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The Rising Tide of High-End Counterfeit Watches: A Threat to Luxury Timepiece Market July 14, 2023 (0 comments)


Geneva, Switzerland--With counterfeit Rolex watches now mimicking the real ones with striking precision, even experts are struggling to distinguish the genuine from the imitation. There has been an alarming influx of fake high-end timepieces in the secondary market, where Rolex duplicates make up half of these entries.

[Image via Pexels Commons]

Watchfinder & Co. CEO, Arjen van de Vall, told Bloomberg that around 10% of the pre-owned luxury watches that arrived from sellers last year failed the company's rigorous authenticity check. 

“Rolex is the most aspirational luxury watch brand and the highest demand, hence, it’s the most replicated,” he said, as per the report published by LuxuryLaunches.

The report noted that it's estimated that an astonishing 40 million counterfeit watches are produced annually, outstripping Switzerland's production by two-fold and generating nearly $1 billion in profits.

In the report, Van de Vall admits that the level of accuracy in recent replica watches has drastically reduced their ability to identify fakes visually. Only a fifth of counterfeits can be detected by sight, prompting a more comprehensive inspection process involving opening watch case backs and examining movements to spot the imitations.

Addressing the escalating problem of counterfeiting, Rolex initiated a certified pre-owned program last year, authenticating pre-owned watches sold via authorized dealers. In the report, Van de Vall noted that this counterfeiting menace is not limited to Rolex, saying, “You see replica or clone watches—very, very high quality watches—of virtually all of the big luxury brands.”

The report noted that the surge in counterfeit production is linked to soaring prices, a growing gap between supply and demand, and a booming luxury watch industry during the pandemic. Despite economic uncertainties causing a market cooldown, numerous coveted watches continue to hold their elusive status.

Learn more in the entire LuxuryLaunches report.

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