May23 , 2023

    How to Spot Fake Watches : The Basics 101 Guide


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    Have you ever been tempted by a watch that seems too good to be true? With its gleaming surface, intricate details, and impressive brand markings, it’s easy to be drawn in by the allure of a fake watch. But before you make the mistake of buying a fake watch, it’s important to know how to spot one.

    In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to spot fake watches, so you don’t end up with a cheap, unreliable one.

    Also Read This: The Art of Watch Collecting: A Beginner’s Guide

    Common Characteristics of Fake Watches

    Fake watches often have several common characteristics that can help you spot them. These characteristics include:

    • Poor quality materials and craftsmanship: Fake watches are often made with low quality materials and poor craftsmanship. This can result in watches that feel light or flimsy, with loose or misaligned parts.
    • Incorrect brand logos and markings: Fake watches may have incorrect or fake brand logos and markings. This can include misspelled brand names, incorrect fonts, and fake serial numbers.
    • Misaligned dials and hands: The dials and hands on a fake watch may be misaligned, making it difficult to read the time accurately.
    • Inaccurate weight and dimensions: Fake watches may be lighter or smaller than authentic watches, as they are often made with low quality materials.
    • Misaligned case back: The case back on a fake watch may be misaligned, making it difficult to open and access the movement.

    Expand your knowledge: The Best Ways to Store Your Watches When Not in Use

    Expert Tips for Spotting Fake Watches

    In addition to the common characteristics of fake watches, there are several expert tips that can help you spot a fake watch. These tips include:

    Checking for proper brand markings and serial numbers:

    Look for the correct brand markings and serial numbers, which is one of the best ways to identify a fake watch. Genuine watches will have distinct serial numbers and legible, exact brand markings.

    A watch’s brand markings identify the company that produced it. They should appear in a font style consistent with the rest of the brand’s watches and be printed directly on the watch’s dial. If you’re unsure of what font your favorite watch uses, take a photo or video with your phone and upload it to Google Images so you can see how it compares with other models!

    how to spot fake watches
    Fake Rolex dial – fake watches are often made with low quality materials and poor craftsmanship.

    Some watches may not have serial numbers, but if yours does, it should be clearly displayed on the back of the case. Also, make sure that the serial numbers on the item and the documentation (such as user guides and warranty cards) match.

    Examining the quality of materials and craftsmanship:

    Fake watches are often made with low quality materials and poor craftsmanship. Paying close attention to the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship can help you spot a fake watch.


    First, examine the type of material used in the watch. It should be high quality and durable, especially if it’s an expensive model. If you see any scratches or dents on the casing or band, this is a sign that it’s a fake. The watch should also have an equally high-quality strap. For example, if it has a leather strap, it should be supple and soft to the touch. A genuine watch will have no creases in its strap as well.


    Look for signs of shoddy craftsmanship, such as uneven stitching on straps or loose screws on lugs or bracelets. The face should also be free from smudges or fingerprints, which indicate poor care by previous owners who may not have cared for their watches properly (i.e., wearing them while working out).

    Comparing the watch to authentic models:

    One way to spot a fake watch is to do a side-by-side comparison with a known authentic timepiece. be


    If the weight of your watch feels lighter than it should, it could be a fake. Specifically, if the weight is less than half of what it should be, then it’s probably a fake.


    You could tell a fake watch by its size, which is much smaller or larger than usual. There’s probably something wrong with it if its dimensions deviate by more than 1 cm from those of the original model.


    Look at how the coloration compares from side-to-side and top-to-bottom; if there are any inconsistencies here or if there are spots where the color looks different from what you expect (such as red spots on white), then this could indicate a fake. Also check for any discolorations or stains that wouldn’t normally be there (like rust).


    If there are any inconsistencies with the dial or movement (like an off-center hour hand), then this could indicate that the watch is not authentic.

    Seeking the advice of a professional watchmaker:

    Asking a professional watchmaker for help can help you figure out if a watch is real or not. A professional watchmaker will be able to spot any warning signs and help you decide what to do.

    The first step in getting advice from a professional watchmaker is to find one in your area. You can look online or ask people you know if they know any good watchmakers near you. Once you’ve found one, make sure that they are trustworthy by asking around about them and checking their credentials.

    Once you have decided on a watchmaker, take your time with them. They should be able to provide you with an honest opinion about whether or not the watch is real, but it’s important that they don’t rush through things just because they want to get paid or because they feel rushed by you.

    Take a closer look: Where To Buy A Vintage Watch Without Getting Scammed

    Common Ways Fake Watches are Made

    Fake watches are made in a variety of ways, but some of the most common methods include:

    • Copying the design of authentic watches: Fake watches are often made by copying the design of authentic watches. This can include copying the brand’s logo and markings, as well as the overall design and style of the watch.
    • Using low quality materials and craftsmanship: Fake watches are often made with low quality materials and poor craftsmanship in order to save costs. This can result in watches that feel flimsy and poorly made.
    • Falsifying brand markings and serial numbers: Fake watches may have falsified brand markings and serial numbers in order to appear authentic. This can include misspelling the brand’s name, using incorrect fonts, or using fake serial numbers.
    • Using fake branding and packaging: Fake watches may also be packaged in fake branding and packaging in order to further deceive buyers. This can include fake boxes, manuals, and other materials that mimic the authentic brand’s packaging.

    Get the full story: The Watch Valuation Guide: How to Determine the Worth of Your Collection

    The Consequences of Buying a Fake Watch

    Buying a fake watch is not only a bad idea because it isn’t good quality or reliable, but it can also lead to serious problems. These consequences include:

    • The potential legal consequences of purchasing a counterfeit watch: In many countries, it is illegal to buy or sell counterfeit goods, including fake watches. This means that buying a fake watch can result in legal consequences, including fines and even imprisonment.
    • The impact on the watchmaking industry and economy: The sale of fake watches can have a negative impact on the watchmaking industry and the economy as a whole. Fake watches take sales away from authentic brands and can damage the reputation of the watchmaking industry.
    • The potential risks to the buyer: Buying a fake watch can also pose risks to the buyer. Fake watches are often poorly made and may break or stop functioning after only a short period of time. In addition, fake watches typically do not come with warranties, leaving the buyer without recourse if the watch fails.

    Keep reading: The Art of Photographing Watches: Tips and Techniques


    In conclusion, being able to spot a fake watch is essential for anyone interested in fashion, watches, and gear. There are a lot of fake watches on the market, and if you don’t know what to look for, it can be hard to spot them. By understanding the common characteristics of fake watches, using expert tips for spotting them, and being aware of the consequences of buying a fake watch, you can protect yourself from falling victim to a fake and ensure that you always buy authentic, high-quality watches.


    What are some common characteristics of fake watches?

    Some common characteristics of fake watches include poor quality materials and craftsmanship, incorrect brand logos and markings, misaligned dials and hands, inaccurate weights and dimensions, and misaligned case backs.

    What expert tips can help me spot a fake watch?

    Expert advice on how to spot a fake watch includes looking for the right brand markings and serial numbers, looking at the quality of the materials and craftsmanship, comparing the watch to real models, and asking a professional watchmaker for help.

    How are fake watches typically made?

    Fake watches are typically made by copying the design of authentic watches, using low-quality materials and craftsmanship, falsifying brand markings and serial numbers, and using fake branding and packaging.

    What are the consequences of buying a fake watch?

    If you buy a fake watch, you might get in trouble with the law, hurt the watchmaking industry and economy, and run the risk of getting a low-quality watch with no warranty.

    Why is it important to be able to spot fake watches?

    It is important to be able to spot fake watches in order to protect yourself from purchasing a low quality, unreliable watch. In addition, being able to spot fake watches can help support the authentic watchmaking industry and avoid contributing to the sale of counterfeit goods.