How To Spot A Rolex Superfake

One in ten people in the UK inadvertently or deliberately buy counterfeit goods, with Rolex consistently topping the league table for the most searched-for fakes.

The choice, if you can call it that, used to be simple: pay thousands of pounds for the real thing or under £50 for a knock-off that would fool almost nobody.

That was before superfakes, which are not only increasingly difficult to tell apart from the real thing, but are also more expensive.

Peter Jackson, managing director of Peter Jackson the Jewellr, says the problem of superfakes is getting worse, and the counterfeiters are one step ahead of the authorities trying to keep them out of the market.

“Superfakes are becoming increasingly prevalent in the watch industry, where fraudsters use trained craftsmen to design watches which are almost identical to the genuine article. While it can be hard to tell the difference, there are some “red flags” shoppers can look out for,” Mr. Jackson says.

“Sadly, the market for counterfeit watches continues to grow as criminals prey on shoppers’ needs to save money. It may sound cliché but always remember, if something seems too good to be true then it almost definitely is. You simply aren’t going to find a genuine Longines or TAG Heuer watch for a couple of hundred pounds, for example”, he adds.

There are some obvious factors to look out for if you’re in the market for a new luxury watch, such as abnormally low prices or demand for a quick sale. However, with counterfeits becoming increasingly convincing, here Peter shares his three ‘watch-outs’ to make sure you’re buying the real deal.

Understand the real product first and foremost

The best advice, according to Peter Jackson, is to do your research and make sure you know the genuine article as much as possible before making a purchase.

“Get a feel for the materials, any features specific to that brand, logos, typefaces — really try to understand it inside out,” Mr. Jackson advises.

“Without something to benchmark against you’ll struggle to know if what you’re being sold isn’t up to par, so spend as much time as you can doing your homework. You can easily do this online, but I’d recommend trying to visit an authorized stockist to get a feel for the watch you’re hoping to invest in, before parting with your cash anywhere else,” he adds.

Packaging and paperwork

As with any big-ticket item you choose to invest in, genuine luxury watches will always come with accompanying paperwork, and most will be presented in a high-quality presentation box.

Depending on the brand, papers will usually include a warranty, certificate of authenticity, certificate of origin and a user manual.

If your seller has none of these then it’s time to steer clear. If you plan on selling the watch in the future, then you’ll benefit from having the full house: the original presentation box and outer packaging, along with all accompanying papers.

Typeface, engravings and materials

Getting an eye for the genuine article certainly takes time and experience, but there are a few ‘red flags’ which are relatively easy to spot on a fake.

For starters, any engraving on a luxury watch will generally be super sharp and distinct. If it’s looking a bit dull, it’s unlikely to be a genuine article. In some extremely shoddy cases, you may even see spelling mistakes in the brand name or any other lettering – it may sound obvious but it’s always worth a thorough check.

Look out for proper hallmarks for gold watches (or any other precious metal) and generally have a check that the material appears in good condition. Fakes will often have some discoloration or wear and tear that you just won’t find on the genuine article.

If you manage to get your hands on the watch try and get a feel for its weight. Counterfeits will usually feel much lighter than a genuine watch due to the use of cheaper materials, so this is always a giveaway.

Finally, look out for the glass or crystal being used. Almost all luxury brands use “sapphire crystal”. This material is highly scratch resistant and very dense, so there should be no scratches on the glass – if there are scratches and scuffs, you’ve probably got a fake on your hands.

Mr. Jackson concludes: “It can be so easy at this time of year to fall foul of the fraudsters. Our best advice is to always make sure you’re shopping with a genuine, reputable seller.

“Any watch seller worth their salt will happily advise you on what to look out for and be happy to answer any questions if you’re unsure.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *