The Hidden Perils of Counterfeit Watches

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Adam Harris, May 3, 2017.

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  1. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    We talk about swiss fakes on this mb, that is how people learn.
     
  2. Nookster

    Nookster Registered User
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    I took Adam's class, well worth it. His insights are incredible.
     
  3. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Never heard or seen that forum
    Thay talk about fakes a lot on a number of REPLICA forums.
    It does not make it right, neither is wearing counterfeit items!
    A
     
  4. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Thanks., Appreciated
     
  5. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Pardon? I teach AGAINST them - that is hardly being "the ostrich"!
    We know they exist - again hardly being 'The ostrich"

    BUT
    discussing fakes or condoning the wearing of them IS "being "the ostrich"

    Wait till some one steals YOUR business name!
     
  6. glenhead

    glenhead Registered User
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    Personally, I love fake watches. (Awaits the head explosions. Pay attention to the entire post - don't just start flaming.) They are indeed very challenging to work on and to get them to run right. That means you get to *really* work on your oddball skills like hairspring repair and escapement adjustment and whatnot without destroying a real watch. Ruin a pivot replacement? Try the other end, and if you dork that one up, too, then throw the wheel away. Need to practice jewel setting to perfect endshake adjustment? Grab a fake and press away. With the customers I deal with, I've only had one that had an acknowledged fake and wanted it repaired - I turned it down. All the others have thanked me for the education. All but one of them has given the fake to me as a sacrificial lamb. The one who kept his kept it as a memento of the trip on which he bought it.

    Glen
     
  7. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    I wouldn't mess with them, period. I would be afraid of developing bad habits...
     
  8. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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  9. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    Adam i have no idea what you are talking about, Swiss fakes are often discussed on this message board, and i will talk about subjects that interest me.
    So you charge money to talk about them, but dont want people to discuss them on a educational forum like the nawcc, yes that really makes sense to me.:screwball:
     
  10. MartyR

    MartyR Super Moderator
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    Google is now trying to legitimise its massive level of intrusiveness. In order to use Google, users have to "agree" to Google capturing every piece of personal information it gathers about you, and everything it does with that information for any purpose it chooses.

    Personally I will not "agree" to their conditions, so I wjll no longer use Google for any purpose. I'm writing this to point out to Adam and others that providing a Google link for me and anyone else who holds my position is of no use - it's just like posting a link to a subscription-only website.
     
  11. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Just because Swiss Fakes are discussed on "this" message board, does NOT make it correct. As I pointed out it is NOT allowed on other important wristwatch forums. NAWCC appears an exception.

    I (actually NAWCC and others) charge money so I can teach people to STOP buying fakes, not to discuss their merits or condone wearing them. Indeed I teach the exact opposite. Does that make sense?

    On your and this forum's "logic" people will be allowed to sell fakes now at Nationals and Regional s:???:??

    Buying or wearing fakes (except for educational purposes) is wrong, even discussing their merits is wrong.

    Adam
     
  12. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    Good Point. When someone is trying to regulate what information should be shared on a subject I Think we are on thin ice.
     
  13. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    very thin



    Rob
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

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    I think you misunderstand. Swiss fakes are generally pocket watches. They were copying London designs from the 18th century on, in fact right up to when Swiss became something valued.

    The early ones have a value of their own and are sold by reputable dealers as well as at auction. They chart the development of an industry that became what it is today, and which now suffers from its own problems of fakery.
     
  15. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    I've always thought that was ironic.


    Rob
     
  16. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    It will probably happen to the Chinese.
     
  17. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Regulate How can I regulate this board
    Its a discussion board, and I am giving my opinion AND the reasons behind my opinions.

    Nothing to do with regulation. Stay on topic. Discuss the issue, not the person
    A
     
  18. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    My bad - never noticed "SWISS", and yes I agree and know the history of Swiss Pocket Counterfeits.

    My main concern to day is Chinese fakes, although we now have Swiss Ultra Super Fakes, its a tiny qty probably 1%. Tough to spot, but small potatoes.

    Finally, do "two wrongs make a right" - not in my religion or upbringing.
    Fakes are evil, and we should be working as an orginiation to stamp it out - never condone it!

    Best
    adam
     
  19. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Take a look at the top of these forums (surprisingly) a banner add (better late than never) for my course! Note it does not even mention "fake or counterfeit" - it talks only of "genuine" in the banner ads.

    Wearing, fixing or selling fakes, is not something members of a Horological society should condone. Of course that is purely my opinion. Not a regulation (yet) LOL
    adam
     
  20. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    All i can say is good thing the management of the NAWCC have alowed everyone to participate in all discusions, talking about fakes or other and all time pieces. And no restrictions are placed, whether counterfeit or not they are discussed here.
     
  21. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #71 roughbarked, May 19, 2017
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    Yes. How would people know about fakes if we didn't tell them?[​IMG]

    Rest assured, I didn't fix this watch. I opened it and identified the problem. Told the customer it was rubbish and I wasn't going to buy a replacement movement because the Chinese only sell them a thousand at a time.

    It isn't a Montblanc and it isn't made in Switzerland. It sort of looks like a Seiko 7005 but Seiko never made a manual wind version. It is a Chinese knockoff which had a clearview back and anyone expecting to see a quality watch could see they weren't getting one.
     
  22. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    I am all for educating people, and i dont tell people what they can wear and cant.
     
  23. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    No Adam i dont agree with you, and i never will. :)And i believe people should buy what they like, long as they know up front what they are getting.
     
  24. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    I never discussed any individual person. But if you feel targeted maybe it's cause for reflection? I'm discussing the issue that you brought up though, that certain things are allowed to be discussed in this forum. I think they should be allowed. And since you are apparently holding courses about genuine vs. fakes I can't see why you would object to them being discussed.

    I can agree with them being a harmful influence on the industry. On the other
    hand, a lot of cheaper, Asian movements have stemmed from more or less expired patents for Swiss movements. The market today would not be the same without them. Even though they don't claim to be something they are not (as in a fake) they still wouldn't exist if it weren't for their Swiss predecessors. One might argue that by monopolizing and centralizing access to parts and repair licenses Swatch group (and others) are marginalizing their own market. That opens up for an influx of openly available parts from other sources. Miyotas new mechanical calibers don't seem to be half bad for instance.

    Admittedly, this is not "high end" stuff. But I think that for many today, simply owning a mechanical watch is considered a luxury. So these copies of Swiss movements without a brand name as a selling point is likely just as big a threat to the Swiss industry as their names and case designs being ripped off. But maybe it's beneficial for the prevalence and market for mechanical watches on a global scale?

    Best regards
    Karl
     
  25. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Hi Karl.
    Thanks your and others comments.

    Why you think "I feel targeted"? Absolutely not, indeed I am in the legally correct side, so I have NO reason to feel guilty, secondly, it appears to me that "others do protest to much"
    No I am perfectly relaxed, if not a bit astonished by some peoples opinions.

    Now to your point on asian movements.
    I have no issue with Miyota, Seagull and the other movement manufacturers. They are legitimate companies - they do NOT make counterfeit watches, they plainly make movements.

    No its the counterfeiters that take those movements, decorate them, to give the "appearance" of the genuine part.

    Miyota, seagull or Sellita break no laws.

    Now are these movements (watches) in the quality league of the luxury brands? No, not by a long way, its "chalk and cheese"

    So I do not feel "targeted", I do feel sad for some of the comments here.
    My only task is to put clearly the facts that fakes are illegal, damage our industry, break a number of laws and the pieces are "junk".

    That is sticking to the facts and not discussing individuals.

    Best Regards - I am going off to do my first class.
    A
     
  26. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    This gave me the impression that you felt like you were the target of my post.

    There are a number of movements manufactured by asian companies that are just blatant clones of Valjoux or ETA movements. You don't take issue with that? Am I understanding you correctly in that you see no problem with someone copying technical solutions or even breaking patents so long as they don't pass them off as someone elses product?

    My point is that there appears to be two different thefts of intellectual property going on in the horological world, the first being name brand and decoration. Copyright infringement if you will. The second is patent infringement with replication of technical solutions. You only seem to take issue with the first. I'm thinking that if we are discussing fakes and theft of intellectual property the problem is more complex than you make it out to be. And maybe not as harmful as you make it out to be, considering how the Swiss industry has painted itself into a corner.

    If I make a Rolex Submariner clone and sell it with "Rolex" and "Submariner on the dial" I know your stance on it. What if I make a close to identical watch but put "Rollux" and "Submarine" on the dial? What if on the same watch I put "Karl" and "Submersible".
    I've now made a product in my own name using someone else's design. Do you see what I mean? Where do you draw the line?
     
  27. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    When I was a kid I would see old movies where someone was given
    a piece of gold, and the guy would bite it to see if it was really gold.
    I remember asking my dad, what the heck is that guy doing with that
    coin in his mouth. I don't support/condone counterfeiting in any way
    but it's actually part of the economic system(and always has been), and is fostered by
    capitalism. When it's done correctly(sarcasm) they call it
    a new invention. But really it is based on the work of others
    in the past. They are standing on the shoulders of giants.
    Companies usually try to make a few small changes, and then
    brand it with their own name. Every advance in technology, science, medical
    etc. was part of someone else's intellectual property.
    It can be argued that advances only happen when
    we share information.

    But, when you sell a counterfeit product(with someone's actual company name), you are defrauding the customer.
    I know I would be very upset if someone called my clients and said they were me.


    Rob
     
  28. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    I have studied ALL the Asian and SWISS clone manufacturers. Seagull is a HUGE company making watches, Miyota is owned by Citien
    They do NOT steal intellectual property or patents.
    They may closely resemble the functions but they are not identical - in most cases the jewel count is different, in every case shock protection is different and other price reduction changes.
    If they infringed ETA - believe me - Hayek Swatch group would be on them.
    Sellita makes under license.

    So movement manufacturers are NOT making counterfeit anything!

    You can make a HOMMAGE watch and name it Bolex, its NOT infringing anything, it may look like Rolex, but you are NOT stealing ant intellectual property

    But if you mark it ROLEX, then you are breaking the law.

    Dont blame Seagull or Citizen, blame the counterfeiters and the people that by buying, condone the stealling of others property
    Regards
     
  29. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    That is a very good distinction Rob! Which raises the question about different brandings though. "Swiss made", "Made in USA" etc. Some of those may be considered defrauding the customer as well. I know that some of those have gotten a revision lately.

    Elon Musk comes to mind when we are discussing developing new technology. He has made all his patents free to use, presumably because he realizes that without any competition, there won't be a large enough market for his ideas to take. That, and I'm pretty sure he just wants to see the world develop to a better and slightly cooler place. At least when it comes to tech.

    The whole centralization thing that the Swiss watch industry has been going through lately is kind of the opposite.
     
  30. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Agreed
     
  31. Markus Harris

    Markus Harris NAWCC Communications Director
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    Actually, that banner ad has been up for months. I'm the one who put it up there.
     
  32. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    I feel like I'm not getting through.
    I'm not saying that they are infringing anything, I'm saying there is a lot of copying going on. "They may closely resemble functions...". Potato potato. What it comes down to in your description is lawmaking. From my perspective it's more to do with innovation. If you build your product on years of R&D from someone else, that isn't much different than claiming one thing to be another is it? I'm thinking of all the movements based on the old Unitas design or old Valjoux look-alikes.

    ETA themselves have been guilty of borderline stealing designs in the past as well. I remember an article of one of their associates that was cheated out of a contract and ETA keeping the design. I for one am more inclined to sympathize with the little guy here. The big companies can probably handel a few fakes. I'd be more alarmed with what kind of future they are making for watchmaking if I were you. If the giants of the industry are making a habit of stomping out the competition, who is to blame for the lack of innovation and a dwindling market?
     
  33. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    As I've pointed out in theis thread earlier. Such watches have been around for almost the entire history of horology. Mostly they were Swiss or German pin pallet watches with names that resembled original brand names. I doubt they could have been classed as theft of property but they were made with the intention of catching the market associated with the similar names.
     
  34. Adam Harris

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    It does NOT matter whats INSIDE the watch

    The fact is placing ROLEX name or logo (or any other manufacturers marque depose) on the dial, case, crown or strap infringes their copyright.
    Its breaking the law. End of story.
    Its illegal to steal other peoples trademark or name!
    adam
     
  35. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    My bad, my apologies
    A
     
  36. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree then.

    I don't know if you are deliberately missing my point now. I'm not arguing
    that people producing and selling fake watches aren't breaking the law, I know they are and I'm not condoning what they are doing. But in the greater scheme of things, "fakes" have played and will continue playing an important role in the watch industry. I'm talking about what's inside the watch, not what's on the dial.

    I understand that you want to limit the discussion to brand infringement but I just think the matter is more complex. Is it so different from creating a dial that looks the same as a Rolex one to create a movement that is 99% the same as a well known, reputable manufacturer? Legalities aside I mean. Both are using another manufacturers work as selling points for your own product.
     
  37. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    I am seriously interested and effected by organized crime, that apart from stealing $billions from the industry, the money is then used for other serious acts like drug trafficking!

    Fake/Counterfeit watches do absolutely NOTHING to enhance Horology! All it does is DESTROY the smaller manufacturers that can not compete with $200 watches.

    Counterfeiters do NOT design movement, but merely decorate them. They hold NO patents nor are they the Breguet's of Horology.

    Fake/Counterfeit watches are 100% illegal both inside, remembering the fakers mark the movements as well.

    Buying or wearing fakes is a "dis-service" to Horology.
    AND if it was not - then I guess we will see NAWCC condoning sellers of fakes at Nationals!!

    Its illegal, its morally wrong, and should not be condoned and the watches are JUNK!!

    A
     
  38. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    I get the feeling from your insistent use of upper case letters and your continuing avoidance of the topic I'm trying to bring to your attention that you are not particularly interested in discussing this. I agree with you that counterfeiting is illegal, never said otherwise.

    I think I'll take my leave here.

    Best regards
    Karl
     
  39. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    So in post 34 Adam you really did that.
     
  40. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Did what? "smuggle watches"
    Hardly "smuggling" - they were on the top of my hand luggage!

    But even though they were being used for educational purposes - that (I) broke the law, and they were confiscated.

    Did I cry? Did I whinge? Did I shout "foul" play? Nope. I admitted they were fake and I took the pain!

    Big difference to wearing or condoning it, like many here.

    Now if I took EVERY logo (Marque Depose) off then I could bring any quantity of "homage" (watches that have identical appearance) into USA. That is NOT illegal.

    Sincerely
    Adam
     
  41. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Interesting Statistic

    1) 67,000,000
    Total ex factory sales of complete wristwatches from Japan in 2016

    VERSUS

    2) 419,900,000
    Total ex factory sales of watch "movements" from Japan in 2016

    So Japan exports some 67 million watches, VERSUS some 420 million movement - does not take much imagination to know where those movements end up!!
    Yes, mainly counterfeit watches!

    Adam
     
  42. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Sorry, I cannot edit above post BUT
    ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: WATCHTIME - June 2017
     
  43. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.7)][FONT=&quot]raig Stobie, Director of CAIT member Domino Printing Sciences, spoke at the Centre for European Policy Studies seminar on Combating Counterfeiting and Illicit Trade. A report of procedings with contributions from other speakers including OLAF and DG TRADE is attached. https://lnkd.in/dHbwTf8[/FONT][/COLOR]
    …see more

    [FONT=&quot][/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]




    https://www.ceps.eu/events/combating-counterfeiting-and-illicit-trade-business-practices-and-policy-direction-ict
     
  44. Paul_S

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    For what it is worth, my experience is that people who are cavalier about intellectual property theft don't own any. It is easy to say "Hey, what's the big deal?" with IP theft when you can't relate to it.

    I've published a half-dozen or so books, and some can be found as pirated PDFs online and on streaming torrent sites. Decades of training and years of writing into those, and I have kids and bills like everyone else.

    Rolex might seem like a big faceless corporation, but when I look at it I see a whole lot of hard-working people with kids and bills.

    For historians, a big part of the NAWCC membership, non-genuine watches are a topic of significant historical interest. No understanding of the cultural and financial aspects of horology is complete without considering them. But for the non-genuine watches themselves---the crusher, the flames.

    Adam, the class looks fascinating. Keep fighting the good fight.
     
  45. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    GREAT POST
    THANKS
    Maybe some of the others now will understand
    a
     
  46. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    I have a Rolex and still wont be told what i can and cant wear. But thanks any ways for your opinions Adam.
     
  47. MartyR

    MartyR Super Moderator
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    That is extremely patronising, Adam.
     
  48. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.
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    Why? Because it stands up against an opinion of yours?

    I say it as I believe in it, and allow others to do the same!
     
  49. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Super Moderator
    Donor Sponsor NAWCC Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    6,335
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    38
    watches
    Florida
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    no Adam, because it WAS patronizing. Be nice. :) We all have opinoins right?
     
  50. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
    1,946
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    Doctor
    Linköping, Sweden
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    Seems like I need to spell things out. It's patronizing because it sends the message that there is one truth, that that truth is your truth and that anyone not agreeing with you has just not yet discorvered that truth. In short: that you know better and that those who disagree with you are just misinformed or uneducated.
     
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