Watch Articles

How to Spot Fake Tag Heuer Watches

February 25, 2021 - Watch Articles
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Tag Heuer is an iconic Swiss-made sports-watch brand that has a variety of professional designs. Mostly made out of stainless steel, these watches are designed and built for active and sporty owners. Some of the watches that they offer are water resistant Diver’s watches and Chronograph stop watches associated with racing. But, how to spot fake Tag Heuer watches from real Tag Heuer watches?

 

In this article we will cover the following:

 

Why Tag Heuer is so counterfeited

Over the past few decades average prices for Tag Heuer watches ranged from $1,500 to $5,000 which were quite reasonable when compared to other brands in the luxury watch marketplace. These fair prices helped make Tag Heuer popular.

These prices also made the brand vulnerable to counterfeiters. Through these years the fakes have had prices near $500, a sum that while being too low was somehow believable and within easy reach of the unknowing customer. These $500 fakes were no more than dead weight on the wrist and a rip-off at any price.

Within the last 15 years Tag Heuer has been making their watches with an increased attention to quality. Their prices have gradually gone up and they now sell in a range that can exceed $5,000. The counterfeiters are busy again trying to defraud the Tag Heuer customer, but now at a higher level.

 

How to spot fake Tag Heuer watches?

A fundamental product detail to know is that Tag Heuer engraves important identification numbers onto the case back of every watch that they sell. The watch serial number and the model number can be readily seen on each and every one. If these numbers are missing you can be suspicious of the rest of the watch.

The unique serial number has a purpose and it is specific to that watch. It should match the serial number found on the official paperwork.

The model number has a purpose as well. It is unique to the specific design of the watch and should be the same for every Tag Heuer that has the same appearance. A different looking Tag Heuer will have a different model number. Like the serial number, the model number of the watch should be clearly printed on the official Tag Heuer paperwork and these numbers must match.

Let’s review a sample of some Tag Heuer counterfeit watches that we have encountered in recent months and examine some errors and inconsistencies that reveal them as fakes.

 

Example 1

real vs fake tag heuer

 

In this encounter with a fake, the front of the watch did not look bad, at first, but the case back did. Then looking back at the front there are significant problems:

1. The front of the watch portrays it as a Tag Heuer Carrera CAL 1887 Chronograph. The abbreviation CAL means “Calibre” for Tag Heuer. In the world of Tag Heuer the word calibre is a designation for an automatic or self-winding watch movement.

On this faux-watch the dial says “Quartz” meaning it is a battery operated movement. This is a conflict that would not happen on a real Tag Heuer.

2, Looking then to the case back we do not see the sapphire crystal glass revealing the inside workings of the watch like we should see with a CAL 1887. Instead we see markings that show “Mercedes-Benz300ALR” which is another completely different model that Tag Heuer made. On that model the engraving and image of the car was raised and superior to what is seen here.

3. A final point is that no brand would ever have a Limited Edition number with a cadence XXXX/1887.

 

Example 2

 

real vs fake tag heuer watches

 

What if you have just one image of a watch and cannot see the model number or serial number information from the case back? In this case, a side by side comparison helps discover wrong parts and faulty design details. The image on the left is the fake watch and the image on the right is an authentic Tag Heuer watch showing their Grand Carrera Calibre 17. This image can easily be found on the internet.

When you position the images side by side it then becomes a process of spot the differences:

1. The date of the month in the official image is trimmed with a metal window. On the left this nice touch is missing.

2. The font and size of the word “Tachymetre” on the outer bezel is different, nice and crisp on the real one. The hands are different as well.

3. Then you will notice there is something significant missing from the fake. This is a chronograph watch and the important and distinct start and reset buttons are simply not there.

 

Example 3

how to spot a real tag heuer watch

Sometimes spotting a counterfeit is not hard at all. Even the finest Swiss watches can get damaged but when you see one that is so bad it is falling apart, illegible or has screws and components missing, it is a sign it was not originally constructed to last. In this example, other than being square, this watch is far from being an authentic Tag Heuer Monaco.

 

Example 4

 

authentic vs fake tag heuer watch

 

An older model may be challenging to distinguish whether it is real or fake. This is because information and comparable images may not be as abundant as they are with newer pieces. Close examination can reveal common tells:

1. The three smaller dials inside the watch are designed to work together as a stop watch. Tag Heuer is consistent with the layout of these recorders and the numbers that surround them.

On the real one, the circle on the left shows seconds to the number 60. In the circle to the right it shows minutes to 30.

2. At the bottom the highest number is 12 which allows the watch to properly time a 12 hour event. On many fakes the numbers on these recorders are wrong, are without purpose, and sometimes random things are mixed in like the days of the week. In this instance the numbers are simply wrong showing totals of 60, 60 and 24 which is a design that Tag Heuer just does not make.

When buying a new or pre-owned Tag Heuer do the research it takes to make sure you get it right. Examine the style and functioning of the watch. Examine the numbers on the back and search the model number online.

 

Where to buy real Tag Heuer watches for the best price?

Know that when you are dealing directly with Tag Heuer or a reputable dealer you can find greater assurance that you are buying a genuine Tag Heuer watch.

If you are buying online contact the seller directly and ask key questions about the watch origin and authenticity. At Gemma, shop a wide range of pre-owned Tag Heuer watches, expertly authenticated.

How to sell Tag Heuer Watches?

At WP Diamonds, we buy Tag Heuer watches directly and in as little as 24 hours. Our service is free of charge, with no fees or commissions deducted from your final offer. With an A+ BBB rating and over 1,000 customer reviews, we work with hundreds of customers on a daily basis from around the world.

Sell watches online (free, fully insured shipping provided) or via appointment (NYC, Hong Kong, Tokyo and the UK). Click the button below to get your price quote from the experts.

Author
Bio: John Salvin has worked in the Swiss watch industry since the early 1990’s and has worked for premier brands such as Omega, Rolex and Hublot. At WP Diamonds, John specializes in the commerce of all pre-owned luxury watch brands.

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