There’s a world of counterfeit watches out there attempting to trick you into thinking they’re the real deal. Around 15-30% of internet searches for watches involve people looking for replicas. The Swiss watch industry claims it costs them billions of dollars every year and although major efforts are made to catch and confiscate the fakes it’s a growing problem.

Working closely with customs officials in major markets, the luxury watch industry continues to play a big part in the seizure of fakes although many still make it through to market – it’s just too difficult to catch them all.

The replica watch industry is a natural tangent of a market for items that are beyond the realm of affordability for most people. The demand for fake watches exists simply to satisfy the desires of people who cannot afford “the real deal” but want to portray the same status symbols as those who can. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t buy one:

Long arm of the law 

Buying a counterfeit product is not a harmless act – you’re supporting organised crime and run the risk of criminal, civil, and customs sanctions. In fact, in many countries, the simple possession of counterfeit goods is considered an offence. In addition, damages can be claimed by the legitimate holders of intellectual property rights. Customs are also authorised to seize and destroy illegal products and hand out large fines.

Built to not last

While some counterfeiters are hawking their fake watches for a couple of bucks, others produce surprisingly convincing replicas at a few hundred dollars a pop. Granted, spending $600 isn’t the same as spending $6,000 on a watch, but it’s still a significant chunk of change. Factor in the likelihood that the fake will break down fairly quickly and it’s easy to see how you’re simply wasting your hard-earned cash.

Identity theft

Back in the day, fake watches were typically purchased in person with cash. However, more and more counterfeiters have been moving online in recent years. In order to elude law officials, they will frequently change their URLs and quickly open and shutter their websites. In turn, their faulty and insecure websites are incredibly vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves. Shopping on these shady sites can put you at risk of having your personal and credit card details stolen.

Fake equals fake

Traditionally there are three types of buyers who want a luxury watch on their wrist. One is the collector who values the artistry and mechanics that make up a fine timepiece. This individual understands and respects their value and appreciates the craftsmanship. The second type of person buys a luxury watch purely for the statement it makes about their lifestyle. The third type of person is the same in that they want to impress others, but they can’t afford the real thing. Don’t be this person.

Damage the real deal

Buying a fake watch undermines the whole industry by diluting and redirecting the equity of the watch brands into counterfeit goods. It flouts the long history, the centuries of skill and innovation, and the intellectual property of an industry that the counterfeiters — not the manufacturers — reap the rewards of. They are slowly starving the golden goose, so don’t make it worse by giving counterfeiters your money.

If you buy a watch through TimeTraders you do so safe in the knowledge that it’s been through a strict process to confirm authenticity, functionality, and condition. We don’t want to damage our reputation, why would you want to damage yours.

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