Tuesday, 03 Apr, 2007 Technology

Can You Distinguish a Fake?


At present day fake watches have become serious competitors to authentic timepieces. Revenue gained from fake watch business sometimes exceed the revenue of legal dealers of authentic timepieces. To buy a replica watch, you do not have to find a suspicious-looking guy glad to put you off a cheap fake. Qualitative fake watches of most prestigious brands are available on counters of respectful boutiques and trade centers.

If you are a simple customer, it is up to you to decide what kind of a watch to acquire. Some people find many reasons to own a replica watch - if it is a good copy, it looks almost the same and is provided with the same functions; its price is affordable, so a customer may even buy a few fake watches and do not be afraid of a loss or a theft. Everything seems fine as long as a person realizes he becomes an owner of a copy. But the situation is absolutely different if a customer takes a risk of acquiring an original watch for outrageous price of the original that will finally turn out to be a fake one.

If you want to own a 'real' Swiss watch, how to avoid the danger of purchasing a fake presented as "Swiss Made"? In fact, it is not always a piece of cake. The watch market sells mockery-like fake watches that make watch specialists laugh, so even a usual customer who knows almost nothing about horology, will immediately see the timepiece's 'doubtful' nature. However, a customer may also stumble upon qualitative and expensive analogues of authentic timepieces that have even been produced from original materials. In this case a fake watch may be determined by some significant factors:

  1. Price: Before you buy a watch, make sure to find out the price range for models of the watch collection you are interested in. Swiss watches are mainly distributed through a network of official distributors that sell timepieces available at just slightly different prices. A thousand dollars may seem quite a sum of money, but it is almost nothing if it is a Rolex or Patek Philippe watch on your mind.
  2. Swiss made: The dial of a Swiss watch always features the inscription 'Swiss' or "Swiss made'. A timepiece with inscription 'Made in Switzerland" is a fake one.
  3. Documents and package: Along with a model of a Swiss watch, you must get all the necessary documents concerning the timepiece. An authentic Swiss watch goes in a nice package. Still, in case of qualitative fake watches, a package is not the guarantee of the watch's authentic nature.
  4. Certificate: While buying a Swiss watch, ask a shop-assistant to show you the certificate of conformance and health certificate. These documents are processed by the importer only in case of authentic timepieces.
  5. Catalog: Take your time to consult the watch catalog. Find and compare the model you like with its analog in the catalog. Read through its description. Fake watches often have minor differences in their functions and even the name of the model.
  6. Length of warranty: If the watch dealer says the timepiece is provided with ten years of warranty, remember that Swiss watches are given a 2-year warranty. In some specific cases, a watch warranty may last for 3 years. This guarantee concerns first of all the watch's movement.

If you consider all the above mentioned factors, you will have more chances to acquire a long-wished-for timepiece of a prestigious Swiss brand.

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61 votes

//12 Oct 22, 2010 02:06 AM | posted by: Nahbuts
Tudor's were never madein mexico.. Tissot's have never been disguised as a Tudor. They are miles apart in terms of quality. Tudor's use nothing but Rolex movements, albeit slightly older styles, Tissot's for the most part also user quartz movements not automatic(mechanical) movements.
64 votes

//11 Jun 04, 2010 12:00 PM | posted by: Frank
Tudor was created by the same founder as Rolex in the 1940s with the strick instructions to create a brand that had every possible bit of reliability and style as the "big brother" brand (Rolex) without the higher price tag. Hans Wilsdorf specifically tested the original oysterdate watch to ensure that it had the uncompromising quality of his famed Rolex brand while utilizing parts and materials that resulted in a product that was affordable to more of the masses. Unlike its big brother, Tudor watches were originally only made out of stainless steel and as Wilsdorf was so impressed by the quality of the watch he allowed the Tudor brand to use two features that no other watch brand was allowed to and at the time was unique to Rolex alone; the Oyster case with screw-in caseback to hermetically seal the movement from the elements and to waterproof the watch as well as the automatic rotor which automatically wound the watch.
Up until the early 1990s, the two brands basically shared cases, casebacks, winding crowns and bracelets. It is very common in the time leading up until then for Tudor watches to have Rolex signed crowns (both twin and triplock), cases (signed "Original Oyster Case by Rolex Geneva" followed by the Rolex coronet) and even Rolex Oyster and Jubilee bracelets. Since the transition in the 90s, subsequent Tudor watches are signed "Tudor Geneva Swiss" on the caseback, the Rolex coronet on the winding crown replaced with the Tudor shield, and bracelets signed "Tudor" with its own model numbers.
The movements used by Tudors are ETA/Valjoux movements (commonly used in many Swiss watches even today), of which only the highest chronometer grades were purchased and then assembled at the Rolex/Tudor factory with modifications made to bring the movements up to the standards and performance demanded by Rolex/Tudor. Tudor watches till this day keep exceptional time. FYI - Up until the late 90s, Rolex itself was still using outsourced Zenith chronogaph/cosmograph movements until it finally released its venerable 4130 movement which is found in tody's Rolex Daytona model watches.
Tudor watches are sold side by side with its more expensive brother Rolex in many countries around the world , but primarily in Asia and Europe. Tudor watches were pulled out of the US market in the late 90s though it is rumored that they will be returning in the near future. This is good news as Tudor designs have been distinguishing themselves from the Rolex brand for some time now and at the Basel watch fair in 2010 made a splash with the reintroduction of their must sought after Monte Carlo styled chronograph watch with updates reflective of customer requests.
Tudor watches are a great value for the money and significantly less expensive than their Rolex counterparts; Tudor Prince Oysterdates (essentially their version of Rolex's Datejust watches) sell for around $1500 with used examples as low as $300 - $400 compared to the Rolex which starts at $5000 with used examples starting around $2000 depending on age. The movement is the primary mechanical difference and it's a well tuned movement at that.
Purchasing Used:
For watch enthusiasts/collectors, it is often said that one needs to buy the seller, not the watch. The same can be true of purchasing online; a seller with zero (0) feedback selling a $5000 watch is probably not the person you want to purchase your luxury watch from. Rather seek and price from established and reputable sellers who are basing their auctions on their reputation and not one watch; you stand a better chance of receiving the real deal that way. Also, watch specific forums have "trusted sellers" who've demonstrated their worth to the admins and sea of customers that can be found on said forums (www.rolexforums.com and www.watchtalk.com) to name a few. You also find that these trusted sellers have a presence at almost all of the "good" forums as their impeccable reputations and good pricing on mostly secondhand watches has solidified their place as a "trusted seller".
As a first purchase, it is probably prudent to visit a couple of Authorized Dealers, try on the various models that interest you and base your buying decision on the level of service you received instead of the price tag. You can't beat a brick and mortar shop that you can return to and visit should you have a problem, need to service the watch , or want more info. You can't put a price on piece of mind.
Hope some of you found this to be helpful.
61 votes

//10 Apr 04, 2010 01:13 AM | posted by: juan
i would like to buy a watch onine, the price online ( on ebay) is much less than on a normal store and i dont know if it is original or if it is a fake, does anybody recomend me to buy it online or should i buy it on the normal store?
Thank you :)
52 votes

//9 May 25, 2009 01:32 AM | posted by: kudude63 [InfoBIG]
Have any of you seen a wooden watch? I have...
49 votes

//8 May 25, 2009 01:31 AM | posted by: kudude63 [InfoBIG]
Waaait, now I understand
45 votes

//7 May 25, 2009 01:30 AM | posted by: kudude63 [InfoBIG]
This is confuzing!
47 votes

//6 May 06, 2008 10:40 PM | posted by: Timesetters
as far as I know currently, Tudor (by) Rolex has never been made outside of their factories in Switzerland. Tudor mechanisms are are perfectly good quality, and made in Switzerland (could even be from the same factory that makes Tissots').

Tissot is a traditional and legitimate brand, in fact some 60 years older than Rolex itself. All watch companies are prone to 'copying' design features from their competitors (who doesnt), so similarities are OK, downright imitation is not (ie. its probably a fake). People fake Tissot's too.

Unfortunately there is almost as much misinformation about fakes as there are fakes in circulation. Sadly there is no easy answer to know if a watch is definitely fake: that's why we have skilled and professional watchmakers (to tell the difference).
45 votes

//5 Dec 07, 2007 10:57 AM | posted by: Heyu
For the guy looking for a Tissot PRS200, check out E-bay, and more specifically look for McPeeks Timepiece, he's a dealer on there. I just purchased a Tissot PRS200 from him and it seems authentic, all packaging and what not; im gonna take it in to get looked at, but it seems like a legit dealer.
48 votes

//4 Dec 04, 2007 05:53 AM | posted by: orsby crenshaw
I recently found a Tiffany & Co watch in a pawn shop. How can I tell if it is authentic or copy
48 votes

//3 Oct 31, 2007 07:37 AM | posted by: Unknown
I have been looking for the Tissot PRS 200 for a long time. I recently encountered one along with the Tissot touch in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia for the first time. However the fact that the prices are 35 to 45 % cheaper than anywhere else (e.g. Dubai airport, or South Africa) makes me suspicious of their authenticity. I cannot find out from internet sources if Tissot have issued fake warning on Tissot Touch or PRS 200. Can anyone help me on this?
51 votes

//2 Oct 11, 2007 08:33 AM | posted by: Kristin [InfoTOT]
Does anyone know if Tudor Rolex was ever made in Mexico? Has anyone ever seen a Tissot watch disguised as a Tudor? Thanks
49 votes

//1 Sep 03, 2007 11:03 AM | posted by: alcotrazz [InfoMANIAC]
usefull.. thanks!

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