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More And More Fake Rolexes Are Being Sold, Warns San Diego Jeweler August 25, 2021 (0 comments)

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San Diego, CA—Jeweler Leo Hamel (image) says he’s seeing more and more fake Rolexes these days.

Counterfeit versions of luxury watches have been around for decades, but in a report on NBC-7 TV, Hamel says the newer ones are much harder to spot, and sometimes it takes opening the watch up to find out the parts inside are mismatched.

Scammers in the San Diego area are approaching people in parking lots and other public areas, claiming to need some quick cash and offering to sell their own personal Rolex. 

“So the story is, ‘You can have my $40,000 Rolex for $500. Can you help me out?’” Hamel, a partner in Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers and Jewelry Buyers, told NBC-7. People fall for it, but the watches, of course, are fake. 

“You’d think if people are being offered a $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000 watch for $500 or $1,000, they’d be a little suspicious,” says Hamel.

Hamel has been buying and selling luxury jewelry and watches for 41 years. He and his partner Robin Hart started their business in 1980, with a table at swap meets, street fairs, and any place people were gathering. Customers would tell them what they were looking for in watches, diamonds, or jewelry, and they would find it for them at a great price.

In time, the pair were doing enough business to open their first store. By then, they were specializing in preowned Rolex and Patek Philippe and other fine Swiss watches, as well as fine diamonds, colored gemstones, and Japanese pearls. The business grew and moved to a larger store, adding new jewelry lines and taking on some national brands like Hearts On Fire, and added a third partner, Maggie Scheuer.

Today, Leo Hamel has an even larger store, and still specializes in buying and selling vintage jewelry, preowned watches, diamonds, and selling new engagement and wedding rings and branded jewelry.

Click here to watch the NBC-7 segment with Hamel.

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