Spot it before @FakeWatchBusta does
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In modern society, brand names can tell a lot about a person’s status.
Whether it’s handbags, glasses or watches, it’s important to be aware of the possibility that a product may be counterfeit.
With the rise of the internet in commerce, it’s become much easier to dupe buyers into making the mistake of unwittingly purchasing a counterfeit because they believe they’re purchasing the real thing at a discount.
Audemars Piguet watches are no exception when it comes to the chance that a deal may be too good to be true.
Oftentimes, there are several simple ways to tell that a seller is trying to pass off a fake as the real deal.
Determine if the seller is credible
Seeing a watch in person is not the only way to determine whether it’s counterfeit since the quality of counterfeit watches has been improving year over year.
Dealing with a reputable seller is the best way.
If you’re in the market for a luxury Audemars Piguet watch, you’ll get much more for your money by purchasing pre-owned instead of from Audemars Piguet dealer or boutique.
However, some prices are just unrealistic and should raise a red flag.
Have you seen those ads on Facebook or Instagram for Audemars Piguet watches, Louis Vuitton bags and more premium items for as low as $99? THOSE ARE NOT REAL!
When shopping online for an Audemars Piguet, the first concern to look out for is the quality of the seller’s website.
Although there are several reputable online sellers such as Luxury Bazaar, there are a few simple ways to reduce the chances of buying from a scam site.
If the site is missing information (such as low-quality product descriptions or blank ‘About Us’ pages), the seller may be a scam.
It’s also important to check the domain name of the website.
Counterfeiters commonly use a domain name that is a misspelling of a credible seller to reach customers who intended to visit the reputable seller’s page, allowing them to trick these customers into buying from their own disreputable site.
Does the website provide you with a customer support phone number? A physical address? Live chat?
The next step in researching a seller is to keep an eye out for sketchy reviews.
Start with checking multiple review sites to see what previous customers have said about the seller.
If the reviews are short, badly written, or identical across several review sites, it’s possible the seller is posting false reviews in order to convince potential buyers that they have a better reputation than their true customers would give them.
On the other hand, if it’s impossible to find any information on a seller, it’s still best to avoid them.
It’s also important to find out where the potential seller is located.
Overseas sellers are generally based out of China, and though this doesn’t mean that all abroad Audemars Piguet watch sellers are counterfeit, it’s important to factor this in with the rest of your research while determining the seller’s credibility.
While looking for a new or used Audemars Piguet, it’s important to compare the pricing at several different retailers.
For example, an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph sells for roughly $36,000.
When it comes to watches, you generally get what you pay for. Research the prices of several similar pieces to get an idea of what the watch would generally sell for on the market.
Any watch being sold for significantly less than that price is probably not simply a great deal, it’s likely that the watch is a counterfeit.
Unfortunately, as counterfeiters continue to improve in their trade, they are becoming better at pricing counterfeits more similarly to genuine Audemars Piguet watches in order to avoid losing potential customers, so it’s important to thoroughly research the seller as we discussed above.
If you’re buying from a brick and mortar store and can get a good look at the watch, there are several signs of a counterfeit Audemars Piguet watch to look out for.
First off, take a look at the engravings on the clock face. Audemars Piguet pieces have a very specific design laser-etched onto the dial.
For reference, take a look at this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar 26574ST.OO.1220ST.01 watch.
This complex Tapisserie pattern is incredibly difficult for counterfeiters to replicate, and although forgers often attempt to duplicate the design to the best of their ability, it is usually easy to tell the difference between a forgery and a genuine piece.
Oftentimes, forgers will completely forego this Audemars Piguet signature.
Imperfect or unclear stamps are a major red flag that the piece is a counterfeit.
However, the technology used to create fake watches has significantly improved, making it harder to spot a counterfeit stamp.
Though it may seem obvious, be sure to check the spelling of Audemars Piguet on the watch.
Even a genuine looking stamp will commonly be misspelled on a counterfeit.
Next, it’s important to note the shine of the watch. Genuine Audemars Piguet watches should be bright and luminous, the quality obvious and shining through.
Counterfeiters usually use much cheaper materials and tend to use a low-quality phosphorescent solution to lend the watch a dull glow.
Another sign that an Audemars Piguet may be counterfeit is the weight of the watch.
As watches go, Audemars Piguet timepieces are relatively heavy.
This weight comes from the high-quality steel and gold used in the components of each watch. Which is probably why the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph is nicknamed “Brick”.
Counterfeiters tend to use cheaper, less substantial materials that offer a much lighter body.
Another telling sign that the piece is a fake is the ‘ticking’ of the clock hands.
High-quality Swiss watches have an almost inaudible tick due to the hundreds of years of craftsmanship backing the luxury timepieces.
If an Audemars Piguet has an audible ticking sound, it’s highly likely that the watch is a fake.
Luxury watches, new or used, should also come with a serial number and certificate of authenticity.
The original boxes and certificate of authenticity should give you a lot of insight into the watch’s quality and its history.
Although certified pre-owned Audemars Piguet watches may be missing the original boxes or paper, doesn’t mean they are counterfeit.
When looking for an Audemars Piguet timepiece, determining the quality of a potential purchase is incredibly important, and these luxury watches are a large investment.
Ensuring that the seller is quality and that you can visit, speak with or otherwise communicate with them is your first sign that you are dealing with someone that may be credible.
Checking the quality of the stamps, laser-etching, and materials will also help to reduce the risk of buying a counterfeit.
Though these tips should give you some insight into what to look for when determining if an Audemars Piguet luxury watch is quality or counterfeit, consulting a trained watch expert and having them authenticate the piece will ensure that the watch and each of its components are genuine Audemars Piguet.