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Why Horologist Don’t Deal with Counterfeit Watch Repairs – The Truth behind the Fake Watch Market.

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Gents, today we have a contribution from the lovely Suzanne; who will give us a little insight into the fake watch market. Suzanne is a writer for the luxury watch industry, she uses her knowledge to help consumers make informed choices about timepieces and loves the emotional connection watch owners have with their favourite watches. She currently works for https://www.repairsbypost.com.

Take it away Suzanne!

Watches are a powerful accessory, they are a way to express your personal style, whether it be; sporty, luxurious, minimal or classic. All this without any words. Though this is not strictly just the Swiss market, the FHS (Federation de l’Industrie Horlogere Suisse) data reports show a 16.1% downturn in Swiss exports since this time last year.

The way we buy watches is changing, many watch lovers are heading to the grey market to purchase watches from non-official suppliers at discounted rates and though legal, this is impacting the market in a massive way.

The grey market might be a great legal loophole to get your hands on a second-hand timepiece but there are other more sinister ways the public are looking to get their hands on wrist wear; through illegal replicas that fuel organised crime. The fake watch market costs the ancient Swiss industry billions each year and with an industry already being shaken up by the grey market; there are concerns about the future of true timepiece purchases.

Forbes report that 15-30% of all watch searches are from people looking for replicas, but if they knew the violence behind this market would they still choose to purchase these counterfeit items?

The Real Counterfeit Story

Often people sugar-coat the realities of counterfeit watches, but the truth is this practice does not fuel local economies or boost job prospects in poor areas; it encourages gang culture, drug crimes and human trafficking.

David Grome, a UK counterfeit barrister notes a chilling case where a trader was making in excess of £1 million per year. This money was being used to purchase and sell class-A drugs in eye-wateringly large quantities.

One reporter speaks of witnessing children during a raid in Thailand who have their legs broken and tied to the floor to stop them from leaving the factory. This is the truth behind the counterfeit market; not a simple case of picking up flashy looking bargains.


Horologist Don’t Deal in Fakes

Any watch maker who takes their craft seriously will not deal with fake watches of any kind, and most have strong disclaimers on their websites telling customers so. It’s possible you have been caught in the fake watch market accidentally and though assume you are sending your original timepiece for Rolex watch repair for example, you may be the owner of a replica.

Your local horologist will be able to examine the timepiece for you and determine if the watch is real or fake. Often these watches look the part on the surface, but the serial numbers and poor mechanisms reveal the low level of craftsmanship.

How to Spot a Fake Watch: A Few Tips.

  • If the price looks too good to be true, it is most likely not a genuine luxury watch.
  • If you are not purchasing from an accredited dealer you might be buying a fake.
  • Functionless push pieces on a chronograph that serve no purpose indicates your watch is a replica.
  • Often watch brands use unique serial numbers that link to their official headquarters, always check the logo for authenticity. If it does not match the company logo exactly it could be a fake.
  • Unless you keep high-end company or your friends have serious dosh and love to spend it on others, if you receive a $10,000 watch as a gift – it’s more likely than not completely fake and you should possibly reconsider the company you keep!

Not only do fake watches negatively affect the Swiss watch market, the global job market and fuel heinous organised crime; they are also a complete waste of consumers money.

Luxury timepieces are great investments which are built to last. They pay homage to ancient crafts and act as emotive heirlooms for your loved ones. A replica is prone to breaking, rusting and scratching. Overall, the lifespan will be reduced and the timepiece will more than likely end up in a drawer, especially when your local watch mender refuses to change the battery.

It’s vital that consumers avoid the trap of counterfeit watches. For those who can’t afford to purchase a luxury timepiece – just don’t.  There are other fashion brands available at a lower cost which enjoy some of the wonderful craftsmanship qualities of luxury timepieces, without the high end price or the degradation of your morals.

What are your thoughts on the fake watch market? Let us know in the comments below!

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