Are Fake Watches Worth Purchasing?

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In our day and age, it’s tough being a watch collector. Countless fake watches, homage pieces, and Franken watches are produced every day. Many collectors view replica watches as great additions to their collections, but are they really worth purchasing?

Fake watches aren’t worth purchasing if you’re a serious watch collector or investor. In the watch-collecting world, fake watches don’t carry any significance or merit. On the other hand, if you’re interested in collecting cheaper watches, there are many choices of replicas out there.

In this article, I’ll mention seven reasons why fake watches aren’t worth purchasing and why some people decide to buy counterfeit watches. Continue reading this article if you fear you might unintentionally stumble upon a fake watch. 

7 Reasons Fake Watches Aren’t Worth Buying

With the rising black market of fake watches in practically every country, it can be hard to avoid some well-crafted replica watches. On the other hand, luxury watch brands are trying to fight against those counterfeit products. 

From campaigns like “Fake watches are for fake people” to Blockchain technologies that would increase the transparency and traceability of each purchased watch, watch brands are trying their hardest in this fight. Let me give you some reasons why fake watches aren’t worth buying ultimately.

1. They Have Poor Quality

The first thing that comes to everyone’s mind as to why you shouldn’t buy a fake watch is its poor quality. The quality is just terrible with some replicas, from the strap to the bezel to various mechanical pieces inside a watch itself. You might think that’s not so important since all those parts are cheap to replace. Think again.

Sure, some fake watches are made with great, sturdy material, and they’ll last a reasonable amount of time. However, in most cases, you’ll soon find yourself missing some small metal parts, or your leather strap might just snap under a tiny bit of pressure. 

2. You Don’t Have Any Proof That You Own a Watch

Whenever you buy a new luxury watch, you get the appropriate paperwork to prove you purchased that model with the exact year of purchase. Even when buying used luxury watches, many of them come with the original paperwork. For many collectors, the paperwork’s as relevant as the watch itself. 

What’s more, Jacob & Co. started including—wait for it—passports for their watches. With fake watches, you simply don’t have the same type of credibility. You’ll be lucky if your fake watch comes in a box. 

3. You Don’t Have High-Quality Maintenance

Part of the reason you get all the necessary paperwork with your original luxury watch is that if it breaks down, you can visit a licensed watchmaker who’ll have it fixed in no time—if it’s an original piece. Of course, you can always find ordinary watchmakers who’ll fix your fake watch, but the quality of the maintenance is immeasurable. 

Licensed watchmakers who work for various luxury watch brands are experts in their field who know exactly what they’re doing. Fake or original—watches will get damaged at some point (if you’re wearing them), so the high-quality maintenance that comes with expensive watches is worth the price. 

4. You Can’t Use Them as Investments

Let’s now say that many watch collectors don’t wear their expensive watches. They keep them hidden in their homes or bank safes, so they don’t need high-quality maintenance. Their only aim is to buy a luxury watch, keep it for years, and sell it for double or triple the original price. 

Well, fake watches aren’t great in that respect. Since we’re dealing with replicas, they’re practically useless as an investment. Plus, you can’t even say they’re rare or ‘pieces unique’ because millions of those models are produced and sold worldwide.

5. Original Watches Will Last Longer

This point goes hand in hand with the first thing on our list—quality. Simply put, a watch’s lifespan drastically decreases when you don’t have high-quality material used to make the watch. Remember that with luxury watches, you’re paying for durability and longevity, among other things. 

You don’t have that with fake watches, though. Don’t be surprised when your replica watch stops working for no reason. In those cases, it’s better to throw away the broken watch and buy another fake one (although I’d advise against it). 

6. Fellow Watch Collectors Can Spot a Fake

I don’t even need to mention that almost every watch collector with some experience will recognize a fake watch immediately, so there’s no point in trying. There are rare situations when somebody starts questioning your credibility when they notice a fake Rolex on your wrist. People who work with wealthy clients or want to work for them fall under this example. 

Wearing a fake watch can sometimes cause more harm than good. Recognizing a Franken watch (also “Frankenwatch”) might be more challenging since they often have many parts of an original watch. This doesn’t change the fact that they’re counterfeit, which leads us to our final point. 

7. They’re Illegal 

It hardly comes as a surprise that making watches replicating not only the design but the name and the logo of a luxury watch brand is illegal (violation of trademark protection). That’s where homage watch pieces, which have their own name and logo but an identical design, differ from fake watches.

When you buy a fake watch intentionally, you’re doing an illegal activity ‘by association.’ Unfortunately, not many people know this.

Also, used watches stores selling original watches aren’t doing anything illegal. They’re selling authentic timepieces that usually come with paperwork. 

Why People Still Buy Them

Regardless of all these reasons above, including the fact that making fake watches is illegal, many people still go out and buy them. So, let’s see some reasons behind their decision to wear fake watches. 

Some People Need Watches To Keep the Time

The simple reason why many people buy fake watches is that they’re not avid collectors. Their only concern is to arrive somewhere on time, and for that, they don’t need some vintage luxury watch. Any watch, especially a quartz watch that’s more reliable than mechanical ones, will do just fine.

Original Watches Are Super Expensive

Let’s face it, not all of us can afford watches whose prices exceed the prices of some luxury cars. Even younger collectors have a hard time financing their love for watch collections. I’m sure most of us would love to own a couple of original luxury watches. 

As such, when building their watch collection, many people like to include a diverse array of fake watches that are available for cheap. That way, they can potentially build a collection of over a dozen watches or more (albeit counterfeit) for the price of one premium luxury watch.

Many People Don’t Know They’re Wearing a Counterfeit

It’s a common omission on many people’s part, but sometimes they just don’t realize they’re wearing a fake watch. Those people are usually inexperienced and believe they just bought an original luxury watch. These are common tactics of scammers and watch sellers. 

Your watch is probably fake if it:

  • Isn’t heavy
  • Stops frequently
  • Has “precious stones” that break easily
  • Has a leather strap that’s too thin or tears easily

Some People Care About Status Symbols

Many people don’t care about accurate time or the artistic side of watch design. Instead, they’re only interested in setting their status symbol to impress other people, and fake watches are an excellent tool for that. You can’t tell if somebody’s wearing a fake watch from a distance or across the table. 

Those who want to establish some higher status in your eyes might use fake watches that are almost identical to the original for their benefit.

Damaging Counterfeit Watches Can Save You Money

Lastly, some people (including some watch collectors) often buy fake watches so they wouldn’t damage their super expensive watches in some risky situations. Imagine going mountain climbing with your Rolex Submariner and scratching or destroying it by accident. 

That’s why many people will keep their expensive watches at home and take some replica watches just in case something might happen to them. This tactic certainly saves you money, even if somebody tries to steal your watch thinking it’s authentic. 

Final Thoughts

The question of buying fake watches largely depends on the reason behind your decision. If you’re interested in purchasing watches for investment purposes, I’d say keep clear of fake watches.

Perhaps you’re a new watch collector with little money to buy luxury watches. In that case, many collectors buy homage pieces. 

With fake watches, you’ll get:

  • Lower quality
  • Lower lifespan
  • No paperwork proving you’re the owner

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to tips on finding and collecting precious items. Inspired by reading countless adventurer reports from the oldtimers, Alex is passionate about discovering hidden treasures and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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