Date Window

Some watches have a date window and some watches do not. The ones that do not have it are pretty easy to imitate, whereas the ones with a date represent a real test for any skillful replica manufacturer. An even bigger challenge is to correctly clone a magnifying date window while respecting the original degree of magnification. This difficult aspect of a knockoff raises even more questions for us, customers. How do we identify a good replica? And what are the basic characteristics of a correctly replicated date window? If we take a look at a Rolex Submariner we will see that it has a magnifying lens over the date next to the 3 o’clock marker. This is also called a Cyclops lens with a 2.5X magnification. It is domed and it perfectly centers and enlarges the date as to almost fully fit the window. It doesn’t take a trained eye to see that it really magnifies the date. Most important, due to its domed shape you can clearly read the date almost from any angle. The downside of a replica is that just a few vendors are able to provide the 2.5 magnification lens. Almost in all cases, you will come across a 1.5 Cyclops lens. This inferior date window will obviously have a different look and will not be able to enlarge the date number that much. Even though the date will be visible, the effect will be different and naturally an indication that the watch is not the original one. Any watch educated person would be able to tell that your Rolex is a fake.  This is also what we notice when comparing these two pictures of an original Rolex Submariner with a replica of the same model. On the imitation...

Watch Crown

The winding crown of a watch is the part that we use to set the time. This small winder implies a functional role and less an aesthetic one. Because of this, most often we tend to ignore its looks and its degree of authenticity. The truth is that we should show the right amount of attention towards it and learn what the particularities of the original winding crown are so we will know how to spot a good replica when we see it. I for one would start by researching the original model and looking at pictures of it from all possible angles to see all its numerous design details. Every marking, patter, thread or texture matters. After you are familiar with it you can really start searching for a good quality replica. You will see that there are not many variations for a winding crown. Again, its role is merely a functional one. Its enhanced aesthetics is actually just a nice bonus to bring extra joy to the eyes of watches aficionados. If we take for comparison a rose gold Rolex Daytona and a replica watch, we will notice on both products the quite small and elegant winding crown, with threads all around its circular outside, threads which help the owner to have a better and firmer grip of it when setting the time. On the top of the winder there is the triple lock crown. This distinctive Rolex logo represents the triple lock water capabilities of the watch, meaning it perfectly seals the case to enhance the water resistance of this superbly crafted time piece. So far, just by comparing the designs of the winding crown the imitation seems to be almost perfect. The exception which ruins this first impression is the...

Hands

Before getting too excited about getting your hands on the replica of your dream watch there is a more important set of hands you should consider. These are the hands of a watch, the big hands which circle along the main dial, but also the small hands that measure the most complicated functions of a finely crafted time piece. Buying a clone which has incorrectly imitated hands may be one of the worst mistakes you could make. These are obviously on the face of the watch, the first thing you see when you are reading the time. Each time you see the incorrectly replicated hands you will be remembered that you are wearing an inferior knock-off, and who knows who else sees the exact same thing when looking at your watch. There is no doubt about this; The Hublot King Power Ayrton Senna is one of the most complex dial I have seen so far. Its color scheme, patterns and complications are superb and extremely innovative.  Still, all these tend to look a little bit crowded and for someone that is not familiar with the watch the differences and flaws in replicating the original design may not be that obvious. But let’s not forget that the world is populated with watch enthusiasts and you never know when a connoisseur will want to give it a closer look. In the below photos you will see the original Hublot Ayrton Senna and a replica of it, the focus is kept on the hour hand. You will notice that the authentic one has a distinctive pattern with a grayish rough look. Also the yellow arrow in the middle is formed from straight lines and has a pointy tip, without any rounded corners. When comparing it to the...

Spelling

All replicas come from China. This is the truth and we should accept it as it is. We are not prepared to spend all our savings on the original one and we want a cheaper version, one we can afford without robbing the bank. For this to be possible, the Chinese replica market has extended very much during the past few years not leaving any room for competition. The downside is that everything that comes from China and is cheap has its limitations and this is also available for replica watches. Sometimes we see this consequence where it hurts us the most: on the dial of our dream watch under the form of a misspelled name or marking. Even though this is a very possible and quite common case scenario, I also must admit that this will happen only with the worst replicas we could find out there. A decent quality replica will never have a misspelled word on it. To illustrate this awful mistake that could very well happen to you if you do not research the sellers and the quality of its products before placing your order, I have selected a few pictures of some inferior quality imitations that have misspellings on the dial. The first image is of a fake Audemars Piguet watch that above the brand name has an incorrect text saying “Chmonographe Rattrapante”. In the next photo we have a beautiful blue Omega Seamaster  with a misspelled “PROFFESIOAL” marking on the dial and in the third picture we see a white Audemars Piguet with a wrongly written “Tourbillon Chronographe” text above the brand name. All these are very obvious defects that make any replica watch unusable. For any other design flaws you could still wear the watch thinking that not that many people know all the particularities and details of the original watch, but when it comes to a misspelling mistake it is clear that anyone who knows how to read will know for sure that your watch is a fake. From experience, I can tell you that the watches with the smallest chance of misspellings are the Rolex replicas.  This very traditional brand has brought just a few innovations to its designs and has kept almost all its basic markings despite the passage of decades. Also, it is one of the most demanded brands on the replica market so replica manufacturers have had all the incentives for perfecting themselves in the art of crafting these fine timepieces. When you are targeting a low priced replica everything is possible. Getting a good quality watch without obvious flaws is like playing the lottery. This goes for misspellings too. If you do not research the seller and its products thoroughly then you may end up receiving an awful clone that you will never be able to...

Buttons

What everyone wants to know before buying a replica is how to distinguish a good imitation watch from the numerous bad fakes that are out there. First, be prepared to run some extensive searches on the Internet and also to face some serious disappointments. There is no such thing like a perfect replica. Only the original watch is perfect. A replica is simply a copy and it is more or less accurate, depending on its manufacturer. Second, knowledge is everything. You need to know everything there is to know about the appearance and functionality of the original watch, and only by knowing all this and running a thorough comparison you will be able to select a worthy imitation watch.   In this article I will present the obvious differences that anyone could spot with the naked eye when comparing these two photos: one of the original watch and the other one of a replica.  From the start you will notice that the original button has a shinier and elegant finish, while the replica is more polished, matte and, honestly, it has a pretty rough look.  The size also seems a little bit off. The authentic watch seems to have a smaller and more discrete button whereas on the knockoff the proportions are different. The button is wider and bulkier. Another visible imperfection is the threads on the upper pushing part of the button. This part should not have any dents, lines or threads on its surface. It should be smooth and shiny. Most people would probably think that these two watches are authentic. Recognizing a good replica out of dozens of similar products, it is surely not an easy task. Only those who have the basic knowledge about the watch they are passionate about...