Bulldozing Along

As the “watch guy” among my group of friends, my ability to answer watch-related questions and know about watch-related events is always tested.  Just last week, a friend of mine casually brought up an event that he was hoping I hadn’t heard about so that he could rub it in my face.  The event in question, which I did end up knowing about, was one that occurred in my hometown of Philadelphia in late April.  Believe it or not, federal authorities ordered a whopping 7,000 counterfeit Rolex watches to be destroyed by a bulldozer!  If you have yet to see the story, it is definitely worth reading.

Check out the story: 7,000 fake Rolex watches are steamrolled in Philly

Fake Rolex Watches Steamrolled in Philly

Talking about the story got me thinking about the overwhelming number of replica watch sites that are popping up on the Internet, and how few are being shut down.  Even more to my chagrin is the fact that people are consistently and knowingly buying fake watches!  I guess for some people, a replica timepiece is a great idea.  You go to a site, you put in your credit card information, you pay a couple hundred dollars and you get a supposedly $10,000 watch from a Chinese sweatshop.  I would know, because I did it!  The talk with my friends got me so curious that I wanted to see a replica Breitling myself.

When my “Breitling” arrived, I could see the differences instantaneously.  The dial looked cheap and far from authentic, the strap was made of terrible quality leather, if it even was real leather, and the motorboat sounding movement could have served as my alarm clock.  It was outrageously loud!  I learned quite a lot from this little experiment of mine and I am glad I did it.  It really made me appreciate a genuine timepiece from a quality manufacturer even more than I already did.

Have any of you had experiences with fake watches?

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8 thoughts on “Bulldozing Along

  1. I one purchased a Bvlgari aluminium wristwatch on “that famous auction web site”, the front was excellent, however, the back just didn’t seem right. I took it to Bvlgari and they determined it was counterfeit. Upon opening the watch there was an inexpensive movement inside.

    I was fortunate that the seller was ethical and didn’t realize the piece was not authentic. He promptly refunded my money.

  2. It sickens me when I see all the fakes or replica’s as these scoundrels on Craigslist post. I would never ever buy a fake or replica. I would rather spend the $100-$200 on a Swiss timepiece from the 1950’s or 1960’s which has loads of character and history. I could not care less if it was a highend watch or not. Fakes are for fakes!
    i’ve owned two Breitlings over the years and own several heuers and TAG Heuers and appreciate it them all whether they are worth hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars. My favourite watch at the moment is my Roamer Stingray chronograph which took me nearly a decade to find.

  3. George, one silver lining, the proliferation of fakes may encourage collectors of high-end Swiss watches to buy from ADs as opposed to the secondary market.

    I know I personally would only buy from an AD for new models or a handful of well-known dealers for vintage.

  4. I would add that for certain models such as the Chronomat Evolution, the fakes are so good that I would never buy except from an AD.

  5. Like others have said, the one sure way to know that a watch is real is to buy from an AD. Sure, there are many reputable sites and sellers out there, but paying more for the reassuarance is worth it to me.

  6. There is no good reason to buy a fake watch. Good watches are available at all price points. The only reason to buy a fake is either to lie (by passing it off to people as real) or to steal (by selling it). When I first set out to buy a Breitling, I got scammed on eBay and sent a horrendously bad fake. Since then, I bought at an AD.

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