The second-hand watch was headed to a buyer in the eastern canton of Graubünden, sometimes known as Grisons in English.
When the buyer, who had spent just over 8,000 francs (€7,271, $8,676) on the purchase, opened the box, he found that it was bare.
“At first the shock was huge” the self-described ‘watch fan’ told Swiss media.
Packed in three nested boxes, it couldn’t have fallen out, Swiss public broadcaster SRF reported.
The mystery deepened as an internal postal document revealed that 120 grams — exactly the weight of the watch — disappeared from the package between midnight in the Frauenfeld distribution centre and 3am in the Untervaz distribution centre.
Based on this evidence, the owner suspects that a postal employee stole the watch and sent the empty package onward.
“For me that means the package was opened by human hands and the watch was removed (before) everything (was) packed up again and sent.”
However, postal service denies any wrongdoing.
“I find it extremely unfortunate that the post office is actively looking the other way, even though they have a thief in their midst”, the watch’s owner said.
“This is someone who might open parcels and steal content every day. Also from other customers.”
The postal service said they have referred the matter to cantonal police.
The seller sent the package as ‘registered’, which means that it is insured but only up to the value of 1,500 francs (€13,63, $1,626) – less than a quarter of the value of the watch.
A spokesperson for Ricardo, the platform through which the watch was sent, said it recommended buyers take out a higher rate of insurance or pick up the goods in person.
“Ricardo recommends its users, especially for high-priced items, to bid only for offers with registered, ie insured, shipments or where personal pick-up with cash payment from the provider is possible,” a spokesman told 20 Minutes.