Thursday, July 21, 2011

Timepiece or $@!# — Beware of Knockoff Watches

When you set out to buy a luxury watch, you want the real deal. Sadly, the luxury watch market has its share of scam artists and those who would try to push a knockoff watch over on you. It is safe to say that if you “settle” for a knockoff of a genuine luxury watch, the outcome will be a disappointment. The sales pitch that the knockoff will perform just as well as the fine timepiece you set out to buy is just that – a sales pitch.

There is no sugar coating the fact that a knockoff of a luxury watch is a cheap imitation that in no way will live up to the quality and sophistication that a top-quality luxury watch can deliver. Often knockoff watch merchants try to appeal to that sense of economy with the idea that if you have a watch that “looks like” a truly fine timepiece, it is just as good.

Another ruse is to actually pass off a knockoff watch as a luxury watch so that you end up paying a hefty price tag for a cheap imitation of the watch you want. It pays, therefore, to learn how to spot a knockoff watch so that you can avoid those who would hoodwink you into buying something less than what you want and deserve when you are ready to invest in one of the best watches available today.

Price is one of the big signals that you may be looking at a knockoff watch. Use the pricing data at as a guide for what you should expect to pay.  If PriceAdvice says that a particular Rolex Submariner averages $5300, but a retailer says they will sell it to you for $1000, it might be time to ease away from that merchant.  Luxury watches cost more for good reason. The quality of the manufacturing, the reliability of the watch itself, and the prestige of a luxury watch brand are worth something and that is reflected in the price.

Omega Seamaster with Sea Monster insignia
Another big signal that you may be looking at a knockoff watch is that you only see that particular alleged “luxury” watch on that one website or available from that dealer. Knockoff watches are carefully designed to imitate a well-known luxury watch, so look for a brand name that is very close to the watch that interests you most. While some knockoff watch sellers are open about the fact that you are not getting the top brand-name luxury watch, others try to disguise their watches to make you think you are getting the genuine article at a vastly discounted price.

Attention to detail is one important way to be aware of knockoff watches. Pay attention to where the logos are placed, logo imprints, and signature markings. For example, all Omega Seamaster watches carry the signature Sea Monster logo on the back of the case.  Or, in the case of Rolex, the magnification over the day/date window will always be 2.5x the dial window.  Knowing the markings and minor details of the watch model you are seeking will help you avoid buying a fake.

If you suspect that you are dealing with a knockoff watch scam operation, the instinct to look elsewhere deserves attention. If you are purchasing from a site like eBay or Amazon, you can even take steps to report the third party seller.  By taking care, listening to your gut, and making yourself aware of the signs of how to spot a knockoff watch when you see one, you will be that smart consumer that ends up with the top-quality luxury watch that you always wanted in the first place.

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