How to spot a fake watch

Counterfeit watches are an ever-growing market due to the high demand for luxury watches and the price tag they have. Some people may be happy with a counterfeit watch and will seek out them, but if you want a genuine watch you need to be able to distinguish what is fake and to prevent you from being ripped off.

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

With more convincing counterfeit watches in the market, you should examine at the following:

Know the brand

Once you know which brand of watch you want, get to know that brand and the model so you 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:

  1. Appearance – what material and finishes have been used? Do the colors 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.
  2. Engravings and serial numbers – the typefaces used for engraving tend to more distinctive and sharper on luxury watches and some use distinctive fonts. So, look for differences, imperfections or errors in the engraving.
  3. Weight – this is often a key distinction as counterfeits are generally made with cheaper and lighter materials.
  4. Movement – counterfeit watches can often have poor movement and differences in their internal mechanisms, so it is worth getting it inspected by an expert.
  5. 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.

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 the reassurance of the watch’s history and not only helps you but will ensure that the watch holds its value.

Knowledge about the seller

It is wise to buy watches from authorised dealers or established and 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 probably isn’t genuine. Genuine luxury watches like Rolex and Omega hold their value and are investment pieces so their prices are highly unlikely to be discounted or lower than the market value.