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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It's not every day that I have something original with which to start a new thread, so here goes.

I was thinking (dangerous, I know) and I realized that there are a number of (relatively) newer technologies/innovations watch manufacturers could implement to combat/counter counterfeiting and theft. I'll just list here a few of my ideas, and what I see to be their pros and cons. Please be warned that this may be a lengthy list.

IdeaProsCons
barcode engravingeasily done; technology to do so exists; space on (most) watch cases existseasily duplicated
one-way crystal (reflective side on the inside so you can see the watch from the outside)interior side can be used in "reflector test": open caseback, remove movement, and see if the interior side of crystal reflects light (to do this without removing the caseback would require shining the light through at an angle and at least a semi-reflective dial; costly to duplicate (I think); ideal for watches with skeleton movements and see-through casebacksexpensive, especially if using sapphire glass; may require opening watch case (usually)
diffracting crystalshine a light/laser through it to see identifier information encoded in crystal (invisible to naked eye), kind of like how the bug in Jason Bourne's hip contained bank information not visible unless the LED was turned on; does not require any opening, only a laser/diode; difficult and costly to duplicateexpensive; difficult to do without obscuring glass (the information on CDs is in fact encoded on the reflective surface, not the clear plastic)
RFID tageasy to install and conceal in a watch, i.e. can be an easily-missed (by counterfeiters) detailsets off supermarket/department store alarms; once counterfeiters catch on, easy to put into a fake; no way to make RFID tags contain individual item identifiers (as far as I know)
ID chip/smart card-style tageasy to install and conceal in a watch (e.g. as part of the circuitry of quartz watches, or perhaps concealed somewhere in/on the crystal or the case)expensive; may require major modifications to watch design


In terms of pros/cons, this is what was going through my mind:
1. the modifications need to consider ease of duplication (which will in turn affect the ease of manufacture or lack thereof) and cost of duplication.
2. the modifications should consider whether or not significant modifications to current watch configurations are needed (e.g. unlike Rolex' rehaut, which consists largely of special engravings, most of the modifications I've suggested in the list require modifications that go beyond simple engraving).
3. the modifications should consider the ease of access, i.e. how easy/difficult it is to use the modification to verify authenticity (if it requires opening the case, then it's no good).

The first idea that prompted this was the diffraction crystal idea, then the smart card-esque chip and RFID ideas. To expand on the diffracting crystal idea, this is what came to mind:

The information on CDs, which is not visible to the naked eye, and cannot be reproduced/modified unless the CD is a CD-RW, is read by scanning it through a laser while it spins many times a second. In first film of the Jason Bourne series (I read the books too, but I liked the films more), one of the guys who pulls Jason Bourne out of the water finds an LED device in Jason Bourne's hip that, when turned on, projects bank account information but when looked at head-on just looks like an activated LED. I am not sure what about these two led me to diffracting lenses (because neither is an example of diffraction per se) but nonetheless that was my train of thought.

What if individual watch identifier information, and in the case of really special watches, individual owner information, could be encoded in a watch's crystal such that it wouldn't obstruct the view of the dial but when a light/LED/black light/laser was shined through it, it would display information (or reflect an image) that could verify a watch's authenticity? What about a hologram-embedded crystal (too easy to copy, maybe)?

So, what ideas do you all have? What am I missing about the ideas I've posted so far? Also, in my mind there's no reason why several of these couldn't be implemented simultaneously; in fact, some of them may be stronger marks of authenticity when used in combination.
 

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I like where you're going with this thread. One point to note, however, is that a store's anti-theft tags and RFS gates don't use RFID in the way inventory or electronic entry systems use rFID. They use simple 8MHz tags with no coded information.

tl;dr: if the tag wasn't 8MHz, you wouldn't trip the door with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice - so manufacturers could, in theory use manufacturer-specific RFID tags that could in a general sense verify a watch's manufacture yet not set off the gates at most retail locations. Aside from the potential for duplication, that seems to me to be among the easier anti-counterfeiting measures.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I feel like this thread should actually be in another forum, like the general forum.
 

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I think serial number database will work also as an anti-counterfeiting tool. Lets say a watch maker built a rep-heavy expensive watch. Before the watch's ship out to the dealers, the manufacturer would enter the watch's serial number into not so accessible computer database. And the serial number itself should be unique and random.
Then the end user, if he feels that his watch is not authentic,would go to the dealer who will then cross check watch's serial number with computer's. If the number is in the database-the watch is authentic. If not, there's a problem.
 

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I think serial number database will work also as an anti-counterfeiting tool. Lets say a watch maker built a rep-heavy expensive watch. Before the watch's ship out to the dealers, the manufacturer would enter the watch's serial number into not so accessible computer database. And the serial number itself should be unique and random.
Then the end user, if he feels that his watch is not authentic,would go to the dealer who will then cross check watch's serial number with computer's. If the number is in the database-the watch is authentic. If not, there's a problem.
Sadly; that won't work since most fake watches have a copied serial number from a real watch.
 

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Actually that's not a problem, however, watch casing acting as a Faraday cage will be a problem though.
(Actually there is a on going project in China that will tag Cigarette against counterfeiter using this technique)
http://people.csail.mit.edu/devadas/pubs/rfid_puf_08.pdf
I was only speaking about serial numbers as stamped on the watch.
The other methods do hold promise though.

With today's technology; it wouldn't be too difficult to embed one of these devices in the dial or even the crystal, thereby being accessible to a scanner.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The serial number database thing has already been implemented before (and, for the reasons that pawl_buster pointed out, it can be defeated too easily by counterfeiters taking/copying a serial number from a legitimate watch). And this is a problem only because major watch makers don't seem to be going too much further to improve their anti-counterfeiting measures.

As for the whole Faraday cage thing, I'm not sure I see the point - a Faraday cage is an all-metal case/"cage" meant to protect objects within the cage from electric shocks/interference/current surges by essentially conducting any incoming electricity into ground (not necessarily the ground, but my fellow engineers and scientists understand what I mean) and away from whatever's inside the cage. For instance, many cars act as Faraday cages when hit by lightning; occupants of most cars hit by lightning are generally left unscathed. How this has anything to do with combating counterfeiting I am not sure, unless another idea for a way to check watch legitimacy involves shocking the watch.
 

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The serial number database thing has already been implemented before (and, for the reasons that pawl_buster pointed out, it can be defeated too easily by counterfeiters taking/copying a serial number from a legitimate watch). And this is a problem only because major watch makers don't seem to be going too much further to improve their anti-counterfeiting measures.

As for the whole Faraday cage thing, I'm not sure I see the point - a Faraday cage is an all-metal case/"cage" meant to protect objects within the cage from electric shocks/interference/current surges by essentially conducting any incoming electricity into ground (not necessarily the ground, but my fellow engineers and scientists understand what I mean) and away from whatever's inside the cage. For instance, many cars act as Faraday cages when hit by lightning; occupants of most cars hit by lightning are generally left unscathed. How this has anything to do with combating counterfeiting I am not sure, unless another idea for a way to check watch legitimacy involves shocking the watch.
I'm pretty sure that xeng was referring to the Faraday cage as being impervious to RF or IR signals which scanners would use to read the info from a chip(IC).
 

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I think the easiest way for a watch to be recognized is to use an manufacture movement. I can spot 95% of fakes by it's movement. No need for lasers engraving an omega logo or add a hologram sticker, if you can see the movement.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think the easiest way for a watch to be recognized is to use an manufacture movement. I can spot 95% of fakes by it's movement. No need for lasers engraving an omega logo or add a hologram sticker, if you can see the movement.
This is of course true, but part of the point is to be able to verify a watch's authenticity without having to open the case and look at the movement.
 
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