This Masterclass is a sequel to my three books “Real and fake watches” Volume 1 & 2 and “Watches: An Identification Manual for Contemporary and Collector’s Pieces”. They were written to enable anyone to improve their ability to tell the difference between a fake and a genuine watch.
Published in 2007, the first volume focused on photographs comparing real and fake watches. Four years later, a second collection included new watch models in the market for counterfeits.
“Watches: An Identification Manual for Contemporary and Collector’s Pieces” was published in 2019 and is a realistic way in which a watch should be examined for identification or authentication, in view of the rapid changes in the quality of counterfeit products in recent years. It has become extremely difficult these days to examine some watch models and make a judgment on their authenticity without a minute analysis of their details and features. Previously, the quality of the materials, the accuracy of the markings, the proportions, weight and other factors made for relatively easy appraisals. Now these are sadly the features that counterfeiters are getting better at copying.
Now, you can learn for yourself and get the skills and know-how on watch identification.
In the different sections of this Masterclass I will present watches to compare and to give you the opportunity of examining the original watches and their copies.
These details are presented as useful information. Of course, when it comes to a forensic examination, the aim is to collect and classify as many as possible of the differences between watches to make a judgment.
The market for counterfeits is developing so rapidly that many of the hitherto obvious identifying features of fakes tend to disappear.
Some features, often too complicated to copy and in any case absent from the counterfeiter’s specification sheet, enable the difference between the real and the fake to be determined quickly. The most obvious is the movement of the watch.
This is often the component that is the most difficult to reproduce, especially when it comes to high-grade luxury watchmaking.
Nevertheless, other features are not to be neglected, and typographical mistakes in the markings and inscriptions are multiplying. And that’s not counting the spelling mistakes in the reference markings made at the end of the assembly chain by those who cannot speak the language and are not familiar with the alphabet.
The metals or leather used in the bracelets and straps as well as the overall aging of a vintage watch are also aspects to look at. Such details, if taken together, could initially raise our suspicions about a watch and lead to the wise decision not to buy if there are too many inconsistent features. The watches shown in the following pages were selected with the intention of presenting a range of models each of which has its weak points. It is clear that bringing together all the fakes that are produced nowadays would be impossible.