There are many things for buyers to look for when trying to ensure that they are getting a real Audemars Piguet watch. One of the most collectible watches manufactured by this company is the Royal Oak watch. The Royal Oak is often imitated, and a fake version can be difficult to spot. However, when closely examined, there are a few things that allow buyers to spot one of these replicas. One of the main things to pay close attention to is the dials on a Audemars Piguet, as this is one place where fake versions can be easily identified.
A Brief History of Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875 by Edward August Piguet and Jules Louis Audemars. The roots of the watchmaker actually date back one year earlier when Jules met Edward while vacationing in Vallée de Joux, Switzerland. They had both recently graduated from college, and they decided to start working together in the watch manufacturing business.
Audemars began making component parts for watch movements, and Piguet managed the final regulation of the watches. Members of the Audemars and Piguet families have always been on the board of directors of the company. They have managed the company both directly and indirectly since its inception.
Authenticating an Audemars Piguet Watch
Every watch this company has ever made has a movement number, which is engraved on the watch’s main plate. It is located next to the balance. There is also a case number that is engraved on the outside of the back of the case. There is not always a way to be certain of the year these watches were manufactured, but estimates can be made with the case number.
Audemars Piguet manufactures 100,000 watches with the same letter that comes before the serial number of a watch. It manufactures about 20,000 watches per year, and these letters change approximately every five years.
How to Identify an Imitation Audemars Piguet Watch
Audemars Piguet watches have been imitated for quite some time. Some recent examples of imitations began to surface in 2001. They involved one of Audemars Piguet’s most sought-after watches. The watch is known as the Royal Oak Offshore. In 2001, the imitations were poor because of the technological limitations during that time. These imitations can be spotted easily. Even amateur observers could tell they were not authentic. However, as with most counterfeiting, the technology improved to allow unscrupulous vendors to produce imitations that were harder to spot.
Replications of Royal Oaks improved on the earlier versions by installing Asian-made ETA 7750 clone movements. The clone movements widely varied in their reliability, but they gave the watch an accurate appearance. However, these replica watches are still somewhat easy to spot because of the placement of the seconds sub-dial at the nine o’clock position. Authentic Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks have a second sub-dial at the 12 o’clock position, which is at a slightly lower position than the Asian-made 7750 places it. The dial is a good giveaway, and sometimes one is white when it should be another color. The trademark of a Royal Oak is the Tapisserie pattern, which is created by the engraving machine, but there are other giveaways too. Here are some other ways to spot a replica Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch.
- The replica watch has a much thicker case back than authentic Royal Oaks.
- The cyclops and the date window on the replica are slightly too far over to the right side of the watch.
- The black dials on replica Royal Oaks tend to have missing metal surrounds on the numerals.
- Replicas have a poor-quality luminous phosphorescent glowing solution applied on the watch dials. Genuine Royal Oaks glow brightly and consistently.
- The pushers of the Royal Oaks are offset above the center line of the case. The replicas have them positioned at the direct center of the case.
- The rubber pushers on a genuine Royal Oak have a slightly different shape than replicas.
- The watch bands attached to the case are of an improper fit.
- Replica clasps are usually prone to sticking; examine the clasp carefully for this.
How to Find an Audemars Piguet Watch on eBay
eBay has genuine Audemars Piguet watches and accessories listed on their website. The reputations of the dealers can be discovered by reading their ratings and the feedback from buyers. To find an authentic Audemars Piguet watch, go the Search box on any eBay page and enter terms such as “Piguet watches” or “Piguet Royal Oaks” and browse the listings.
Although replicas have improved over time, they still contain numerous flaws that can distinguish them from genuine Audemars Piguet watches. It is important to purchase high-end watches from sellers whose reputations can be researched, to ensure that the watch being purchased is genuine, rather than a replica. Before making a commitment to purchase a watch, check the seller’s reputation.