Reasons not to buy a replica

15 Reasons Not To Buy a Replica, Counterfeit or Fake Watch

In this primer on fake watches, we’re going to discuss 15 reasons why you should NEVER buy a counterfeit watch.


Dont be these people

Dont be these people

Okay, let’s face it. Sometimes the thought of spending thousands of dollars on a luxury watch can seem a little foolish. Today, counterfeit watches are big business and many of them look virtually identical to the real thing. In fact, without opening the case, some experts have been routinely fooled into believing a fake watch was real. So is there anything wrong with buying a replica watch? We think so, and here are fifteen reasons why.


An example of a fake watch being sold on eBay

An example of a fake watch being sold on eBay

1. It’s Illegal

This alone should be reason enough to not buy a counterfeit watch — it’s illegal, without exception. However, that clearly isn’t enough to deter a multi-million dollar industry of fake producers and the people who buy their watches.

Many people argue that if you’re only buying them and not selling them, you’re not really breaking the law. Unfortunately for you, the police, the watch community and the public will disagree with you. Not only does it impact the economy, but it impacts everyone who works in the industry. You can be charged criminally with selling a counterfeit watch and you can be charged for buying one in many regions around the world. True gentlemen don’t break the law or support those who do.

2. You Will Get Caught

The average person may not be able to tell that your watch is fake, but anyone who is a collector or an expert will be able to. Imagine how it will look if you’re outed in front of a client, colleague or your boss, especially if they’ve admired your watch. The odds are that at some point you will meet someone who quickly realizes there is an issue with your watch, and then you will have to answer for it.

3. It Could Be Seized

You’re very lucky if the only penance you pay for wearing a fake watch is to be embarrassed by the person who discovers it. If your fake watch is discovered by custom agents, there might be more serious consequences. At the very least, the watch will be confiscated or seized, which is a waste of money in addition to being a serious legal risk. In some countries, it’s a crime to simply be in possession of fake goods, which may result in fines or even prison time.

A selection of replica timepieces

A selection of replica timepieces

4. It Can Affect The Innocent Buyer

Experts agree that 15-30% of all internet searches for luxury watches are people looking for fakes they can pass off as the real thing. The higher the demand for counterfeit watches, the more inclined con artists are to make and sell them. Even though you may be looking for something counterfeit, it doesn’t mean the next guy is. Most sellers of counterfeit watches aren’t honest enough to mention they are fakes and so it’s a regular occurrence for men seeking the real thing to get burned by purchasing a fake watch online or from a gray market seller who is looking for an easy payday. The fake watch industry costs the Swiss watch industry billions of dollars each year. Unfortunately, a great deal of that money comes from unwitting buyers who don’t realize they’re spending their hard earned money on a fake watch. Furthermore, if you dream of buying a luxury watch yourself one day, it could end up being you who gets duped.

Fake Watches are For Fake People Advertisement

Fake Watches are For Fake People Advertisement

5. Fake Watches Are For Fake People

That’s a pretty bold statement, but it didn’t originate with us. In fact, it’s a slogan that has been used in many ad campaigns by a consortium of Swiss watch companies that make up the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. Is there any truth to it? Certainly.

There are traditionally three types of buyers who want the name of a luxury watch manufacturer on their wrist. One is the collector who values the artistry and mechanics that make up a fine timepiece. This individual understands and respects their value and appreciates the craftsmanship. The second type of person buys a luxury watch purely for the statement it makes about their lifestyle. The third type of person is the same in that they want to impress others, but they can’t afford the real thing.

Even though the second kind of watch buyer may not be tasteful or likable, they still made a legitimate purchase. You’ll still be better off buying a watch that you can afford than trying to be someone you’re not, which in the case of watch buyer type #2, may be a good thing.

It is not gentlemanly behavior to lie to those you interact with, nor is it gentlemanly to break the law.

6. It’s Obvious

That leads us to the next reason. If you are the third type of watch buyer listed above, don’t think you’ve fooled anyone into believing your watch is real. Even though a fake watch can look identical to a real one, there may be plenty of other obvious indications that a watch is fake that have nothing to do with the timepiece. If it seems implausible that you would own an expensive watch, people may assume it’s a fake and judge you for it. If you’re wearing the same Submariner that your boss, 20 years your senior, is wearing, no one will think your boss is the one wearing the fake watch.

Not all illegal dealers advertise like this some will claim they are real

Not all illegal dealers advertise like this; some will claim they are real

7. You Could Lose Your Reputation

The average replica watch can be spotted as a fake by anyone who has ever owned or seen a watch from that brand. Even the better quality fakes can be sniffed out 20-feet away by an experienced collector or expert. As soon as someone realizes your watch is fake, they’ll begin to wonder what else is fake. Your reputation will be shot in seconds, even if the only fake thing was the watch, and you may not even know it. Believe it or not but people have lost jobs and clients simply for wearing a replica watch.

8. It Will Not Last

A Rolex will last many years, a Patek Philippe will last centuries, but a replica of any caliber likely won’t last until your next birthday.

Replica watches generally have very short lifespans. They tend to be made of inferior materials, regardless of what you spent. Can you really trust the seller that their $500 version is better quality than the $50 version? They’re selling you on something that isn’t real. Expect that if you are buying a fake watch, it will not last long.

Regardless of what you may have heard, even the most expensive replicas are crap. The fake watch industry has one single purpose: to make as much money as possible. This means that the manufacturer has to get paid, the seller has to get paid and expenses like advertising and website management need to be paid. Like any criminal, they will do whatever they can to get the biggest return possible. They are con artists. They’re selling you a fake product. Why would you trust them when they claim it’s the best fake on the market? In the end, even if they are charging a small fortune for it, they are still using the least expensive materials possible and the poorest craftsmanship they can find.

9. No One Is Impressed by a Fake

Remember the old Shania Twain song “That Don’t Impress Me Much”? Neither will that fake watch. Sure some people will outright tell people when their watch is a replica, but most don’t. What’s the point in buying a replica if you’re going to tell everyone it’s fake? Regardless of whether you tell them or not, no one has ever been impressed by a fake watch or the “deal” you got on it. You’ll either look like a gullible chump or a cheapskate.

A counterfeit watch up close

A counterfeit watch up close

10. You Wasted Your Money

Fake watches don’t retain any value. You may have spent $10 or you may have spent $300, but either way, it’s worth nothing after you buy it. A Walmart-brand watch bought on sale will be more valuable than any fake watch, regardless of how much you spent on it.

While traveling in the Far East, it can be easy to say “hmm, I’ll just spend $20 at this stand, even though it’s fake.” Let’s face it, there are quite literally, dozens of stands in the markets selling fake watches. Not just in the Far East, but even in American flea markets. The problem is that many of the people who have bought them overseas on a whim because it was cheap and looked neat, regretted it almost immediately when it didn’t even make the flight home before it was broken. It may have only been $20, but you could have lit that $20 bill on fire and had the same results. If you are tempted, just give that money to a charity, buy a homeless person a sandwich or get your kid a teddy bear. It will probably last longer than the watch and it will certainly have a more meaningful impact.

11. It Will Not Keep Accurate Time

There are some replicas that come with quartz movements and may actually keep time longer than the case stays intact. However, just like the exterior of the replica Rolex is fake, so is the mechanism powering it. In the vast majority of cases, you’re getting a mass-produced movement made in China that will begin to fall short rather quickly.

12. Replica Watches Aren’t Water Resistant

A real Rolex Submariner can be worn for diving but a replica shouldn’t even hit the showers with you. Why? Because it likely isn’t water resistant at all. So if you do happen to hit the gym and your friends see you removing it to shower, you’ll have a few questions to answer when they wonder why on earth you’d take off your Rolex.

An example of a website selling replica watches

An example of a website selling replica watches

13. The Bracelet Is Worse Than The Watch

In many cases, the bracelet is far worse than the actual watch. For the most part, replica watches also replicate the bracelets. Unfortunately, they break very easily. I remember seeing a gentleman raving about his Rolex at a restaurant a number of years ago. As he was showing the manager of the restaurant this gleaming new Rolex, the bracelet literally fell apart and he was left clutching the case which proceeded to also fall and smash into a number of pieces on the floor. Let’s just say he quickly got up and left the establishment. The tables around his had a hearty laugh at his expense with many people claiming they knew it was a fake watch as soon as he began to show it off.

The bracelet is the weakest link in the chain, so to speak, and a cheap replica will age badly, making it more likely that you will be subjected to reasons #1-12.

14. It Damages the Entire Industry

People buy fake watches to wear brands that represent quality, success, luxury and craftsmanship. It’s understandable to want to be associated with those characteristics, but you won’t align yourself to them if you wear a fake watch. It undermines the whole industry by diluting and redirecting the equity of the watch brands into counterfeit goods. It flouts the long history, the centuries of skill and innovation, and the intellectual property of an industry that the counterfeiters — not the manufacturers — reap the rewards of. They are slowly starving the golden goose, so don’t make it worse by giving counterfeiters your money.

Some websites selling fake watches will show pictures of the actual watch or replicas better than what they sell

Some websites selling fake watches will show pictures of the actual watch or better replicas than what they sell

15. Finally, You Will Regret It

Regardless of how you justified the purchase, after awhile you will begin to develop an inferiority complex; especially if you are lying to people around you and claiming the watch is real. You will worry that you’ll be caught. You will feel remorse for lying and you will begin to notice just how fake the watch looks. If you are a younger gent, you may feel good about it now, but in ten years you’ll find that this is one of those things you’ll look back on and regret, thinking to yourself “What on earth was I thinking? How did I possibly think that looked good?” A fake watch is like a mullet in the 1980s. It seemed good at the time; but nobody looks good wearing it.


How do you feel about counterfeit watches? Let’s make it a discussion: have you ever bought a fake watch or come across one?

15 Reasons Not To Buy a Replica, Counterfeit or Fake Watch
Article Name
15 Reasons Not To Buy a Replica, Counterfeit or Fake Watch
A list of the reasons why buying fake and replica watches is akin to throwing your money and reputation away
Gentleman's Gazette
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41 replies
  1. Rich says:

    Love this article. It is true that there are many fakes but would recommend saving money up to buy real one. I have had a Rolex since 1998 and love it. Wear it everyday and it has wear and tear but would not trade it for any other waych

  2. Nicholas says:

    Some good points, however I would point out as a long tern Breitling owner and a Professional Diver in the off shore Oil and Gas industry, that contrary to popular opinion, Rolex Submariners and their Breathing Equivalents the SuperOcean are not perfect time keepers for very long, they need to be sent for a very expensive device every five years. Second myth about dive watches, the helium valve is only of use to saturation divers, who might wear it in the camber as a watch but they do not actually time their own dives, this s done by the supervisor on the vessel. Commercial air divers, for whom time is is a critical function as it impacts their decompression schedule do not time their own dives this is also the responsibility of the topside supervisor, who invariable relies on a timepiece far more accurate than the the Breathing or Rolex he invariably brought when he got promoted to supervisor level. Most of us use G Shock as digital watches are far more accurate when used in safety critical life support situations. I did once write to Breitling about this when I returned my watch for service and they kindly provided a calibration certificate which was good for a short period of time. However when I am supervising I still use a stop watch. This is not to say that they are not beautiful watches and they provide a great deal of pleasure, and I love mine dearly, would I buy an other one? I doubt it.

  3. Joe Gomes says:

    I must say that I was given a fake watch in my early 20’s. I came from a very low income family, but worked in a business that was all about style. I didn’t think much about it, my friend gave it to me and I still have it to this day. I did save for the real thing and LOVE it! This is a tough discussion. For someone that doesn’t have, that image we are striving for is not as easy to reach. I know that nothing compares to the real thing. However, it took me 6 years for my Movado..
    When you have, it’s a little easier to say don’t buy. I can only say, that it is a business, it does hurt our economy and we should avoid buying. At the end of the day, we all need to understand what we do and how our actions impact!

  4. Doug says:

    I have bought several faux watches and I enjoy them. Most of them have worked just fine. I’ve been wearing one faux Patek for 15 years. People often compliment my watches, and if it’s a fake, I say “this is actually a fake, but I like it”. Somehow people seem to admire that. I also own some genuine fine watches, I have the means, but I just enjoy the faux ones as well. I buy them because I like them and they don’t cost a lot.

    • James Laurel says:

      I have to say I completely agree. I own several luxury watches as well as a few fakes and a few off brands. They all tell perfect time and look the part but should someone ask I always admit that the fakes are just that and more often than not they are amazed at the quality.

  5. BJV says:

    I bought a fake Rolex ($7.99) and it lasted 20 years Had a ball wearing it, and even drove some real Rolex owners nuts!

  6. TET 1968 says:

    I bought a fake Rolex Oyster Perpetual about 30 years ago. It’s mechanical…self winding…the second hand moves six times per second. I wear it maybe twice a month and when I do it keeps time accurately enough. It has an adjustment I’ve never had to use. This article makes some good, valid points…it also contains some biased BS.

  7. DavEas says:

    I’ve purchased an Alpha / Omega Seamaster “homage” and couldn’t be any happier with it. It’s a heavy, well-made watch and keeps excellent time. I don’t present it as, nor do I feel as if I own an Omega – it’s just simply a nice looking watch that I didn’t pay much for that I’m not afraid to nick or scratch.

  8. Khalid says:

    Hi, I own several luxury watches including a 30 years old Rolex, and I totaly agree, don’t buy fake watch. Sometimes I bought an inexpensive original waches like Kenth Cole, it’s reliable, looks great and keep the time accurate.
    I can tell the difference of fake watch just by touching the bracelet.

  9. R Wagner says:

    While living in Hawaii, I purchased a used Rolex Submariner advertised by a jeweler through the newspaper for $1,200. I know it wasn’t fake because I took it to a different reputable jeweler to have a link taken out of the bracelet to fit my small wrist. However, it didn’t keep good time and was the worst watch I ever owned. I sold it back to the seller a year later for what I paid for it. Now hardly anyone with a cell phone wears a watch anymore.

  10. Leonard Hadi says:

    It’s a sad reality that people actually don’t mind breaking the law as long as they got what they want. A gentlemen is not only refer to style but attitudes and characters of the person.

  11. Ralph Pine says:

    I’m a collector. I own Omega, Hamilton, Tissot, Longines, Delbana and some other pieces. I never buy a fake watch. I do not see any use.

    • Bill Boss says:

      I am a collector of fake watches. I have about 100 of them, bought in travels in Asia (mostly Thailand, S. Korea and China). If you know your sources you can actually get absolutely un-spottable fakes that last many years (I’have had some for over 15 years and they are still going). I have a reputable position in society, so people don’t have a clue that the watch I am wearing is a fake (actually, I think I make good advertisement for the REAL watch companies!!!!). Actually, one time I happened to be in a Swiss watch store (IN SWITZERLAND!) and the owner spotted my watch and said that it was a very nice piece. I gave it to him to observe closely (it was replica VINTAGE Rolex), and he returned it to me complimenting me on my choice! Another time I was wearing an IWC Portuguese Chrono, and the spring rod holding the band broke. I went into an IWC store and the guy substituted the rod for free, thanking me for being a client!!! There are many advantages about fakes: if you are robbed, you don’t lose much, you hardly spend any money on maintenance (if you know, e.g. a Rolex is recommended that you send it in for a tune-up every year or two, at about 3-400 $ per pop. If my replica stops working I just can have it fixed for about 10 $ by a nice chinese man in Shenzhen, if I like it particularly). It might be not worth much, but if pay 5000$ for a Rolex (let’s use the most commmon example), it will retain (unless it is a Paul Neman Daytona or other rare collectible) about half of its value on resale, or less, depending on conditions. I usually pay between 80 and 150$ for a GOOD fake. One time I was wearing a fake Audemars Piguet and a collector offered me 5000 $ for it (I had paid about 40$, of course I said no, because it had “sentimental value” to me). In addition, consider that the Swiss Made label is granted when a watch has 25% of its value actually produced in Switzerland. When I look at the precision and accuracy with which some fakes are make, I cannot but think that some of their components come from the same asian factories that let out “fakes” from their back door.

  12. Seriph says:

    “No matter who you fool, YOU know it isn’t real”

    It’s the same as bullshitting your way through a job interview with an ‘adjusted’ CV. You can potentially fool everyone … except yourself – and there’s no escaping it … Maybe not right away, but your behaviors and lack of deserved-ness will eat away at your performance, language etc. but a lower level real one and be happy that you’re not ‘there’ yet. People respect that. The right ones anyway.

  13. Alex says:

    They do this with fake bags too. I read a book that talked about the decline of real luxury goods and in it the author was talking about the real cost associated with buying fake handbags because many think it’s a victimless crime, but it isn’t. It leads to human trafficking and sweatshop factory conditions for those making the imitations. I don’t know if that happens in the fake watch industry but I’m sure it’s all the same.

    • Bill Boss says:

      It happens in the REAL fashion industry, as well. One Italian fried was telling me that the Italian fashion houses outsource their production to small shops in Italy, paying pitiful amounts to small enterpreneurs (a **** suit selling for a few thousand dollars is produced for less than 100 $ paid to the actual seamstress). IN turn, to survive, these make extra items and sell them through their backdoor (often, NOT labelled).
      I once found in Shanghai, “fake”(?) Hermes silk scarfs with the label cut out. After examining them accurately, I realized that they were REAL items, with small defects (much like the factory-second AE shoes that I am proud of buying) and thus not deserving the front, but the back door, and I paid around 15$ for each! (Store price, over 400$).
      Let’s not confuse gentlemanly-ness with gullability!

  14. Attila Karpati says:

    I am happy, because in my work nobody cares about what kind of watch/car/phone I have.
    Maybe I am wrong, but I think, a lot of watches are overpriced. If they would be a little cheaper, people would buy them instead of fakes. I don’t know.

  15. lamas says:

    It is just wrong to be proud of owning a fake watch, even if you claim to own real ones as well, I would rather wear Armani or Swatch than a fake Cartier…..

  16. Simon says:

    If you arre poor and like the style of, say, a Rolex, get a fake. Not everybody can afford $10,000 for a watch.

    This article smells like a watch industry sponsored PR piece.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      There are plenty of Rolex alternatives, or you try to find a vintage one. Just because you like a design doesn’t mean you are entitled to copy it.
      Your comment smells like the one of a troll who is into conspiracy theories, this article was not sponsored in any way, it it was we make it clear, like in our worsted or flannel guide.

      • Donald Elf says:

        The article ended “How do you feel about counterfeit watches? Let’s make it a discussion” and should be open to all comments without fear of being dismissed as a troll – which was the wrong word anyway.

        • Ronald H. says:

          The old saying excess profit breeds competition is very appropiate in regards to all luxury goods. I wear an Invicta Gold Dive watch because it looks good and it won’t cause me any worries if lost or stolen. I’ve received compliments from Rolex owners who see it from across the bar of table and I always say thanks but its an Invicta so as not to confuse…its not to fool anyone I just won’t pay that much for anything.

      • Simon says:

        I promise I am not a “troll”. My comment was an honest reaction to what I had just read.

        I am a regular reader and enjoy 99.9% of your articles (the ones about taking up smoking really put me off and I have left negative comments about this before).

        This article seemed to be totally one sided – on the side of luxury watch makers. That’s why I commented that it seemed like PR spin from the luxury watch industry.

        The tone of the article reminded me of those “why you shouldn’t pirate VHS movies” ads we used to see back in the 1980s.

        As an editor you need to realise that people are going to read your posts and ask themselves quastions like “do I agree with the aritcle” or, especially these days, “is this some PR sponsored piece by a self interest group?”.

        Readers are getting smarter and now realise that the media is full of “planted” items by commercial, political, or other groups.

        The best way to avoid readers being suspicious about your motives is to present both sides of an issue – i.e “Reasons to buy (or not buy) fake watches”. Present both sides of the story – even if the article’s conclusion recommends that it is best not to buy a fake watch.

        I have known a lot of friends and workmates (especially women) who have boasted to me that they have saved a fortune by buying a fake Burberry or a Louis Vuitton item – many people are disgusted by the prices these companies charge and would actually PREFER to buy a fake.

        Like the old says says, “there are 2 sides to every story”…

        • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

          Dear Simon,

          After looking at all the facts, we believe nobody should ever buy fake products. It’s not only trademark infringement but we believe it is morally wrong. If you are not happy with the price of a product, don’t buy it. Or create something that is similar with a different name, but do not take another brands name and create cheaper products that look the same.

          If your female workmates are happy with their fake products, good for them. People usually buy fakes because they simply want the status symbol of that brand. They often do not care much about the design. Otherwise, they could have a custom item made that is similar but even more in line with their ideas.
          We don’t believe anybody saves anything by buying fake products.

          Maybe we are biased because we put a lot of money, blood sweat and tears in the development of our products. If you would now take your $5 China tie and use our name on it, I would be upset.

          Again, we believe a gentleman should never own fakes. If you want to argue against it, you can write your own piece and put your name on, we won’t do that. It seems like you don’t even want to put your full name in your comment. I wonder why… ;).

          It’s ironic that people who demand so much from others can’t even put their full identifiable name on their own posts. Smart readers know that words written in anonymity have very little weight.

  17. Simon says:

    I value online privacy so I only gave my first name, like many others who leave comments here. You don’t seem to attack them for not giving their full name.. I wonder why… ;).

    It’s ironic that people who invite disscussion get suspicious when someone leaves a comment that goes against their opinion.

    Let’s leave it at that. I’ve made my point. Thank you.

  18. Eddie says:

    I’m not proud of it, but I once “acquired” a faux Paul Newman Daytona for a laugh. I obviously didn’t fancy the $40,000 for an original vintage piece (considering many of the supposed originals are Franken-Rolexes anyway). In a year the chrono mechanism had broken and the bracelet was never adjustable to begin with, such was its terrible quality. Outwardly, a pretty good copy, but inwardly a piece of junk. Many of these “replicas” use the fact they have a “swiss mechanical movement” as a selling point. Well, all mechanical movements need servicing, and no respecting watchmaker will touch a fake, so then you are left with a useless, broken fake watch that you paid $400 for. They really are pointless on every dimension.

  19. Christo says:

    I have to admit that some reasons for not wearing fake watches are a good point, even though even there you could argue. The “fakeness” of the watch is “obvious”, you say. To a minority of watch nerds, yes. To the average people who are not watch enthusiasts, I doubt, especially if the replica is a good copy. We all know that Rolexes are sometimes faked to a point of being near unspottable copies of the real thing, and in such cases only opening the caseback of the watch and looking thouroughly at the movement can reveal the truth about it.

    But I do have to disagree with some points here which seem to me as an obvious bias. “Don’t buy a 40$ copy, get the 40,000$ real thing” – it’s easy to say, but who actually owns so much? I understand a luxury item is, by definition, not available to everyone, and that it has to be “exclusive” in some way, one of them being the price. But even then many watches are overpriced. There was an article on ABlog2Watch explaining how the Rolex Submariner of 1953 retailed for 150$ (=about 1200 bucks in 2012). That horrific increase in price is due (at least according to the author of this article) to the fact that the Submariner has abandoned its utilitarian goal to become a luxury item. OK, someone here could say that Rolex does everything in-house, that they have an inner research lab, that the steel they use is harder to machine, etc. but even then I can’t explain to myself why the prices of their watches are so freakin’ high. “The name. The prestige.” Well, for just five letters it’s a helluva amount of (wasted) money…

    But what annoys me utterly is the apparent “morality” in not buying a fake, but a real, let’s say, 37,500 EUR (!) Jaeger-LeCoultre. Morality? Even if I had several billions I wouldn’t be able to justify buying and owning such an expensive jewelry item (because past a certain point it’s not a watch, but a jewelry item,just like the diamond necklace in a short story by Maupassant), when I know that the average salary in, let’s say, France, is about 1200 EUR (correct me if I’m wrong) and when I know that in the so-called “Third World” the immense majority lives in appalling conditions, with 2$ a day (or even less in some regions), that they simply can’t afford to send their children to school, that in some situations they have to sell their children, be this to the powerful “carpet mafia” in India or to some cartel specialized in extracting coltan somewhere in Africa (so that we can ave our dearly beloved smartphones), in life-threatening conditions, or to work in a mine, or whatever other atrocity there is. And I also know that there are also many rich people who don’t mind at all th show off their colossal wealth to the poorer masses, just to show off their (in many cases dubiously legal) wealth in the most disgusting way possible. Who would do that, you ask? It would be either a Russian oligarch (ex-maffioso), or an American businessman, or one of these Chinese “nouveaux-riches” who are setting to even copy the Versailles palace in China, or some Emir coming from the “petromonarchies” (and possibly having close connections to a wahhabist group endorsing the IS), much more than it would be the last winner of the EuroMillion.

    I’m by no means affiliated to the fake industry and I don’t, nor wouldn’t, own a fake watch simply because I think it’s not serious. That’s it. Now, it’s just my personal opinion on the matter. If you own a nice fake Omega which happens to be reliable, then congrats to you.

    And just to counter those who say a gentleman “never breaks the law” – never heard of Arsène Lupin, “gentleman-burglar”? Or of the Three Musketeers? As if it was legal to kill someone, just to defend your honour?

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Dear Christo,

      I think you are not getting the point. Where did we say don’t buy a $40 copy, get the $40,000 copy. We say don’t buy the copy, buy the authentic watch in the price range that works for you or go vintage, that’s all. How much a company charges for its products is entirely up to them. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.
      Are you driving fake cars? I don’t think so. Are you eating fake cheese? It’s like saying I cannot afford autehnti Gruyere cheese at $25 a pound, so I just take fake cheese and buy it for $3 a pound, but it tastes good.
      If you like the cheese, great, eat it, but don’t label it something that it is not.
      If it was all about the watch and the functionality, there would be no reason to add the trademarked label of another company to it.

      • Christo says:

        Dear Sir,

        I think you have misunderstood me. Buying the 40,000$ copy is even worse (and, besides, sillier) than buying the 40,000$ watch, which is anyway way too expensive for what it is. Comparing more expensive cheese(which many people can afford, at least when it comes to a small quantity) to insanely expensive watches (which few can get their hands on) is like comparing apples to oranges.
        You write that the prices of goods are entirely up to the company in question. Well, not really. Ethics put aside, don’t forget we are talking about private companies, whose main objective is to make profits. Which means they have to have customers. Too high prices may reduce the number of potential customers. Less customers, less profits. It’s that simple.
        However, I have to admit that you are right when it comes to the usurped label. But here the phenomenon of fakes is just a mere consequence of the rise of prestige of the real brand. Advertising more a particular famous watch will lead to more copies of it. People just to want to make money by using the prestige of an other brand. Yes, it’s dishonest, but that’s the way it is. Even if the names of a Rolleck’s Sambariner or Cosmogroove DayTune may make you laugh.

        If the label costs that much just because it is a “super-dooper-extraordinary” label, and if that label manages to fool other people into buying it just for this reason, well, that’s really a pity.

  20. Jeff Nesmith says:

    Commercial Driver, here. I see the fakes daily, so they’re relatively easy to spot, especially when hands don’t move, or the time isn’t accurate, (compare it on your cell phone — it’s revealed quicker than you realize), or any number of signs.

    I have a cheapo WalMart watch I wear daily. I keep paper logs, so I have to maintain a relatively accurate record of time. This watch does the job.

    Frankly, it’s pretty easy to spot the fakes, since they’re the ones that get shown off. The real ones stay on the wrist, and aren’t flashed around. There are things you learn to recognize about the real thing once you’ve seen them often enough.

  21. Simon says:

    Christo wrote: “but even then I can’t explain to myself why the prices of their watches are so freakin’ high.”


    If you watch Formula 1 motor racing you will see Rolex signage all around the track. Guess who is paying for that…?

    • Christo says:

      No, it’s not greed, just when you’re a watch enthusiast who is not a billionaire it can become really annoying to see everywhere how the more you spend, the more you get.
      And you’re absolutely right about the advertising costs. But even then…?

      • Simon says:

        The “luxury” watchmakers are a con. They have managed to make a mass produced item into a super expensive item by marketing and trickery.

        Is a $20,000 Rolex forty times better than a $500 watch?

  22. Carmela Cruz says:

    Sometimes, the reason why many people choose fake watches is that they can’t afford to buy original ones (and you can’t help but agree that sometimes, these counterfeit watches look exactly like the original one!). This is puzzling to me since if you can’t afford one, then maybe don’t buy and instead, save up so you can buy the luxury watch you’ve always dreamed of. In case you are a first-time buyer of a luxury watch, there are some important things you have to consider before you spend your hard-earned or saved money. First thing is the price, next the brand, then style, size, and seller. There are certain brands whose value actually increases over time – be on the look out for those.

  23. Peter says:

    I have to say that while I agree with the general premise of the article, not all the 15 reasons are correct and some are even misleading. I have bought and/or still own nearly 25 replicas. This is in addition to 12 genuine watches, including pieces from Vacheron Constantin (VC), Jaeger Le Coultre and Tissot (to cover the entire luxury price range).

    The reason for me at least was very simple. I am a watch aficionado and I love expensive watches, but I obviously cannot afford to buy them all. Buying a replica is like test driving a real watch (at least as far as the design is concerned). For example, a year ago I bought replicas of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, VC Overseas and Patek Philippe Nautilus, in order to see which of the three I liked most. The whole exercise cost me $ 400 (still a lot for most consumers), and I was able to zero in on my preferred watch (VC Overseas) very quickly. If I wanted to do the same exercise with real pieces, it would have cost me around $ 55,000!! I also keep my replicas to wear in situations where the real watch could be damaged or stolen (the last thing I want is to be in coming back through a dark alley, with $ 15,000 on my wrist.

    BTW, the best replicas today are almost indistinguishable from real watches until you open the movement (and in some cases they even have the same ETA Swiss movements). I agree that their quality is low (not so much in the materials, but in the QC and assembly), and in many cases they will stop working long before the real pieces. But even experts would have trouble immediately spotting fakes.

    IMHO, the real problem is the unreasonable multiplier of a luxury watch, and it does not get better, when comparing it to cheese or other consumer goods. For example, a top luxury car may cost 5-10 times the “regular” car, which is a stretch, but within the realms of common sense. A top luxury watch will frequently cost 500-1000 times the price of a “regular” watch (and I am not even talking about a Timex but an Invicta or similar) – that is just such a psychological hurdle that the fake watch industry will always have customers!

  24. Abdur Mikāl Gaffah says:

    Hi guys
    Here’s my two cents,
    Replica watches are fantastic, just that… Watches of fantasies. In different cultures for example china, it is considered tribute to want to pay homage by replicating good art. With that belief and a manufacturing industrial economy add a dash of capitalism along with the ‘luxury life’ image shoved down people’s throats through almost every media platform available and you’ve got a thriving market. Morals don’t really have anything to do with consumerism and image, if you want to talk about art and craftsmanship okay that’s fine but it’s subjective.. Meaning someone admiring the fine details of an expensive brand is no more valid than someone admiring the remarkable likeness to the same item created for less than a fraction of the price. Counterfeiting brand names is illegal so from one angle yes the proceeds are directly funding crime and probably circulate to more than just replica business. That’s like saying drug uses are responsible for the rise of cartels, you may have a point but this point is also curtailing the issue of law enforcements inadequacies to enforce law. Exactly where do you draw the line? When you write an article like this you are pointing a spotlight on certain aspects of a topic and I believe your article (along with others who have commented) is very ignorant. I understand what you are saying, however I don’t agree with you on most of your points. Eg, high end replicas these days can fool enthusiasts and collectors.. Does that make them fools? No. It makes them very good replicas so your comments about quality really depend on the amount of effort went in to the reverse engineering and manufacture techniques. Fake people? Ever heard of Instagram? Fake people is a slogan to shame and deter people from buying replicas, it attacks peoples insecurities and preys on fear, it is below the belt. If the slogan said real watches are for real people it would be less successful. People want to be confident with them selves, why do people dye their hair different colours or wear make up or feel the need to follow trends? Some might call it expression however one may also (if one was so inclined) assume the person wanted to be something they are not. Isn’t that what life is all about? Aspiring to be the person you want to be? ‘Fake it till you make it’ I believe is the phrase. Perhaps someone doesn’t want to wear a replica, I sure they would prefer the real thing. The quality of steel eg. 916l over 316f, and care in the movement construction substantial however not crucial to the watches overall appearance and performance. If your talking about a markup from $300 to $30,000 it’s no wonder why the masses don’t have the slightest moral conflict about acquiring them. I’d love to discuss this further so shoot back a response so we can get deeper into the subject.


  25. Steven says:

    Interesting article. I would like to add that I had always coveted the Rolex Explorer One, I bought a fake when I didn’t have the money to buy a real one, it looked almost perfect, yet a week on the movement seized up, needless to say I felt like such a fool. Whilst wearing the fake one I felt constantly self-conscious, worried that someone would be able able to identify it as a replica, I didn’t have to wait long, my friend in luxury marketing met up with me one day and I remarked “look at my new watch!”, he studied it for 5 seconds, smirked and said nothing, A half hour later I threw it in the trash in humiliation. Wearing a fake does nothing for either your reputation or your self esteem. You are not buying a fake for either the movement or craftsmanship, its a vain effort to attempt to impress people to make up for your low self-esteem, I can admit that about my past self. That said, I recently bought an authentic Rolex Explorer One at close to £5k, and it was a horrible ownership experience, I felt self conscious wearing it, worried that I might be robbed, or that I might damage it. I felt that it was ill suited to my ‘average’ lifestyle. I kept it for 3 months and then subsequently sold it, losing £1,100. Yes you can judge me it’s your privilege, but I would be the first to attest to my human failing, I feel that this is a matter of ego and self esteem. My time and money would have been better spent working on myself to appeal to people for being my authentic self and not for any ostentatious display. We live and learn.

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