Behind the luxury watch market lies that of its replicas. According to second-hand retailer Watchfinder (Richemont), Rolex copies account for around half of all counterfeits on the market.
“Rolex is the most ambitious and sought-after luxury watch brand, so it’s the most reproduced,” says Arjen van de Vall, CEO of Watchfinder & co.
Today, the counterfeit market is becoming more and more widespread, to the point where it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the real from the fake. Used watch retailer Watchfinder, owned by Swiss company Richemont, used to be able to spot 80% of counterfeit watches. Now, the CEO says that only 20% can be identified as counterfeits, as models become more and more similar.
To combat the phenomenon, employees are obliged to carry out a more thorough authentication process, including observing watch backs and checking movements.
But while Rolex tops the list, it’s not the only luxury watch brand to be imitated. Replicas are now available from all the major watchmaking houses, from Patek Philippe to Audemars Piguet to Tag Heuer.
A persistent problem
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