How To Spot A Fake Designer Watch


Photo: Wikipedia


A designer watch is a luxury timepiece that has a special power – a satisfaction, timeless and high addictive potential. Not only can it instantly elevate your profile, but it can make you standout of the crowd. For many men, watches are regarded as the No.1 male accessory – because they encapsulate coveted masculine attributes: namely style, engineering and status.

As the market for designer watch has grown, so has the market for knockoffs. In 2013 at Heathrow, about 91,000 counterfeit goods were seized, included Rolex and Bulgari watches … costing the economy £1.3 billion a year. A huge problem for brands and consumers alike? Counterfeiters are getting increasingly savvy, and telling the difference between a fake and the real deal isn’t always easy.

As a designer watch aficionado, you need to know how to tell the difference between genuine designer watches from millions of fake ones out there. Here are a few tips that will expose any model as a counterfeit.

Generally, authentic designer watches are like fine jewellery; they feel luxurious and look elegant. And they usually come with documentation to prove authenticity, and in that case should have a serial number. You can start from the serial number to check its authenticity. If a watch does not have a serial number there is a good chance that it is a fake.

The best place to buy authentic designer watches can be from a reputable store or from the official website of the manufacturer, but if at all you choose not to, pobably because you try to save money and find yourself on an unofficial sites or sellers. Ensure you pay a close attention on details – compare everything from the logo (font and spelling), weight, ‘seconds’ hand to the serial number. Ensure the inside of the leather straps does not read ‘Made in . . .’ as this can be another indicator of a fake.


Genuine Cartier watches have the following key features:

  • The watch will be rather hefty and not flimsy or delicate.
  • A serial number will be engraved in a deep and sleek manner at the back or side of the watch.
  • The crown of the watch will have a tiny blue cabochon stone in it (not glued).
  • The interior movement of the watch will have “Cartier” inscribed on it.
  • A droplet of water will roll off the scratch-proof sapphire-like glass face on a real Cartier watch; on fakes, the water drop will smear.


Genuine Omega watches have the following key features:

  • The loops on the 6 and 9 are slightly open.
  • There will be no outline or border around the date window.
  • The second hand will have an arrow and the crown guard will have a polygonal shape; it won’t be a semi round “C” shape.
  • The luminous dots on the watch dial will be perfectly round.
  • The interior movement will be stamped with a serial number.
  • The word “Waterproof” will be engraved on the back of the casing and the “A” will have a flat top, not a pointy one.


Genuine Rolex watches have the following key features:

  • The hour markers and all three hands will be of the same colour as the watch casing. So for a gold Rolex, the hour, minute and second hand will be gold.
  • The bezel will match the colour of the dial and the sides of the watch casing will have a flawless mirror polish.
  • Serial numbers (next to the 6 o’clock position) will have 4-5 digits and will be engraved. Reference numbers (next to the 12 o’clock) will also be engraved.
  • The second hand will have a smooth sweeping movement; it won’t tick.
  • The bottom of the dial will be stainless steel (not glass) and absolutely plain, with no engravings or logos.
  • The back of the watch case will have a 3D hologram-encoded sticker.



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