“FAKE WATCHES ARE A BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY"
The counterfeit watch industry is a money raker. It’s got the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) up in arms. There’s even a running joke amongst Swiss CEOs that the real measure of a brand’s success is the number of counterfeit watches a brand has.
NUMBER OF FAKES INCREASING
According to an article produced by 24/7 Wall St, fakes watches make up 11% of customs seizures. FH reported that over 120,000 counterfeit watches were seized during 2013
In 2014, law enforcements seized $375.4 million dollars worth of watches. In 2016, it jumped to $653.6 million dollars worth of seized goods.
FAKE WATCHES ARE LUCRATIVE
Confiscated fake watches were worth far more than any other fake products seized. Keep in mind, the numbers aforementioned only reflect those that were actually caught.
Switzerland’s FH estimates that 40 million counterfeit watches are produced annually, 25% more than Switzerland’s entire yearly output.
According to the FH, fake watch sales amount to $1.08 billion dollars worth of sales annually. The sales amount only increases each year as more people start buying online with internet sites like Alibaba and the like.
15-30% OF SEARCHES FOR WATCHES ARE FOR FAKES
Marketing increases awareness and product demand.
As the watch industry spends a shit ton of money on marketing, counterfeits are getting the benefits as well. With the internet being a superhighway, people are now getting access to counterfeit sellers like never before. It’s not uncommon for counterfeit sellers to photoshop watches and even use photos of the real watch to encourage people to buy.
FUELED BY GLAMOUR
With luxury goods set at a premium price points, it's not uncommon for people to seek alternative routes whether it'd be knowingly or unknowingly counterfeit.
Counterfeit watches that look nearly identical to the real ones appeal to those who want the glamour at a fraction of the cost. Some people are willing to spend $250 on a fake watch that resembles the $200,000 one. Even if it’ll break on them at any second.
FAKE WATCHES ARE GETTING BETTER
Some of the fake watches being produced are increasingly accurate. The designs, weight, and feel are getting better each year. I’ve seen watches that mimic everything about the calibers inside from head to toe.
I’ve seen fake Rolex watches that look identical on the outside. The bezel, dial, hands, crown, design, and everything screams original. I’ve even seen fake watches pass through authorized dealers thinking it was the real deal only to find out from the manufacture that it’s fake.