How To Spot A Fake Cartier Watch...

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I have become dismayed at the number of fake Cartier watches which are making their way on to ebay and are being  sold for good money. I think that in many cases the owners are listing the watches in the belief that they are genuine. Many sellers are 'chancing their arm' with the usual 'no box and papers' line which will always set alarm bells ringing. There are some pointed to look out for which can help you decide if a watch you fancy is real or fake. The first is the case construction. The hardest case to fake is the Santos and these are easy to identify. The Tank range are harder to spot. The truth is that Cartier have always SCREWED THEIR CASES TOGETHER. You rarely see snap backs on real watches. The screws will be on the back or on the side. These are difficult to construct and fakers avoid the work. This is easy to spot on the Santos range as everyone is expecting them. If you see a snap back Tank it will probably be a fake. The second is the plating. Cartier plate on silver with 20 microns. This depth of plating means that it will generally not evenly wear. It will chip or pit. This will be to the back or top of the lugs. If you see something else it will be thin plating. This will take many years and will give the watch character rather than making it look old. The third is the use of ETA movements. ETA have supplied movements throughout the decades in various standards of construction and finish. A Cartier movement will have the same construction standard as that used, say, in a Frank Muller or U. Nardin. Super-fine. Some Cartier fakes are showing up with poor quality ETA movements which were fitted to watches like Avia and Accurist. The quartz movements are made by F. Piguet and are super-top-notch. There is a fictitious quartz cal 016 going around which is just a slightly decorated ETA calibre, never fitted to a genuine Cartier watch. If you are a movement snob, buy a Cartier quartz! Look at the movement finish which should be super high quality. A dull finish means it's a fake. Anything other than an ETA (mechanical only) LeCoultre, F.Piguet etc will mean fake. Some of these movements may be signed European Watch Company or E.W.C.  I recently saw a Lorsa movement in a Tank. It was on a watch enthusiasts site. Several thought it was possibly genuine. What were they thinking?? Most won't know, is the answer. This may be confusing to many. Google Cartier movements and see what they should look like. The fourth is general build quality. Cartiers are designed to last for a century and beyond. The cases are a work of art. Beautifully constructed like precision instruments. They often look better with age! Look out for poor engraving. Is it stamped or set in the casting? Cartier tend to shower you with information on the cases. That, or nothing. Lastly, dials. Yes, some dials have a hidden 'Cartier' name, though many don't. Fake dials are easy to spot. Fakers seem to have trouble faking dials sufficiently well. If you run a watch through these tests it should help you decide. Bracelets and straps can be changed and can confuse the issue. Though, in my experience, a good watch had a good strap. Boxes are also faked, as is paperwork. This means nothing nowadays. Recent developments in micro engineering have meant that high quality fakes are coming in from China. These are very difficult to spot, especially from pics which avoid showing a movement.  If you are doubtful, walk away. 

'The movement is an accurate Asia ETA 2892 automatic Asia ETA 2892 Automatic The replica watch has a 316 stainless steel case in high quality Made from best authentic leather, the strap has a deployment buckle The dial of the imitation has a sapphire crystal glass face Watch water resistant Water-Resistant The seconds hand moves in a smooth sweeping way across the dial with Original Swiss ETA 2892 Movement.'

This is a description given by one fake Cartier supplier for a Santos copy. Clearly, the watch had been faked down to the movement which was likely made for pence in China. The watch is offered for sale at $698 and is, from a first glance, a perfect copy of a Cartier. Same shape, same materials, same name and same movement. However, it isn't a Cartier. It is a cheap knock-off made to inferior standards. It is also intrinsically worthless. If they removed the Cartier name and put their own on it, it would be worth $40. If you buy something like this, and let's be honest, these watches are offered all over the web, you are fooling yourself. You are not buying a Cartier. I am not trying to defend Cartier or any of the major and minor luxury brands that are being copied in this way. Their products are hugely expensive and they can take their own measures to stop this activity.  I am just trying to support those buyers who want to own a used luxury watch, or those who think that their paying $700+ for a copy is buying themselves a quality item. It isn't!  Good luck.. out for the misrepresentation scam. Basically, take a good quality watch and print Cartier on the dial.   This has been going on for years.  There are quite a few Omegas out there which have re-finished dials baring the name Cartier. Other makers' wares are treated in the same way. Some are obvious and some not. LeCoultre, for example, did make a memovox watch which was branded Cartier. These are worth far more than standard memovox watches. You can cynically boost the value of an already valuable time piece. To avoid this scam, stick to recognisable shapes and styles.  Tanks and Santos watches are particularly stylish, in my opinion.