Counterfeiting is a problem that plagues practically every industry from lifestyle products to medical products. Not even the food industry is spared. So as can be expected wrist watches are not exempted.


According to the Global Brand Counterfeiting Report 2018, counterfeiting globally reached 1.2 Trillion USD in 2017 and is expected to reach 1.82 Trillion USD in 2020. Items counterfeited included equipment/products from defence equipment to wrist watches. Though watches account for only a percentage of it, unconfirmed estimates of 2018 counterfeit watch sales were in the neighbourhood of $25 Billion.


This has been growing annually for many years and is being fuelled by the demand from those who want the glamour at a fraction of the cost coupled with the ease of access which came with the explosion of internet sales.


With this demand, you will find unscrupulous people willing to fill the gap and supply to those who want them and also take advantage of unsuspecting people who are looking for original products at a “bargain”.


With the internet as the superhighway, counterfeit sellers are getting access to consumers like never before and unfortunately many of the mega e-commerce sites turn a blind eye to what is going on claiming that they just provide a platform for business and do not regulate what is being sold.


Research today estimates that 20 – 30% of people searching the web for watches are searching for counterfeits that could pass for the real thing. This explains why counterfeiters are getting better and better at their trade… the result being that counterfeit watches are likewise getting better and better.


If you are one of those who are in town looking for counterfeit watches, you probably do not care about the fact that this is an infringement on other people’s intellectual property so there is no point going down that road, but you should realize that it is illegal.


It is not just illegal to produce, it is illegal to trade (meaning buying and selling), and please note that in many countries it is also illegal to be found in possession of counterfeit products.


Some years ago, attendees arriving for a fair in Milan, Italy, were greeted at the airport with banners warning about the criminality of trading in counterfeit products. One boldly saying, “fake sunglasses equal real jail time”, so yes it means you can go to jail for being in possession of counterfeit products.


Even if you are not arrested, remember that when people try to deceive us into believing what is not and we find them out, issues of trust arise and it would not be out of place to call their integrity into question every time afterwards.


Perhaps you are someone who wears a counterfeit watch, you might think you are getting away with deceiving people into believing it’s the original. You need to consider that you might already have been found out by some people and even if not yet, that you will eventually be found out.


You should understand that this could send out a message that you cannot be trusted. Is this potential damage to your reputation worth it??? THINK ABOUT IT!


Lastly you should also know that the counterfeit industry is mainly controlled by organized crime and it goes along with the whole gamut… including human trafficking and slavery to keep the labour costs down. You should not be supporting this industry.


For those of us that are not inclined in the direction of counterfeits and are looking to buy originals; with almost 30% of browsers searching for watches looking for counterfeits, you can imagine the volume of counterfeit watches online from all sorts of vendors looking to meet this need. BE CAREFUL!

 This is why most watch manufacturers or brand owners advise against buying online.


If you must buy online, make sure the website is associated with the brand owners or their authorized distributors. If in doubt, contact the brand owners, they would be glad to give you an approved list of authorized distributors around your locality. Timekeepers International Limited, for example, are authorised distributors for Police watches, Cerruti 1881 watches, Guess watches, Tommy Hilfiger watches and many more.


Do not be deceived you do not know enough to be able to identify a counterfeit.