Audemars Piguet’s luxurious watches are a serious investment but well worth it to own a piece of incredible craftsmanship. However, its high demand and desirability leaves Audemars Piguet—and the people who want to shop it—vulnerable to counterfeiters. Check out these tips to spot a fake watch and shop with confidence.
1. Compare the Price
If you’re in the market for an Audemars Piguet watch, your dollars go much further if you purchase a pre-owned Audemars Piguet watch in lieu of an Audemars Piguet store or an authorized dealer. That said, you want to thoroughly research the seller and price compare your desired piece to the market value of similar models in a similar condition. If the piece you’re eyeing is significantly cheaper than the competitors, this may be cause for concern as it could be an imposter watch. Price alone cannot determine whether that inexpensive Audemars Piguet watch is counterfeit or in fact a really great find but a suspiciously low price is worth taking into serious consideration.
2. Research the Seller
Scrutinize the seller’s website. If the site seems incomplete (for instance, the “About Us” page says, “Coming soon”), it may be a scam website. And double-check the URL. It is common for counterfeiters to use a domain name that is a close misspelling of a credible seller to capture sales via misdirected shoppers.
Comb through customer reviews across multiple sites. If reviews are terse, eerily similar to one another, or are identical across multiple review sites, the seller could be posting phony reviews. Alternatively, if you cannot find any information on the seller, it’s best to move on.
Also track down where the seller is located. The majority of overseas sellers are based out Asia—which does not mean all sellers abroad are counterfeit; rather, this should be a point in a list of factors to determine the seller’s credibility.
3. Examine the Watch Quality
If you’re fortunate enough to handle the watch before purchasing it, closely examine the watch’s engravings. While unclear or less-than-perfect stamps are a dead giveaway the piece is a fake, counterfeiting technology has vastly improved and can seem authentic.
Be mindful of the spelling of Audemars Piguet on the watch in question as, even with a genuine-looking stamp, a misspelled brand name is common.
Also, while genuine Audemars Piguet pieces have a bright and consistent luminous quality to them, counterfeiters will not have the same kind of glow due to the cheap phosphorescent glowing solution they apply to fake models.
Audemars Piguet watches have a very specific design lasered onto the dial that forgers find difficult to replicate. Very commonly, forgers will either forgo the complicated Tapisserie pattern on the dial completely, or botch the design.
The weight of the watch is also an immediate red flag. Actual Audemars Piguet are heavy as far as watches go; these luxurious watches are made of weighty steel and gold. Also Audemars Piguet’s mechanical movements are noticeably heavier than the quartz movements common in most fakes.
Finally, listen closely to see if the watch is making a ticking sound. Swiss watchmakers like Audemars Piguet have perfected their craft over the centuries so high-quality movements are nearly inaudible. If you can hear ticking, it’s likely that Audemars Piguet is a fake.
4. Ask a Trusted Watch Expert
While these tips may help you identify a fake Audemars Piguet watch, it does not guarantee its authenticity. It takes a trained watch expert to authenticate the piece and ensure the watch and all its components are real Audemars Piguet parts.