A Rolex will last many years, a Patek Philippe will last centuries, but a replica of any caliber likely won’t last until your next birthday.
Replica watches generally have a very short lifespan. They tend to be made of inferior materials, regardless of what you spent. Can you really trust the seller that their $500 version is better quality than the $50 version? They’re selling you on something that isn’t real. Expect that if you are buying a fake watch, it will not last long.
Regardless of what you may have heard, even the most expensive replicas are crap. The fake watch industry has one single purpose: to make as much money as possible. This means that the manufacturer has to get paid, the seller has to get paid and expenses like advertising and website management need to be paid. Like any criminal, they will do whatever they can to get the biggest return possible. They are con artists. They’re selling you a fake product. Why would you trust them when they claim it’s the best fake on the market? In the end, even if they are charging a small fortune for it, they are still using the least expensive materials possible and the poorest craftsmanship they can find.
That’s a pretty bold statement, but it didn’t originate with us. In fact, it’s a slogan that has been used in many ad campaigns by a consortium of Swiss watch companies that make up the Foundation de la Haute Horlogerie. Is there any truth to it? Certainly.
There are traditionally three types of buyers who want the name of a luxury watch manufacturer on their wrist. One is the collector who values the artistry and mechanics that make up a fine timepiece. This individual understands and respects their value and appreciates the craftsmanship. The second type of person buys a luxury watch purely for the statement it makes about their lifestyle. The third type of person is the same in that they want to impress others, but they can’t afford the real thing.
Even though the second kind of watch buyer may not be tasteful or likable, they still made a legitimate purchase. You’ll still be better off buying a watch that you can afford than trying to be someone you’re not, which in the case of watch buyer type #2, may be a good thing.
It is not gentlemanly behavior to lie to those you interact with, nor is it gentlemanly to break the law.
The average replica watch can be spotted as a fake by anyone who has ever owned or seen a watch from that brand. Even the better quality fakes can be sniffed out 20-feet away by an experienced collector or expert. As soon as someone realizes your watch is fake, they’ll begin to wonder what else is fake. Your reputation will be shot in seconds, even if the only fake thing was the watch, and you may not even know it. Believe it or not but people have lost jobs and clients simply for wearing a replica watch.
The average person may not be able to tell that your watch is fake, but anyone who is a collector or an expert will be able to. Imagine how it will look if you’re outed in front of a client, colleague or your boss, especially if they’ve admired your watch. The odds are that at some point you will meet someone who quickly realizes there is an issue with your watch, and then you will have to answer for it.
That leads us to the next reason. If you are the third type of watch buyer listed above, don’t think you’ve fooled anyone into believing your watch is real. Even though a fake watch can look identical to a real one, there may be plenty of other obvious indications that a watch is fake that have nothing to do with the timepiece. If it seems implausible that you would own an expensive watch, people may assume it’s a fake and judge you for it. If you’re wearing the same Submariner that your boss, 20 years your senior, is wearing, no one will think your boss is the one wearing the fake watch.
Remember the old Shania Twain song “That Don’t Impress Me Much”? Neither will that fake watch. Sure some people will outright tell people when their watch is a replica, but most don’t. What’s the point in buying a replica if you’re going to tell everyone it’s fake? Regardless of whether you tell them or not, no one has ever been impressed by a fake watch or the “deal” you got on it. You’ll either look like a gullible chump or a cheapskate.
Regardless of how you justified the purchase, after a while, you will begin to develop an inferiority complex; especially if you are lying to people around you and claiming the watch is real. You will worry that you’ll be caught. You will feel remorse for lying and you will begin to notice just how fake the watch looks. If you are a younger gent, you may feel good about it now, but in ten years you’ll find that this is one of those things you’ll look back on and regret, thinking to yourself “What on earth was I thinking? How did I possibly think that looked good?” A fake watch is like a mullet in the 1980s. It seemed good at the time, but nobody looks good wearing it.
People buy fake watches to wear brands that represent quality, success, luxury, and craftsmanship. It’s understandable to want to be associated with those characteristics, but you won’t align yourself with them if you wear a fake watch. It undermines the whole industry by diluting and redirecting the equity of the watch brands into counterfeit goods. It flouts the long history, the centuries of skill and innovation, and the intellectual property of an industry that the counterfeiters — not the manufacturers — reap the rewards of. They are slowly starving the golden goose, so don’t make it worse by giving counterfeiters your money.
Fake watches don’t retain any value. You may have spent $10 or you may have spent $300, but either way, it’s worth nothing after you buy it. A Wal-Mart-brand watch bought on sale will be more valuable than any fake watch, regardless of how much you spent on it.
While traveling in the Far East, it can be easy to say “hmm, I’ll just spend $20 at this stand, even though it’s fake.” Let’s face it, there are quite literally, dozens of stands in the markets selling fake watches. Not just in the Far East, but even in American flea markets. The problem is that many of the people who have bought them overseas on a whim because it was cheap and looked neat, regretted it almost immediately when it didn’t even make the flight home before it was broken.
In many cases, the bracelet is far worse than the actual watch. For the most part, replica watches also replicate the bracelets. Unfortunately, they break very easily. I remember seeing a gentleman raving about his Rolex at a restaurant a number of years ago. As he was showing the manager of the restaurant this gleaming new Rolex, the bracelet literally fell apart and he was left clutching the case which proceeded to also fall and smash into a number of pieces on the floor. Let’s just say he quickly got up and left the establishment. The tables around his had a hearty laugh at his expense with many people claiming they knew it was a fake watch as soon as he began to show it off.