Should I buy a replica (fake) watch?
Replicas (or reps, as collectors know them,) are an industry of great controversy. On one hand, a replica watch can provide a decent quality timepiece for a fraction of the cost of a genuine (gen) copy. On the other hand, reps can be of dubious quality. We’ve read about many accounts of people receiving replica watches in the mail that did not run when they received them or quit shortly after they received them. The construction of reps is not necessarily bad, but definitely not equal to genuine watch construction.
There are a few things that you need to know:
NEVER, EVER be suckered into the “premium” so-called “swiss made” replicas that sell for $1000.00 or more.
The rep websites that claim to sell what they call “AAAA” grade or “#1A+” grade or “Swiss Made” replicas are a scam. The “grades” they claim to have are completely arbitrary and made up. There is no replica grading organization out there to specify the levels and if there is, it’s a fake too. That’s not to say that there are no differences in quality from one rep to another, but you must be very careful how you go about grading the quality levels. Arbitrary A, AAA, A+, A++++ and AAAAAA+++++++ grades are NOT the way to go about rating a rep. ( If I add enough “A’s” and “+’s” it becomes clear how ridiculous the concept is, right?)
“Swiss Made Movements”
Even people in the replica watch business will admit that the replicas with “swiss-made” movements are most likely in fact replica movements too. Some reps claim to be made with “ETA” movements, because “ETA” is a premier Swiss watch movement manufacturer. The problem is that ETA is known for being VERY particular about whom they sell to. It is therefore VERY unlikely that ETA is selling movements to unknown watch factories in China, which is where most, if not all, reps are made. That leads us to the next point:
Origins of Replica Watches
Replica watches are either almost always made in China, or Always made in China. Therefore, The rep sites that claim to have “Swiss” grade, “Japanese” grade, “Italian” grade, or any other “grade” of watch are trying to pull a fast one.
About Replica “Review” Sites:
There are some sites out there that claim to review the sites where reps are sold. Their claimed purpose is to compile the comments of “buyers” from those sites to rate the quality of watches that the “buyers” received. In reality, however, these sites are owned by the same people who also own the replica sales sites so the so-called reviews are actually fabricated. Not surprisingly, the “recommended” sites are also recommended for the same reason.
Because Rolex reps are super popular among brands that are replicated, it’s important to know that the reps that claim to be made from 904L grade stainless steel are a scam. 904L steel is very hard and not only do replica watch makers not use it, but even other genuine watch makers do not use it! Rolex is the only one.
Be careful when paying for a rep if you decide to buy one. Most scam websites want money wired or sent Western Union because there is no recourse if you are scammed. Additionally, even though it is not generally illegal to own a rep in the US, if you have a problem with a purchase, don’t expect help from your credit card company or Paypal because it is illegal to sell and manufacture them.
Watchurself recommends buying an “homage” watch that looks like another you like because generally speaking replica watches will have little or no quality control during manufacture or warranty service from the seller.
So, What to do?
If you’re going to buy a replica watch, we recommend you visit repgeek.com. at repgeek, you’ll find a wealth of information about buying new and used replica watches from dealers that are well regarded within the replica watch community.
Avoid Buying Fakes Accidentally
Obviously, if you want to buy a genuine watch online, some caution is in order. How does one go about buying a watch safely? The first key is to buy from a reliable source. There are a few of ways to ensure this.
1. Buy from the manufacturer’s website. This can only be done for manufacturers that sell online, obviously, but they do exist.
2. Buy from authorized dealers. Some brands sell through dealers but allow online sales.
3. Buy from unauthorized dealers that have a history of reliability. Some dealers online are not “authorized” dealers, but they’re still selling the real thing. Additionally, they sell below retail prices oftentimes, saving you money.
4. Buy from individuals through sites like Ebay or Amazon which offer buyer protection. (Be careful with this one, though, because the buyer protection limits may be lower than the price of the watch.)
5. When buying vintage or collectible watches, do your homework first. Don’t take it from the seller that the watch they’re offering really is worth more simply because it’s not a current model from a given manufacturer.