Spotting a counterfeit Tag Heuer!

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Charles Medsker, Feb 21, 2001.

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  1. There may be some new collectors on this BB who would appreciate a few tips in spotting counterfeit wristwatches. I?m in no way claiming to be ?The Expert? on wristwatches, but this one is so obvious, I couldn?t resist posting. I just wanted to pass this info and images along to aid some of the new collectors out there. Many of these fake wristwatches have very similar characteristics, so you can use this watch as a comparison.
    In this case; a counterfeit Tag Heuer, which I borrowed from a friend, who just bought this one a couple days ago.
    Most new collectors are taken in by the markings on the dial, which upon cursory examination, appear genuine. I'm sure that some of the other guys can give tips on the dials, but I wanted to mainly point your attention to the movement. In this case, the counterfeiter made it quite simple by installing a see-thru crystal on the back.

    First, notice the extremely rough finish of the movement parts? These parts would have a much smoother and polished look , on a genuine product.

    Second, notice that there is no manufacturer?s logo or stamp, (such as the stylized ?R? which is the mark of Valjoux, or ?L? for Landeron, well-respected makers of many chronograph movements for the trade).
    I?m inserting an image of the four manufacturers? most noted for chronographs.

    Third, there is no reference number visible as would be common for makers such as Valjoux? Valjoux has made many chronograph movements for many top end watch companies, such as Rolex, movement reference #72, and just recently, Hamilton Chronographs, reference #7750. These are just two examples.

    Fourth, notice the cheap ink imprint on this movement, placed to fool the unsuspecting. The imprint isn?t complete, stamp appears to be running out of ink? This was posted for information only. I do not buy or sell counterfeit wristwatches. http://cmedsker.tripod.com/wristwatch_trademarks.jpg http://cmedsker.tripod.com/faketagm.jpg http://cmedsker.tripod.com/faketagd.jpg

    [This message has been edited by Charles Medsker (edited 02-21-2001).]
     
  2. There may be some new collectors on this BB who would appreciate a few tips in spotting counterfeit wristwatches. I?m in no way claiming to be ?The Expert? on wristwatches, but this one is so obvious, I couldn?t resist posting. I just wanted to pass this info and images along to aid some of the new collectors out there. Many of these fake wristwatches have very similar characteristics, so you can use this watch as a comparison.
    In this case; a counterfeit Tag Heuer, which I borrowed from a friend, who just bought this one a couple days ago.
    Most new collectors are taken in by the markings on the dial, which upon cursory examination, appear genuine. I'm sure that some of the other guys can give tips on the dials, but I wanted to mainly point your attention to the movement. In this case, the counterfeiter made it quite simple by installing a see-thru crystal on the back.

    First, notice the extremely rough finish of the movement parts? These parts would have a much smoother and polished look , on a genuine product.

    Second, notice that there is no manufacturer?s logo or stamp, (such as the stylized ?R? which is the mark of Valjoux, or ?L? for Landeron, well-respected makers of many chronograph movements for the trade).
    I?m inserting an image of the four manufacturers? most noted for chronographs.

    Third, there is no reference number visible as would be common for makers such as Valjoux? Valjoux has made many chronograph movements for many top end watch companies, such as Rolex, movement reference #72, and just recently, Hamilton Chronographs, reference #7750. These are just two examples.

    Fourth, notice the cheap ink imprint on this movement, placed to fool the unsuspecting. The imprint isn?t complete, stamp appears to be running out of ink? This was posted for information only. I do not buy or sell counterfeit wristwatches. http://cmedsker.tripod.com/wristwatch_trademarks.jpg http://cmedsker.tripod.com/faketagm.jpg http://cmedsker.tripod.com/faketagd.jpg

    [This message has been edited by Charles Medsker (edited 02-21-2001).]
     
  3. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Dec 9, 2000
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    Charles, You are correct. I think that it is extremely important for any new collector to be able to spot a fake..For xmas of 1999, I was in NYC doing the xmas thing. For a souvenier, I bought a Swiss Army Watch out of a briefcase from a fellow at Rockefeller Center. After dickering for about 3 minutes, I paid $15 for it. It was a knockoff of their model that sells for $290. Although the dial is nice, under the loupe, the numbers have slightly ragged edges. The dial says water resistent 330M/1000'. The back says water resistent 330'. The back says stainless steel back. When I removed the back, I placed it against a magnet and it did not stick--so a base metal back. The quartz movement says made in China, but looks to be a decently put together movement. The thing is that the watch looks authentic, runs accurately and the silver finish on the case has held up well. When I paid $15 for it, I figured the strap was worth $10, and the battery was worth $3. So, I got a watch for $2 and a nice souvenier from NYC.

    The point is--to know that there are counterfeits out there. As you say, and my experience has shown the same, some of them are pretty nice at first glance. A new collector should always beware if the deal sounds too good. As an old bartender in my hometown used to say "Nobody gives ya Nuttin"

    Tom
     
  4. Dave Haynes

    Dave Haynes Registered User

    Sep 12, 2000
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    The movement looks like a low end Seiko,
    w/Diashock on the balance jewels.
    Is the logo anodized on or printed?
    I guess it beats having a really bad quartz movement, huh?
     
  5. Thanks guys.
    Steve, I didn't know about the see-thru case backs, but have seen other genuine high end WW's with them.
    Tom, Thanks for relating your experience. My friend paid $150.00 for this one!
    Dave, The Logo on the dial is anodized, the ink stamp is pad ptinted. Charles.
     
  6. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Thanks Steve, I learned something tonight about metals. I had always just assumed that stainless steel was just that--steel. Although, I have seen base metal whcih we always called white metal used in watch cases. This metal was also used for making toys in the 1950's. Is that also a brass alloy? Tom
     
  7. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

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    Steve,

    I am glad you made that point about the magnetic properties of various alloys of stainless steel. I had heard that about stainless steel, but it appears as though the term stainless steel is a generic term. I think it is probably safe to say that most genuine, good quality, better than average grade watches will likely have steel cases that would show little or no effect to the influence of a magnet. We wouldn't want anyone to come away from this discussion feeling that all you need to do to assure you are buying a quality watch is to carry a magnet!

    Regards,
    Doug S.

    ------------------
     
  8. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Thanks Steve. Tom
     
  9. Hi Steve, Thanks for the post on metals. You might want to point out that magnets and hairsprings don't mix, at least in the older watches! I assume that most hairsprings today are made of non-magnetic metal?
    A little off the subject, but I ran a grinder for a magnet company in the early 60's. I believe the metal we used to make permanent magnets, was called ALNICO. I assume it was a combination of Aluminum-Nickel-Cobalt? Thanks for all the posts. Charles.



    [This message has been edited by Charles Medsker (edited 02-23-2001).]
     
  10. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    I did remove the back to test it with a magnet. I'm aware of what a magnet can do for a hairspring, but I had never thought about the steel pinions becoming magnitized and picking up small steel shavings. I knew when I bought the above referenced Swill Army watch that it was a fake. For some strange reason, I just didn't expect to get a real one out of the briefcase in NYC. The reason that I wasn't able to dicker on the price longer was the police were on the way. He wanted to sell and run. I guess there went my money back gaurantee. Also, I realized that I had not answered Daves question above. The logo on the dial is anodized on. The dial looks quite nice, but the numbers are slightly larger than an authentic Swiss Army watch. Tom
     

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