The rise of eCommerce and the rapid increase in the quality of fake Audemars Piguet watches has made it much easier to dupe unwitting buyers into purchasing a replica. Audemars Piguet watches are very expensive, so the risks of buying online are real and present. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to tell if a seller is trying to pass off a fake Audemars Piguet vs the real deal.
Top Tips to Spot a Fake Audemars Piguet vs Real One
While we can only guarantee the authenticity of Audemars Piguet watches we sell on LuxuryBazaar.com, the following is a good guide to help to you spot a fake Audemars Piguet.
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Determine if the seller is credible
Seeing an Audemars Piguet watch in person is not the only way to determine whether it’s counterfeit since the quality of counterfeit watches has been improving year over year. We can’t say it enough: buy the seller, not the watch. Dealing with a reputable grey market watch dealer is the best way to ensure you aren’t buying a replica Audemars Piguet.
If you’re in the market for a luxury Audemars Piguet watch, you’ll get much more for your money by purchasing pre-owned instead of from Audemars Piguet dealer or boutique.
However, some prices are just unrealistic and should raise a red flag.
Have you seen those ads on Facebook or Instagram for Audemars Piguet watches, Louis Vuitton bags and more premium items for as low as $99? THOSE ARE NOT REAL!
When shopping online for an Audemars Piguet, the first concern to look out for is the quality of the seller’s website. If the site is missing information (such as low-quality product descriptions or blank ‘About Us’ pages), the seller may be a scam. It’s also important to check the domain name of the website.
Counterfeiters commonly use a domain name that is a misspelling of a credible seller to reach customers who intended to visit the reputable seller’s page, allowing them to trick these customers into buying from their own disreputable site.
Does the website provide you with a customer support phone number? A physical address? Live chat?
The next step in researching a seller is to keep an eye out for sketchy reviews.
Start with checking multiple review sites to see what previous customers have said about the seller.
If the reviews are short, poorly written, or identical across several review sites, it’s possible the seller is posting false reviews in order to convince potential buyers that they have a better reputation than their true customers would give them. On the other hand, if it’s impossible to find any information on a seller, it’s still best to avoid them.
It’s also important to find out where the potential seller is located.
Overseas sellers are generally based out of China, and though this doesn’t mean that all abroad Audemars Piguet watch sellers are counterfeit, it’s important to factor this in with the rest of your research while determining the seller’s credibility.
While looking for a new or used Audemars Piguet, it’s important to compare the pricing at several different retailers.
When it comes to watches, you generally get what you pay for. Research the prices of several similar pieces to get an idea of what the watch would generally sell for on the market.
Any watch being sold for significantly less than that price is probably not simply a great deal, it’s likely that the watch is a counterfeit.
Unfortunately, as counterfeiters continue to improve in their trade, they are becoming better at pricing counterfeits more similarly to genuine Audemars Piguet watches in order to avoid losing potential customers, so it’s important to thoroughly research the seller as we discussed above.
If you’re buying from a brick and mortar store and can get a good look at the watch, there are several signs of a counterfeit Audemars Piguet watch to look out for.
First off, take a look at the engravings on the clock face. Audemars Piguet pieces have a very specific design laser-etched onto the dial.
For reference, take a look at this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar:
This complex Tapisserie pattern is incredibly difficult for counterfeiters to replicate, and although forgers often attempt to duplicate the design to the best of their ability, it is usually easy to tell the difference between a forgery and a genuine piece.
Oftentimes, forgers will completely forego this Audemars Piguet signature. Imperfect or unclear stamps are a major red flag that the AP watch is fake.
However, the technology used to create fake watches has significantly improved, making it harder to spot a counterfeit stamp. Though it may seem obvious, be sure to check the spelling of Audemars Piguet on the watch.
Even a genuine-looking stamp will commonly be misspelled on a counterfeit.
Next, it’s important to note the shine of the watch. Real Audemars Piguet watches should be bright and luminous, the quality obvious and shining through while fake ones usually use much cheaper materials and tend to use a low-quality phosphorescent solution to lend the watch a dull glow.
Another sign that an Audemars Piguet may be a replica is the weight of the watch. As watches go, Audemars Piguet timepieces are relatively heavy.
This weight comes from the high-quality steel and gold used in the components of each watch. Which is probably why the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph is nicknamed “Brick”.
Counterfeiters tend to use cheaper, less substantial materials that offer a much lighter body.
Another telling sign that the piece is a fake is the ‘ticking’ of the clock hands. High-quality Swiss watches have an almost inaudible tick due to the hundreds of years of craftsmanship backing the luxury timepieces. If an Audemars Piguet has an audible ticking sound, it’s highly likely that the watch is a fake.
Luxury watches, new or used, should also come with a serial number and certificate of authenticity. The original boxes and certificate of authenticity should give you a lot of insight into the watch’s quality and its history.
Although certified pre-owned Audemars Piguet watches may be missing the original boxes or paper, it doesn’t mean they are counterfeit.
When looking for an Audemars Piguet, determining the quality of a potential purchase is incredibly important as these luxury watches are a large investment.
Ensuring that the seller is quality and that you can visit, speak with or otherwise communicate with them is your first sign that you are dealing with someone that may be credible.
Checking the quality of the stamps, laser-etching, and materials will also help to reduce the risk of buying a counterfeit.
Though these tips should give you some insight into what to look for when determining whether you’re looking at a real Audemars Piguet vs fake one, consulting a trained watch expert and having them authenticate the piece will ensure that the watch and each of its components are genuine Audemars Piguet.
More on Audemars Piguet from Grey Market:
How Much Does An Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Cost?
The History of Audemars Piguet
$1,000,000 in Unpopular Audemars Piguet Watches!