How to Identify a Fake Watch. Con artists know how to replicate top brand name watches so that they look like the real thing. These fakes may keep time, but they won't last very long, and they are rarely worth what you pay for them, no matter how good the deal sounds.

Check the face of the watch. A fake often will resemble the original, but the fake will have some minor defects such as smudges or a different style of hour and minute hands.

Locate the Case Reference Number or Serial Number on the watch. The number should be clear cut. Most high quality watch makers will diamond etch these numbers onto the watch. Replica watches will have sand blasted numbers which are less clear.

Look at the back plate. It should be free from defects. The etching should be clear. Some high quality watches will have holograms on the back plate. Contact a reputable local jeweler to find out if the watch you are purchasing should have a hologram.

Notice the spelling of all words on the watch. Original watches will have all of the words spelled correctly. Keep in mind that spellings may vary slightly if you are buying a foreign brand watch.

Watch the movement of the watch hands. A high quality watch will have smooth movement. Fake watches will have hands that jerk when they move so that each tick will be noticeable.

Focus on the price. Replica watches are a fraction of the cost of original watches. A deal that seems too good to be true probably is. If the watch is real and the price is extremely low, it may be genuine, but you may be the recipient of stolen goods.


The best way to ensure that you are buying an original watch is to buy your watch from a reputable dealer. An original will come in a company inscribed box complete with paper work that guarantees the authenticity of the watch. In most cases, a warranty and repair information is included in the information. Research the particular watch you want to purchase. Keep a picture of the watch and a list of the features with you when you are shopping. Compare the features and look of any watch to the original.