Watch authentication is the most important factor when purchasing inventory at The
Watchbox. The pre-owned watch industry is growing exponentially each year, with
millions of new timepieces entering circulation. Now more than ever, a pre-owned
luxury watch specialist is responsible for the authentication, verification and
presentation of each and every watch. The number one goal at watchbox is to
provide our clients with a transparent, honest and accurate assessment of each
timepiece offered have for sale. For this reason, visitors will never see a watch listed
on watchbox.com unless that timepiece has been submitted to an exhaustive
quality control process comprising a battery of stringent tests. This process is a direct
by-product of our hands-on experience with the products of all
major and minor luxury watch brands.
Know The Source
A. Has The Watchbox transacted successfully with this seller before?
B. Is this a seller known to obtain his watches from reliable sources, i.e. authorized dealers or high-end jewelry stores?
Know The Watch Construction
A replica watch may seem well-constructed and may use materials similar to those employed by the manufacturer. In other words, there are "good" fakes on the prowl; apparent quality is an unreliable guide to authenticity. However, some replicas are made badly, or from inferior materials, and these can be readily identified. watchbox.com's Operations and Watchmaking Departments scrutinize cadidate timepieces for the following telltales:
Pitted metal. Poor-quality metal will corrode and age badly. -Blurry text/numerals/markers on the dial. All printing should be crisp. -Poorly stamped logos on crown, buckle, or caseback. -Gold-colored metal, or gold plating, instead of solid gold, on a watch purported to be gold. -Indications that the movement does not fit well in the case (e.g. rattling noises when the watch is gently shaken, misaligned date indicator, entire dial rotated).
Function.Many replica watches function as well as the originals and might even use identical movements; many manufacturers use standard movements that are readily available or easily duplicated. However, a poorly-made counterfeit may not function as it should. Some key clues include the following: quartz movement for a watch that should be mechanical; chronograph pushers that do not operate chronograph functions; pushers and crowns that perform no actual function.
Provenance.Where was the watch purchased? Is there an original sales receipt from a reputable dealer that can be matched to the watch? Is the watch accompanied by matching manufacturer papers (i.e. warranty certificate/card, chronometer certification, special edition certificate, etc)? A blank warranty document is not proof of authenticity, and neither are a matching instruction book or box set; spare instruction books and boxes can be purchased. Red flags include the following seller claims: purchased from pawn shop; received as gift with no documentation; received as payment for a debt; found somewhere watches and act as an irreplaceable resource. All of these signs are recognized with consequence by thewatchbox's team of watch industry professionals.
A. watchbox.com knows the obvious warning signs, but our team never assumes that that fakes will be spotted easily. We have each handled thousands of watches and act as a irreplaceable resource to authenticate not only watches, but box sets, papers, straps, and manufacturer accessories. The
watchbox authentication process leverages the
industry-leading Watch Certification Services website,
watchcsa.com, to search for reported fakes. Each candidate for
purchase is compared against the database's vast record of the manufacturer name, model reference, and specific serial numbers of known counterfeit watches. If the watch has been reported as a fake, the site will flag it. Moreover, because many counterfeits - even the convincing examples - employ known serial number ranges or may be based on a single valid serial number known to be employed in forgeries, WCSA searches can lead to flagging of a watch that
employs such tactics even when that specific example has not been recorded in the database.
B. watchbox photo archives represent an unrivaled record of authentic watch appearance, factory accessory kits, and factory documents of provenance. The company's access to this exclusive documentation grants it a frame of reference that no competitor in the pre-owned and vintage luxury watch sector can equal. We use these photos to compare against a watch in question.
Not all variations are indicators of a fake; watchbox.com team members employ tools in combination to obtain the highest degree of certainty; they also consult original equipment manufacturers - the factories.
The Watchbox reaches out to its network of colleagues throughout the luxury watch industry. A telephone call to a manufacturer’s boutique, an authorized dealer, or even the official repair center often yields valuable information about a watch’s features, box set, strap, and accessories. In some cases, sending the watch to the manufacturer for authentication is the only definitive way to identify a replica. This would be coordinated through the Operations Department. In the end, there is no substitute for inspection by an experienced professional watchmaker.
Following extensive documentation and a preliminary intake inspection of authenticity, a candidate watch will be forwarded to watchbox Watchmaking Department for in-depth evaluation of authenticity, aesthetic condition, and functional integrity. Led by former Hublot and Chopard master watchmaker Michael Michaels, CW-21, the Watchmaking Department is a fully-equipped luxury watch service center with comprehensive professional certifications and factory parts accounts for many major brands. This is the ultimate vetting measure, and it is one that smaller players or those without in-house watchmaking expertise cannot deliver to clients. As with every other phase of watchbox.com authentication process, vetting in the Watchmaking Department is a function of outstanding personnel with exceptional ability and experience. The product of their process is Peace-of-Mind for our clients.