How to Differentiate Between a Fake and Genuine Luxury Watch

There is no replacement for quality. However, quality comes with a price tag that not many are able to afford. This inability to afford led to the industry emergence of counterfeit products. From textiles to makeup products, everything is being replicated and sold. Thus, it comes as no surprise that even the high-end and luxury watches are also being replicated in the market. According to the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry (FH), as much as 9% of customs seizures contribute to counterfeit and replica watches every year. This brings replica watches at the second spot in the counterfeit industry after textiles.

About 15% of the internet searches contribute to the queries on fake products. To one’s dismay, as the demands for luxury watches is increasing, counterfeiters are also getting better at producing premium quality replica watches. Those who are watch enthusiasts may be well informed to distinguish an original watch from a fake one; however, those who buy it for the first time must do their homework before stepping into the market. There are two types of people; those who cannot afford an original watch and buy a replica to experience the feel. And then, there are others who are simply cheated by counterfeiters. These are the type of people we are here to help. Reading this article will help them detect fake watches.

Design & Finishing

Before buying, you must acquaint yourself with how your desired model looks like. Visit the brand’s website and read on watch forums to determine all the possible fake modifications that counterfeiters can incorporate in that particular model. Luxury brands are extremely specific about maintaining the standards. Details and finishing on an original high-end watch are always flawless. While purchasing your model, take a close look at the dial, winding crown, lugs, case, bracelet, and clasp.

You can spot a fake watch considering the following red flags:

Stripping or chipping materials

Spelling errors and inaccurate logos

Sloppy font

Bracelet fitting inappropriate

Low quality and feeble bracelet fastens that won’t close

Noisy ticking sound if the timepiece is sold as a mechanical one

Unnamed crowns, clasps, dials or case-back

Materials Used

Imitators can only replicate the looks of a watch, not the complexity that goes in its making. Hence, imitations may look good as a show but they cannot promise durability. Take, for example, Seiko automatic watches. They are a blend of Japanese aesthetic and Seiko’s innovative watch ideas. They cater their customers with simplicity, yet they are difficult to imitate.

Authentic timepiece manufacturers commit their practices to the tradition of the master horologists, which ruled the industry before them. Hence, the outcome is the production of watches that are exquisite and greatly resilient. Unlike copies, original wristwatches are made using high-end materials such as authentic calfskin, stainless steel, refined metals, and gemstones.

Functionless Push Pieces and Unnecessary Directions

This is one of the most common factors to identify a fake watch. Original timepieces are expensive because of the functions they offer, and those functions can only run when the right kind of material and expertise has been used. It is very trendy for watches to have useless, redundant verbosity like “automatic,” “chronograph,” “limited edition,” etc. However, fake watch manufacturers are sufficiently benevolent to make a special effort and actually print a virtual user manual on the dial.

Thus, if you are buying a watch with “tourbillon,” “minutes,” or “quarters” printed on the dial or the case back, be notified. Do not forget to check the spelling of all words carefully as fakes are often languid with respect to orthography.

In addition, if your watch has pushers that appear as though they belong to a chronograph, but your watch has no chronograph functions, well you got it. Your watch is likely an imitation.


If everything fails you in determining the authenticity of a watch, this factor will be your last resort. High-end watches cost a lot to design. Luxury brands use a huge amount of money to run globally and the prices of their wares distinctly prove that. Further, it is a given that premium watches would not really be as desired if they were affordable.

So in view of that, if the price offered on a specific model is excessively low compared to its market worth, it is most likely a counterfeit watch being sold as a genuine luxury watch. Now that everything is on the internet, it is a lot simpler to make sense of the estimated market worth of practically any extravagant watch model today.

Authentic timepieces also come with a warranty. Generally, replica watches will last you a year, that too if you are lucky enough. Most imitated watches are damaged with regular use. Thus, if you are getting an authentic watch, make sure the manufacturer offers you a one-year warranty, should your watch need some repair service.

Rust And Scratches are not the Part of High-End Movement Finish

One of the major costs contributed to a high-end watch belongs to the manual labor dedicated to the movement to make it a masterpiece. Rust, monstrous peeling and scratches are not part of the latest generation techniques. Your high-end watch will never receive scratch or experience rusting. Fake watches are just what they give off an impression of being: telltale indications of a cheap movement.

It is important to know that fake items are not only illegal but also the counterfeit products industry has a monstrous underbelly connected to human rights infringement, tax evasion, child labor, and other criminal activities. Luxury watch brands speak to extravagance & exceptionality and additionally represent dedication, hard work, specialized expertise, and quality with regards to materials used and masters behind the art. When you buy an original timepiece, you are contributing your part to an important industry, which owns a rich and profound legacy. So, help yourself out and read these to tips to guarantee you are bagging the genuine deal and not a sham.