Replicas & fakes: How to identify inauthentic luxury watches



March 16. 2017 - by CHRONEXT

It is probably the worst surprise when buying a fine timepiece and realising that it is a replica. Unfortunately, today’s luxury watch market is riddled with fake models, including Frankenstein watches that fuse both real and fake components, which makes it a bit trickier to determine validity. But rest assured – as long as you are purchasing from a trusted seller that guarantees authenticity by skilled watchmakers, such as CHRONEXT, you have nothing to worry about. Below, we provide you with some easy tips that you may want to refer back to, just in case you ever come across a luxury timepiece that you suspect of being a replica. But don’t forget – these guidelines will only help you should you find a poorly composed fake watch. In most cases, you should leave it up to the experts to help you determine the legitimacy of a timepiece.

The lucrative Fake Business

Let’s begin with the bad news: The times when fake watches were easily recognised through badly written brand names on the dial or through non-existent models are long over. Nowadays it is difficult to differentiate between a genuine and a fake watch at first glance. There are even counterfeits that cannot be identified by the experts without precisely observing the movement. Almost perfect replicas are likely to have a fairly minute share in the fake market; nonetheless, the higher the interest in luxury watches, the higher the interest to earn money in this fast paced market. The fake business is extremely lucrative because the profit margin is particularly large and attracts a lot of people.

The devil is always in the details

Now for the good news: The risk of purchasing a poorly composed fake can be avoided with a little bit of effort. To imitate a watch as faithfully as possible is not the great art it was before, however, it gets a bit tricky when it comes to the details. This is precisely why fakes can be distinguished from originals by experts in at least 95% of the cases. It is crucial to know the coveted timepiece as well as possible and to develop an eye for detail. An example is: Do you know how the engraved Rolex laser crown looks like on the lower edge of the sapphire glass? Or how is the typography on the bezel of the Omega Speedmaster? It is precisely these details that make it possible to distinguish originals from counterfeits.

The aforementioned laser crown, for example, has been integrated into the sapphire glass as a counterfeit protection. Although this feature is now found in fakes as well, a close inspection with a magnifying glass can reveal that the laser crown consists of many small dots. The laser crown of a fake is much coarser, such counterfeits consequently fail.

What is extremely helpful and not to be underestimated in this context, is extensively examining the timepiece and maybe even trying it on for a few days. The reason being that the same watch can look different in photos, whereas if you see the actual watch yourself, you should know how the individual characteristics should look on the particular photo. The feeling one gets for a watch in direct contact cannot be replaced, even with vast Internet research.

The movement is almost counterfeit-proof

The movement is still the most reliable indication of the authenticity of a watch, which is to no surprise, because it is also the most demanding component of the timepiece. Since the calibres of various manufacturers all have a different appearance, a glance at the movement makes it possible to quickly assess whether it is the manufacturers calibre that has been installed in the watch. Special attention must be paid to the specific details of the design, but also to engravings and their quality.

The accessories can also be helpful

Special attention should be paid not only to the watch itself, but also to the accessories - provided that these are included. These are in general fairly simple to work with. An inferior-looking leather strap or coarse-grained lettering on the box should be indications for a fake. Papers are also useful. It is not just a question of whether the serial number is recorded on the certificate, the concessionaire – who is the seller –  is also very important.

In this context, it is also advisable to enter the serial number on Google and check whether the timepiece is stolen. For no property can be acquired from stolen goods, just as a counterfeit watch has no asset value.

Authentic watches are always guaranteed at CHRONEXT

It goes without saying that the online shop at CHRONEXT offers you the highest standards in terms of security. Every timepiece that is offered for sale – be it new, used, or vintage – has undergone an inspection in our in-house certified watchmaking atelier by one of our skilled watchmakers. Furthermore, we only work renowned trading partners so you are ensured from any unpleasant surprises. Discover our vast range of luxury watches from Rolex, Omega, Breitling, and many more celebrated luxury brands.



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