How To Spot A Fake Watch: Our Best 6 Tips

The world of luxury watches is a big one. With so many styles and brands, it’s hard to know what you’re getting into when you buy a new watch. 

For this reason, it can be tough to spot the difference between an authentic watch and a fake watch. Luckily for you, we’ll help you identify those imposters!

In this blog post we’ve given you our top 6 tips on how to spot a fake watch. Going over what you need to look out for.

So that when you’re buying your next timepiece, you’ll be prepared.

How To Spot A Fake Watch

  1. Price
  2. Reputable Dealer
  3. Dial
  4. Case
  5. Bracelet
  6. Movement

1. Price

Ask yourself is this deal too good to be true? If yes, then it more than likely is.

Luxury watches are expensive. So when you see a luxury watch for an unbelievable price, be very wary. As it could be a scam.

Do your research on the going rate for the watch that you are after. Yes, you can most definitely get deals on pre-owned timepieces. But still, a luxury watch will not be cheap.

So if you see a price that is shockingly low, proceed with caution, and check for the signs to spot a fake watch.

2. Reputable Dealer

Where you buy your watches, and from whom, is very important. You need to ask yourself if this is a reputable dealer.

If you’re buying your watches from that watch brands website or store. Then you’re guaranteed an authentic watch.

Another popular place is Amazon, where a lot of brands have their very own Amazon store. Where you can buy many affordable and entry level watch brands that are brand new.

However, if you’re after luxury watches, then you can check out popular online stores like Bob’s Watches, or Jomashop. You’ll often pick up discounted watches from these reputable dealers.

Vintage and pre-owned watches have grown a lot in popularity over the years. More often than not you’ll need to search online for that vintage watch you’re after. 

Check out our guide on the best reputable places to buy vintage watches online.

Lastly, watch auctions can be a fun and exciting way to pick up a luxury watch. A lot of watch auctions have online auctions now. 

Check out our guide to the world’s best watch auctions, including online auctions too.

3. Dial

Now onto the actual watch. Starting with the dial. 

Before purchasing a watch, make sure to take the time to look at the dial…closely. Ask yourself:

  • Does the logo look like it should?
  • Do the indices, signature, and dial surface look clean, smooth, and crisp?
  • Are the indices painted on or applied?
  • Is the type of indices correct?
  • Is the luminosity what it should be?
  • Is everything positioned correctly?
  • Do the hands and indices align correctly?
  • Is there any fluff, dust or material on the inside of the dial?
  • How is the finish of the dial?

If you don’t know the detail of the dial of the watch you are purchasing. Then make sure to Google an authentic picture of it.

Compare it with the watch you are purchasing.

An authentic luxury watch is all about the detail. Everything should look super clean, crisp and smooth. There should be zero dust, fluff or any material that shouldn’t be there within the dial.

An authentic luxury watch that’s brand new should look flawless.

Everything should align perfectly on a luxury watch. If you notice anything off with it, or anything that differs from the picture then you need to be suspicious that it’s a fake.

4. Case

Inspect the watch’s case next. Pick the watch up, and ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the watch feel right?
  • Does it feel like the correct weight?
  • Does the watch feel sturdy?
  • Does the watch look well constructed? 
  • Do all the watch parts look like they fit together properly?
  • How is the finish?
  • Is the watch’s case shape correct? Is it the right size?
  • Does the caseback look as it should? 
  • Is the stamp correct on the back?

The finish of a luxury watch should be smooth and flawless, when brand new. It should often have a high polish to it, or a satin like matte finish.

Check for how the finish should be on the watch that you’re looking to buy. Then compare it.

Be super critical, and look very closely.

5. Bracelet

The best way to test a watch’s bracelet is to try it on. See how it feels. Ask yourself:

  • Is the bracelet comfortable? 
  • Does it fit in correctly with the watch’s case?
  • Is the clasp correct?
  • Is the logo correct on the clasp?
  • How is the overall finish?

Again get a picture of how it should look and compare with the watch you’re inspecting.

Become familiar with the different types of watch clasps in our guide.

6. Movement

If the watch you’re buying has an exhibition caseback, then you’ll be able to take a look at the watch’s movement.

This is lucky. As you can often pull up a picture of that watch’s movement online and compare.

When you compare a fake luxury watch’s movement with an authentic one, you should find it easier to spot. The fake watch’s movement will look worse than the real deal.

But, what if the watch doesn’t have an exhibition caseback. How to spot a fake watch then?

Best thing to do, if in person, is to hold the watch up to your ear and listen to the movement.

Does the watch sound like it’s a luxury, super smooth movement. Is there a loud tick or funny noise that shouldn’t be there. If so, the movement could be a fake or a Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, means a watch made of other watch parts.

Then again look at the dial. Fake luxury watches will never have a movement that runs as smoothly as the real thing. Ask yourself:

  • How do the hands move?
  • Do they move smoothly?
  • Do the hands align with the indices?

Also remember the type of watch movement you are purchasing…

If you’re buying a quartz movement, then you will see the hands move around the dial in a tick-tick motion.

If you’re buying a mechanical watch, then the hands will move smoothly around the dial. Learn about the difference between quartz and mechanical movements.

To Sum Up

A luxury watch can be a great investment for anyone. However, you need to be careful when purchasing a watch, as there are many fake watches around.

If you follow our top 5 tips on how to spot a fake watch, you should be fine.

Learn more about the parts of your watch, so you know what to look out for when buying your next watch.