Watch Articles

How To Authenticate A Luxury Watch

May 9, 2017 - Watch Articles

If you are in possession of a luxury watch that was gifted or purchased on the second-hand market, it can be difficult to ascertain its authenticity. Counterfeiters are becoming increasingly skilled at producing high-quality fake watches; technological improvements have meant that counterfeiters can replicate the advanced movements of luxury watches with precision. We will walk you through how to authenticate a luxury watch.

In recent years, counterfeit watches have become so advanced that even the luxury watch brands themselves have difficulty telling them apart from the real thing. Despite the prevalence of sophisticated counterfeits, there are a few key ways to authenticate a luxury watch and determine if your luxury watch is fake.


How to authenticate a luxury watch

Determining the authenticity of your watch can be a difficult task, but it is possible. To authenticate a luxury watch, some of the most important factors to look for are:

  1. Incorrect Model Number – Phony model numbers are common amongst fake watches, particularly Rolexes. Looking for incorrect ending digits of your model number can alert you to a fake watch.
  2. Incorrect Serial Number – Fake serial numbers are also common amongst counterfeit luxury watches. There are a number of membership sites that provide databases of known counterfeit numbers. You can cross-reference the serial number of your watch in one of these databases to determine the authenticity of the number. Watch experts will often have access to these databases.
  3. Color Discrepancies – Counterfeit watches sometimes have off-colored metal or colors that are slightly different than the original version of the watch. Incorrect coloring is a definite indicator of a phony watch.
  4. Incorrectly Magnified Cyclops Window – The wrong magnification in the cyclops window can reveal your watch’s inauthenticity. Sometimes the date in the cyclops will be over or under magnified. Authentic models have a specific magnification.
  5. Inaccurate Watch Hands – Compare your watch to an authentic version to determine if the watch hands look the same. There will often be small design discrepancies between the watch hands of a fake luxury watch and an authentic one.
  6. Wrong Movements – Incorrect movements are also a sign that your watch could be inauthentic.Counterfeit watches may not always be able to replicate the movements of the original accurately.
  7. Inaccurate Case – There are certain details inside of luxury watch cases that indicate a counterfeit. Look inside your luxury watch case for important missing indicators such as serial numbers, logos, hallmarks, and metal content.
  8. Poor Quality Box and Papers – Your watch’s box and papers can be an important way to determine your watch’s authenticity. Watches without a box and papers are more likely to be fake. If the watch box is low quality or the paperwork folders aren’t made of real leather, it is likely your watch is not authentic. Be sure to examine the stitching on the box as well—stitching that is off suggests it may be a fake box.


spot a fake rolex

Although the list above can help you determine authenticate a luxury watch, counterfeiters can still outsmart even the most diligent watch-owners.

If you have uncertainties, a watch expert will be able to look at your watch and provide a thorough examination of its authenticity. Ensuring the authenticity of a luxury watch can be an important step before selling or buying.


How to sell a luxury watch

WP Diamonds is a BBB A+ rated business that specializes in the purchase of luxury watches, jewelry and handbags. WP Diamonds’ in-house watch experts are ready to assess your watch, determine its authenticity, and provide you with a cash offer.

Once one of our experts examines your watch in-person, we will be able to validate its authenticity. Established in 2012 as the modern alternative to traditional watch buyers, we now work with customers around the world and have offices in the US, United Kingdom, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

With hundreds of customer reviews, WP Diamonds is a leading international luxury watch buyer. Sell online or in person, our service is free of charge and can take as little as 24 hours. We buy your luxury watch directly, with no fees or commissions deducted.

Simply fill out the online form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly with an initial valuation.

Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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