Luxury watches can help complete your professional appearance and give you a sense of confidence that you can’t get from any other type of accessory.

Many people enjoy collecting and investing in luxury watches and over time, they can quickly tell if a watch is real or fake. Even if someone can recreate a Rolex right down to the last detail, someone who is an expert in luxury or vintage authentic watches can spot a defect during a hands-on inspection.

If you have a growing interest in luxury watches and would like to learn how to spot a fake so that you don’t invest in the wrong item, there are a few things that you should known that the experts rely on with every purchase they make.

Spotting a Fake Luxury Watch: Tips from the Pros on Purchasing Authentic Watches

close-up photo of a luxury-looking watch

Counterfeit watches are everywhere, and they are getting harder to detect as more people are creating watches that are extremely convincing.

Even jewelry experts must take a second look to ensure that they are looking at a true Rolex every now and then.

Here are a few tips for spotting a fake and avoiding buying a counterfeit luxury timepiece.

Conduct Plenty of Research

Before you start to purchase a luxury watch, you should do plenty of research on the brand that you have in mind and models you are interested in. You need to know what the real thing looks like, what it feels like, how much it weighs, and how it sounds.

Check out the auction result databases for local auction houses to familiarize yourself with various photos and prices for the watches you have in mind. This will give you a good idea of what to expect when it comes time to buy the real thing.

Identify a Watch Using Five Factors

close-up photo of a man wearing three luxury watches

There are five factors that you should always use when it comes to identifying authentic watches.


Check out the material, color and finishing of the product. A counterfeit watch will likely have the color slightly off. Gold watches should also be hallmarked. If you are unsure, have it tested to see if it is made from real gold.


A fake watch will be made from cheaper materials and will be much lighter than the original product.

Type Faces and Engravings

An engraving on a luxury watch will be easy to recognize and will not fade over time. Typefaces may differ in size on a counterfeit watch as well. If there is a typo, avoid the watch completely.


This is one of the most important factors to look for when it comes to buying authentic watches. No matter how close it looks to the original, if the movement is all wrong you are still dealing with a fake. The movement is not ever going to be better than the real thing. If you are unsure, consult with a watchmaking expert and have them examine the internal mechanisms before you make a purchase.


This is another factor that can tell you how good or bad the movement is. Most luxury watches will have smooth mechanism, and that means they won’t product the ticking sound you get from more affordable watches. If the watch is supposed to be a luxury timepiece and it ticks loudly, it isn’t the real thing.

Red Flags to Look Out For

close-up photo of a watch being inspected

If something is too good to be true, it probably is. Here are a few things that should cause you to walk away from a sale when buying a luxury watch.

An Extremely Low Price

If you are being offered a watch from a seller and the price is much lower than you expected, you are likely dealing with a fake. If you know that the same type of watch recently sold at an auction for $100,000 and the same watch is offered to you at $50,000, you need to question why you are getting such a great deal. If the seller can provide you with a convincing answer, walk away.

A Fast Deal

You should never be rushed into deciding about investing in a luxury watch. This is a process that takes time and consideration. If the seller isn’t interested in giving you enough time to inspect the watch or get an opinion from an expert, it is likely they are trying to sell you a fake and hope to convince you to buy before you have a chance to catch their mistakes.

Making Sure You’re Buying Authentic Watches

luxury watch on top of the table

Buying a luxury watch is an investment that should always be taken seriously. And there are plenty of crooks out there that will try to take advantage of new watch collectors by selling them a nice reproduction.

Don’t be fooled. By following these helpful tips, you can make a well-informed decision on your luxury watch purchase.