Imagine you're browsing the internet, looking for the best deal on an Omega Seamaster 300m... and you find one! It's a few hundred dollars less than the other sites. What a deal! From what you can see on the photos online, the watch looks like it's in factory condition. You're a little worried you won't receive it, since you've never heard of this website, but it arrives! In a few short months, the watch begins losing time. You take it to your jeweler, who delivers the news: it's a fake.
The lofty idea of reselling the watch as an investment or passing the watch on to your son or grandson vanishes, as does the warranty or ability for anyone to repair the broken watch. You check to see if you can contact the website, but the url no longer exists so now you can't even return the watch.
This nightmare is reality for victims who unknowingly purchase counterfeit watches online or in "fake districts" in major cities like New York, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
According to TechCrunch, "Fakes come in all shapes and sizes. Rolex is the most faked with copies of Submariner, Daytona and Datejust appearing regularly. Breitling and Omega are next with Super Avenger, and the Seamaster fakes hitting the market daily."
Fakes are often very difficult to spot (see the video above), and their poor mechanics is often only revealed when the watch is disassembled. Sometimes counterfeiters create frankenwatches, or pieces that use real faces, hands and movements attached to a less valuable watch to create composites that appears valuable or rare.
In order to protect yourself from being scammed, luxury watches should only be purchased through authorized, licensed dealers.
Can you spot the fake below?