yesterday how the tennis star lost a €300,000 ($380,000) watch just hours after his record-breaking French Open victory, but now the missing timepiece has been found.

French police believe the watch was stolen from Nadal’s Paris hotel room, and a barman has now been arrested in connection with the theft.

Nadal’s relief will be all the greater because the watch didn’t actually belong to him. Rather, it was a loan from luxury watchmaker Richard Mille, who lent the Spanish tennis champion the watch for the duration of the French Open. It vanished sometime late Monday to early Tuesday (French time).

Speaking anonymously, a police source revealed that the watch was found on Tuesday night, in a grassy spot by a railway track in the southern Paris suburb of Evry. The suspect in the case, a 39-year-old barman who worked at the five-star luxury hotel in Paris’ 8th district, took detectives to the watch.

Police reportedly suspected an inside job, as there was no sign of forced entry in or around the hotel suite, with Nadal’s family and girlfriend having had access.

The suspect was identified via his magnetic key card, which was used to access the room in which Nadal stayed.

After that, police received a confession from the hotel employee, who said he let himself in and took the luxury watch. The spot where he hid the watch was near his home in the Essonne area south of Paris.