You’ve probably heard the old saying, “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, it’s a duck.” As true as that might be, it really doesn’t work for determining the authenticity of a luxury watch. Even if it really looks like a Rolex, and even feels like one, it might not be an authentic luxury watch.
The market for high end watch brands like Rolex, Armani, Breitling, or Patek Philippe is huge—and lucrative. Unfortunately, that marketplace is filled with cheap knockoffs deliberately made to steal your money by looking almost exactly like the real thing but produced at a fraction of the cost. And of course, with much lower quality.
There’s a tremendous amount of satisfaction to be gained by wearing a finely crafted, precision timepiece. It’s a matter of both look and feel—the watch looks great on your wrist and feels great when you wear it.
Wearing a finely crafted timepiece radiates a personal sense of self-satisfaction, of achievement, every time you put it on. And also, of course, every time someone else notices it. When you are wearing a killer luxury watch, messages are sent—and received.
To be clear, a luxury timepiece is not merely an indulgence, although there are probably some people who might argue that point. Purchasing a high-end watch, a well-known luxury watch brand, is really an investment. These timepieces don’t depreciate—they actually increase in value with age, provided that they are properly maintained and cared for.
All of this means that these luxury watches are very expensive. There’s just no way to get around that fact. If you want the satisfaction that comes from owning one of these finely crafted, luxury timepieces, you are going to have to pay handsomely for that privilege.
Understanding this, if someone tries to sell you one of these brands for pennies on the dollar, it’s almost invariably a scam. Quality is never cheap, and these are the highest quality watches you can buy.
The phrase Caveat Emptor—let the buyer beware—is particularly applicable if you are in the market for a luxury timepiece. Scammers are out in force, trying to capture as much market share as possible. They want your money and will go to great lengths to take it from you.
How do you avoid becoming a victim of a luxury watch scam? Probably the most effective piece of advice is to “trust your gut.” If it just doesn’t seem right, for whatever reason, however small or seemingly insignificant, it’s probably, not right. The reality is that the market price of these watches is set by market demand. Legitimate sellers of these luxury watch brands all pay roughly the same price for their inventory, and all seek roughly the same profit margins. A legit dealer simply can’t afford to offer huge discounts.
1. Read the reviews. With this in mind, the first step then is to find a retailer who you trust and who can provide plenty of 5-star customer testimonials. You’ll have to pay their price, which won’t be cheap, but you will at least be able to rest assured that you are buying the real thing.
Buying a luxury watch from a high-end, well-respected seller with plenty of customer testimonials and who offers an impeccable reputation is the first step in making sure you’re buying the real deal.
2. Inspect carefully. The next thing to look at is the watch itself . First of all, a legitimate, high-end, high-quality timepiece simply screams craftsmanship that is very difficult (but not impossible) to fake. The weight of the watch—its “heft”—should be substantial. Every detail of a luxury timepiece is flawless. The watch face itself, the machining of the case, the date indicator, the stem, the band—every element will be intricately fine-tuned and virtually perfect. After all, it’s the supreme attention to detail and craftsmanship that makes these luxury watches so expensive to begin with.
Although knockoffs will often replicate some of these details fairly accurately, it’s very rare that they manage to get all of them right. So look at the sum of the details—if the watch is indeed perfect in all aspects, the chances are pretty high it’s real.
But if any single one of these elements seems even slightly less than perfect, move on. Once again, a true luxury watch is virtually flawless in all aspects, and not just to a professional watchmaker. Listen to what the watch is telling you and trust your gut.
The sobering reality is that the makers of fake watches are already pretty good and are getting better. However, they definitely aren’t perfect. They make mistakes, sometimes because they can’t afford not to. Fake luxury watches can be deceptively convincing, at least up to a point. But the closer you look, the less likely it is that you will be duped.
3. Check the packaging. Original, authentic packaging—and all of the other materials that are included by the manufacturer of the true luxury watch in the original box—are also of uniformly high quality and should absolutely be included with your purchase. This is particularly applicable to the warranty information.
Look in the box closely. If there is a lack of legitimate, branded package inserts that accompany your purchase, consider it a red flag. Unless the seller can fully explain this deficiency to you, it’s best to move on.
Ultimately, shopping for and buying a luxury watch can be a fun, exciting and rewarding experience. It’s not about saving a few bucks; it’s about owning one of the world’s premier watches. Don’t try to cut corners. Be prepared to make a significant financial commitment, and then enjoy the process. That new watch is going to look and feel amazing on your wrist.
If you’re already the proud owner of a luxury, high end watch, you’ll be glad you found Times Ticking. Our skilled technicians are Swiss-trained and can repair Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Tag Heuer watches and many others. We’ll keep that luxury watch of yours running like clockwork and protect your investment in the process.