How to recognize counterfeit watches
This is a topic that will probably never lose its topicality. Whenever there is money involved, there will be attempts to defraud and people who want to sell counterfeit watches. We’re not talking about fake $ 20 Rolexes that can be seen from a kilometer away, but fakes that require some experience to unmask them (or not).
We assume that you know you should be ripped off if someone offers you a Rolex Submariner for $ 1,000; but what about Submariner watches that are only slightly below the average market price? Always make sure you know what you’re buying, especially when it comes to dealers or sellers you don’t know.
All brands from Audemars Piguet to Zenith: All of them are also available as fake versions. The trick is to distinguish the counterfeit from a real watch. In addition to traditional advice such as “buy the seller” and “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” you need other clues to watch out for and to identify a fake.
Or even better: by which you can recognize a real watch.
The answer is in the details of the watch. It requires a bit of experience and in some cases the help of an expert or the manufacturer of the watch, but the identification of a real watch is mainly done by visually checking certain details. This includes the use of certain materials, as well as the design and quality of the exterior (case, bracelet, crown, pushers, etc.). However, these details are mainly on the dial. Here you can differentiate between the original and the fake by using high-resolution images of an authentic watch as a reference. For example the size of the logo, the typeface, the choice of words on the dial (Swiss Made, T Swiss Made T, T <25 Swiss Made, etc.), the size of the hour mark, the print quality on the dial, etc.
However, it is important to be careful here, as some watch manufacturers also work with different suppliers of dials. Not every change or deviation is therefore a reason to assume that something is not real.
Some brands also use special “watermarks” to make life more difficult for counterfeiters. For example, Omega provides the case back of its watches with a small symbol (in the appearance of a globe) that is obviously difficult to copy, and Rolex indicates the serial number next to a lasered crown in sapphire glass on the dial of each of its watches (along the circle at 6 o’clock). The problem with Rolex, Omega, and some other big brands is that they don’t consistently (Rolex never) use a transparent case back. In most cases, the movement used in the watch will immediately tell whether a watch is real or not. Counterfeiters sometimes use imitations of ETA movements or even genuine ETA movements in their watches, but do not refine them to the same high level as is the case with original watches.
For high-end watches, for example from A. Lange & Söhne or Patek Philippe, the manufacturing costs for a similar-looking (and refined) movement are too high or it is simply impossible, so that we believe that these models pose a risk to sit on a fake is not very big.
The most difficult thing to distinguish between false and authentic vintage watches is in cases where counterfeiters have used original parts, e.g. B. to manufacture the extremely popular vintage version of the Rolex Submariner. We strongly recommend that you rely on experts who will be happy to assist you with this matter. Honestly, it is not a bad thing to put your questions and doubts up for discussion in a public space, such as a forum, wherever there are people who can make interesting comments and comments about the watch. However, the risk that someone will snap the coveted watch away from the party offering it as soon as you put it online with your questions is quite large. However, buying a worthless fake is still less of a risk.