How to Detect a Fake Designer Watch

Anna Anna 23 Aug 2019 9175
How to Tell if a Designer Watch is Fake
Image via Pinterest

In recent years there has been a huge boom in the buying and selling of used luxury jewelry, especially designer watches. It is a great way to get a bargain on a piece of high end jewelry, that you may otherwise be unable to afford, or to sell the pieces you once treasured to a new owner. But if you are buying or selling, how do you know that your little piece of luxury is the real thing?


On holiday in my teens I bought a fake designer watch – a TAG Hauer –  from a street vendor. It barely worked for a day, but it definitely looked like a decent watch, even the diver’s dial worked flawlessly. A designer watch may lool like the real thing, but how can you be sure that the timepiece you are investing in, is the real thing?


Spotting A Fake Designer Watch

Although spotting a fake designer watch in a certain premium brand, is a little more complicated, there are some common mistakes to look for, on a potentially fake designer watch.

Michael Kors Designer Watch
Image via Pinterest
  • Design functions on the watch, such as diver dials, don’t work smoothly, or at all.


  • The watch seems to be ticking rather loudly. Designer watches tend to be more quiet, as the mechanism and casing are well made, with quality materials.


  • The logo may be off centre, feature subtle spelling errors, or is not printed crisply on the dial.


  • If the watch has a metal strap, the links should move smoothly and fluidly against each other. If they stick and and are stiff, then it is probably because the designer watch is a fake.


  • If there is no packaging or certifications with your watch, there is a good chance it is a fake watch. The same is true if the packaging is of poor quality.


  • A fake watch will feel rather light, because the materials used to make it are of a low quality.


  • The glass on the watch face should be beautifully clear, there should be no smudes of imperfections of any kind. If there are fingerprints on the inside of the glass, or specks of fluff inside of the casing, it is a very bad sign.
Stunning Designer Jacob & Co Watch
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Things To Consider Before Buying

If you see a designer watch, at a really good price, you make get overexcited and get out your credit card, before you have even gave the watch a good inspection. Special care should certainly be taken, when buying a designer watch on auction sites like eBay. Be wary of sellers that have minimal feedback, or who post blurry images, with scant descriptions. If a watch is genuine, the seller should have plenty to say about it. Also, ask the vendor for any extra information they have, serial numbers, preious owners etc. Every little bit of extra information, will help you to make an informed decision.


Be just as cautious when shopping in store as you are on line. If a store seems a little bit shady and the interior doesn’t seem to match the interior of the genuine luxury items they claim to be selling, there is a chance you are not getting what you are paying for. And remember, just because a vendor has certificates and quality looking packaging, that doesn’t always mean the designer watch itself is genuine. I can’t stress enough how important it is, to check for the tell tale signs of a fake watch, mentioned above.


Designer Wtch Mechanism
Image via Pinterest

There is probably one thing to remember above all others…if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, so proceed with caution. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can have the watch verified by an independent watch expert if you are unsure, especially since the better fakes need to be opened up to determine their authenticity. Sometimes, it is the mechanism that will need to be checked to verify if a watch is real or not.


The best advice is probably: if in doubt, just walk away. You may be disappointed for a while, but you would be more disappointed in the long run to discover that your new designer watch is actually a fake.


For more information, check out this great infogaphic on Ask Men, from Watches2U, which shows how to spot a fake designer watch of some of the biggest luxury brands.