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How To Spot A Fake Watch

The world of luxury watches holds a timeless appeal. These prestigious timepieces represent quality craftsmanship, iconic design and a lasting investment.

However, the popularity of luxury brands also attracts counterfeiters. There are estimated to be over a million fake watches in the UK, increasing shopper anxiety when buying one.

This makes navigating the watch market tricky as you want to make sure your investment is getting you the real deal. That’s where our guide can help as we equip you with the knowledge to spot a fake one.

1. Scrutinise the watch face

Authentic watches are meticulously crafted with perfect alignment of logos, markings and dials. A counterfeit item might have misspellings, blurry logos or uneven spacing between hour markers. 

Take a close look at the watch face to find detailing errors. A genuine Rolex will have a perfectly placed crown logo and flawless printing for example. 

2. Examine the weight and materials 

Luxury watches are typically made from high-quality materials like sapphire crystal, gold or ceramic. These materials offer a distinct weight and feel. A fake watch will likely be lightweight and flimsy compared to the genuine article. 

Pick up the accessory and assess its weight, an authentic timepiece should feel substantial and well-crafted, not cheap and plasticky. 

3. Listen to the movement

Real chronographs operate with a smooth, silent movement. Unauthentic ones might have a loud ticking sound or a jerky, uneven movement. While some higher-end replicas might try to mimic this, a keen ear can often detect a difference. 

Automatic timepieces should have a slight rotor sound when swirled gently. Forged automatics might lack this sound or have a grinding or clunky feel when moved.

4. Check the authenticity documents

Most reputable retailers will provide a certificate of authenticity with a watch purchase. These documents should have security features like holograms or watermarks and match the watch's serial number engraved on the case back. 

Be wary of those being sold without any paperwork or with suspicious-looking certificates. Owning brands like Rolex gets you a set of official documentation, including a warranty card and certificate of authenticity.

5. Trust your gut and do your research

A deal that seems too good to be true probably is. If a seller is pressuring you or is hesitant about answering questions regarding the watch's origin and history, walk away. 

Always research the authorized retailers of your desired brand and avoid unknown online sellers or suspicious physical stores with drastically discounted prices.

By following these tips, you'll be well-equipped to identify fake watches and make informed decisions when purchasing a luxury timepiece. Make sure you know your rights if you’ve bought counterfeit goods to be on the safe side too.


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