Watches can be really hard to authenticate if you don’t know how. Replica watches are also getting better, which can be dangerous to someone who is new in the watch world, or even a seasoned enthusiast. Fake watches can now even accurately replicate complicated technological movements. The counterfeit watches have become so real-looking that sometimes not even the watch brands themselves can tell a real from a fake.
Does the Rolex store authenticate watches?
Rolex stores usually don’t authenticate watches, it’s not what they’re known for and it’s not what they do. Rather than taking your watch to a Rolex store themselves, try taking it to a professional authenticator who will be able to tell whether it’s an official Rolex watch. Employees at the Rolex shop aren’t trained to know a fake watch from a real one, they’re salespeople, whereas employees at an authenticator will be trained for this service.
How do you authenticate a watch if I’ve bought it second hand?
It is sometimes easier to buy a Rolex from a Rolex shop, that way you know exactly what you’re buying. After all, they’re the most counterfeited brand in the world. However, if you do want to buy a second-hand watch, do your research and get really familiar with the model you want to buy. Once you’ve bought the watch, take it to an authenticator to be 100% sure that it’s real.
How can I avoid buying a counterfeit watch?
There are several tricks that you can use to prevent you from buying a fake watch, so here are a few.
Know the history of the brand and what model you are buying:
Knowing the history of a brand and the model that you’re interested in can help you in working out whether a watch is real. This way, you can look for exact intricate details and know which elements should be in your watch.
Look for a serial number:
Fake serial numbers are extremely common on watches which aren’t the real deal. There are some serial numbers that are associated with fake watches, but there could be instances where there are watches that aren’t associated with fake watches, and this could fool you. Fake model numbers are also extremely common in replica watches.
Make sure that you’re buying from a reputable dealer:
This is definitely the easiest step you could take to ensure you’re not spending money on a fake watch. There are certified watch dealers all over the UK, some even specialise in a particular brand.
Compare the price with other watches of similar quality, age and condition:
With a quick Google search of the model and age, you will be able to find many watches which are similar to yours. The price is a huge telltale indication of whether your watch is real. Chances are, if your watch is priced significantly lower than other similar ones on the market right now, then it might be fake or broken. By looking at price comparison, you can gauge what you should be paying for your watch. If it seems too good to be true it usually is!
Test the watch for water resistance:
Most real luxury watches are manufactured to be water-resistant up to a minimum of one hundred metres. An easy way of telling that your watch is a fake is to test its water resistance skills, but if you do this yourself, it does run the risk of ruining your watch. Older luxury watches and ones that have gone a few years without servicing can lose this feature too, so just because your watch isn’t waterproof, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fake.
Again, it’s best to take it to a watch dealership and they will be able to complete their own water resistance tests on your watch. This way, you won’t ruin your watch, but you’ll be able to tell whether it’s real or not.
Look for wrong watch movements:
Take Rolex for example, all of their modern watches are mechanical, and they use either automatic or manual winding movements. When looking at a watch, bear this in mind, the watch movements should be smooth and not stick or jump. If this is the case, look at the other components of the watch to determine its authenticity.
Inspect the colour of the watch:
The colouring of a watch can often give away its authenticity. The metals on the watch may be faded, or look slightly different to the original models. The metals themselves may also not be actual silver, steel or gold, as usually counterfeited watches use cheaper materials to manufacture.
Look at the intricate details of the watch:
Luxury watch brands like Rolex pride themselves on the craftsmanship and detail which goes into every single one of their designs. For example, the magnified cyclops window can show a fake watch. Sometimes the date in the magnified window might be under or over magnified, so take a close look at what your date looks like. Real luxury watches are neither under or over magnified. Also have a look at the pint font, it should be clean and crisp with no jagged edges.
Other signs include looking at the watch hands too. Watch hands can sometimes look different, or the wrong shape on a fake watch. It’s all about knowing the little details that you should be looking for in a watch.
If you’re unsure, buy from a verified dealer
This way you can ensure that you’re not spending all your money on a watch that isn’t real at all. You can look at a watch for hours contemplating its authenticity, however, a dealer will most likely be able to tell pretty quickly as to whether it’s real, usually within a matter of minutes.
If you’re wanting to buy a luxury watch as an investment piece, something that will last years and will be able to be passed down the family, then you need to make sure you’re buying the real deal. Counterfeit watches will not work as an investment and will lose all value once they’re found out to be a replica by a pawn shop, or reseller, so it’s better to know what you’re getting before committing to this large investment.