How To Spot A Fake Watch

Wednesday, 3rd May 2017

As luxury watches become increasingly expensive many people can find themselves priced outside the market.

Fake watches are the most mass produced item on the globe, and the counterfeit watch market is showing no signs of slowing.  As fake watches become more advanced and harder to spot they become ever more appealing to those who simply cannot afford the real deal. However, if you are planning on buying an investment piece, here is a quick guide to make sure you do not get caught out when purchasing a wonderful second-hand genuine timepiece.

  • Check manufacturing sites and do your research before buying. There is plenty of information online to compare prices and model variations.
  • If the watch should have Sapphire crystal glass make sure it does not have a green tint as this would suggest it is the cheaper Mineral glass. Also, place a droplet of water on the surface, only Sapphire Crystal glass will retain the water in a ball shape.
  • Place the watch in your hand. It should feel heavy. A lot of counterfeit models will have cheaper movements and feel light and tinny.
  • If you know the model is automatic make sure the hands are moving in a smooth sweeping motion and not ticking.
  • Make sure the combinations of materials, colours, dial and bezel is correct. Watches such as Rolex can be identified through their serial number and detailing on the crowns.
  • Are the spellings correct and finish of the detail to a high standard? Many counterfeit watches will not pay close attention to the finer details.
  • Does the watch have luminous markers on the dial? If so place it under a UV light and see if the luminosity is bright and even. Many fakes will appear patchy and faded.
  • Check the back of the watch. By doing your research beforehand you will come to recognise whether it should have an open back or one that is concealed.
  • Make sure you inspect the strap. Is it a suitable size for the watch and is the finish of a high-quality standard?
  • Always buy from a reputable source. If the person you are purchasing from is in a hurry this should raise alarm bells.
  • Make sure all features are working correctly. Many fakes will have poorly constructed buttons and crowns and chronographs will not always be running correctly.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions, any trustworthy seller will be happy to assist if they have nothing to hide.
  • If the deal is too good to be true then it probably is. Compare the second-hand market price of any watch before purchasing. IF IN DOUBT LEAVE IT OUT.

Looking to buy a watch? Check out our fortnightly watch auctions where you can come and view the vast array of watches on offer. Our experts are on hand to answer any queries you have and are always happy to help.

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