With the rising prices of Antique/Vintage time pieces It is becoming very profitable to fake watch brands. Initially it is very hard to pick a fake from the real deal. I wanted to write this brief guide to help Potential non-experienced buyers coming into the watch market make a more educated decision.
Never jump into a sale always do the research prior.
If the price is too good to be true its probably a fake. Avoid it.
Ask the seller where the watch was purchased. Build up some back ground on the watch.
A fake watch will always be a much poorer product than the original. Look for color fade on the dial, Look for dullness to the dial and the hands.
Check Serial numbers with the manufacturer using their website.
Always Inspect the movement. If the watch cant be opened - FORGET IT. If movement looks unmarked with no caliber number or serial numbers Its probably worth avoiding. The amount of jewels wont prove if its a fake or not.
Check other parts of the watch - The crown, the band buckle and band. Do they have any serial numbers/Brand markings. also Research the original Watch, does it have the same Crown as the one you want to purchase etc. Look for subtle differences.
If possible get the Watch case/Band material tested/Acid test
Check for gold wear and case quality. Check for Hallmarks. Some gold plated watches have a 20 Hallmark (20 microns of Rolled Gold)
fake watches are always normally Gold plated (some are very poorly plated normally with a very fine layer gold)
Ask to have the watch weighed. Fake watches are normally allot lighter than the original.
The watch Crystals are poorer quality sometimes glass/plastic.
On Watch Dials look for the distance between the hour posts/numbers. On some fakes the distance will change.
Look for the distance between the brand description and also Dial description lettering. There may be large distances between letters and or un-even spaces between letters.
All the best Johnny