The pre-owned watch market is becoming increasingly popular, and we’re continuously adding to our prestigious collection. However, when we buy-in models one thing we have to look out for is fake watches.

Understanding the level of craftsmanship and engineering that goes into producing a meticulously crafted Swiss timepiece is essential when it comes to respecting and appreciating its value. However, sadly the market for fake watches casts a shadow on the industry and undermines its century long history of skill and innovation.

The demand for high quality luxury pre-owned timepieces is on the rise and with that comes the threat of fake watches. Here, we talk to our Pre-Owned Specialist and Watch Manager from Glasgow, Grant Smith, finding out all about how you can spot fake watches.

Do counterfeit items ever make it into high street jewellers?

The short answer, yes, they can. But never with us. By shopping at a reputable jeweller, such as Laings, you can rest assured that all of our pieces are legitimate. All of our watches, whether they are traded in, sold to pre-owned or bought at auction go through intensive checks from not only our in-house brand qualified experts, but also with the manufacturer themselves.

What process do they go through at a company like Laings?

So Whether it’s Rolex, Omega, Cartier or any of the other brands we proudly stock they are first checked in store by our team of experts. This involves inspecting all of its components for example the casing, bracelet or dial as well as opening it up and checking its movements. After that, it is sent back to the manufacturer for a full service and inspection. If all is good, they’ll send it back with full papers detailing its legitimacy.

What are some telltale signs when it comes to spotting legitimacy?

Luxury watches have a certain feel about them, literally, weight is an almost instant tell-tale sign. Luxury watch brands use only the best materials to make their pieces, so if something feels light and flimsy its probably not authentic. Also look for imperfections, everywhere from the bezel to the bracelet, luxury timepieces are made with meticulous precision, so anything from the alignment of the number and date markers to the luminescence of glowing counters, the devil is in the details!

What can someone with no luxury watch experience look out for?

First of all, always buy from an authorised jeweller if someone is offering you a deal that sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

It also helps to look out for paperwork. This is always good as it proves legitimacy directly from the manufacturer. Check for recent interactions, this includes when the piece was last serviced, where and when it has had repairs and if it holds any guarantees or valuations, if you’ve got these you’re on the right track.

I want to check if my watch is legitimate, what should I do?

Bring it in to one of our stores. We can have it valued or give a quick inspection and tell you our opinion on whether it’s authentic. However, my top tip and what I would really recommend would be to send it away to the brand and ask for a service. This is a really good way not only to ensure it’s in pristine condition but also to get it fully inspected by the manufacturer themselves. If it is legitimate, your watch will come back with a full service and also papers proving that its genuine.


Thank you for taking the time to read our interview about How to Spot Fake Watches  Follow our latest news on TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube and Pinterest, or if you have any questions, please pop us an email at

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