A glimpse of a luxury watch is a sign of true class, an understated elegance which silently screams style and taste.
Unlike costume jewellery, a luxury watch is an investment; the quality of workmanship and the materials used are quite simply unparalleled.
If you want to save a few pennies on the price of a true luxury watch, you may be tempted to purchase a replica counterfeit. This is the kind of watch which isn’t just similar in style, but bears the same logo as the more expensive model, despite not being made by the same company.
This is an illegal product but sellers are becoming increasingly brazen, trying to disguise the truth about their activities by creating websites which appear to be entirely genuine.
Brands such as Rolex are particularly susceptible to these types of rogue traders, but if you take a look at the two watches side by side, there’s simply no comparison.
Counterfeit watches are quite common.
Here’s what you should know about counterfeits and why they simply aren’t worth your money.
Not a cheap option
In the past, buyers have been left in no doubt that they were buying a dodgy watch because the price label was so cheap, costing less than a quality high street model.
However, sellers have cottoned on that by flogging them so cheaply, buyers were actually being deterred. A new tactic is now often used: a price tag which is reassuringly expensive.
Counterfeit watches are often made in sweatshops and cost just a few pounds at most to make, even if their internal mechanisms (the part which is called the movement) were manufactured in a legitimate country such as Switzerland. Children are often used to put them together because their smaller hands are better suited to the tiny parts.
But in order to convey a sense of quality, sellers charge an enormous mark-up on the price, selling counterfeits for hundreds of pounds. Compared to the original model, this is typically just a fraction of the price, but still expensive enough to deceive buyers into thinking they are purchasing something of a superior quality.
Buying online can be difficult because there’s no easy way to verify the authenticity of the seller. However, many buyers will look for signs such as a reputable payment organisation such as PayPal being offered.
Unfortunately, PayPal is simply a payment processor and doesn’t validate whether or not the goods are genuine when an account is set up (although they will suspend or terminate an account if they find out they are selling counterfeit goods).
You therefore cannot rely on indications such as these to demonstrate that a seller is the real thing.
Quality of the watch
If you aren’t familiar with luxury watches you may not know what to expect once your order arrives.
And in the vast majority of cases, the counterfeit watch you have purchased may be quite impressive when it arrives.Reassuringly heavy, with a well printed face, bearing the logo of whatever company the counterfeit is copying, the watches on first glance could be easily mistaken for being the real thing.
However, although they might seem to be of a high quality, closer inspection can reveal otherwise.
A truly luxury watch has hands which almost seem to flow around the face with no obvious jerk from one second to the next. Replica watches don’t offer the same smoothness in the hand movement and in most cases there’s a clearly defined ‘tick’ from one second to the next.
Not all types of luxury watch feature this continuous sweep; Rolex for example often use eight ticks per second. However, the movements are gentle and almost imperceptible, not an abrupt jump which is what is typically found in a counterfeit design.
Counterfeit watches are sometimes hard to spot.
And it’s the very smallest of details which give the luxury watches the edge; the links are snug and fit precisely with no uneven gaps or chinks. The whole watch feels smooth to the touch with no rattles or unfinished edges.
The above information should help you identify the real thing from a counterfeit model and give you an idea of some of the factors to bear in mind.
However, if you aren’t experienced in looking for the tell-tale signs of a genuine luxury watch, the biggest giveaway is the price.
Even for end of line models, you won’t pick up discounts of 50-75% or more because these watches hold their value. A luxury watch is truly an investment which stands the test of time.
Put simply, a luxury watch which is priced ridiculously low probably isn’t going to be the genuine article, however much you would like it to be!
Image credits: CANNIK and Bbaunch