• Fake Watches are Lighter than Genuine Watches

Rubbish! Counterfeiters today easily make watches that are the same weight. How? Well, they are using the same ETA movements as the original manufacturers or second source copies. Therefore weight is no longer an acid test.


This may seem like an obvious one, but luxury watches are meticulously made to the most exacting of standards. So details and finishing on a genuine high-end watch should be flawless. Before you make a purchase, take the time to inspect the details to ensure that everything is perfect. Take a close look at the dial, case, caseback, winding crown, lugs, bracelet, and clasp. Top tier watchmakers take pride in the products they produce.


Be wary of these red flags when inspecting a watch:

  • Peeling or flaking materials
  • Crooked text or sloppy font
  • Unequal spacing between letters
  • Spelling mistakes and incorrect logos
  • Bracelet not fitting the case properly
  • Cheap and flimsy bracelet clasps that won’t close
  • Unsigned clasps, crowns, dials, or caseback
  • Loud ticking noise if the timepiece is sold as a mechanical one


Since high-end timepieces are very expensive luxury goods, only fine materials are used in their construction:

    • Genuine gold, typically 18k
    • Genuine platinum, typically 950
    • Genuine titanium, typically grade 5
    • Stainless steel, typically 316L or better (Rolex uses 904L)
    • Genuine leather
    • Genuine diamonds and gemstones
    • Original packaging will boast top materials too


Because of the quality of the materials, genuine watches tend to be heavier than fake ones as these use cheaper materials. An exception to this, however, is when high-end watch brands use materials such as titanium in order to produce ultra-light timepieces.

  • It’s Not Complicated

You will read that complication never work on fake watches. It is true that in many cases they do not. But many luxury watches do not have any complications except the date, which may work on a fake watch. Therefore, the complication test is usually not helpful in separating the fakes from the real.

  • The Date Bubbles on Fake Rolexes Don’t Magnify Enough

It used to be that the “Cyclops,” the lens over the date on a Rolex did not magnify 2.5 times on a fake Rolex. That is not so difficult to fake anymore. I have seen many fake Rolex watches with the correct magnification. I would not depend on that as a litmus test.

  • A Genuine Movement Means a Genuine Watch

Have you heard that movements on fake watches are never the same? How wrong that is. Most watch brands today buy their movements from ETA, the world’s largest supplier of mechanical movements. The counterfeiters can now buy Chinese or Japanese reproductions or indeed actual ETA movements from secondary sources. Take a look below at how similar reproduction movements look. Which of below is authentic and which is fake? They look pretty similar, don’t they?

  • Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

There is no such thing as a free lunch, right? The conventional wisdom is that gifts of luxury watches are fakes. Well, this may be close to the truth. But real watches are inherited and sold. If we all go around scrapping inheritance gifts, it may be an expensive error. This is hardly a definitive test for telling genuine finds from imposters.