Monday February 26 2018

How to spot a fake watch

How spot fake watch

Fake watches will have a clasp that does not close well. You might see wrong spellings on the name of the watch. COURTESY PHOTOS 

By MARK KAWALYA.

GET IT.There are a lot of fake watches, among other products around. It is getting harder by the day to distinguish between what is real and what is not. Much as we like a bargain, some price tags are too good to be true.

A good friend of mine bought a watch. A Tag Heuer at Ush500,000. I told him it was a replica and not the real thing, it would work for about a year and a half, and die. He thought I was out to get him and that I was an enemy to progress, so I dropped the subject.
Can you tell a fake Rolex or Tag Heuer from the real thing? Take a walk through the malls in Kampala and you will find many watches being sold under luxury brand tags. But most, if not all of these are fake and replica watches. They will not give you the utility you would get from the real thing. This article will give you some insights into whether you are dealing with a fake or original watch.

The price point
A luxury watch costs an arm and a leg. Actually few Ugandans have disposable incomes to buy these sorts of watches. For example, the Rolex Datejust ll which is one of the budget watches in the Rolex family costs $9100 (approx. Shs33m. What this means is that anyone who promises to sell you an original Rolex at less than the brands cheapest retail price point is not being honest. This goes for all other luxury watch brands such as Mont Blanc, Tag Heuer, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Blancpain, Chopard, and Cartier.

Weight of the watch
Original watches are made of good materials that have a weight to them. This ensures their durability and ability to withstand the test of time without fading out. Fake watches are compromised in every way to cut costs. The materials used are cheap, light and are not durable. The metals will normally have an unnatural shine to them with jagged edges.

Watch construction
An original watch, whether it is budget or luxury has immaculate construction. The manufacturers put in place systems that ensure construction in a quality assured process. Fake watch manufacturers typically do not have these systems in place. They aim to ride on the brand success of other manufacturers while offering a cheap low quality alternative. If the watch is well crafted with its entire surface even, then it probably came from a reputable manufacture.

The way forward
People that are just getting into watches typically choose to go for fake watches bearing luxury brand names. This is the wrong approach. There are countless budget watch brands that offer great watches at pocket-friendly prices. Typically these range from between Shs250,000 and about Shs500,000 for a used watch. You will have to fork out more for a new one. But the used alternatives still work great. At these price points you will get a good watch. Brands to choose from include Timex, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Emporio Armani, Calvin Klein Invicta, Swatch, Skagen, Daniel Wellington, Seiko, MVMT, and my favourite, which is Fossil.
It makes better monetary sense to buy an original Fossil that will last you the next 10 to 15 years than a fake Rolex that will die after a year or two.

Attention to detail
Most legit watch manufacturers are out to protect their brand. They therefore put out a product that is refined across various aspects. Fake watches will, for example, have a clasp that does not close well. You might see wrong spellings on the name of the watch. The logo might differ from the original thing. The watch dial might have imperfections such as letters and digits that are not upright.

What we consider before buying a watch
SalvadoIdringi: To begin with, the essence of buying a watch is to tell time. Price tag, brand, colour, and straps do not matter. What I look out for is it works or not. If it works, then I’m good to go.

Aly Alibhai: I’m a watch collector. I love all types of watches with any straps. My everyday watch is the Samsung GS3 but when I’m going for a function, I wear Breitling, Tag Heuer or Aqua.
Mc Esco:Before forking out any amount for a timepiece, I consider whether it is digital and it must have a rubber or leather strap. I do not wear watches with metallic straps because they are very old-fashioned.

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