Buyer Beware: The Risk of Buying Counterfeit Luxury Watches Online

Buyer beware: if you’re thinking of buying an authentic luxury watch on the internet, you better think twice. The risk of buying a counterfeit luxury watches online is ever looming.

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FHS) estimates the 40 million counterfeit timepieces sold each year total a billion dollars in net profit. The majority of which are sold through the online black market where counterfeit retail websites appear almost as fast as they are shut down. But it’s not only the prevalence of counterfeit online sellers that put buyers at risk.

Today’s replica watches can fool even a seasoned watch collector.

While it used to be relatively easy to spot a fake watch, counterfeiting methods have improved so dramatically that today’s replica watches can fool even a seasoned watch collector. Known as the next generation of counterfeit watches, “superfakes” are anything but your typical run-of-the-mill knock offs. Beyond replicating the exterior parts (bracelet/band, case, dial, etc.), these near-exact reproductions of luxury models even imitate the interior mechanical parts. Such reproductions have proven to pass as authentic until the watch is opened and inspected by a certified professional. All too often, consumers don’t discover their watch is counterfeit until the watch is sent in for repairs or is inspected when they go to resell it.

Consumers are often tricked into believing a watch is real because it’s expensive.

Fake watches of the past were also typically identifiable by their low sales price. However, today’s imitation watches can sell for prices similar to the that of the genuine article. Unbeknownst to them, consumers are often tricked into believing a watch is real because it’s expensive. A word of advice: never assume that a high sales price is an indication of authenticity.

How do consumers avoid buying a counterfeit watch online? Basically, if you’re looking to buy an authentic luxury watch online, it is recommended you purchase from the brand’s official ecommerce site or one of their Authorized Dealers. Otherwise, it’s shop at your own risk… currently provides authentication services for TAG Heuer and Richard Mille. Visit for more information.