The most infamous criminal in history, Pablo Escobar struck equal fear and envy into the watching world as the head of the deadliest criminal gang of all time, the Medellin Drug Cartel. Known commonly throughout his native Columbia as the ‘King of Cocaine,’ by the mid 1980’s Escobar was believed to be one of the richest men in the world with a net worth in the region of $30 billion.
Although seen as a villain by many, for those from his hometown of Medellin, he is considered a saint. At the height of his wealth, Escobar was known for investing money back into the community, building houses and community areas for those less fortunate. Despite this Robin Hood-esque appearance, Escobar like to spend his wealth lavishly on, among other things, luxury watches.
Not satisfied with the off the shelf pieces, Pablo was known for his custom made luxuries that often veered on the side of extravagance. Now collectors items in their own right, his luxury legacy extends as far as his criminal one.
Here at Watch & Bullion, we’ve covered Gangster Watch Collections in the past but we believe Pablo Escobar deserves an article all of his own. With that said, it’s time to jump into this Kingpin’s collection of riches – are you ready? Lets go….
1973 Porsche 911 RSR
One of Pablo Escobar’s greatest passions was for cars – whilst he had a massive collection, arguably his most impressive was his 1973 Porsche 911 RSR. His passion for speed was honed during his days racing in Colombia’s Copa Renault 4 circuit. As the riches of being the world’s largest drug lord rolled in, Escobar transitioned to the next levels of racing royalty!
Pablo managed to bag himself one of only 15 1973 Porsche 911 RSR’s, with his model being the one previously owned and raced by legendary Formula 1 racer Emmerson Fittipaldi. Pablo would take his Porsche racing all around South America, whilst famously challenging (and beating) Ricardo “Cuchilla” Londoño, one of Colombia’s most famous drivers in a time trial challenge.
Casa Malca Mansion
Before Pablo Escobar met his bloody end, being shot by Columbian Police at the early age of 44, he spent many years on the run and as such needed some lavish hideouts. He had many large and luxurious properties throughout South America but one of our favourites was Casa Malca found within the Mexican resort of Tulum.
Back in the late 80’s, this mansion was quite covert in nature. Surrounded by overgrown trees when the area wasn’t such a popular tourist region, Casa Malca was the perfect place for Escobar and co to hideout from the American Government.
Following the Medellin kingpin’s death, Casa Malca remained abandoned for years falling into a state of major disrepair. But in 2012, the mansion was taken over and renovated by world renowned, New York-based art dealer Lio Lamca, who converted the former drug den into a boutique hotel.
Whilst all visual resemblances of Casa Malca’s past have been removed, it is still a great getaway for any Escobar fans with a small taste of the billionaire’s luxury lifestyle to be had. If you’re looking to book your next gangster getaway, a night in Basa Malca typically starts at around $400.
When you’re a international drug lord, you need to travel in style as well as travelling in speed, so what better to get than your own private jet? Not satisfied with any old jet, Pablo Escobar bought a top of the range Learjet to help him get around.
The picture above shows Escobar himself departing his Learjet which it was reported the cartel would use to transfer their drug money, up to $100 million per run. Tired of having to stop off in various risky places as part of the drug run, the Medellin cartel took over a number of islands around the Bahamas to use as refueling stops and private vacation getaways.
Rolex Day-Date – Diamond Encrusted Yellow Gold
A Watch & Bullion article wouldn’t be complete without looking at the stunning timepieces of this iconic drug kingpin. Having seen the lavish spending of Mr Escobar so far, it’s no surprise that some of his huge wealth was spent on a watch or two. Whilst his collection was known to be large, there’s one watch in particular we are interested in….
This classic Yellow-Gold Rolex Day-Day has been encrusted with hundreds of miniature diamonds making it a truly one of a kind piece that is fitting of the King of Cocaine’s flashy style. Whilst you may think this custom Day-Date could command a huge amount at auction, it seems the history of the piece may have put the mass-markets off. Despite it’s $70,000 estimate, it eventually went to an anonymous buyer for only $8,500.
When asked why he wanted to remain anonymous, he simply replied “You never know who might track you down and ask for their things back.” Sold as part of a larger auction focused on seized, drug cartel assets, the buyer distanced himself from the bloody past of the items saying – “I don’t like where these things come from,” referring to the watches gangster past he insisted that “For me it’s just an investment.”
Whilst Pablo’s diamond encrusted Day-Date is off the market, getting your hands on a Yellow Gold version is a real possibility. Brand new, the model shown above can be picked up for around £25,500. For those on slightly smaller budgets, a pre-owned model can be found below £10,000.
To Wrap Up…..
As the most infamous drug lord in history, Pablo Escobar has left his mark on the world through his live fast, die young lifestyle. Whilst seen as a villain by many, in his homeland of Columbia he is seen as a hero commonly known as ‘Don Pablo’ – Sir Pablo.
His amassed wealth allowed him to live the high life with expensive mansions, fast cars and a sweet tooth for custom made, luxury watches. His diamond encrusted, Yellow Gold Rolex Day-Date was a true beauty with the lucky buyer getting a bargain deal due to it’s bloody past.
If you’d like to take a look at some other infamous watch collections, why not check out our Gangster Watches article to see the pieces that have really caught the criminals eye!