How to Check for Authentic Watches

Wanting to buy a watch from a renowned brand? Not buying it directly from one of the brand’s shops or a trusted online seller? Worried you may not be buying a 100% genuine piece? Then, this is the guide you need: How to check for authentic watches. A couple of tricks exist that help you differentiate between a real watch and a replica. Let us delve into further detail of how it’s possible to track down an original.



An original watch will not create any noise or ticking sounds. This is because it consists of tiny parts that have been assembled carefully to create the perfect watch mechanism. Replicas, however, lack this quality and will create ticking sounds which can be easily identified by placing the watch close to your ear.

Authentic Watches Quality

A watch’s quality is the first thing that will be noticeably different. A replica can never match the quality of a genuine piece.

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY211A.BA0928 watch on its side

To identify a fake, look for unfinished edges, improper polish, scratches, and even wrong markings/engravings. Also, check if the watch’s clasp/buckle works fine, if the screw down crown works, and whether the watch needles can be guided by the screw that adjusts the time. Look for any other errors such as misspelled words and even wrong stamps. It is also important to check if the markings are clear, properly engraved, and are not fading out, which will only happen if it’s a fake watch. Also, the color of the fake watch can be visibly different due to the usage of low-quality material, so check that before you make a purchase.


A branded watch is made with precious stones, crystal, gold, silver, heavy metals, and metal alloys. Also, they are equipped with a dozen tiny moving parts which make a branded watch heavier and sturdier. An ordinary watch lacks this and is nowhere as heavy, robust, sturdy or durable. There is always going to be a noticeable difference in weight between a real and a fake watch since a real watch is always heavier.

Product Specifications

It’s always great to do your research on the watch you intend to buy. This enables you to get to know the product specifications of your desired watch in detail. Hence, before making any purchase, you can easily match up the specs to differentiate between a designer watch and replica. Looking at photos and also learning more about what the watch looks exactly like is going to save you from throwing money on a fake. Also, it is a good idea to make yourself familiar with logos, stamps and trademark designs of the brand you’re buying from as these greatly help in making the correct choice.

front view of IWC Portugieser Automatic white dial watch


Designer watches have a couple of stamps placed all around their body. Look for these stamps and check if they really are original. You can easily find out which model has which stamps placed where and how many there are on the watch online.

Sapphire crystal top

A sapphire crystal top is placed onto the dial of every designer watch. Regular watches either have a mineral crystal top or glass top.

The sapphire top gives a violet tint at a certain angle which can be used to make sure of the fact that a certain watch is genuine. To prove this, tilt the watch at various angles under a light to see if it gives off a purplish-tint. Moreover, the sapphire crystal top also has a noticeable luster and shine that is obvious from even a few steps away.

Watch bracelet

Designer watch bracelets are specially designed to ensure flexibility and durability. Examine the watch bracelet before buying it by making sure it is perfectly flexible and glides onto your wrist smoothly. Moreover, the clasp that closes the bracelet usually has 2 stamps on it. These stamps can be searched to ensure the authenticity of the watch.

Model number

Not only can you identify a fake by comparing serial numbers, but you can also check for the model number as well. Do your research online to find out exactly what the model number of the genuine watch should be.

front view of Rolex Sky Dweller black dial watch on its storage cushion

Serial number

If the watch is real, the serial number on the watch case and bracelet both should be exactly similar. Tally these numbers to differentiate between a real and fake watch. Sometimes, the serial number is also placed on a sticker behind the dial of the watch, so you may want to check there as well.

Cyclops window

The cyclops magnification over the calendar window is another thing you can check to ensure authenticity. A fake watch may have an overly magnified or under-magnified cyclops window.

Watch hands

Check if the watch hands are of the correct material, have the correct shape and size, and also whether they are moving correctly. A fake watch may have an error in the watch mechanism which may then make the hand movement shaky and unstable.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak white dial watch on its side


One of the first things you’ll notice when unboxing a watch and also one of the most important things to differentiate between a genuine and fake is the packaging. The box case should be of good quality and exactly like the pictures online. Moreover, it should be sturdy and should not be poor looking. Also, check the papers inside for low-quality print, fake information, or a missing warranty or documents.


Last but certainly not the least is to check for pricing. A watch that is just too cheap to be true, is likely bound to be a fake or second-hand watch.

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