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Attack of the Clones (Updated 4-4-23)

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

Fakes, counterfeits, copies, replicas, clones, super clones, reproductions, snides - whatever you prefer to call them, the watch market is unfortunately rife with these. One of these landed in Wetherby Watches HQ today (fortunately we only make payment for watches after inspection) so we thought it a good time to share this with you. Below are some photos to show how convincing these can be. Fortunately we saw numerous tell tale signs as soon as we saw the watch, however, these are details that the untrained eye may well miss.

Unfortunately many marketplaces (eBay / Gumtree / Facebook Marketplace / Shpock etc) are littered with convincing fakes and on the run up to Christmas, many people will unknowingly purchase these watches and believe them to be the genuine article. The better quality fake even clone genuine serial numbers and warranty card numbers so these appear to be genuine on the manufacturer's warranty searches. It's virtually impossible to identify some of these fakes remotely or through photos and many unscrupulous sellers are making significant amounts of money so this problem won't go away in a hurry.

We've included pictures of the one we received below to see how easily you'd identify this as a fake. Would you be able to tell?

If you're looking for a watch for yourself or a loved one, please please take extra care out there! What appears to be a bargain may well turn out to be a very costly mistake further down the line and may take years for you to find out, at which point the seller's account will have been shut down and they'll be selling under a new account, leaving you with no recourse. It's worth paying the extra money to purchase from an authorised dealer or a specialist company such as Wetherby Watches to take the risk out of the purchase. Please don't fund someone else's lavish Christmas by falling foul of the fakes! Please subscribe to our site at the bottom of the page to be kept up to date with our latest offers and content.

UPDATE 4-4-23

Following various discussions on some of the Fabeook forums, we're adding some more pointers on identifying fakes and fake sellers below - these pointers have been taken directly from a Facebook group we operate:

So a quick post for those not so involved in the world of Tag Heuer as some members, thought I'd put together a few guidelines on identifying fakes. As many members will know, but some may not, the market is currently flooded with very realistic clones of genuine Tag Heuer watches. I've put together a few pointers of how to identify a fake and the red flags to watch out for on eBay and other selling forums. Most of the fakes now have cloned serial numbers and warranty card numbers from genuine watches so show up on the online Tag Heuer warranty checker so NEVER assume that this makes a watch genuine. Feel free to add anything I may have missed in the comments:

1 - Watches with 2x warranty cards (paper and plastic) 2 - Private (or sometimes business) Sellers with numerous new/unworn watches with pre-dated warranties from a few months ago or longer all at way less than RRP. 3 - Sellers (on eBay) that sell all watches for under £1,500 (anything £1,500 or above has to go to an independent authenticator) 4 - Watches with 2x swing tags 5 - New watches in round grey leather zip up cases 6 - Relatively new / low feedback sellers on eBay. Please also consider that lots of positive feedback for similar items doesn't guarantee they are legit as most purchasers have no idea they have bought a fake. 7 - Aquaracers - look closely at the 'lume pip' (dot at the top of the bezel). This should have a defined ring / gap surrounding it, most of the fakes don't get this right. 8 - Is the seller only selling Tag Heuer watches? Most reputable dealers will stock a range of brands.

Feel free to add your comments / observations below and if 2 or more of the above apply, just walk away, there's plenty of legit watches out there so if you can't buy with complete confidence, that 'absolute bargain' just isn't worth the risk!

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Brand new Fake watches with near finished or expired warranties and being advertised as "ex display" a huge red flag as even ex displaywatches don't get the warranties activated until the point of sale.

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