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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I would appreciate your feedback on the appropriate next step in this situation I have been dealing with over the past year:

  • In July of 2015, I purchased a Tudor Black Bay from a member of this site. He was the second owner of the watch, and told me "the prior owner only wore it a few times before trading it in" which I erroneously assumed meant trading it in to the Rolex dealer that my seller got it from.
  • The price was typical for a Black Bay with bracelet at the time, and the seller had a safe internet footprint (good posting history on this site, legitimate social media accounts, etc.).
  • When I received the watch, it looked great! However, the crown didn't feel right, and pulled completely off while I was attempting to wind it. This was obviously a huge red flag, and I contacted the seller. He assured me he never had any trouble with it, and it was fine when he sent it to me.
  • I was traveling at the time, so rather than push the issue with the seller and try to return it, I took it in to my nearest authorized Rolex dealer for review/repair. They returned it to me with a receipt showing I had been charged the labor for the repair, along with the cost of a new crown.
  • About a year later, I sold the watch to another member of this forum. He was a newer member very excited to purchase his first "nice" watch. This gentleman also had a safe internet footprint.
  • Last summer, the guy I sold the watch to contacted me to let me know that I had sold him a fake watch. I was shocked, obviously, and pressed him for more details. He had taken the watch in for a service, and the service department notified him that it was an inauthentic item with an Asian movement.
  • I contacted the person I bought the watch from originally, and he assured me it was genuine, asserting that the service department must just not be familiar with Tudor watches, etc. etc.
  • Since all parties involved were being open and patient, we proceeded through multiple steps to check the authenticity. Another service technician indicated it was an Asian movement; I sent my buyer a case back opener so he could personally inspect/take pictures, etc. Based on these details, I purchased the watch back (with apologies). I've tested it myself, and it does have the "phantom crown setting" in between winding and time setting where the date setting would be that I have read is an indicator of an Asian movement.
  • The guy I bought the watch from has been communicative throughout, but there have been a number of red flags. He was initially evasive-- "that was so long ago, it can't be fake, anything could have happened over the past few years, etc." Once I established a chain of custody with the serial number and brought up concepts like "fraud" and "statute of limitations" he became more interested in pursuing the person he bought the watch from.
  • The "person" he bought the watch from turns out to have been a large (seemingly reputable) pawn shop who sold it to him via eBay. I know right? This did NOT come up as part of our pre-sale negotiations, and his answers to questions pre-sale led me to believe the history of the watch was cleaner than it turned out (lesson learned for me).
  • The pawn shop insists that they have never sold a counterfeit watch. My seller made an official inquiry through the Chamber of Commerce, and the pawn shop responded with a poorly written letter that basically told everyone to go pound sand.
  • I am relieved to have the watch back in my possession now having made my buyer "whole". Now I want to wrap up things with my seller and make myself as whole as possible.
  • I have consulted with a lawyer in the city where the seller lives. They confirmed that I should be able to recover, for a fee of course. That is a last resort-- I would prefer to give the seller one last chance to make it right before I pull that trigger.

Are there any other steps you suggest I take? Would a Tudor dealer be able to confirm the validity/history of the serial # on my watch? If that confirmed that the case was fake (and not just the movement), it would eliminate any remaining arguments from the seller I think.

Thank you!

Mods-- I know replica issues are sensitive here, so please let me know if this isn't the correct sub-forum or if I need to remove pictures.

And my apologies for the wall of text-- it's a complicated issue and I wanted to lay everything out there.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
At the time I had the repair done, I wasn't thinking about it being a replica, so I didn't ask the Rolex guys explicitly to verify authenticity. They took it, repaired it, and returned it to me a few days later. I called that Rolex shop back last year when this authenticity issue came up, and they provided confirmation of the repair and the serial number of the watch they repaired, but no additional information.
 

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The Rolex AD wouldn't have worked on it if it were fake and they would know that almost immediately. Is the serial number the same from when you had it serviced to when you got it back from the guy you sold it to?

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, the serial number on the watch I have in- hand now matches the serial number on my receipt from the repair shop the dealership used.

That's one reason i am wondering if Rolex/ Tudor can give me some feedback on the serial number. Is it a legit serial? Does it match known fraudulent serial numbers? Confirming that will allow me to understand what might have happened a bit more. If the serial is legit and matches up with the history on my watch, then either the movement itself was swapped, OR the movement is actually legit and it's just a misunderstanding.
 

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I would take it back to the AD that replaced the crown and have them confirm it. If it is a fake, you should request your money back from the seller. If he is not willing to pay, you can always take him to a small claims court and recover your money.


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So is the whole watch a fake or just the movement? Again I can't believe the whole watch is a fake or it would been spotted immediately when you had it serviced as the serial number is the same as when you had it serviced.

If it's just the movement, I guess it's possible that the AD service never opened the caseback so they didn't see the movement. I find this unlikely as any time I've ever had a watched serviced by an AD they invariably inspect the watch and try to sell me a service on the movement.

The only other explanation I can come up with is that you sent the actual Tudor to your buyer and they engraved your serial number on a fake and sent you back the fake? I've never heard of this scam before though.

I don't think it's reasonable that you received a fake when you bought it because you had it serviced by an AD who easily would've noticed.



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I guess it's possible that the AD service never opened the caseback so they didn't see the movement. I find this unlikely as any time I've ever had a watched serviced by an AD they invariably inspect the watch and try to sell me a service on the movement.
I'm pretty sure the caseback had to be opened for a crown and possibly a crown-tube replacement. I'm also doubtful that a Tudor crown would fit into a replica movement without some modification. That would have been a sure tip-off to the Watchmaker that something was amiss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would love to confirm if the movement or the entire watch is fake-- that would definitely change how I approach it. If the whole thing is fake, then I obviously have some hard questions for my original seller AND the AD that handled the repair. If just the movement is fake, then that brings my buyer into play as well. To be clear, I do not suspect any "foul play" from my seller or buyer. They both seem to be stand up guys with good reputations. My gut feel is that my seller got duped by the pawn shop, but the fact that the AD repaired it gives me pause. And there's no way my buyer did something like etching the case, etc.

By the way, my local AD would not authenticate, and directed me to the Rolex service center in Dallas. The Dallas service center said they were not in the business of authentication, and that if I sent it in for service they would just send it back without documentation if it turned out to be fake. That would be implicit confirmation, but not something I could submit in court.
 

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For what its worth, I'm new to luxury watches but that pip on the bezel looks off. My new in-house Black Bay has a much shorter and rounded pip at the 12 o'clock. Looking at some reviews from the older ETA's, they do appear a bit taller so they may have changed it. But even the coloring looks a little strange - the lume on the pip looks a little too yellow and the metal appears to be off. Could be the lighting of the photos, but the bezel appears to be a little more red than it should. Something to try: the bezel - turn it 360 degrees. It should very audibly click. There shouldn't be any play when and at least in the newer Black Bay's it's stiffest at 12 o'clock. I'm not sure the science, but it's more notched at that point. I could turn the bezel easily with two fingers throughout the entire circumference, however when turning it past 12 it's more difficult. I can turn the bezel and close my eyes and feel when it hits 12 o'clock again. That's something that, from what I read, has not been replicated by any of the fakes.

At least those things will help you determine whether the whole thing is fake, or just the movement. I find it really hard to believe that an AD would do any sort of work on a fake without noticing. They'd advise you and simply refuse to do the work. Otherwise, I'd find a different AD and take it there to see if they can give you an opinion.
 

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Also, since you have a bracelet take a look at that. You should see white ceramic balls next to the clasp. Use your fingernail to push on them. If they push in, that’s a good sign. If they don’t move at all, that’s an issue - another thing the fakes aren’t doing from what I’ve learned. They just paint metal white as opposed to using actual springy ceramic balls.


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I would love to confirm if the movement or the entire watch is fake-- that would definitely change how I approach it. If the whole thing is fake, then I obviously have some hard questions for my original seller AND the AD that handled the repair. If just the movement is fake, then that brings my buyer into play as well. To be clear, I do not suspect any "foul play" from my seller or buyer. They both seem to be stand up guys with good reputations. My gut feel is that my seller got duped by the pawn shop, but the fact that the AD repaired it gives me pause. And there's no way my buyer did something like etching the case, etc.

By the way, my local AD would not authenticate, and directed me to the Rolex service center in Dallas. The Dallas service center said they were not in the business of authentication, and that if I sent it in for service they would just send it back without documentation if it turned out to be fake. That would be implicit confirmation, but not something I could submit in court.
No watchmaker working for an AD would try to replace a crown without opening the watch and, like Bo said, it is unlikely that a Rolex/Tudor crown would fit a counterfeit movement.

Send the watch in to Rolex for an estimate (actually, that AD that put the crown in should do that for you) and see what happens. If they provide an estimate then it is real. If it is counterfeit they will send it back saying that they only work on Rolex/Tudor movements.

There is something a bit off here with far too many coincidences.

The crown fell of shortly after the purchase and was repaired at an AD. Who paid for the repair and how much was it?
Four years later you sell the watch and the new owner takes it in for "service" and is told (by whom?) that the movement is counterfeit. Another person (again who?) said it was counterfeit, yet you had to send the new owner a case back opener to verify the movement - and you still don't know.

The original seller from 2015 can, most certainly, say "not my problem" and I suspect that most courts would agree unless you can absolutely prove that he knew it was counterfeit or that he has done that before. If I were the seller I'd tell you to go pound sand as the watch has been opened at least 4 times since it has been out of his possession. And yes, there are reports of movements being swapped with with counterfeits with the same serial - but it is often fairly easily discernible.

Send it to Rolex - at that point you'll know and, if counterfeit, you can think about next steps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the feedback everyone. A few answers to your questions:

-- Regarding the crown issue, I personally took it to the AD for inspection and repair. They repaired the watch, and I have the receipt for the service. It cost $82 total for the crown (CROWN 79220R, STEEL) and a partial service (PS).

-- Regarding the "tells" about it being a replica, it definitely has the springy ceramic balls on the clasp, and the bezel moves smoothly and clicks loudly. However, I do not notice any additional resistance at 12 o'clock. The movement looks great at first, but comparing it to pics of known authentic movements I'm pretty sure it is a copy (see pic below).

-- I am certain that the watch that was returned to me is the same watch I sent to the guy who bought it from me (serial numbers match, it looks/feels the same, etc.). He did not have any indication that it was potentially a replica until he went to trade it in at a local watch store (Tourneau)-- they wouldn't accept it, and that is what kicked everything off.

 

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-- Regarding the crown issue, I personally took it to the AD for inspection and repair. They repaired the watch, and I have the receipt for the service. It cost $82 total for the crown (CROWN 79220R, STEEL) and a partial service (PS).
Does it mean the watch was not sent to Rolex service centre, and crown was replaced at dealer's facility?
 

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-- Regarding the crown issue, I personally took it to the AD for inspection and repair. They repaired the watch, and I have the receipt for the service. It cost $82 total for the crown (CROWN 79220R, STEEL) and a partial service (PS).
No Rolex AD or service center would have worked on a frankenwatch with an asian movement inside. No way. They obviously opened it to do the partial service they charged you for, and I'm pretty sure the watch has to be opened as well for crown replacement. The watchmaker would have spotted that something's wrong with the movement right away.

Sorry for the situation, OP, this really sucks. Somebody is lying, you'll have to find out who.
 

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Also, since you have a bracelet take a look at that. You should see white ceramic balls next to the clasp. Use your fingernail to push on them. If they push in, that's a good sign. If they don't move at all, that's an issue - another thing the fakes aren't doing from what I've learned. They just paint metal white as opposed to using actual springy ceramic balls.

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As I learned the hard way, even the fakes are using spring ceramic balls on the clasps unfortunately.

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There is a big tell with the opening on the center of the second hand. Do you have original pics from when you bought it, was the opening there?

Having had an ETA BB, there is no phantom date. Did it always have a phantom date, or isthis new since you got it back?
 

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Hi, I would appreciate your feedback on the appropriate next step in this situation I have been dealing with over the past year:

  • In July of 2015, I purchased a Tudor Black Bay from a member of this site. He was the second owner of the watch, and told me "the prior owner only wore it a few times before trading it in" which I erroneously assumed meant trading it in to the Rolex dealer that my seller got it from.
  • The price was typical for a Black Bay with bracelet at the time, and the seller had a safe internet footprint (good posting history on this site, legitimate social media accounts, etc.).
  • When I received the watch, it looked great! However, the crown didn't feel right, and pulled completely off while I was attempting to wind it. This was obviously a huge red flag, and I contacted the seller. He assured me he never had any trouble with it, and it was fine when he sent it to me.
  • I was traveling at the time, so rather than push the issue with the seller and try to return it, I took it in to my nearest authorized Rolex dealer for review/repair. They returned it to me with a receipt showing I had been charged the labor for the repair, along with the cost of a new crown.
  • About a year later, I sold the watch to another member of this forum. He was a newer member very excited to purchase his first "nice" watch. This gentleman also had a safe internet footprint.
  • Last summer, the guy I sold the watch to contacted me to let me know that I had sold him a fake watch. I was shocked, obviously, and pressed him for more details. He had taken the watch in for a service, and the service department notified him that it was an inauthentic item with an Asian movement.
  • I contacted the person I bought the watch from originally, and he assured me it was genuine, asserting that the service department must just not be familiar with Tudor watches, etc. etc.
  • Since all parties involved were being open and patient, we proceeded through multiple steps to check the authenticity. Another service technician indicated it was an Asian movement; I sent my buyer a case back opener so he could personally inspect/take pictures, etc. Based on these details, I purchased the watch back (with apologies). I've tested it myself, and it does have the "phantom crown setting" in between winding and time setting where the date setting would be that I have read is an indicator of an Asian movement.
  • The guy I bought the watch from has been communicative throughout, but there have been a number of red flags. He was initially evasive-- "that was so long ago, it can't be fake, anything could have happened over the past few years, etc." Once I established a chain of custody with the serial number and brought up concepts like "fraud" and "statute of limitations" he became more interested in pursuing the person he bought the watch from.
  • The "person" he bought the watch from turns out to have been a large (seemingly reputable) pawn shop who sold it to him via eBay. I know right? This did NOT come up as part of our pre-sale negotiations, and his answers to questions pre-sale led me to believe the history of the watch was cleaner than it turned out (lesson learned for me).
  • The pawn shop insists that they have never sold a counterfeit watch. My seller made an official inquiry through the Chamber of Commerce, and the pawn shop responded with a poorly written letter that basically told everyone to go pound sand.
  • I am relieved to have the watch back in my possession now having made my buyer "whole". Now I want to wrap up things with my seller and make myself as whole as possible.
  • I have consulted with a lawyer in the city where the seller lives. They confirmed that I should be able to recover, for a fee of course. That is a last resort-- I would prefer to give the seller one last chance to make it right before I pull that trigger.

Are there any other steps you suggest I take? Would a Tudor dealer be able to confirm the validity/history of the serial # on my watch? If that confirmed that the case was fake (and not just the movement), it would eliminate any remaining arguments from the seller I think.

Thank you!

Mods-- I know replica issues are sensitive here, so please let me know if this isn't the correct sub-forum or if I need to remove pictures.

And my apologies for the wall of text-- it's a complicated issue and I wanted to lay everything out there.

View attachment 14861589
Thanks for the feedback everyone. A few answers to your questions:

-- Regarding the crown issue, I personally took it to the AD for inspection and repair. They repaired the watch, and I have the receipt for the service. It cost $82 total for the crown (CROWN 79220R, STEEL) and a partial service (PS).

-- Regarding the "tells" about it being a replica, it definitely has the springy ceramic balls on the clasp, and the bezel moves smoothly and clicks loudly. However, I do not notice any additional resistance at 12 o'clock. The movement looks great at first, but comparing it to pics of known authentic movements I'm pretty sure it is a copy (see pic below).

-- I am certain that the watch that was returned to me is the same watch I sent to the guy who bought it from me (serial numbers match, it looks/feels the same, etc.). He did not have any indication that it was potentially a replica until he went to trade it in at a local watch store (Tourneau)-- they wouldn't accept it, and that is what kicked everything off.

The investigator in me keeps coming out and this is starting to smell as if I'm standing in the middle of a cow pasture in the summer.

How does the part bolded above fit in with what the OP said in his first post where he said:

"Last summer, the guy I sold the watch to contacted me to let me know that I had sold him a fake watch. I was shocked, obviously, and pressed him for more details. He had taken the watch in for a service, and the service department notified him that it was an inauthentic item with an Asian movement."

What is it that Judge Judy always says "If you are telling the truth then you don't need a good memory"?

I'm not sure what the scam is, but there is one.
 

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The investigator in me keeps coming out and this is starting to smell as if I'm standing in the middle of a cow pasture in the summer.

How does the part bolded above fit in with what the OP said in his first post where he said:

"Last summer, the guy I sold the watch to contacted me to let me know that I had sold him a fake watch. I was shocked, obviously, and pressed him for more details. He had taken the watch in for a service, and the service department notified him that it was an inauthentic item with an Asian movement."

What is it that Judge Judy always says "If you are telling the truth then you don't need a good memory"?

I'm not sure what the scam is, but there is one.
In the immortal words of Standartenführer Hans Landa, 'I think we have a BINGO!'
 

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The investigator in me keeps coming out and this is starting to smell as if I'm standing in the middle of a cow pasture in the summer.

How does the part bolded above fit in with what the OP said in his first post where he said:

"Last summer, the guy I sold the watch to contacted me to let me know that I had sold him a fake watch. I was shocked, obviously, and pressed him for more details. He had taken the watch in for a service, and the service department notified him that it was an inauthentic item with an Asian movement."

What is it that Judge Judy always says "If you are telling the truth then you don't need a good memory"?

I'm not sure what the scam is, but there is one.
Agree with you @cb1111 that we all smell a rat here and this reeks of cow manure to high heaven.

Of course, the watch was originally sold as authentic and along the way, someone opened it, four times, mind you and swapped out the original movement.

Sometimes the simplest explanation is the answer.

Whatever statute of limitations being referenced is useless in this case because of the passage of time and the OP could not prove conclusively that he was sold a fake by the pawn shop. This is unlike the OP's buyer who proved it was a fake and got his money back.
 
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