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Thread: Warning: epidemic of much better fakes that have fooled many in the trade

  1. #501
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    I know of at least five in the trade who have lost amounts of that magnitude to sellers of the Audemars and Rolex fakes so far, yes.

    While some might be season ticket holders at Half-Arsed United, others make at least some effort not to be caught out. There will be many others again who have been caught out but have not realised as much or have chosen to keep the failure to themselves.

    Most frightening perhaps is that I can think of many more who would fail to identify the watch I saw last week or anything like it. There will be some expensive losses this year or - worse, of course - bad watches resold to trusting retail clients.

    All such successes encourage the baddies to more and greater efforts.

    Haywood
    I used to work in a second hand watch shop as the in-house watch maker. Working on the movements day in day out certainly helps the buyers, I just had to open a watch to tell instantly on the really good fakes.

    To the people talking about fake movements getting as good for less money, I can't see it being easily done myself.
    For example the 'generic' wheels that cousins sell are very easily identified visually when stripping a watch, not talking about how often they are out of round and the pivots really poorly polished.
    The finish and bevels on for example the pallet fork would be hard to replicate without serious investment in very very expensive custom made tools. Sure they could get close, but anyone who works on these movements regularly will be able to spot the differences.
    It doesn't help the general public, but take the time piece to a trusted place who regularly works on the watches and they will be able to tell you.
    As Haywood has said, take it to a standard watch reseller or agent and good luck, they may know less than you. Take it to a known expert or trusted watchmaker.

  2. #502
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Fakes have been around for years and the used market is as strong as it ever was.
    Exactly.

    If anything the used market is on fire.

  3. #503
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    If fakes destroyed confidence in the used market, they would also destroy one of the main selling points for new Rolex, the idea that they keep their value. So in future, it may benefit Rolex to have a register. I can see the argument that they just deal with new watches, but in the same way that they need a service network, they also need a functioning secondary market, and they very much donít need a price crash in used models.

    They have the best secondary market in the industry, thanks to A. High quality products B. Excellent after sales service available, reasonably priced. C. Parts supply for old watches is excellent, still making parts for watches sold in the early 60's.


    Just as an example all precious metal bracelets Rolex take in trade and pay you more per gram of metal than scrap value. Ditto gem-set dials where you get 40% of the current list price of the dial in discount if you trade in your old dial. I'm not sure any other outfits do that...

  4. #504
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    If fakes destroyed confidence in the used market, they would also destroy one of the main selling points for new Rolex, the idea that they keep their value. So in future, it may benefit Rolex to have a register. I can see the argument that they just deal with new watches, but in the same way that they need a service network, they also need a functioning secondary market, and they very much donít need a price crash in used models.
    That would be awesome. I could pick up every discontinued model I want for 1/10th their current price.

    Why do you care either way? It's not like you're a Rolex shareholder. Some of this stuff comes off as classic concern trolling. Rolex does what they do - don't like it? Move on to a brand that does a better job matching your expectations.

  5. #505
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP Chestnut View Post
    That would be awesome. I could pick up every discontinued model I want for 1/10th their current price.

    Why do you care either way? It's not like you're a Rolex shareholder. Some of this stuff comes off as classic concern trolling. Rolex does what they do - don't like it? Move on to a brand that does a better job matching your expectations.
    What an odd response! Iím merely suggesting that a system similar to the one DeBeers are introducing for diamonds could be useful in a world where fakes are getting more accurate.

  6. #506
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    Consumers should want the best possible watches and the lowest possible prices - at least the rational ones. If a bunch of dumb buyers worrying about fakes is a mechanism to that end - fine. Smart collectors will be fine.

    There's nothing strange about that.

  7. #507
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP Chestnut View Post
    Consumers should want the best possible watches and the lowest possible prices - at least the rational ones. If a bunch of dumb buyers worrying about fakes is a mechanism to that end - fine. Smart collectors will be fine.

    There's nothing strange about that.
    Trouble being that a lot of collectors think they are smart but the truth is ?

    Next problem being, these smart collectors might try and sell one to you.

  8. #508
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Trouble being that a lot of collectors think they are smart but the truth is ?

    Next problem being, these smart collectors might try and sell one to you.
    Easy solution. We agree on a price, you ship to my well known and respected watchmaker, I put the money in an escrow account. If the watch passes muster, escrow closes and you get your money. If not, watch goes back.

    You're making a problem where there isn't one. On the other hand, a secondary market with less stupid buyers is going to be much more efficient - more like it was around the year 2000.

  9. #509
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP Chestnut View Post
    Easy solution. We agree on a price, you ship to my well known and respected watchmaker, I put the money in an escrow account. If the watch passes muster, escrow closes and you get your money. If not, watch goes back.

    You're making a problem where there isn't one. On the other hand, a secondary market with less stupid buyers is going to be much more efficient - more like it was around the year 2000.
    Next problem, most people wouldn't bugger about with going through all that.

  10. #510
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Next problem, most people wouldn't bugger about with going through all that.
    You wouldn't and that's fine by me!

  11. #511
    Quote Originally Posted by -Ally- View Post
    Ooooh, I didnít know we had a WF rep on the forum :)
    We're the guys that do all the videos, so let us know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see!

  12. #512
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    Quote Originally Posted by 24/7 View Post
    We're the guys that do all the videos, so let us know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see!
    Its good to see that Watchfinder are taking this seriously; do they check each watch as it comes in?

  13. #513
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    Quote Originally Posted by 24/7 View Post
    We're the guys that do all the videos, so let us know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see!
    Honesty about the retention of links, contrary to usual industry practice.

  14. #514
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    Quote Originally Posted by 24/7 View Post
    We're the guys that do all the videos, so let us know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see!
    Spare links and dive extensions shipped with watches rather than squirreled away to be sold on eBay.

  15. #515
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padders View Post
    Honesty about the retention of links, contrary to usual industry practice.
    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Spare links and dive extensions shipped with watches rather than squirreled away to be sold on eBay.
    Whilst I donít agree with their practices of retaining spare links, straps, five extensions etc, they are not actually committing any crime.

    The whole package belongs to WF and how they choose to sell each part is entirely their own decision. They have no obligation to sell the boxes and papers with the watches either should they choose not to.

    We might not like it and itís good to be aware of the practice but there really isnít anything that can be done about it.

  16. #516
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    Nobody said it was a crime.
    It's just a grubby practice.

  17. #517
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    We might not like it and itís good to be aware of the practice but there really isnít anything that can be done about it.
    We can keep complaining about it here...

  18. #518
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    We can keep complaining about it here...
    You know they do it, so you are trading on their terms and that is a simple fact of life.

    If you don't like their terms, go somewhere else. If enough people do that, they may change their practice but as it stands it is a commercial decision and both parties can go along with it or not. Nobody is being forced to trade, it's your choice.

  19. #519
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    You know they do it, so you are trading on their terms and that is a simple fact of life.

    If you don't like their terms, go somewhere else. If enough people do that, they may change their practice but as it stands it is a commercial decision and both parties can go along with it or not. Nobody is being forced to trade, it's your choice.
    Itís still reasonable to complain about such a policy here, and if enough people do, and it keeps coming up in searches, they may rethink it. Breaking up full sets is hardly the way to gain the admiration of the community here. Ultimately it encourages anyone selling to them to remove and sell the links themselves first, and before you know it, no watches have any matching spare links. If they want to come to this forum and start posting to Ďbuild a relationship with the customersí, the first step would be to listen to them.

  20. #520
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    You know they do it, so you are trading on their terms and that is a simple fact of life.

    If you don't like their terms, go somewhere else. If enough people do that, they may change their practice but as it stands it is a commercial decision and both parties can go along with it or not. Nobody is being forced to trade, it's your choice.
    But how does the customer know they do it? They don't openly admit it, they offer a sizing service which sound like a plus, not a minus, but neglect to mention the removal of links once the watch is sized. Most less informed buyers wont notice until they come to sell the watch and wonder why they are getting static from those with bigger wrists about the 6.75" bracelet sizing (or whatever), particularly those who have had several links removed in the first place. If you are a gorilla then you will probably have no issue but it could make a watch sized for a smaller wrist effectively unsaleable since some links can be cripplingly expensive to obtain. Gold Rolex links anyone? If you go to ebay to look for them, surprise surprise one of the biggest suppliers is Watchfinder...

  21. #521
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    Itís still reasonable to complain about such a policy here, and if enough people do, and it keeps coming up in searches, they may rethink it. Breaking up full sets is hardly the way to gain the admiration of the community here. Ultimately it encourages anyone selling to them to remove and sell the links themselves first, and before you know it, no watches have any matching spare links. If they want to come to this forum and start posting to Ďbuild a relationship with the customersí, the first step would be to listen to them.
    Firstly I have already said that they may change their practice, there is no need to tell me what I wrote 5 minutes ago.

    They could argue that by retaining and re selling links etc, they are able to sell the watch cheaper.

    Also there is a thing called negotiation. You tell them you want a full set or it's no deal. Again it is your choice.

  22. #522
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Firstly I have already said that they may change their practice, there is no need to tell me what I wrote 5 minutes ago.

    They could argue that by retaining and re selling links etc, they are able to sell the watch cheaper.

    Also there is a thing called negotiation. You tell them you want a full set or it's no deal. Again it is your choice.
    Do you work for WF?

  23. #523
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padders View Post
    But how does the customer know they do it? They don't openly admit it, they offer a sizing service which sound like a plus, not a minus, but neglect to mention the removal of links once the watch is sized. Most less informed buyers wont notice until they come to sell the watch and wonder why they are getting static from those with bigger wrists about the 6.75" bracelet sizing (or whatever), particularly those who have had several links removed in the first place. If you are a gorilla then you will probably have no issue but it could make a watch sized smaller wrist effectively unsaleable since some links can be cripplingly expensive to obtain. Gold Rolex links anyone?
    You negotiate and cover your arse - it's hardly rocket science. If you buy a decent watch, the ultimate is the watch fully serviced, full papers and tags and the full amount of links. Is it really that difficult to ask for that up front. They will either supply as asked or will haggle.

  24. #524
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    Do you work for WF?
    No I have never worked in retail or the watch industry but I am capable of standing on my own two feet when buying something, be it a condom or a car or anything in between.

    PS I tell a lie, I last used a condom over 40 years ago, I had the snip.

  25. #525
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    You negotiate and cover your arse - it's hardly rocket science. If you buy a decent watch, the ultimate is the watch fully serviced, full papers and tags and the full amount of links. Is it really that difficult to ask for that up front. They will either supply as asked or will haggle.
    I say again, how are the vast majority of buyers who are not on watch forums supposed to be aware of this policy which may materially effect them negatively come sale or trade in time? Clairvoyance? Not everyone has your all knowing powers or is it just a case of I'm all right Jack. As noted above it is a grubby practice which does them no credit. They are bigger and better than this or at least should be.

  26. #526
    Quote Originally Posted by 24/7 View Post
    We're the guys that do all the videos, so let us know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see!
    Unrelated to this thread but I'd like to say that your videos are excellent, definitely some of the best watch content on Youtube. I'd be interested in knowing more about the background to the videos, introduce the narrator, show the camera, lenses and lighting and audio set-up. Perhaps you could post a thread about it in the Digital Photography section?

  27. #527
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padders View Post
    I say again, how are the vast majority of buyers who are not on watch forums supposed to be aware of this policy which may materially effect them negatively come sale or trade in time? Clairvoyance? Not everyone has your all knowing powers or is it just a case of I'm all right Jack. As noted above it is a grubby practice which does them no credit. They are bigger and better than this or at least should be.
    Just try negotiating or asking for the full package and take it from there. If you buy something like a collectable second hand watch without querying, you really should get someone else to do it for you. Again, if you don't like them, go somewhere else - your choice.

  28. #528
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    No I have never worked in retail or the watch industry but I am capable of standing on my own two feet when buying something, be it a condom or a car or anything in between.
    No offence intended, an honest question, it seems some people here do work for WF. I only ask as while I take your point, I can’t see why anyone here would be defending the idea of breaking up full sets, surely as watch lovers we would all rather the original set stayed together given the choice? This is obviously more crucial once you get into vintage, but any watch will be vintage one day. I‘m not fanatical about boxes and papers but sourcing spare links can be an expensive PITA and the lack of them makes a watch harder to sell.

    I’m also slightly disturbed by the thought of WF being a member here and having the potential to hoover up any good deals on SC, to reappear on WF for a premium.
    Last edited by Itsguy; 22nd January 2018 at 11:43.

  29. #529
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Just try negotiating or asking for the full package and take it from there. If you buy something like a collectable second hand watch without querying, you really should get someone else to do it for you. Again, if you don't like them, go somewhere else - your choice.
    Ah so it is the I'm alright Jack option. Great, glad we got that straight.

  30. #530
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    No offence intended, an honest question, it seems some people here do work for WF. I only ask as while I take your point, I canít see why anyone here would be defending the idea of breaking up full sets, surely as watch lovers we would all rather the original set stayed together given the choice? This is obviously more crucial once you get into vintage, but any watch will be vintage one day. IĎm not fanatical about boxes and papers but sourcing spare links can be an expensive PITA and the lack of them makes a watch harder to sell.

    Iím also slightly disturbed by the thought of WF being a member here and having the potential to hoover up any good deals on SC, to reappear on WF for a premium.
    No offence taken and I hope given.

    Having dealers in the forum is useful because they read what is written and can then decide on how to trade in the future based on feedback.

    When I buy a Secondhand Rolex, I always look up the amount of links originally supplied (a two minute google job) and ask if that is what is being supplied and I do it in writing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Padders View Post
    Ah so it is the I'm alright Jack option. Great, glad we got that straight.
    No - it's called using your head and not being wet nursed.

  31. #531
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Nobody said it was a crime.
    It's just a grubby practice.
    Youíll get no argument from me there Celia.


    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    We can keep complaining about it here...
    Of course we can but I doubt itíll do any good.

  32. #532
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post

    When I buy a Secondhand Rolex, I always look up the amount of links originally supplied (a two minute google job) and ask if that is what is being supplied and I do it in writing.
    That sounds like a good idea, though in general Iíd prefer to deal with a company who have a policy to always supply all the available spare links, and to keep sets together as much as possible. Any other policy will lead to the bracelets gradually getting shorter on most of the watches over time, and vintage watches with replaced links that donít quite match.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    Of course we can but I doubt itíll do any good.
    The internet has given the customer more power than you might imagine. No one likes bad publicity. Just ask American Airlines. A long and dedicated thread about this topic that comes up in searches would be more useful than discussing it here where weíre way off topic though.

  33. #533
    In all fairness to WF, how many dealers will sell you a watch with a full compliment of links, assuming the buyer even knows how many there should be.

    A decent seller will size the bracelet for you and you leave the store a happy bunny. Doesn't mean you are getting the number that left the factory when new and plenty of the dealers who do this are well respected.

    With second hand watches links are taken away and new ones are added each time a watch changes hands.

  34. #534
    A decent seller will return the customer's property after sizing so the watch retains its paid-for complement of links, as one would reasonably expect.

    It's amazing that anyone would even try to defend such an unequivocal rip-off.
    Last edited by Belligero; 22nd January 2018 at 14:09.

  35. #535
    Quote Originally Posted by Belligero View Post
    A decent seller will return the customer's property after sizing so the watch retains its paid-for complement of links, as one would reasonably expect.

    It's amazing that anyone would even try to defend such an unequivocal rip-off.
    Not defending and we talking about completely different things. Of course if you into Goldsmiths and buy a brand new watch and they remove a few links whilst resizing you would expect those to be handed over.

    I was talking second hand. Say you look at a 10 year old Sub, a good dealer will ensure the bracelet fits before you leave the store, but I don't believe there is a dealer in the country that would tell you that when they bought it, it only had 10 links and that they have increased the number to 13 (or whatever) because that's how many there would have been when the Watch was new.

  36. #536
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    Not defending and we talking about completely different things. Of course if you into Goldsmiths and buy a brand new watch and they remove a few links whilst resizing you would expect those to be handed over.

    I was talking second hand. Say you look at a 10 year old Sub, a good dealer will ensure the bracelet fits before you leave the store, but I don't believe there is a dealer in the country that would tell you that when they bought it, it only had 10 links and that they have increased the number to 13 (or whatever) because that's how many there would have been when the Watch was new.
    Thatís not what is being discussed, the relevant example would be the dealer saying that unfortunately the watch only has 10 links, because theyíve removed the other three and hidden them in a draw to sell later. Of course this happens, itís a standard way of taking advantage of ill informed customers, aka the age old ĎAllow us to size the bracelet for you, sirí scam. Just donít expect this behaviour to win any popularity contests on a watch forum.

  37. #537
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    Lightbulb

    After reading this, I will only be comfortable buying from AD...

  38. #538
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    An excellent thread HM, though it took a while to read!

    It seems that fakes are now getting good enough to fool all but the most experienced, and that could badly affect Rolexís business; both new and used. A database with detailed history, protected by an ownerís PIN sounds like a great idea. I can foresee a time where watches without detailed histories just wonít be trusted.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  39. #539
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    Its good to see that Watchfinder are taking this seriously; do they check each watch as it comes in?
    Yesóat the risk of sounding of sounding sales-y, our manufacturer certified service centre inspects every watch before purchase to prevent the acquisition of fakes. There are some awful ones, but every now and then a really good one comes in. The thing to really watch out for, especially on rare, vintage watches, is fake parts. We've seen dials swapped out to fakes that mimic rarer variants.

  40. #540
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    Unrelated to this thread but I'd like to say that your videos are excellent, definitely some of the best watch content on Youtube. I'd be interested in knowing more about the background to the videos, introduce the narrator, show the camera, lenses and lighting and audio set-up. Perhaps you could post a thread about it in the Digital Photography section?
    Thank you very much! I would like to do a video one day with a bit of 'behind-the-scenes', but I'd like to get the channel more established before we indulge on that. In the meantime, if I get some time, I'll see if I can put something together for the Digital Photography section. It's a fairly simply setup thoughóUrsa Mini with lots of dynamic range, tungsten fresnel through 1.8x1m 2-stop diffusion silk right on top of the setup for key and a smaller silk camera left for an edge light.

  41. #541
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coronet king View Post
    Just thinking how many uv torches have been bought this morning.樂
    +1, just bought one too!

  42. #542
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    Woah. Nuts. Hope you called the police on him for fraud. What a wanker!

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