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Is Your Watch Real or Fake’: 10 Tips to Knowing Your Watch Is Authentic

October 5th, 2021

As luxury watch manufacturers continue to innovate their craftsmanship and technical features, so do counterfeiters. Buying from an authorized watch retailer in the first place is the best way to ensure you own a certified, authentic piece. However, if you are unsure whether a watch you already own is authentic or not, consider these 10 factors when shopping for luxury timepieces.

Watch Quality

Upon initial inspection, inspect the overall quality of the watch. Does it reflect the brand’s experience and style? Does the metal look and feel real? Look for dull polishes, scratches, unclear engravings, and unfinished edges.

Inspect the clasp and buckle to see if they work seamlessly. Check the function of the screw-down crown and watch needles. Look for any misspellings or incorrect designs. Essentially, gauge the piece’s craftsmanship from the bottom up.

Watch Weight

Checking the weight of your watch is one of the best ways to determine whether it is a replica or authentic. Luxury timepieces are designed with the highest quality materials and precious metals, which are naturally heavier.

In some cases, replica timepieces can include lead weights in the mechanism to match the weight of the higher quality piece. While this should not be the only factor to consider, ensure that the material, size, and features of the watch weigh as they should.

Watch Movement

A near-replica can imitate the exterior of a watch from its case size, diameter, thickness, dials, and other features. However, replicating the movement is nearly impossible. Compare the brand-specific movement details such as colored screws, their placement, and the type of movement inside.


Engraved details from luxury watchmakers are clean, clear, and exquisitely cut. On the other hand, engravings from inauthentic pieces have a rushed, sandy, and unclear appearance. If possible, use a magnifying glass to get a better look.

Packaging and Accessories

Generally, fake watches do not come with the complete packaging and accessories of a luxury watch including a certificate of authenticity. If they do, there is usually a difference between the original box including differences in design, text, shape, and quality of the packaging.

Watch Bracelet

The quality and look of the watch bracelet can determine its authenticity. Original bracelets and bands are flexible, comfortable, and easy to put on. Check the clasp of the bracelet for two stamps, a common feature, and reference the manufacturer's website to double-check the authenticity of the stamps.

Certificate of Authenticity

A certificate of authenticity is one of the timepiece’s defining factors, especially if it's a Swiss-made watch, which prides itself on its rich heritage and technical mastery. Keep in mind, a certificate of authenticity should be stored properly to ensure its originality.


Stamps can be marks of authenticity placed by the designer on the components of the watch. Double-check online to compare the watch stamps including their design, placement, and the number of stamps.

Serial Number

The serial number on the watch can provide information about its provenance, including the authorized dealer. Conduct a quick Google search of the serial number to see if the number is legitimate, or if that specific watch is missing.

Watch Hands

Watch hands that are irregular in shape and size can be a sign of inauthenticity. Spend a few moments gauging the hand movements. They should be seamless and continuous instead of choppy and unstable.

Shop for Certified Timepieces at Hing Wa Lee Jewelers

Avoid getting duped by counterfeiters and visit Hing Wa Lee Jewelers in San Gabriel and Walnut, CA. Hing Wa Lee Jewelers is a certified luxury watch retailer. We carry today's top designers such as Breitling, Cartier, IWC, and Piaget, among others. Invest in an authentic timepiece that can last for generations, and check out our watch buying guide for more information on how to find the perfect timepiece.