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      03-10-2014, 01:42 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD View Post
The problem is a knock off watch can perform as well as the real think or better if you add quartz movement. An fake m3 at 10 percent the cost surely can't.
I understand, that is why I said perform the same which is what he mentioned.

Quote:
So you're okay with the company that would unlawfully use the names BMW M3 to brand their car?
I wouldn't like it, but I wouldn't care if the car was identical. I'd still buy it and maybe remove the badging. Perfect for a track day toy and to beat around in. If they can build an identical car for 10% of the price, maybe BMW should lower their cost?

I don't think this argument holds water as there is no way you can get the same car for 10% of the cost. Unless this is some kind of shell with the interior and a 3 cylinder engine from a Tata Nano. That is not something 99% of people will think is real. People can tell easily. So fake car does not equal fake watch in analogy.

Luxury watches are totally different in that everything is enclosed and besides appearance, you don't know the difference from the outside. Also, watches sell on brand alone - their actual costs are way below that of the selling price.
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      03-10-2014, 01:56 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by RR-NYC View Post
It's like saying someone is a collector of Van Gough reproductions. There is nothing collectable and there is nothing to be passionate about here.
So the enjoyment in a piece of art is in its value? You can't just enjoy the beauty of the painting?
Do I have to own the original master taped copy of a (non digitally produced) piece of music to enjoy it? After all every other version is just a copy of the original.

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Originally Posted by RR-NYC View Post
Coming from a car forum, specifically an M3 forum, I don't understand how there can possible be a disconnect here. What if China started producing a car and called it a BMW M3 but sold it for 10% of the MSRP of a real BMW? To 99% of the world, they are indistinguishable - Would you buy it?
Absolutely...I bought my M3 in spite of it being a BMW not because of it.
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      03-10-2014, 02:05 PM   #91
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Wearing a fake is like rebadging your car. I'm certain that everyone on the forum hates seeing it done, and its not different when it comes to other luxury goods. I'm not much of watch guy, however I can understand why individuals seek out fakes in order to fulfill insecurities. Society associates expensive brands to success and that why girls hold fake bags, and guys wear fake rolexes.
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      03-10-2014, 02:09 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by EZ_TUR90 View Post
Wearing a fake is like rebadging your car. I'm certain that everyone on the forum hates seeing it done,
Do they? I couldn't care less if someone puts an M badge on their BMW. Its their car, they can do what they like with it AFAIAC.
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      03-10-2014, 02:16 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorFunkyPants View Post
So the enjoyment in a piece of art is in its value? You can't just enjoy the beauty of the painting?
Do I have to own the original master taped copy of a (non digitally produced) piece of music to enjoy it? After all every other version is just a copy of the original.
People can and do enjoy art for the sake of art. I can buy a reproduction of a Da Vinci and hang it on my wall because I love art and I like Da Vinci. But if someone else painted the same painting and signed Da Vinci's name on it, it is not art. It is a forgery, a counterfeit. If you can't make that distinction, you and I have nothing to talk about.

Even more laughable is you using music as an example. Music, in the form of CD's, MP3's and the like are made to be reproduced but the are licensed. If you buy a CD, you can make copies all you want and enjoy it all you want. The minute you sell that copy or play it for commercial use, you are violating international copyrights. It doesn't surprise me that you don't know this since you clearly have no regard for trademarks and copyrights.

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Originally Posted by SenorFunkyPants View Post
Absolutely...I bought my M3 in spite of it being a BMW not because of it.
You should rebadge a Chevy. It's the same to you
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      03-10-2014, 02:20 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorFunkyPants View Post
Do they? I couldn't care less if someone puts an M badge on their BMW. Its their car, they can do what they like with it AFAIAC.
many threads dedicated to bashing bimmer drivers that rebadge.
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      03-10-2014, 02:31 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Z K View Post
I wouldn't like it, but I wouldn't care if the car was identical. I'd still buy it and maybe remove the badging. Perfect for a track day toy and to beat around in. If they can build an identical car for 10% of the price, maybe BMW should lower their cost?

I don't think this argument holds water as there is no way you can get the same car for 10% of the cost. Unless this is some kind of shell with the interior and a 3 cylinder engine from a Tata Nano. That is not something 99% of people will think is real. People can tell easily. So fake car does not equal fake watch in analogy.

Luxury watches are totally different in that everything is enclosed and besides appearance, you don't know the difference from the outside. Also, watches sell on brand alone - their actual costs are way below that of the selling price.
You are arguing a point I'm not making. I am not talking about whether someone could make an identical BMW for 10% of the cost. I'm asking whether you would buy a counterfeit BMW i.e. someone stealing the design and manufacturing an exact replica of a BMW M3

But to your point, A price of BMW parts is not indicative of the cost of goods - the aftermarket manufacturers are proof of this. You are paying for R & D, design, and brand
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      03-10-2014, 02:59 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RR-NYC View Post
People can and do enjoy art for the sake of art. I can buy a reproduction of a Da Vinci and hang it on my wall because I love art and I like Da Vinci.
Jeez I wish you would make your mind up.
You wrote:
"It's like saying someone is a collector of Van Gough reproductions. There is nothing collectable and there is nothing to be passionate about here."
So while you would love a Da Vinci reproduction and hang it on your wall you couldn't be passionate about a Van Gough (sic) reproduction.
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      03-10-2014, 03:00 PM   #97
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The level of ignorance in this thread......

Reverse engineering, meaning someone takes apart any give object and copies it exactly, bypassing the entire R&D portion of development, is a fraction of the cost. That's why you see so many knock off aftermarket pieces for so cheap. Anyone can make a simple mold of an OEM BMW Performance Splitter and manufacture it in China much cheaper than what it cost BMW to do a proper CAD design, tooling, wind tunnel testing...etc.

I don't have much respect for people that don't have respect for intellectual property. The people that justify stealing ideas/designs/inventions or justify buying those same items so they can save a few dollars are no better. They don't fear having their ideas stolen because they will never have an original thought themselves.
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      03-10-2014, 03:05 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by EZ_TUR90 View Post
many threads dedicated to bashing bimmer drivers that rebadge.
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      03-10-2014, 03:12 PM   #99
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I bought a rep Breitling once because I wanted to see what wearing such a big watch all the time would feel like and how it would look at various times throughout the day. I plan on buying a rep Breitling and rep Patek to wear when I don't want to wear the real ones mostly for safest sake so I don't damage the real ones or suffer a big loss if I get robbed. I think it's fine to have a fake watch if you own the real counterpart but not to try to pass off the fake as real.
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      03-10-2014, 03:17 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Metak2you View Post
I don't have much respect for people that don't have respect for intellectual property. The people that justify stealing ideas/designs/inventions or justify buying those same items so they can save a few dollars are no better. They don't fear having their ideas stolen because they will never have an original thought themselves.
Do you think Rolex (for instance) work in a complete vacuum? That they have never dismantled a competitors watch to see their way of doing something and then copied it? Just look at Apple and Samsung happily copying each others tech for a more obvious example.

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Originally Posted by Mr.Metak2you View Post
The level of ignorance in this thread......
Indeed.
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      03-10-2014, 03:44 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Metak2you View Post
The level of ignorance in this thread......

Reverse engineering, meaning someone takes apart any give object and copies it exactly, bypassing the entire R&D portion of development, is a fraction of the cost. That's why you see so many knock off aftermarket pieces for so cheap. Anyone can make a simple mold of an OEM BMW Performance Splitter and manufacture it in China much cheaper than what it cost BMW to do a proper CAD design, tooling, wind tunnel testing...etc.

I don't have much respect for people that don't have respect for intellectual property. The people that justify stealing ideas/designs/inventions or justify buying those same items so they can save a few dollars are no better. They don't fear having their ideas stolen because they will never have an original thought themselves.
There is a very good reason that patents run out after a period of time. In your utopian world where nobody uses anyone else's ideas and only those who have done R&D are allowed to sell a design, everything costs WAY WAY WAY more to recoup the R&D and everyone who isn't selling a product is broke. Like you I want and like the real McCoy but a capitalistic society can't exist if everyone is bent over paying the proprietary tax on everything that they buy.

Just like you I have respect for the original design and authenticity so I buy real watches. However, don't understand why it's a problem for me if others buy counterfeits. In fact it makes my real piece that much cooler to me, and of those buying counterfeits, maybe 0.001% would have been able to buy the real thing anyway. Other people wearing counterfeits shouldn't be a problem unless you're upset that they are getting what you paid for, less what you paid for it.
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      03-10-2014, 03:56 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorFunkyPants View Post
Jeez I wish you would make your mind up.
You wrote:
"It's like saying someone is a collector of Van Gough reproductions. There is nothing collectable and there is nothing to be passionate about here."
So while you would love a Da Vinci reproduction and hang it on your wall you couldn't be passionate about a Van Gough (sic) reproduction.
You must get off on taking things out of context since it's the only argument you can muster.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with having a reproduction. re-read my post and the context.

You posted a link to replica watches and how there is "a lot of knowledge and enthusiasm..." To which I responded the text you quoted. My point is that there is nothing to be passionate about as far as fake watches or useless prints.
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      03-10-2014, 04:06 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorFunkyPants View Post
Do you think Rolex (for instance) work in a complete vacuum? That they have never dismantled a competitors watch to see their way of doing something and then copied it? Just look at Apple and Samsung happily copying each others tech for a more obvious example.



Indeed.
Of course companies look at competing products in order to stay ahead of them, thats part of every industry. I come from medical devices where everyone is suing everyone on a daily basis.

There is a difference between copying one part or one function and stealing an entire product - like fake Rolexes.

I find it ironic that you finished your post with"indeed" as if you are in agreement with there being a lot of ignorance in this thread especially when you are on the opposite side of the that posts argument
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      03-10-2014, 04:08 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by RR-NYC View Post
My point is that there is nothing to be passionate about as far as fake watches or useless prints.
Why not? There are hundreds of entire websites for people who are passionate about both of those things. Look up videos of people doing unboxing reviews on fake Jordan shoes, watches, etc. Read the comments. You'll find folks who are excited by the intricacy of the reproduction, and those who want to deceive their friends too. It's important to distinguish between these types of people.
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      03-10-2014, 04:10 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowess Symphony View Post
I bought a rep Breitling once because I wanted to see what wearing such a big watch all the time would feel like and how it would look at various times throughout the day. I plan on buying a rep Breitling and rep Patek to wear when I don't want to wear the real ones mostly for safest sake so I don't damage the real ones or suffer a big loss if I get robbed. I think it's fine to have a fake watch if you own the real counterpart but not to try to pass off the fake as real.
That's what insurance is for - the real watches. You're willing to lose your life and/or limb for a fake watch? If you were going to a place where you really worried about being robbed of your watches, leave them at home.
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      03-10-2014, 04:17 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorFunkyPants View Post
Do you think Rolex (for instance) work in a complete vacuum? That they have never dismantled a competitors watch to see their way of doing something and then copied it? Just look at Apple and Samsung happily copying each others tech for a more obvious example.
I'm not going to get into a huge debate with you because you will likely never see why it's wrong for someone to steal someones logo and make money off of a companies reputation, advertising, operational cost...

If you had a clothing line, let's call it SenorFunkyPants and I decided to make a clone for half the cost, you would have no issues with that? I think you charge too much and am offering a service to people who want to pay less. Right?

As far as Samsung Apple is concerned, hear about the $1billion lawsuit in favor of Apple?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PINeely View Post
There is a very good reason that patents run out after a period of time. In your utopian world where nobody uses anyone else's ideas and only those who have done R&D are allowed to sell a design, everything costs WAY WAY WAY more to recoup the R&D and everyone who isn't selling a product is broke. Like you I want and like the real McCoy but a capitalistic society can't exist if everyone is bent over paying the proprietary tax on everything that they buy.
I am a total capitalist and totally agree with you. I was never arguing that all patents should last forever. But more often than not, patents are trampled on while they are hot and before the original individual has a chance to recoup their cost. A capitalist society can't exist if consumers are "bent over" paying "proprietary taxes" but conversely can not survive if patents are not respected as well.
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      03-10-2014, 04:20 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PINeely View Post
Why not? There are hundreds of entire websites for people who are passionate about both of those things. Look up videos of people doing unboxing reviews on fake Jordan shoes, watches, etc. Read the comments. You'll find folks who are excited by the intricacy of the reproduction, and those who want to deceive their friends too. It's important to distinguish between these types of people.
I actually agree with the why not part... Since it's subjective. I have a homeless guy on my corner who collects news papers. He has a shopping cart full of them so who am I to judge him, right? I don't because there is nothing ethically or morally wrong with what he does.

Counterfeit good such as watches, designer handbags and shoes do bother me. People who make them and people that buy them have no respect for the hard work of others who designed them and manufacture them nor for the laws that protect them.

I used to wonder why a company like Tiffany's was always on a rampage in NYC going after the small vendors selling fakes... It hardly makes a dent in their bottom line and I saw it as a victimless crime. In fact, they spend more on pursuing these people than they lose in potential revenue. But as I continued to think about it, i realized how much it cheapens the brand and floods the market with fakes and makes it less special for the people that do earn the money for the real article when they see everyone and their mother wearing fakes. I see it everyday in NYC: there are more "Chanel" bags in the arms of women in NYC than Chanel actually makes. So you may or may not agree with my opinion or the price of some of these products but I respect the law and the trademarks, copyrights, and patents it protects
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      03-10-2014, 04:38 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Vic311 View Post
Yes it does. But if you don't know why, then you just don't know.
It was a rhetorical question...

I have a 'fake' HKs (which in the gun world is called a clone) because the damn state I live in doesn't let me have a real HK... so I settle for the fakes. and the quality matters but nothing I can do about it.
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      03-10-2014, 04:38 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RR-NYC View Post
You are arguing a point I'm not making. I am not talking about whether someone could make an identical BMW for 10% of the cost. I'm asking whether you would buy a counterfeit BMW i.e. someone stealing the design and manufacturing an exact replica of a BMW M3

But to your point, A price of BMW parts is not indicative of the cost of goods - the aftermarket manufacturers are proof of this. You are paying for R & D, design, and brand
Yes, you are. A "identical" replica would have all the exact same features, performance of the original but cost 10% of the original... if it is exactly the same, I don't see why I wouldn't buy it. Maybe it's a rip-off but it'd be the performance bargain of the century!

But as I mentioned, you can't compare a car to a watch. The car, if you add up even just the parts costs, has way less margin than a luxury watch. So as I said, you can't use your car analogy to compare to watches.

A $10k watch probably costs no more than $1000 to make. Yes, R&D costs add up.. but a lot of the mechanicals are the same for the past 50 years or more so the R&D is well paid for. Basically, you are just paying for the badging.
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      03-10-2014, 04:48 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post

Notes:
  • This post is super long, but if you take the time to read it, I think it'll give you a good basis for how to think not only about fake watches, but to some extent, watches in general. The concepts I discuss can also be extrapolated to just about any luxury or premium product.
  • Nemesis, I'm just replying off your post, not disagreeing with you.

Introduction:
I need to start by saying despite what it may feel like to you and me as individuals, just about any mechanical watch costing $2K+ has to be seen as a luxury item, even though there are lots of other watches that cost many times $2K. The reason is simply that below $2K one can get substantively all the functionality, durability and accuracy one is that there exists to be had from a standard mechanical watch, i.e., time-only, time + date; time, date + chrono; and/or time, date + power reserve indicator. Yes, the time keeping accuracy can run from +/- three or four seconds per day to +/- 18 seconds per day, but I think it's safe, from a practical standpoint, to consider any of those accuracy measures as "accurate enough" for most anyone's needs. The major impact is just how often one will have to adjust the time on the watch. If that's really that bothersome, perhaps one should choose a quartz watch, all of which have accuracies measured in terms of seconds per month or seconds per year.

My Thoughts on Your Thoughts:
Your line of thought is right on target. There is absolutely no rational, empirical -- from a consumer perspective -- about why any watch costs $10K+. The same can in fact be said of just about any watch that is a luxury watch. Another way to say that is "any watch that is more than purely functional." There are rational reasons for why that is the way it works, but the prices themselves cannot be rationally justified by a consumer. They can, however, be emotionally justified and that's exactly the approach makers of luxury goods take to promote their products. (Why they do so and why it works requires an understanding of several disciplines --- industrial psychology, marketing (advertising, promotion and pricing strategy), sociology, and economics are the major ones. I'm not going into all that...this post is already long enough.)

What Goes Into Watch Prices
Once one gets above about $2000 for an uncomplicated or for a watch having just a basic complication watch (chrono or power reserve only) , one has to realize that the retail price of the watch includes labor, material, overhead and intangibles. Labor can be human and/or machine effort to build the watch even though, from an accounting standpoint, they are differently classified. Consumers can consider them as one just to keep things simple. Similarly, the intangibles don't have a place in a company's books of record, but they do play into pricing strategy and implementation.

Now, I think most folks won't gripe too much over the cost of labor, materials and overhead. It's the intangible aspect that galls or befuddles them. While nobody lacking access to a company's internal records can specifically identify how much of a watch's cost is apportioned to each of the components, either "good sense" or comparative analysis will tell one that it cannot, for $2K+ watches possibly be more than half the MSRP of the watch. Another thing to realize is that as the MSRP of a watch increases, the cost components don't increase at a corresponding rate. Taken together, that means then that the intangible component is what's increasing.

The intangible part if the MSRP is nothing more than the premium the maker/retailer assigns to the value of their brand name. One can think of it as shown below, although again, that's not how prices are accounted for or determined.
Luxury goods MSRP equals:
+ Cost of Labor + profit assigned to labor
+ Cost of Materials + profit assigned to materials
+ Cost of Overhead + profit assigned to overhead
+ Any additional profit the maker thinks they can obtain. This is where the intangible portion of the cost comes in.

Pretty much all brands assign profit to the three tangible components of cost, but no-name or non-status-name brands assign far less to the intangible component. (An odd and interesting fact is that if they simply did increase the price by boosting the intangible component, consumers would actually perceive the watch to be higher quality and would pay the extra amount.)

Fakes vs. Authentic Rolex Watches
Now when it comes to matter of fakes versus authentic products, Rolex happens to be a pretty good pricey brand to use to illustrate. The reason is that Rolex make and sell a very basic watch at comparatively huge prices. Rolex Oyster collection watches don't have any of the fancy, artistic embellishments one can find on other watches at prices similar to Rolexes. Also, Rolex movements are "generic" in the sense that the movement inside any Oyster isn't appreciably different from the movement inside any other one. Even the Daytona, which is a chronograph, is the same base movement; it just has a chronograph module "bolted on."

It's true that Rolex, as your video illustrated, have outstanding attention to detail when it comes to executing the build of the watches. However, like many things German (remember that the Rolex Oyster design is not Swiss, but rather German), it's greatly over-engineered. ETA and others may not all have the same level of attention to detail, but as ETA's track record has shown, their movements have that attention to detail in the places that make a difference in the long term usability, dependability, etc. of the watch movement. There are other movement makers that are quite the same in that regard, but yes there are those too that don't. Some of the movements found in some fakes are certainly not as well crafted and the "shortcuts" can, in those movements, make a difference.

The "So What?" Factor
Nemesis, the video you provided is quite good at identifying traits that distinguish an authentic Rolex from a fake. That's great and useful information for anyone seeking to buy a new Rolex Sub (and to a lesser extent any Rolex) from a non-authorized dealer or a used one from any seller. What the video didn't discuss, and what I think goes through folks' minds when they choose to buy fakes, is which if any of those differences matter. It comes down to the value proposition. What benefit doe one actually get in return for having spent so much more, and are the benefits worth the extra money?

Recognizing that authenticity, in and of itself, is neither a benefit nor a detractor (aside from any legal/seizure risk associated with the fakes), let's look at some of the things from the video in your post.
  • Holographic sticker -- Well, I don't think I need to say much here. The sticker is for verification purposes and has no impact on the watch's performance or longevity. Mine are in a trash dump somewhere.
  • Color -- Again, slightly off in color doesn't affect the watch.
  • BPM (ticking vs. sweeping hand) -- Certainly it's something that distinguishes Rolex from the poor fakes, but unless the hand is actually stopping at each second interval, it's hard to see what difference it makes. There's no question that some 30 or so years ago Rolex touted the "sweep" of their second hand as being a big thing and competitors responded by upping the beat rate of their movements to make their hands sweep. The sweep is elegant looking, but it doesn't keep time better than a non sweeper. There are chronometer watches that sweep and there are ones that don't.
  • Movements -- Miyota, ETA, and others make very accurate and durable movements just as Rolex do. My oldest mechanical watch movement is the one inside my 1970s Swiss Army watch which has never been serviced, has ETA inside and still works fine. After that, comes my '80s era Air King. My next oldest is an ETA movement also from the '80s. Now I'm not good at all about regularly servicing those watches and they both run fine, at least fine my expectations. So, for me at least, I don't have any experiential evidence indicating that it matters. I don't have similarly old watch with a Chinese, Sellita, Miyota or Seiko mechanical movement to use as a person point of comparison.
  • Crown guards -- Again, I get that they distinguish the watches, but for the life of me, I can't see what difference it makes.

    Rolex make watches that lack a crown guard altogether. Many a an excellent dive watch -- some far better suited to actually diving in the ocean -- lack crown guards. As far as I can tell, the crown guard on the Sub is just a design difference between it, ts stablemates and other watches. If someone here knows what difference it makes, let me know. I'm not a professional or technical diver, so I don't know how significant a crown guard really is.
  • Solid end link (SEL) bracelet attachments -- Here, I have to agree that the SEL design is sturdier. If I'm going to pay a ton of money for watch on a bracelet, or even just a bracelet, I look for SELs. Having said that, I have a Tag Series 2000 (an Aquaracer essentially) and it has folded, open link attachments. The bracelet has managed to stay affixed to the watch since the 1990s.

    The SEL design is one of those things that strikes me as being something that's over-engineered as far as most folks' needs are concerned. Plus, what's going to fail is more likely the pins holding the bracelet in place, not the ends of the bracelet. About the only benefit I can identify to the SEL design is that it reduces the likelihood that the pins won't fly off when the bracelet is removed. The main reason that happens is that there's just less room for the pins to "get away" when they are being removed. So, yes, there is a difference, but to the point I stated above, I don't know that it matters. I'm open to finding out that it does, but until that happens, I don't think it does. (I know a good bit about watches, but I know too that I don't know everything about them. )
When I consider the things that are different between Rolexes and the fake Rolexes, I find it impossible to say with a straight face to someone who just wants a nice watch that there's a good reason to buy a ~$9K Sub instead of something else, be it an authentic Sub competitor or a fake Sub of reasonable quality. The sole reason I can come up with is to do so if one just wants to and has the money to do so. Now for folks with different purchase expectations -- curatorially oriented collectors, folks planning to resell it, people who are comparing it against other similarly priced watches and that I feel won't meet their expectations as well as the Rolex, etc. -- sure, I'll advocate for the Rolex.

Authentic Non-Rolex Watches: How they differ from a Rolex
Rolex is somewhat unique among pricey watchmakers because they really make no effort to decorate their movements. Rolex is all about durability, functionality and practicality. Practicality in all respects except price. In that sense, it's safe to say that once really can't find a watch that's better put together than a Rolex. (One can find watches that are as well put together.) That's the difference between being "the best" and being "number one." Many makers can be "the best" simply because on this or that basis of measurement, they are equal and none others are better. Being "number one" requires a basis of comparison against which one competitor empirically outperforms all others. If the basis of measurement has anything to do with watch movement decoration, Rolex is at the bottom of the barrel right along with ETA, Sellita, and many other movement makers. (I don't know what brand I'd cite as #1, but that's not the point and it doesn't matter anyway. It's just clear that Rolex isn't anywhere near #1 on that measure.)

I went through the preceding discussion to provide a framework for considering the fake PPs, IWC, JLCs, Breguet, AP, VC, etc. that one can find in the marketplace. The watches made by those companies differ from a Rolex Oysters in two key dimensions: they all have greater and lesser degrees of decoration on their movements and they can have complications other than just a chronograph and/or power reserve indicator function. The decorations include things like
  • Cote de Geneve (Geneva stripes) - linear or circular stripes abraded into movement plates, there are several variations of this technique. All of them can be done by hand, some by machine.
  • Blueing -- a heat treatment applied to screws; it makes them permanently blue or grey depending on the temperature and time of the heat. This treatment is a major profit maker. It looks cool, but costs almost nothing to effect.
  • Poli noir (black polish or mirror polish) -- This is rare to come by, so I'll explain it a bit. It is the highest level of polish possible and the most arduous to obtain. It's possible only on steel. It requires rubbing a zinc plate against the steel using varying coarsenesses of diamond paste so that the steel turns black and has no texture at all, even under high magnification. When light is shone on the resulting surface one of two things happens, depending on the angle of the light source:
    1. All light appears to be absorbed and the surface appears intensely black, i.e., as black as black can get.
    2. The light reflects back in a 100% undiffused manner.
  • Anglage (beveling or chamfering) on screws, screw holes, plates and/or cog wheels. Some makers bevel every edge they can find, some only bevel the edges that a user can see. Whatever the extent of beveling, it has to be done by hand.
  • Perlage - swirls applied usually to movement plates,
  • polished holes,
  • Brouillage - essentially a sand blasted looking-like pattern applied to a metal surface, and
  • Dressage - essentially a linear, brushed patterning; it looks like most any other brushed metal surface treatment.
  • Plating -- often enough, movements are plated with gold or rhodium. The plating serves three purposes:
    • It makes the movement look nice (assuming one likes the look)
    • It reduces the risk of corrosion because both materials are highly non-reactive
    • It increases the maker's ability to charge more for the watch.
Now for the most part, these decorations are just that, aesthetic enhancements that make a movement pretty to look at, and, of course they do increase the cost of making the movement. They also, as noted above, create additional opportunity for the maker to charge more and make more profit. There are, however, some decorative effects that technically have some functional value.

For example, beveling has some functional value because it removes burrs that could otherwise eventually fall off a piece of metal and "clog up the works." Beveling also can reduce corrosion by dint of its smoothing of a surface. It makes the beveled area less amenable to being gripped onto by whatever substance might want to grab hold and start the corrosive process. Of course beveling is often found on movements that have more than a few other very "grippy" surfaces, so while one's beveled edges won't corrode, the other surfaces will.

I don't generally tout the functional benefit of beveling because I feel that in this era, it's something of a moot point. As a matter of trying to provide as candid info as I can, I suppose if a person asking me for input shared that they desire their watch to be in the best shape possible 300+ years hence, sure, I'd suggest they go with something having as much beveling as possible. But nobody asking me for input has identified that as a requirement.

Side Note: With nearly every watch made being waterproof at surface pressures, the chances of a corrosive substance getting inside the case is very slim. If the person servicing a watch is top notch, they will perform the work in a sterile environment to avoid contaminating the movement. Indeed, that last bit is probably the one reason to send a relatively basic watch to the factory for service if one has an expensive watch that doesn't have a super complex or esoteric movement.

Beveling is also a good example of something about which companies will tell half the story in order to convince the buying public that their product is better. It also highlights an aspect of the value proposition: how much does it really matter relative to the price one must pay to have beveled edges and relative to what one's expectations are for the watch.

Fake Non-Rolexes
Whereas a fake Rolex is pretty easy to assess -- it really just comes down to how important to you is the over-engineering in a Rolex and how much you are willing to pay for it -- it's a slightly different game with most non-Rolex watches that are replicated in the fake world. What's different is the quality of execution in the decorations and the effectiveness of non-basic complications. In some fakes, the decoration may not exist at all. Provided the watch is one that is only supposed to have decorations on visible parts, you can look at it and tell what's what. If it's a watch such as a PP that is supposed to have beveling even on edges one can't see, you need to remove and disassemble the movement to tell.

Another thing is that the complication(s) may not work accurately/consistently, or it may just look like it exists when in fact it doesn't. Take a fake (or real for that matter) perpetual calendar watch. Unless you set it so the watch thinks that it's February 28th or 29th, you won't know whether it actually is doing what a perp cal complication does. If it's a moon phase, you need to set the time and spin the hours by, noting exactly when the moon rises and sets and whatnot and then compare that against the known cycles of the moon if you expect to determine how effective the fake is. (You have to do the same with a real one too if you aren't of a mind to trust the maker's assertions about the accuracy of the moon phase.)

I think after reading the preceding, you'll understand why some watches are faked and some aren't. It's not so hard to fake a watch that doesn't have a presentation back. Since no Rolex Oyster does, that brand is an easy faking target. Ditto almost every dive watch. Once one gets beyond the simple and basic sorts of watch that can easily be replicated, at least visually, the value proposition of even the fakes comes into question.

For example, even a person buying a fake perp cal at least wants some semblance of the complication actually functioning as its supposed to. A buyer of a fake watch that is supposed to have an exhibition back and a decorated movement wants there to be at least enough decoration that it looks like the real thing. Why? Because the whole point of buying the fake is to get the look while compromising on other things that that user feels don't matter too much and that s/he doesn't want to pay for.

Does that make the non-Rolex high end watches that cost huge sums a better value? No, not at all. It just makes the fakes less of a good value proposition because they just can't do or have enough of the "cool stuff" the authentic ones have to make spending the money worth it. The fakes are so obviously dim shadows of what the real thing is that there's no point. A good fake Rolex, however, much more adequately apes the real animal.

Obviously, that's something of a personally biased, subjective assessment on my part. I'm sure there are some folks whose desire for similarity stops at the watch face. I choose to believe that no matter whom one is, one still wants a good quality watch, and one that does what it's supposed to do. A slightly different crown guard, for example, is one thing. A fake perp cal that doesn't skip to March 1st or a fake Piaget that doesn't have the lovely, circular Geneva stripes is another.

What this makes clear is that folks who do spend large sums on luxury items, watches, cars, clothes, etc., do so because they can. Folks who buy fakes, do so because they are unwilling to spend such large sums. Some folks who buy fakes and who buy authentic goods may do so for other reasons, but all those other reasons are emotional, not rational.



TY. Glad I could help you find a bit of perspective. I find for myself that that sort of perspective makes my life a lot less stressed and confusing.

Nice to see you posting again. Hope all's well in your world.




I fully respect your 2 and I appreciate and applaud your living by it. I only want to say that the ownership experience will be devalued only to the extent that the hypothetical fake M3/GT3 (or whatever) doesn't meet the expectations of the person who buys/uses it.

To put it another way, I believe an M3 can outperform my E92. However, if I'm the one buying it, other than straight line acceleration, the fact that the M3 can corner better, has better braking response or better cornering ability, etc. is moot. I don't drive in any way or anywhere that the added capability is something I'm realizable by me. Sure, I probably could tangibly feel the greater potential in the way the car performs when I drive it in the mundane ways and places I drive, but if I don't use those capabilities, or if I only use/benefit from them once or twice, the value proposition associated with spending the premium for the M3 is pretty low.

All the best.
I read this post in detail and I just have to say again - thank you so much for taking the time to write this up!

Your point about certain watches being hyper-susceptible to "design theft" is well taken. As a casual, "outside" observer when I think about "high end watches" the very first watch brand that comes to mind is Rolex, and the very first watch that comes to mind is a diver watch like a submariner. I realize now that it's a mistake to think the degree of worksmanship on submariner replicas applies to fakes of other brands just as well. And, even if you consider rolex submariner replicas in isolation, the question becomes what are you willing to pay for the over-engineering and authenticity that comes with owning the real thing.

I agree that the poor workmanship on the replica SELs stood out the most.

You know in hindsight, I actually do understand the premium placed on the "intangible" aspect of owning a fine, authentic watch. Take cars, for example. Our family has a policy of only buying brand new cars. My dad feels like used cars have been "sullied" (note: he doesn't actually use that term but that word best captures the essence of what he's talking about) of their reputation or prestige somehow and he doesn't sit well with the idea of owning a used product. When you consider the fact that cars depreciate anywhere from 10-20% the moment they're taken off the lot, some might view this line of reasoning to be financially imprudent, but it only means that we place high value on the "intangible" aspect of being able to say to ourselves that we own a brand new, untouched vehicle. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that others would place similar premiums on the intangible aspects of other luxury goods.

Your enthusiasm about watches is palpable. As a self-proclaimed "non-watch guy" even I get a little excited about the subject after I read your posts
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