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Tips for Spotting Counterfeit Watches

Tips for Spotting Counterfeit Watches

Luxury watches are in high demand. And when you have something that people want and are willing to pay a pretty penny for you are bound to have unscrupulous shysters rise up and try to take advantage of good folk. Unfortunately, the world of luxury watches does not escape unscathed. Counterfeiters are everywhere and they are managing to dupe people every single day with their cheap, inferior knock-offs.

Rolex Day Date Non Quickset 1803

The Real Deal

So if you are buying watches in Boca Raton it helps to know how to spot the fakes. These tips will help you identify fake luxury watches and protect yourself. Black market watches are a billion dollar industry according to the black market information site, Havocscope. Even the boxes from the famous luxury watch makers are red hot on the black market.

There are ways to spot a counterfeit luxury watch, though. You can protect yourself. These tips will help guide you through determining if what you are getting is a fake or the real deal.

Know what the Real Models Look Like

The message is simple here. Do your homework! Watch makers, collectors and enthusiasts all agree that the number one way to protect yourself from fakes is to know what the real thing looks like. Look through the manufacturer catalogs and read the descriptions. Visit an authorized dealer and inspect the collections. Hold it in your hands, feel its weight, note its craftsmanship, become familiar with the face, the back of the watch, the clasp and the bracelet. Feel the texture and note the features. Listen to it. Most Rolexes don’t tick and it is difficult for counterfeiters to duplicate the fine gears.

Know what Fakes Look Like

Once you know what the genuine article looks like, educate yourself on what the fakes look like. It is quite easy to find photos online of fake luxury watches. They will give you an idea of what you should look for and what the fakes actually look like. Checking the ‘Fast Five’ will help you zero in on the counterfeits and see if that great deal really is too good to be true. Again, it is part of doing your homework. You don’t want to drop a bundle of bucks on something that isn’t authentic so before you spend that money, take some time to learn.

Check the ‘Fast Five’

The ‘Fast Five’ will take you through the five most common areas where counterfeiters mess up. This list will help you hone in the areas where you are most likely to see errors so you can spot the fake quickly saving both time and money.

  1. Face and Logo – The face details and logo on a fake watch are usually either absent, poorly reproduced or incorrect. This is why you need to know what you are looking for first.
  2. Features – Take a look at the features that the watch has. Are they the features that the authentic model has? Do they work? Many counterfeit watches will have the features of the authentic watches, but they won’t work. The stopwatch and subdials may not work. One bit telltale sign is the back. Many fake luxury watches have a clear back. The majority of genuine watches in many brands, like Omega and Rolex, do not.
  3. Details – Many times the counterfeit watches will include parts from totally different watches. They may confuse the names or the hand style may be wrong. Look at the fine details.
  4. Color and Texture – Examine the color and texture of the watch carefully. How does it compare to the authentic watch you held in your hands and examined? Fake watches are usually lighter in weight than the real thing. They may have bezel textures or color combinations that are not available with the authentic watch brands.
  5. Clasp – Look closely at the clasp and bracelet of the watch. On a fake, they will be very simple, even cheap looking.

The Telltale Chronograph

The chronograph, or stopwatch, is a very complex feature on a watch. Because of this, most fake watches do not have chronograph with an automatic movement. In other words, when you look at the watch and observe the way the second hand is moving, if the movements are in one second increments then the chances are very good that it is not genuine……


Genuine watches are finely crafted and each piece is a work of art. It you don’t see that level of quality in the watch you are considering purchasing then you are likely holding a fake. Don’t be swayed by the shiny object and don’t let the low price dupe you. Stop. Take time to examine the watch and look for the care that was taken to put the watch together. Look for the pride in craftsmanship that went into each little piece from the winder’s grooves and engravings to the magnification of the cyclops lens on the face.

A word on the cyclops lens. This is particularly true with Rolex watches. It is very difficult to duplicate the magnification that is achieved with the genuine watch, so if the date is the same size and not magnified, it is a fake.

The Price Check – Luxury watches are not cheap. In fact, they can cost a considerable amount of money. If you walk into a shop or encounter a watch seller that is offering luxury brand watches at a ridiculous discount, walk away – fast. They aren’t real. Now if you don’t care that you are getting a fake then go on, just know it will likely not work, not stand up to normal wear and tear and will probably turn your arm green. You get what you pay for and if you are looking for a genuine luxury brand watch, that great deal may not be so great.

Ask Questions – Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the watch and the features. If you see something amiss, question it. This can also put you in a position to observe the seller’s response and level of comfort when you start questioning the authenticity. If they get nervous or flustered then you need to look closer at the watch. Are they knowledgeable? Can they show you the minute features that the real watches have? Educate yourself and go in armed with knowledge. That way, if the salesperson tries to tell you something different you know what is true and what isn’t.

Check out the Seller – Try to find something out about the seller before you go in the store. Look for reviews online, talk to people who have purchased from them. Look them up on the Better Business Bureau website and see if they have any complaints against them. One little tip that might help, if the person is selling watches out of his car then the chances are good that they aren’t authentic. Trustworthy distributors will have a professional set up whether it is online or in a brick and mortar store.

Let an Expert Check it Out

If you are going to be dropping a few thou on a watch, then you should have to option of allowing an expert to take a look before the close the deal. If the seller does not agree to allow you to have the watch inspected then that should put the scent of a rat in the air. Something is definitely afoot. Someone with nothing to hide will have no problem allowing you to have an expert inspect it and determine its authenticity.

Trust your Gut

If the seller seems shady or something seems hokey with the deal your instincts are probably right. At the very least it should prompt you to look closer at the merchandise. But if you get that uneasiness in your gut, you know that feeling, the one that says something is not on the up and up, then smile and thank the seller for his time. You can even compliment his merchandise if you like, but keep your money in your pocket and walk away – walk quickly away.


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