I begin this article with a small confession. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it is an example of how easy it is to be tricked. It was probably around 2003 when I started searching for an Oyster bracelet for my Rolex Datejust (which came on a Jubilee bracelet). I quickly found one on eBay and, after doing a quick feedback check on the seller, I decided to hit the “Buy Now” button.
I don’t recall the exact price but it was reasonable enough, certainly not so cheap that it was “too good to be true.” After receiving the bracelet, I almost immediately discovered that it was a counterfeit. If I had only done my homework, I would have known that the clasp codes were incorrect and that the reference number was engraved in the wrong location on the bracelet. Essentially, I paid for my lesson by buying this counterfeit bracelet. No more impulsive “Buy Now” clicks unless I am absolutely sure everything is correct.
“Buyer Beware”, which is an interesting read, but mainly focused on the topic of how counterfeit watches pose a potential risk for the watch industry. In this article, I would like to put the focus more on the buyers of counterfeit watches or — even worse – the so-called “Frankenwatches.”
A counterfeit watch – or bracelet, as I mentioned in my small introduction – is a complete fake. Nothing is genuine about the watch. Some makers of counterfeit watches are quite good these days, which means they make them out of decent stainless steel, get most of the little details correct, and perhaps even provide a fake box and fake papers. Be very careful about those. Two things will probably give away it is fake: 1.The price. It is probably too good to be true. 2.The movement. There will be some other things as well, mainly in the details of the watch. So either make sure you are able to verify whether there is valid movement inside or study all the details of the watch to be sure. Ideally, you would bring a similar watch with you that you know to be genuine.