Luxury watches: Rolex is the most counterfeited brand

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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

 

On the $25 billion-a-year secondary or resale market, replica luxury timepieces are a real problem.

 

And the second-hand world is already suffering. During the pandemic, the pre-owned watch industry experienced a real boom, which gave way last year to a 19% decline. Wealthy buyers have become more reasonable, and therefore less willing to spend.

 

To combat counterfeiting and innovate in terms of brand image, Rolex launched a pre-owned watch sales program last year, which authenticates timepieces sold by authorized retailers. After this step, sellers receive a certificate of authenticity, a two-year warranty card and a “wax seal” label.

 

It remains to be seen whether this new strategy will reduce the counterfeiting market, and what measures will be put in place by its competitors to stop these illegal and fraudulent sales.

 

Read also >Rolex enters the second-hand market

 

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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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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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Thanks to its extensive knowledge of these sectors, the Luxus + editorial team deciphers for its readers the main economic and technological stakes in fashion, watchmaking, jewelry, gastronomy, perfumes and cosmetics, hotels, and prestigious real estate.

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