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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK gents, here are a few tips from a Ploprof collector and rabid anti-fake crusader ;-)

The bezel sides should have the following appearance: the 'peaks' should be polished and the valleys should be dull but smooth.



Note that older bezels may be dull on all surfaces, but will still be smooth. While the fakes, OTOH, will have a cast appearance to the 'valleys' and the 'peaks' will be irregular:



Also, this rough 'cast' appearance will be present in the lug recesses and even in between the ridges of the back:



The backside of a real Ploprof:




The bezel insert numbers are too close together and of a subtly different font on the fakes. Since there have been several changes to the bezels over the last 35 years, this can be difficult to judge. But once you see one, all becomes clear.

Real bezel (Type 3/NOS replacement)



And the earlier Type 1 bezel side by side with the NOS one:


(D3L, B3, Cu and D1b, B1, Cu)

Note how the numbers on the B1 are almost too far apart, the earlier bezel has a thin triangle with a straight "1" and flat-topped "3". The "2" is also slightly different.

Now the bogus bezel:




The 'flag' of the one on the fakes is too long, the triangle is thin (-ish), but the "3" is round.

I won't torture the dial-up folks with more pics, but also note on the fakes:

1. Black dial. The Ploprof dial has always been blue, ranging from midnight blue to medium blue over the 3 different dials. The Type 1 dial can appear black in some lighting, but almost all Type 1s have some degree of paint bubbling. If it's smooth and black, it's a fake until proven otherwise.
2. Wrong seconds. The Ploprof has a box seconds, the fakes have the same seconds as an SM300.
3. C-Front. The crown recess cut into the case of the Ploprof should look like a C from the back (squared-off, of course). The front should look like a U. The fake cases look like a C from the front. I call this a C-front case. Note that some pictures of real Ploprof cases can look like C-fronts due to the lighting.
4. Sharp case edges. This is another subtle finding. The fakes have sharp case edges. Genuine PloProfs have a subtle bevel to some edges of the case. Hard to appreciate in these photos as both cases seen here are well-used, but it's there if you look.

Other things differ, as noted previously.

Feel free to reference this page, but please do not copy and post elsewhere (Steve, I'd be honored if you'd put this in the FAQ section). I consider this copyrighted material as it will be going up on the deskdivers.com web site (in an expanded form with annotated pictures). Again, feel free to PM me for help in ferreting out fakes. I'm in the US Army, so occasionally I am not available for periods of time, but I will always respond when I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, whatever I can do to help. Note that DeskDivers is a group of WISs and not only me. I've only written the PloProf variant article and have several others cooking. Another WUS member wrote the Ploprof review, I helped edit/add info/pictures.
 

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Thanks Colin,

Excellent job with your article. It should help many people who might have easily be duped by a fake.

I assume with the crazy prices and the article in Fortune Magazine/CNNMoney.com (5 Watches with prestige - and profit potential
(with the Ploprof being one of them) we will be seeing more fakes flooding the market.
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/fortune/0705/gallery.watchauction.fortune/2.html

The Up and Comer Bidding Range: $10,000

Omega Seamaster Ploprof

A high-quality brand only recently discovered by collectors, Omega has room to grow. "Three years ago 80% of the Omega watches from the 1970s would have been in the range of $1,000 to $2,500. Today the Ploprof, which is a very iconic diving watch, sells for $6,000 to $8,000," says Schaerer.

Todd
 

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HI Colin,

interesting read - thanks !

One of the fakes you show just went for about 4200 USD on Ebay. I reported it to Ebay but they didn't do s.th about it :-|

Maybe you should point out, where the pictures of the fake Ploprofs are coming from ?! Some of them belong to the seller from Ebay, some of them belong to me. They where made by a member from swiss Watchtime forum for me, I nearly bought this fake.
You know the story, we e-mailed about that and I sent you the pics. Before publishing them on a website I'd like to ask the owner of the pics/watch about that.

An interesting point ist the "C-front" case, that you mention as a characteristic of the fakes. I'm not sure about that, as I've seen watches that I'd rate original, featuring a case like that (not a matter of lighting), e.g. this one:

http://cgi.ebay.de/Rare-OMEGA-SEAMA...hZ001QQcategoryZ22239QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

Or this one:

http://www.chrono24.com/web/us/such...6169&MODELL=ploprof&lastshow=0&anzahlgesamt=2

Greetings,
Andreas
 

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HI Colin,

interesting read - thanks !

One of the fakes you show just went for about 4200 USD on Ebay. I reported it to Ebay but they didn't do s.th about it :-|

Maybe you should point out, where the pictures of the fake Ploprofs are coming from ?! Some of them belong to the seller from Ebay, some of them belong to me. They where made by a member from swiss Watchtime forum for me, I nearly bought this fake.
You know the story, we e-mailed about that and I sent you the pics. Before publishing them on a website I'd like to ask the owner of the pics/watch about that.

An interesting point ist the "C-front" case, that you mention as a characteristic of the fakes. I'm not sure about that, as I've seen watches that I'd rate original, featuring a case like that (not a matter of lighting), e.g. this one:

http://cgi.ebay.de/Rare-OMEGA-SEAMA...hZ001QQcategoryZ22239QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

Or this one:

http://www.chrono24.com/web/us/such...6169&MODELL=ploprof&lastshow=0&anzahlgesamt=2

Greetings,
Andreas
You are correct Andreas about some of the C-front cases being original.
I own a Type II Dial PloProf that is original with a C-Front case,and I hace all the papers proving the watches provenance.

Cheers,
Vic :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
The subject of the C-fronts came up on the original thread on the Omega forum and I neglected to repeat it here, my apologies. I originally meant to make the point that all the fakes are C-fronts, but as you and Vic have pointed out (and can even be seen in some old Omega adverts), the C-front case can be correct. This is pointed out in the more comprehensive DD article, still being revised.

The reason for this of course is that the thieves copied the first Ploprof made (rather far-sighted of them I'd say), which had a C-front.

Here is a genuine C-front case:

(D2w, B2, Cc)

And another:

(D2w, B5, Cc)

And a U-front case:

(D2b, B1, Cu)

As with any watch that may potentially be bogus, it is important to look at all factors when doing an evaluation. That's why I asked you for as many pics as you could get when we were trying to sort 'yours' out.

And in respect to that, yes I do remember Andreas. I enjoyed our exchange. I have two comments:

1. I thought when I asked for pictures that I'd mentioned I was doing an article about fake Ploprofs for the web (DeskDivers.com). I'll have to check my emails. If I failed to mention it, I apologise.

2. Are you seriously suggesting that I ask the owner of a fake Ploprof being marketed as genuine for permission to use his photos to educate folks on the charateristics of a fake? I'm sorry, but I can't agree. I'll choose to expose a fake every time in cases like this. The copyrights of a dishonest seller are forfeit in my world. :rodekaart

People post pics of fakes and warnings about fake auctions all the time on forums, how is this any different? I'm happy to hear discussion on this, hard of hearing though I may be.

I emailed the seller of the recent fake before the auction ended and provided him all the evidence. When he didn't respond after a couple of days, I reported the watch to eBay. I tried to message the seller but could not, but someone else from WUS did get through to him and referred him to the thread on the Omega forum. Don't know if it did any good.

Did you ever find a PloProf Andreas? The prices we were balking at then are veritable bargains today! :-(
 

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HI Colin,

I guess you're right about the pictures, you might have told me about an article on DD. Sure there's no reason to ask a seller of a fake watch for permission to use his pics. I only meant to give a hint where they come from, same with my pictures.

But that's no big deal, feel free to use them.

It's quite interesting that at least 4 people contacted the seller AND Ebay about that recent auction of the fake Ploprof (with good reasons) and nothing happened - really sad, looks like Ebay is more after the money they get instead of protecting the buyers ?!

And finally: No, unfortunately I still don't have a Ploprof yet. The one I was after was withdrawn from the shop and they refused to sell it for the price they originally offered to me - in fact they were waiting for Omegamania, afterwards it was sold for about 6500 Euros (they offered it to me for 2700 Euros) :rodekaarto|
I guess I'll have to wait a little longer - but I just bought a Jenny Caribbean, Benthos 500 and Benthos I :) That helps to overcome most of the frustration about the current Ploprof prices ... sooner or later I'll have one b-)

Is your article for DD ready yet ?! If I might help to review it, let me know.

Greetings,
Andreas
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sadly eBay has some kind of 'reporting threshold' and if it's not reached they do nothing about an auction. No one knows what the magic treshold is, but the key factor here is exactly what you stated: they are really only interested in making money and protecting buyers is way down on their priority list.

Would love to see pics of the new watches, especially the Benthos. They are gorgeous and rare so they are always a welcome sight.

If Antiquorum quit selling Ploprofs for a while, prices may recede a bit and that would be a time to buy. Right now there is a lot of demand, but that is bound to change once the price growth slackens and the speculators drop out of the market. Unfortunately that may not happen until around the magic 10K USD mark :-(

The fake article is up on DD, a revision is waiting to be webbed up. I'm working on documenting the remaining normal variants of real Ploprofs and a similar variants article for the SM1000. I need to quit my job! :-d
 

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Great info Colin. The adage "buy the seller" seems so appropriate regarding the Ploprof. I was absolutely lucky to decide to buy my 2 just before the price spike. Dumb luck actually, but i will take it. I still need to talk to you about extra Ploprof parts.

Cheers,

Mark
 

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I'm absolutly sick that I didn't buy a real one of these watches when I had the chance a few years back....It wasn't that long ago that 1500 bought a decent one...

nalu,.....I really like that omega u have as ur avatar..any cahcne at getting more scans of it and the price of what it goes for.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have a photo gallery posted on another forum, not sure if it's OK to mention it here. I can give you the equation if you have the time b-) That gallery includes the Seamaster 120 Chrono and others. About 130 others in fact.

Prices for the SM120C are like other vintage Seamasters these days - all over the place and very high. One popular internet seller sold a fistful after Omegamania, all over $4K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Note that the article about fake Ploprofs is no longer on DeskDivers. I had no control over that decision.

Over the past couple of years, two changes have occurred which prompted this update:

1. eBay's system for reporting fakes has changed and it seems it is easier to get auctions pulled now. Please continue to report fake watches when you see them!

2. More and more 'frankenprofs' have begun to appear. I define 'frankenprof' as a PloProf made from real and fake parts. Most commonly, the case is fake and the dial/hands are real.

Here are photos of a FrankenProf with a fake case and real bezel and dial. Note that the hands are real, but the seconds is incorrect. Also, the strap is real - the modern rubber replacement, not an Isofrane - and that one limb of the strap is mounted incorrectly.




 
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