How to recognize a fake watch?

How to recognize a fake watch? Maybe you consider yourself an expert when it comes to vintage and pre-owned watches. You doubt it whether you would ever fall into the trap of buying a fake one. But guess what, the fake ones look more real than ever. How do you find out you’re buying the real deal?

Investigate the original

Research it. Look up specifications, check out offers of auction houses and platforms. And try to find out whether the model you’re considering has a known history when it comes to imitations.

Packaging and paper work

Does the watch come with all original paperwork? Does the serial number match? Almost every precious timepiece has a serial number engraved. It might be found on the back of the case, but sometimes it’s more hidden.

Hallmarks and stamps

Gold, platinum and even stainless steel are always stamped. Does that 18K gold watch actually show that stamp?


To be completely sure you’re not dealing with a fake, you might want to have the movement inspected. Obviously, this needs to be done by an expert. After inspection, they can professionally reseal it. When buying online, ask for pictures of the movement. When the seller is reluctant to provide you with them, get suspicious. The movement should match the exact model of the watch you’re looking at.


If the price is really low … and it’s almost too good to be true … think twice. We all know the saying: When it’s too good to be true, it’s probably NOT true.


If the watch ticks very loud, you can be sure it’s fake. Luxury watches never do that.

And then …

Maybe the watch as such is not a fake, but new parts have been put in. That immediately means the watch is not 100% authentic. Maybe you don’t care about it, because you want to keep the watch just for yourself. However, when you consider it to be an investment which should give you a nice profit in future only buy a full original.

Armand Nicolet watches are now also available in South Africa! Please visit our shop.

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