How to identify a fake watch

How do I spot a fake watch? L Haden

Fake watches, especially the ones coming out of China, are now so well-crafted that buyers need to be on their guard more than ever.

There are a few key points to consider:

  • That long established second-hand test - a genuine luxury watch will have a sweeping second hand, a fake will judder (if only slightly) - still applies.
  • Top brands, such as Rolex, feature sapphire crystal on the face of the watch that only a diamond can scratch - so if you find your watch's face getting scratched over time, get your money back.
Counterfeit Rolex watches
Which one is the fake? Answer, they all are

  • The date window in bona fide versions is perfectly centred over the date. In fakes it can appear less exact.
  • Examine the numbering and lettering on the bezel and dial - even the slightest imperfections or fuzziness mean yours is a fake. Swiss watch manufacturers have the most exacting of standards.
  • Be extra cautious of the Rolex brand, which is well known to be the most commonly faked brand. Among the best tests involves removing the bracelet - genuine examples should have the model and case number engraved on the side of the timepiece at the 12 and 6 positions.

As with other areas of collecting, common sense must always apply. Buy from a reputable dealer or auction house (one that offers you a lifetime guarantee).


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