No, it’s not a joke, so don’t wait for the punchline!
This post is about how to identify a fake watch from a genuine watch.
As with many high-value items, there will always be unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of others by passing off inferior and, often, useless replicas as the real deal. It is easy to spot a cardboard box being passed off as a detached luxury house and you wouldn’t pay hundreds of thousands for it (although, in London, this may happen)! Similarly, you would have to be pretty foolish to pay top price for an old banger just because somebody had glued an Aston Martin badge to the bonnet!
“Get your genuine Rolex here!”
With watches, it is a bit more difficult to spot a fake, however. It may be that you cannot afford the real thing and you do not mind wearing a replica. We have all seen the “looky looky” man at the beach with an armful of gear pestering you to buy his “quality” goods! You are suckered into buying one and wear it for a couple of days before it turns your skin green and the minute hand falls off. So, buy a replica if that is what you want and you know what you are getting. But don’t be conned into paying top money unless you are sure it is genuine. The old adage “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is” has never been more true.
The Real Deal
This guide will help you sort the wheat from the chaff and ensure you do not get ripped off.
- The guaranteed way to ensure you are buying the genine article is, of course, to purchase through a reputable retailer or from the manufacturer themselves.
- Familiarise yourself with the watch you are interested in. Most luxury watches have at least one element that is very difficult to replicate so make sure you know what that is. But know exactly what the watch should look, feel, sound and taste like (ok, the last one may be going a bit far)!
- Inspect the watch thoroughly. Make sure there are no unclear or misspelt words in the engravings or on the watch face. No, it is not spelled Brightling!
- Check the workings and functions of the watch carefully. For instance, most Rolex watches have a sweeping second hand, but the replica may have a ticking motion, so this is a clear giveaway. But, some Rolex watches do have the ticking motion, so make sure you know the details of your particular model.
- If possible, look under the hood. There may be some clear signs that the watch is substandard.
- If the watch should have a hallmark, make sure it has and, if you are not sure, get it tested.
- If it ticks loudly when it shouldn’t, step away, step right away!
- The watch should have a certificate of authenticity. This should give the history of the watch and make it easier to sell in the future, if you choose to do so.
- Beware of the price. You may be lucky to get a bargain but, if you are offered a watch at a price significantly below market value (you should know what this is), then there may be a very good reason for it!
- As always, if you are unsure about anything, either get it checked out by an expert, or just go elsewhere for your purchase.
Don’t let the above put you off. Finding and buying the right watch for you can be a wonderful experience and even more so if you are getting the genuine article for the right price.