How to Tell Genuine Products from Replica Models when Buying a Designer Watch

Rolex-DeepSea-Real-vs-Fake-bezel-dotConsumer spending in the UK has risen steadily since the beginning of 2012, and this trend has been replicated in a number of developed economies across the globe. Not only is this a sign of wider economic growth, however, but it also suggests that consumer confidence is inspiring a recovery that may finally be able to cast off the shackles of the Great Recession. The fact that consumers are spending their capital across a diverse range of industries is also a positive sign, as it helps to drive business confidence and distributes wealth more evenly.

The amount spent on designer jewellery has certainly risen since 2012, especially in terms of high quality watches and branded time pieces. From the classic Rolex wristwatch to the Breitling and Omega ranges, these designer products are beautifully presented and also have the unique benefit of offering genuine value for your hard earned money. The issue with this type of investment is that it requires a heavy initial outlay, while there are also a number of replica models on the market that can easily confuse less experienced buyers.

How to ensure that your Designer Watch is the Genuine Article

The popularity of designer watches has made them a viable target for rogue designers, who have subsequently flooded the market with lower-quality replica models. With this in mind, take the following considerations before selecting your watch and ensuring that it is the genuine article:

  1. Weight and the Use of Material

When you first touch and hold a supposedly designer watch, you are presented with your first opportunity to determine whether or not it is the genuine article. This is because designer time pieces are usually manufactured from premium materials such as real gold or platinum, which are relatively heavy and far bulkier than the lower-quality alternatives used to create replica’s. There is a hierarchy of precious metals, and consumers are fortunate that more valuable materials carry additional weight and substantially more bulk. This is a relatively simple way of distinguishing a designer watch from a replica, as rogue designers often use cheaper and more lightweight materials as a way of cutting their manufacturing costs.

  1. Check the Strap or Bracelet

The next step is to investigate the bracelet or strap on your watch, as this can often reveal whether or not your are looking at a replica. On watches with leather straps, for example, it is important to check that the inside is seamless and free from any suggestion of its origin. If there is an engraving or lettering which reveals where the material was manufactured, this is usually an indicator that the watch is a replica. When appraising metal straps or bracelets, take great care to ensure that each link has a fluidity of movement and that the clasp clicks firmly into place. If the links jar or the clasp remains loose when it is pressed into place, it is is unlikely that you are handling a genuine designer watch as the value lies in these seemingly small details and unique design features.

  1. Inspect Movement and the ‘Seconds’ Hand

If you remain unconvinced about whether or not your watch is a genuine designer product or a replica, you should inspect its dial and individual movements. The motion of the ‘seconds’ hand is particularly important, as this is a detail that the manufacturers of replica models often fail to recognise or copy accurately. More specifically, the seconds hand on a designer watch should move in a consistent, sweeping motion, whereas those on replica models will shift with every passing second. Although you will need to study these movements closely, this is one of the single most effective ways of distinguishing a designer watch from a well-made replica.


Jordan has contributed this article on behalf of Market Cross Jewellers, which specialise in the distribution and appraisal of designer watches throughout the UK.

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