It was hard for me to believe that anyone would pay $600 for a watch that that was advertised on-line for $350. It didn’t even cross my mind that for a deeply discounted watch could be a counterfeit. After all it was the same Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 5000 watch, just without the big markup from a large company. Both had a list of the same specifications and the same markings. Both said Swiss Made along with the company name and logo. This was typical of other purchases I made in the past which I was quite happy with.
It didn’t matter to me that Official Swiss Army Watch Certified Resellers said not to buy from non-certified dealers on the internet since there were a large number of counterfeits being produced. After all saving $250 was a very attractive proposition.
When my watch came it looked beautiful. I did notice that the box was totally different from the boxes I had seen at the certified dealer showrooms. In addition it was missing its barcode. Worse yet the bottom of the box said “Made in Thailand”. The 3 year warranty card said “3 YEAR WARRANTY” but the space for the “Model name & ref. number” was totally blank. Uh-Oh!
I started to get suspicious especially when the web site I purchased the watch on was no longer producing anything but a blank screen. Of course some small dealers do go out of business and this was 4 months later, when the watch band fell apart, almost causing me to lose the watch. Two months from then the single time and date setting knob broke. I found this out when we had to “fall back” for daylight savings time. When I tightened the knob the entire watched stopped working. If I left it loose it worked but it lost all its waterproof capability and looked terrible jutting out so much.
I called Victorinix only to learn that if I purchased the watch from a non-certified dealer that they would not fix it and charge me a fee for telling me it was a counterfeit, which they felt it was. I put on my old Timex which I purchased for $15 and which actually works.
Since then I found out that many other prestige name items are often counterfeited with more fakes in existence that genuine articles.
Tiffany and Company has legally made eBay not accept auctions for recent silver and gold items without purchase origin documentation from a certified dealer. Since this paperwork examination is problematic for eBay to verify, eBay ends your auction and give you a warning of suspension of eBay privileges if you persist. I know because this happed to me.
The lesson to be learned from this article is simple. If you care if the item is genuine, buy it from a certified dealer. You will pay more but at least your new Rolex will not be a “Rollox”, your Swiss watch will not be from Thailand and your new set of prestige golf clubs will not be knock-offs from China.