We all know that knock off watches are easy to come by. With the boom of e-commerce, these fake watches can be difficult to spot and the appetite for them has grown.
Facebook Marketplace, for example, is a haven for fake goods. As of 2016, fake goods were valued at 3.3% of world trade with knock off watches making up 7% of all counterfeit products!
But why you shouldn’t you buy a knock off watch if it will be cheaper than the original? This primer will give 13 reasons why buying fake watches is never a good idea.
1. Security risks
Selling knock off watches and any counterfeit products is ILLEGAL. Often websites which sell counterfeit goods pose an internet security risk, increasing your chance of exposure to malware or ransomware. Given that you will be sharing personal and financial details in the transaction, valuable information is compromised on these sites.
Identity theft and credit card fraud frequently stem from counterfeit product websites. There have even been cases of illegal websites seizing customer details and registering other illegal websites under these names. Avoid, avoid, avoid!
2. Poor safety standards
For knock off watches, this usually means cheap metals are used which can have an adverse or even allergic reaction with the skin. Even if the metals do not cause an allergic reaction, they are far more likely to discolour and break quickly.
3. ‘Good’ fakes are a waste of money!
Often, knock off watches which are functional are still relatively expensive and teeming with long-term issues. Branded watch replicas like Tag Heuer, Rolex Submariner, Breitling replicas & Omega replicas can be several hundred pounds, sometimes more than a genuine classic watch!
Given that big brand watches are so prestigious because of their master craftsmanship and quality, buying a fake undermines the fake brand logo with poor quality design and manufacturing. ‘Waterproof’ fakes won’t survive a shower let alone a swim. Far better to buy a genuine watch that works, even if it’s not a Patek Philippe!
4. You don’t know what you’re buying
In terms of knock off watches, this could mean mechanical faults, as well as reduced functionality for the distinctive features that make the original brand watch unique. Complicated features, such as chronographs, calendars or moon phases are technically challenging and costly to imitate. Fakes either come without these features or with faulty imitations.
*Top Tip: Fake Rolex replica watches will be evident based on how the hands move around the dial. A fake will have jerky, one beat a second movement. The real thing will have a smooth mechanical movement.
5. Getting refunds is a nightmare
Although buying knock off watches is not illegal in the UK (it is in France and Italy), illegal sellers are incredibly difficult to contact once you realise you may have bought a substandard product. Buying online with bank transfer or debit card often means there is little likelihood of getting a replacement or your money back, even if you involve government fraud prevention services.
6. Illegal activity means dirty money!
Sinister gangs and crime syndicates frequently gain revenue or funnel money by selling illegal fake goods. Buying knock-off watches might seem innocent, but it’s very likely the money you spend is funding other, much nastier illegal activity, from human and drug trafficking to extortion. Buying counterfeit products could even be providing financial support to violent crime in your area.
7. Forced Labour
Illegal organisations selling knock off watches and other products often use slave labour to produce their products. Sweatshop factories in developing countries are often behind mass-produced counterfeits with employees often working 100-hour weeks in sickening conditions.
A report last year found child labour was also a serious problem in sweatshops. 168 million children between the ages 5 – 14 years were forced to work in developing countries. These sweatshops do not reduce poverty; all wages are mostly lost to food so workers can survive to work another day. Is your knock off watch worth children suffering?
8. No guarantees
Good quality, genuine watches come with warranties that insure against mechanical faults and sometimes damage over time. The lack of warranties again indicates this is money down the drain. Knock off watches rarely arrive in good condition or last till next Christmas, far from the timeless timepieces most customers are seeking.
9. Bad Reputation
Any watch connoisseur who knows her/his stuff can spot a counterfeit a mile off. If you’re buying a knock off watch for its imitation brand’s reputation, those around you who are most likely to respect to notice your watch are also those most likely to spot a fake.
Your carefully crafted professional image could be shot to pieces in seconds once someone realises you buy illegal goods and parade them as genuine. Don’t lose your rep for a knock off watch! No one will be impressed.
10. It’ll make you late
Most knock-off watches lose time. If you’re lucky enough for the case to stay intact, you’ll likely notice that your mass-manufactured timepiece will begin to lose time, no longer even doing the very basics!
11. It hurts high-quality watchmakers
The work and creativity watchmakers have spent years honing is stolen and exploited for profit by criminals. Squandering your money on cheap fakes is a blow to a historical tradition of technology blended with beautiful artistry.
Watchmakers and designers are highly skilled workers and buying poor-quality knock offs not only shows underappreciation for their labour but financially hits their industry hard.
12. Knock off watches have bad bracelets
If you are buying your watch as a jewellery piece and value the bracelet, it is likely that this will be the worst quality aspect of a knock off watch. They might look blingy, but bracelets of fake watches commonly have weak links and fake jewels which quickly come unstuck. Don’t be a mug – avoid the knock offs!
13. The watch reflects the owner
A high-quality watch is symbolic of the owner’s discerning taste, heritage, and status. A knock off watch has symbolic references of its own: stinginess, a poor eye for detail, and gullibility. You don’t want these qualities associated with you, especially if the fake watch is a gift.
In short – ditch the knock offs and choose quality and value, not second-rate illegality. If you’re not sure, search the website on Google to see if it’s a reputable seller by checking reviews, forums and blogs.
Always double check if the price looks too good to be true – it usually is! If you get to the payment stage, check that payments are being made secure.
Remember you get what you pay for, if you want stainless steel, the highest quality swiss watches, oyster perpetual, sapphire crystal then there is only one way to beat the copy watches and swiss replica watches, including fake Rolex watches and that’s purchase directly from an established retailer or the brand itself.
You can check out a great selection of high-quality and great value watches at uniformwares.com