Luxury watches are more than timepieces, as they can also be seen as valuable works of art. However, the market for such watches can be overwhelming due to the sheer number of choices you have for both pre-owned and brand-new ones. Furthermore, with fake timepieces imitating famous brands, it can be challenging to differentiate between counterfeit and genuine watches.
In this article, let’s explore how we can identify fake luxury watches to make informed purchases and avoid being duped.
Beware of offers that are “too good to be true”.
If you spot an offer for a well-known brand that presents a heavily discounted price when compared to the official website and authorized dealers, then it is most probably not a genuine product. When it comes to limited pieces or discontinued collections, a price tag that is lower than usual is a cause for concern.
The reason for being aware of such offers is that the materials and craftsmanship that are poured into luxury watches are factored into their cost. High-end watches aren’t simply a symbol of exclusivity, but also of quality and the intricacies that go into their production.
Watch out for mistakes and defects.
Luxury brands take pride in delivering perfection in each timepiece produced. They hold themselves to high standards and deliver only the best in terms of materials used along with craftsmanship. Therefore, it is near impossible that you’ll find any imperfections in a genuine luxury watch.
Before you bring a watch home, you should take time to carefully inspect every surface. We also recommend familiarizing yourself with how an authentic watch should look and feel. Here is a list of warning signs to look out for when trying to spot a counterfeit:
- Crooked text, sloppy or unequal font.
- Incorrect or missing logos.
- Poorly finished case with possible rough edges.
- Subpar materials that may be peeling or flaking.
- Flimsy bracelet clasps which may not close.
- Missing serial number.
- The production of counterfeit watches is done in a rushed manner, using subpar tools and machinery.
The production of counterfeit watches is done in a rushed manner, using subpar tools and machinery. Therefore, there will be errors in the watches made which you can detect.
What are the signs to watch out for with specific brands?
As the demand for luxury watches rises, the amount of imitations flooding the market grows along with it. Well-known brands like Rolex, Omega, and Patek Philippe were reported as being the most frequently counterfeited. Therefore, we have provided some simple tips and tricks for those who are interested in knowing what to watch out for.
You can begin by inspecting the serial and model numbers. If they are missing or look faint and faded, then it is most likely a fake. Rolex’s serial and model numbers are made up of deep as well as solid fine lines. Next, you can take a look at the cyclops, which is a convex magnifying lens above the date window. It will magnify the number to improve its readability.
The weight of the watch can also be used to determine its authenticity. A genuine Rolex will be heavier due to the quality of materials and metals used in its creation compared to an imitation, which will be significantly lighter.
The brand name should be free of misspellings, with fonts that are consistent and crisp. A common error that can be seen on counterfeit pieces is “Philippe,” where it may be missing a “P” or have an extra “L.”
Another telltale sign is an irregular or erratic ticking. A genuine Patek Philippe timepiece can have hundreds of tiny components, meticulously pieced together using skilled hands. The sound produced should be smooth and uniform.
Omega has spent years innovating and perfecting the hand movements that can be found in their watches. Therefore, if you see a stuttering second hand, then you might be looking at a replica. To further examine its authenticity, you can pull on the crown to adjust the timing. On a genuine Omega timepiece, the second hand will stop moving to ensure accuracy in timekeeping. However, if it doesn’t stop, then it is not an authentic piece.
Timepieces produced by Omega are also completely silent. Therefore, if a watch claiming to be an Omega has a ticking sound, then it’s a fake.
The iconic Tudor Rose is on the side of the crowns of all watches made by Tudor. While many fake watches have attempted to replicate this detail, they may use low-quality materials or have sloppy craftsmanship, resulting in an inferior appearance. Genuine timepieces by Tudor have sharp engravings of the Rose with a neat appearance.
Audemars Piguet has a unique Tapisserie pattern lasered into the dial. This is done with the utmost precision and care, making it difficult to replicate. Therefore, on fake watches, you may see an absence of the aforementioned pattern or a poorly drawn one.
You can also take a look at the rotor to gauge its legitimacy. Genuine timepieces from Audemars Piguet have a smooth rotor along with a polished finish. In contrast, a fake piece will have a dull glow due to the cheap materials used.
How to avoid buying fake luxury watches?
Get familiar with the brand:
Knowing the specifications of the watch you’re looking for will go a long way in protecting you against counterfeits. Visit the brand’s official website and look at different models, as many of their features are distinct and serve to make it harder for them to be faked.
Speak with authorized dealers:
You can speak with authorized dealers who are well-versed in the brands they provide, along with their different models. Visiting the brand’s official website or participating in forums that cater to luxury watches can also help arm you against falling prey to imitations.
Visit an authorized dealer:
Even though online shopping has its convenience, making the trip to visit an authorized dealer is worthwhile. At Watch Capital, we not only verify each of our timepieces for their authenticity but are also licensed by the Singapore Police Force and registered as a dealer with the Ministry of Law. By going to an authorized dealer, you eliminate the fear of bringing a counterfeit home, along with being able to shop with peace of mind.