How to spot a fake watch

Watches have become a quintessential part of every man and woman’s wardrobe ensemble. Not only are they functional, they can make or break an outfit and are a status symbol everywhere you go, making them a must-have in the closet. 


With the influx of demand for high-quality watches, many people are looking to purchase renowned brands that assure them of longevity and quality, no matter the price. 


But with great status comes great responsibility!

And, of course, high demand for similar-looking watches that don't cost as much as new 


In recent years, counterfeit watches are an ever-growing market due to the high demand for luxury watches. But due to some of the original’s hefty price tags, not everyone can afford to pick up a pair or two. Thus the growth of the counterfeit watch market. 


Some people may be happy with a counterfeit watch and will seek them out, but if you want an original, you need to be able to distinguish what is fake to prevent you from being ripped off.


And since many of these watches are made with the highest qualities, their resale value is also relatively high. As someone who wishes to purchase a second-hand watch, you should know a real one from a fake.


Counterfeit watches can be crafted to look very similar if not indistinguishable to the untrained eye. At GEM Pawnbrokers, you can trust we are trained to spot counterfeits, and we guarantee the watches we sell are genuine.


With more convincing counterfeit watches in the market, you can examine a variety of things to clue your way into finding the answer to the question, "Is this real or a counterfeit?" 

Know the brand

Before purchasing a second hand watch you need to know what to look for.  Start by gettinh to know what brands there are, what your preference in style is, what brand you wish to pick and the model you want. Spend some time getting to know what a genuine one should look like. 


If you are buying a preloved watch then reputable auction houses are a good source of information as they may have sold the same model and you could use their details and images as a comparison.


Things to look out for are:

  • Appearance – what material and finishes have been used? Do the colours match? Do they have any hallmarks? Does the face look perfect? A fake watch will be rougher and is likely to have imperfections as genuine watches will be hand finished to a higher standard. Even the smallest dents and scratches could be a sign of a fake. 
  • Engravings and serial numbers – the typefaces used for engraving tend to be more distinctive and sharper on luxury watches and some use distinctive fonts. So, look for differences, imperfections or errors in the engraving. If your watch has some sort of text on it, look out for spelling errors and check to see if they match the original font. 
  • Stamps – designer watches will also have a number of stamps around the body. You will need to cross-check with an original model to check for inconsistencies. 
  • Weight – this is often a key distinction as counterfeits are generally made with cheaper and lighter materials. On the other hand, branded watches are made with precious stones, crystals, gold, silver, heavy metals, and metal alloys that can accumulate to become heavy. 
  • Movement – counterfeit watches can often have poor movement and differences in their internal mechanisms, so it is worth getting it inspected by an expert.
  • Sound – movement can also impact the sound as luxury watches will have smoother mechanisms and less noise, so loud ticking is often a sign of a fake. An original watch will most likely not make any noise or ticking sound. Place the watch close to your ear to hear a soft ticking sound as a quick test. 
  • Watch bracelets – designer or branded watches have bracelets that are durable and flexible. Check for the comfort factor and how easily it can bend. 
  • The model number and serial – all designer brands have a model number and a specific serial number for each of their watches which you can easily check. 


Paperwork and proof of ownership

Understanding the province and ownership of the watch is important. Many vintage watches will have a certificate of authenticity, although this may not always be the case. Any paperwork relating to the watch can offer reassurance of the watch’s history, and not only helps you identify it as genuine, but will ensure that the watch holds its value.

Knowledge about the seller

It is wise to buy watches from authorised dealers or established reputable dealers. The dealer should know everything about the watch and be able to tell you about its features and province. If something doesn’t add up or feel right, then question whether it is right to buy it.

Too good to be true

If the price is too good to believe, then it is unlikely to be genuine. Genuine luxury watches like Rolex,Tag and Omega hold their value and are investment pieces, so their prices are highly unlikely to be discounted or lower than the market value.

What to do with a counterfeit watch? 

If you've done all of the tests and find yourself, unfortunately, with a counterfeit watch, what should you do? 


You can do some digging on the seller and report them, so that they think twice about doing it again. If you have bought from an online seller via a platform like ebay, you should raise a complaint. You could also warn others about a particular seller being deceitful to protect others in the future.

Get your watch examined by Gem Pawnbrokers. 

Do you think you have a counterfeit watch? Or maybe want to double-check the authenticity of your current designer accessory? Or have an original watch you would like to sell? 


Visit us at Gem Pawnbrokers today for more information about how we can help you spot a fake and ensure your watch is as original as it can be. If you are interested in pawning or selling your designer watch, we also encourage you to come by for an appraisal. 


We hope to see you soon at one of our branches across New York City!