Katusha and the diamond watches

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Do you like the watch here? It’s got more ice than a polar cap. Just look at all those diamonds on the face and they’re not just for show: they rotate along with the hands. It’s the Solitaire, by the Swiss watchmaker Sarcar. The price is unknown but another Sarcar model is mentioned by hip-hop mogul P-Diddy’s Sean John shop for sale at an ice-cool $300,000. Yes, that’s six figures.

Now expensive Swiss watches are nothing new. But if you must have one of these watches, there are several boutiques available. Or maybe you can try visiting the company’s HQ in Switzerland, the listed address is Route de Chêne 41A, Geneva 1208.

What’s this got to do with cycling?
Katusha address

The same address as the watchmaker is also the one given by the Katusha team. Visit their website, scroll down and the team is listed as “C/o Sarcar Tramex SA, 41A route de Chênes, 1208 Genève”. Note it’s precisely the same address as the watchmaker, the team’s isn’t sharing a different office because post goes c/o the company.

Winston Churchill famously described Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma“. Here we have a pro cycling team based in a letterbox inside a watchmaker.

Now this is just an administrative address. The team is registered in Russia and doesn’t even have its service course in Switzerland, instead that’s in Italy.

It is curious, why does a cycling team have a postbox with this luxury watch maker? Maybe it’s for tax but you’d think it would be registered with an accountant or a lawyer, not a watch company. I’ve asked, but all I’ve got back is confirmation that Sarcar is not a team sponsor although this confirmed the address is real, that the team is registered with a jeweller.

What does it mean?
Nothing really. But it’s odd to see one of the biggest budget teams in the sport, the self-stated “Russian global cycling project” getting its mail delivered to a third party. I’d love to know why a luxury watch company has lent its mailbox to a Russian cycling team.

Anonymous August 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm

I bet it has something to do with the Russian mafia. I mean what else could it be? The team is just a cover for some other scheme.

TheInnerRing August 19, 2010 at 7:29 pm

You have a fertile imagination there! If it was suspect, would they publish the shared address?

But a Russian team has been used as cover in the past, see http://theinnerring.blogspot.com/2010/04/roslotto-zg-mobili-mafia-time.html

Anonymous August 23, 2010 at 10:56 am

There is no Russian mafia,comrade just a group of businessmen looking for new opportunities and if you know different then we have a small space of Siberian tundra for you!


IMGF March 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Team’s partner Itera has many times been investigated. Suspicion goes to Calabria. I stop.

GreaseMonster March 7, 2011 at 9:49 pm

There are plenty of anonymous firms in equally anonymous buildings all around here. With these sort of things it’s hardly worth asking any questions as you’ll never get any answers.

The Inner Ring March 7, 2011 at 10:18 pm

IMGF: I can see the allegations but no proof?

Grease Monster: yes, but why not registered with a Swiss lawyer or business centre? It’s the public association with a luxury watch company that’s curious.

Alex July 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm

My initial thought was that they might both share a solicitor’s registered address, but I went onto streetview and see that it is indeed Sarcar’s HQ

Funny – who’d have thought that diamonds could be a controversial business 😉

james September 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm

diamonds are forever
doping is forever

Bazza September 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm

There’s a lot of Russian ‘investment’ in Switzerland maybe there’s a few silent millions sitting with the company

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