Swiss luxury watchmaker Omega says it has been the victim of “organized criminal activity,” alleging three of its former staff members admitted working with intermediaries to sell a fake Speedmaster watch for some $3.4 million dollars. The watch was bought by Omega itself for 3.115 million Swiss francs—25 times the auctioneer’s upper estimated price—at a Phillips auction in in Geneva in November 2021. Omega told CNN in a statement that it had intended to display the watch at its museum in Bienne, Switzerland, with high-ups in the company believing it to be a “rare and exceptional timepiece that would be an absolute must for OMEGA’s showcase collections.” The item was thought to be a 1957 stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Broad Arrow hands, and was described by Phillips as one of the “very first—and most collectible—Speedmaster models.” However, it was later discovered that the timepiece, which was bought with the help of “intermediaries,” was in fact a “Frankenstein” watch—an inauthentic timepiece composed of “mostly authentic OMEGA components,” Omega told CNN in a statement. “OMEGA and Phillips were the joint victims of organized criminal activity involving the selling of this specific watch by auction,” the statement added. “This timepiece is currently a key piece of evidence in the ongoing investigation that must also bring to light the seller of the watch. “Its false legacy allowed the profiteers to justify a highly inflated bid made through the intermediaries, which allowed those involved to collect and distribute the profits generated from the sale.” The company added that three former employees “have admitted to the run of events when confronted during an OMEGA internal investigation, which is active and ongoing. OMEGA is bringing criminal charges against all involved.” A spokesperson for Phillips told CNN that the auction house was “most concerned to discover that despite our commitment to these high standards Phillips and OMEGA have been the joint victims of organised criminal activity involving lot 53, the Omega Speedmaster Ref. 2915-1, which sold at auction in November 2021.” “The watch was bought by OMEGA for the OMEGA Museum and we understand from OMEGA that it has discovered that the watch is composed of unrelated parts from various sources, and that OMEGA employees may have been involved in assembling the watch. “We look forward to seeing the outcome of OMEGA’s findings and will of course be cooperating in full with any resulting investigation or prosecution of the perpetrators by the authorities,” Phillips added. When asked about the identity of the seller, the auction house said it would cooperate with authorities “if and when this information is requested by a legal authority.” Omega’s Speedmaster watches have an illustrious history: In 1969, the Speedmaster chronograph wristwatch became the first watch worn on the moon—with the timepiece immortalized in a now-famous photograph of Buzz Aldrin. Ryan Reynolds, George Clooney and Rory McIlroy have also been pictured wearing Speedmaster timepieces.