Luxury watches are popular and valuable, but there are dishonest vendors who market fakes as genuine. You can protect your investment by taking proper precautions. We recommend the following:

  • Look for a reasonable offer.
  • Compare the product to known genuine items.
  • Check markings, serial numbers, and other details.
  • Buy only from a reputable source.
  • Protect yourself during the purchase.
  • Buy only if the watch comes with the original manufacturer’s materials.
  • Check the watch carefully when it arrives.

Look for a reasonable offer. A little research will tell you if a deal is too good to be true. Is the price withd discounts, but real watches still have a price range that is predictable. If a watch looks like a real steal it may not be you who isstealing. ( is a great site to manually compare)

Compare the product to known genuine items. Many fakes come from sources that use fake internal parts and then mark them with a variety of brand names. Unfamiliar buyers may be fooled, but even these watches will not match the legitimate items.

Here are some links to popular brands where you can see trustworthy images for comparison:
Audemars Piguet Breitling Cartier Longines Michael Kors Movado Omega Raymond Weil Tag Heuer Tissot Ulysse Nardin Zenith

Check markings, serial numbers, and other details. Makers of fakes often fail to get the details correct. The number may not match the manufacturer’s standard method.

Patek Serial Numbers

Check The Serial Numbers Thoroughly

Water-resistance ratings and markings may not match up to the genuine watch markings. Even something such as text on into place and is not genuine.

retouched watch dials?

retouched watch dials? (photo courtesy of

Check the appearance of the crown, buttons, and the watch face to be sure they match exactly to the image available from the manufacturer. It isn’t cheap or easy to copy these details faithfully and fakes don’t come from high-cost manufacturing experts.

Rolex Crowns

Rolex Crowns (Photo courtesy of

Some sources habitually spell things incorrectly, so read everything on the watch carefully. Find out what collectors and ails by visiting trustworthy blogs and forums such as these:

Chronocentric – Fake and Counterfeit Watches – This is an excellent and informative article on how to avoid getting burned when buying a watch. – Forums where watch enthusiasts offer expert advice on verifying authenticity and spotting fakes.

Buy only from a reputable source. This may seem obvious, but tales of woe often feature such obvious clues as a seller with little that you can verify through independent third-party ratings. It only takes a few minutes to know if the seller has a good name. Check sources like Amazon, eBay, Price Grabber, and Yahoo listings. If someone bad buys a good business, the reputations over time will change. Be sure to do some general web searches on the seller’s name and website. A couple of bad reviews doesn’t make them scam artists, but plenty of bad press from unhappy customers serves as a warning to others.

Protect yourself during the purchase. Buy from a source that provides a warranty and accepts returns or a refund. Read the policies before you buy and make sure to check the length of time given to return an item and the restocking fee. Know them before your money leaves your hands. Use a traceable and reliable delivery method, and know how they handle loss or damage. You don’t want to join the line at the local post office to fill out a claim form, then waiting weeks while they do research. Have the watch delivered to you with a signature required not allowing it to be dropped at your residence while you are at work.

Warranty and Refund

Warranty and Refund

Check the watch carefully when it arrives. Make sure the packaging and documents match the seller’s or manufacturer’s authentic materials and that you got it all. Resist tearing everything off and trying it on until you have made sure things are right. Look the watch over carefully for any imperfections. If you are unsure bring the watch to an expert professional to be sized properly.

Cover image by @fakewatchbusta