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Why should an AD refuse to work on a replica? To punish the watch owner for - intentionally or unintentionally - supporting a scummy market? Or are they contractually obligated to not do so?

Asking because if watchmaker is being paid to fix something, and not authenticate, then why would you turn down the business? Obviously OBs have a completely different incentive but am just curious about the outrage with the watchmaker who repaired the crown?

Genuine question out of curiosity - I do not own a replica or support that market.
It depends on the contract between the AD and the watchmaker. Watchmakers employed by an AD would, most likely, be bound by the agreement between the AD and Rolex - "thou shall not touch counterfeits". An independent watchmaker can work on what they want, but the parts may not fit and every watchmaker I know would say "hey, just a note, I can't give you a guarantee on my work because this is a counterfeit"
 

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Here's the deal: whether or not they are willing to work on counterfeits aside, no watchmaker should work on a fake without notifying the owner: "You know this is a fake, right?" and they should also note this on the receipt they provide for the service! Write or stamp REPLICA or something similar on the receipt, so that it can't be used as "proof" of authenticity!!

It depends on the contract between the AD and the watchmaker. Watchmakers employed by an AD would, most likely, be bound by the agreement between the AD and Rolex - "thou shall not touch counterfeits". An independent watchmaker can work on what they want, but the parts may not fit and every watchmaker I know would say "hey, just a note, I can't give you a guarantee on my work because this is a counterfeit"
 

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<snip>&#8230; While I believe that we should explain the most obvious problems with a photo of a counterfeit (i.e. wrong pip, hands, whatever), I do agree that we shouldn't point out all the flaws - for good reasons. The counterfeiters know exactly what is wrong with their products, but by knowing what a customer (or investigator) is looking for, they know how to photograph the product to obscure the flaws..
Good point. One of the reasons why I don't elaborate too much about the flaw as counterfeiters than know how to improve the product since it is easily spotted.

<snip>Had the OP posted the pictures in the fake busters forum, then he would have had his answer before he bought.

This also explains why we are so hard on speedposters..
OP had informed me that he let his guard down and person was a member of few years' standing but low post count. Just a little over a hundred at the moment, 123 to be exact and the last dozen was from his sales listing. In my opinion, the bumping of sales listing should not be counted in the overall post count.
 

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It depends on the contract between the AD and the watchmaker. Watchmakers employed by an AD would, most likely, be bound by the agreement between the AD and Rolex - "thou shall not touch counterfeits". An independent watchmaker can work on what they want, but the parts may not fit and every watchmaker I know would say "hey, just a note, I can't give you a guarantee on my work because this is a counterfeit"
Here's the deal: whether or not they are willing to work on counterfeits aside, no watchmaker should work on a fake without notifying the owner: "You know this is a fake, right?" and they should also note this on the receipt they provide for the service! Write or stamp REPLICA or something similar on the receipt, so that it can't be used as "proof" of authenticity!!
LOL. Here we are arguing over whether it was right for the Rolex/Tudor AD to work on the watch. According to the OP, the AD sent the watch to a watchmaker down the street to fix the crown. He got charged for a new crown and repairs. For all we know, all that watchmaker did was to re-insert the fake crown and stem back into the watch and he got charged for a new one by the AD. The OP didn't know he had a fake and he probably wouldn't even know if he got the same crown back. Which might explain why the crown fitted but we are all here thinking that the AD fitted a genuine part in an Asian movement.
 

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What a headache and a terrible situation to be in. Things like this should be highlighted in a sticky. There are dozens of watches a week that come up and this one is clearly a reasonable fake with the ceramic balls in the bracelet etc so it would be good for first time posters to realise just how good these scams are. I think 90% of watch newbies think fake watches are £10 turkey specials with a dodgy box off ebay and this is not the case. I would take a guess that the AD that worked on the watch is the large chain type of AD? somewhere like Goldsmiths in the UK? if so, theyre easily duped. Ive been staggered at how clueless they are in some of those stores. I went in to price a strap for my watch that was on bracelet and I was told it wasnt possible to take the bracelet off as it was built into the case! I even flipped it over to show them the springbars but they persisted. The same applies to pawnbrokers. They buy anything from lawnmowers to rings so youre not going to get great professional advice there. I sold an old Sektor (remember then?) many years ago to a pawn store. I wasnt expecting anything for it but it was just sat in a drawer. To my shock the buyer "researched" the watch and offered me about £250 for it. I wasnt even expecting £50. They had researched the wrong watch. So you have 2 possible weak links in your chain now. Theres a tendency to rule out more official places as innocent as they provide more plausible looking paperwork than a private seller in an internet ad wether it be an intentional scam or accidental blunder. OP, have you looked on the replica watch forums? Theyre sad pathetic places full of lunatics that whinge and whine about their "new Daytona's losing 4 minutes a day" etc etc but you should be able to track down a few serial numbers. When I researched a possible BB a few years ago there were only 2 or 3 numbers. Best of luck resolving this.
 

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What a headache and a terrible situation to be in. Things like this should be highlighted in a sticky. There are dozens of watches a week that come up and this one is clearly a reasonable fake with the ceramic balls in the bracelet etc so it would be good for first time posters to realise just how good these scams are. I think 90% of watch newbies think fake watches are £10 turkey specials....
The trouble with this is that the OP himself is not active on WUS and he bought the watch also from an inactive member with very low post count.

There are many threads on fakes and people being scammed but it keeps happening because newbies rush into it without staying here long enough and they won't know the modus operandi of scammers.

If the OP had posted it in the fake busters section before he bought the watch, then he could be saved a lot of headache now.
 

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The trouble with this is that the OP himself is not active on WUS and he bought the watch also from an inactive member with very low post count.

There are many threads on fakes and people being scammed but it keeps happening because newbies rush into it without staying here long enough and they won't know the modus operandi of scammers.

If the OP had posted it in the fake busters section before he bought the watch, then he could be saved a lot of headache now.
Agreed. As a slight side topic, I think there should be a minimum requirement to post in that section. So many 1st posters drop in with a crappy photo asking if its worth buying. They should be made to provide details of the seller and price at least. Ive seen threads where people have bought one from an AD at market value and its obviously fine. Ive also seen them where theyve seen a watch on ebay for £125 sold by "best price bargain for U" with a description in garbled english and they also sell LV handbags and Oakley sunglasses for £10. I would like to think that while they were posting this info the penny would drop. Back to the original post, you did well to summarise this with your buyer 1, 2 etc. I was completely lost until I read that bit. Its stuff like this that makes me stick with my AD. I would be curious to see what savings were made with these purchases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Thanks all for the continued helpful dialogue. If reading about this situation helps someone else avoid this mess, that would be great! A few follow-up comments:

-- I have done a lot of buying and selling on forums over the years across many hobbies (fountain pens, golf clubs, guitars, etc.). Through those experiences I felt like I was equipped to deal with fakes/scammers etc. I absolutely was not prepared for the high quality of fakery in the watch world, as this was a minor interest that I was just getting into at the time. I honestly felt that by buying from someone posting the watch openly on this forum, someone with a normal FB account, whose info/profession/etc. was easily obtained via Google, etc. that I would be safe (and in the event that there was a problem, it would be easy to resolve). Lesson learned!

-- I admit that laziness on my part contributed to the problem. As soon as I received the watch and had the crown issue, I should have escalated it with the seller immediately. I did contact the seller right away, but when he said he never had an issue with it I moved on. I was on an expat assignment out of the US at the time, so I figured it would be less of a hassle to just get it repaired locally than to push it with the seller, deal with international shipping back and forth, etc. Again, lesson learned on my part.

-- The AD was a big mall AD as you guys guessed. They sent it to what appears to be a reputable repair center. I have been in touch with the repair center recently, and they insist they wouldn't have worked on a replica. However, I think the suggestion that they just re-installed the fake crown and charged me for an OEM replacement is the most likely scenario.

-- The suggestion to pull the fake serial #'s from a replica site is a great one. I'm off to go troll through some unsavory waters now to see if I can find it...

If there is any potentially helpful/clarifying information missing from my story in this thread, please let me know. I would like this to be a clear record of the situation so that it is as helpful as possible to dummies like myself as they ease into this hobby and start buying watches!
 

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<snip>
I absolutely was not prepared for the high quality of fakery in the watch world, as this was a minor interest that I was just getting into at the time. I honestly felt that by buying from someone posting the watch openly on this forum, someone with a normal FB account, whose info/profession/etc. was easily obtained via Google, etc. that I would be safe...
::
-- I admit that laziness on my part contributed to the problem. As soon as I received the watch and had the crown issue, I should have escalated it with the seller immediately. I did contact the seller right away, but when he said he never had an issue with it I moved on.
Did you get any response from Unknown Man #2 - the guy who sold you the watch?
 

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Did you get any response from Unknown Man #2 - the guy who sold you the watch?
Good question. the OP needs to go after him if #2 doesn't offer a refund.

Re-reading the threads (and it is difficult because the story frequently changes) it sounds like #2 first said he got it from somebody who traded it in which turned into "bought in a pawn shop".

I'd suspect from that story change that #2 was aware that the watch is counterfeit, so he guilty of felony fraud/theft by deception (depending on state), but at $2000 that is criminal and "incarceration worthy".

That said, the OP added another wrinkle when he said he was overseas. By using the word "expat" makes it sound like it might not have been Europe. Accordingly, it is also possible that the movement was swapped during repair - but that wouldn't explain the hole in the staff holding the hands when the OP first got the watch.

In what country was the watch repaired?
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Hi all, a few answers:

-- I contacted #2 as soon as the crown came off. He said he never had an issue with it, and it was in perfect condition when he sent it to me. I just left it at that and had the watch repaired. I contacted him again last year when my buyer reached out to me regarding the authenticity issue. He was initially hesitant to get involved, but after pushing a bit he began sharing new information (that he purchased it on eBay, that the eBay seller was a Pawn Shop, etc.). He has since, at my prompting, pursued the pawn shop to the point of filing an inquiry with the local Chamber of Commerce. The pawn shop responded with an official note stating that they do not deal in counterfeit watches and have never had such a complaint. Per the Chamber of Commerce feedback regarding that response, the next step would be for Unknown #2 to file a small claims court claim in Michigan (where the pawn shop is located). He has not taken that step yet.

-- The AD that had the repair performed was in Dubai. This is one reason that I would like to with 100% certainty prove to Unknown #2 that the watch was a replica based on the pictures from his original sales thread. The fact that I was traveling internationally makes him suspicious-- I do not feel like he truly believes that the watch is a fake. Several of you have mentioned that it is an obvious fake based off of his original pictures that I shared, which is great for me if true-- it takes away any concern that the "genuine" watch he sold me was swapped or altered after it left his possession. He doesn't want to be duped, which is understandable-- I think if I can show him that the watch he sent me was a fake (based on his own pictures), that he will be much more likely to settle this easily.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I will second the compliments to Dogbert for naming the players involved (Unknown #2, etc.). I've lived and breathed this situation over the last 7 months, and it wasn't until I sat down to type everything out that I realized how confusing it was. I can see how unclear my initial attempt to explain everything in my first post was-- sorry everyone! I hope it is all clear now, and I sincerely appreciate the helpful feedback I have received in this thread. I remain hopeful that this will be resolved positively.

Also, your point about the money saved is a good one. At the time (Summer 2015) I think I could have gotten that watch new from the AD for a little over $3k (some of you could answer that more definitively). I paid $2200 all-in. So it was probably a 25-35% savings over the AD. Totally not worth it in retrospect! At higher price points or for watches that have depreciated rapidly the risk might be worth the reward though. But, you can be certain my steps to minimize risk will be more intense from now on!
 

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I must say, I feel terrible for the ordeal the OP has had to endure, but the investigative trail has been fascinating.

Since it seems the experts here have determined that photos taken before it ever even left man #2’s hands, I would hope he will do what is right and refund the OP’s purchase, regardless if the deception was intentional.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Hi all, a few answers:

-- I contacted #2 as soon as the crown came off. He said he never had an issue with it, and it was in perfect condition when he sent it to me. I just left it at that and had the watch repaired. I contacted him again last year when my buyer reached out to me regarding the authenticity issue. He was initially hesitant to get involved, but after pushing a bit he began sharing new information (that he purchased it on eBay, that the eBay seller was a Pawn Shop, etc.). He has since, at my prompting, pursued the pawn shop to the point of filing an inquiry with the local Chamber of Commerce. The pawn shop responded with an official note stating that they do not deal in counterfeit watches and have never had such a complaint. Per the Chamber of Commerce feedback regarding that response, the next step would be for Unknown #2 to file a small claims court claim in Michigan (where the pawn shop is located). He has not taken that step yet.

-- The AD that had the repair performed was in Dubai. This is one reason that I would like to with 100% certainty prove to Unknown #2 that the watch was a replica based on the pictures from his original sales thread. The fact that I was traveling internationally makes him suspicious-- I do not feel like he truly believes that the watch is a fake. Several of you have mentioned that it is an obvious fake based off of his original pictures that I shared, which is great for me if true-- it takes away any concern that the "genuine" watch he sold me was swapped or altered after it left his possession. He doesn't want to be duped, which is understandable-- I think if I can show him that the watch he sent me was a fake (based on his own pictures), that he will be much more likely to settle this easily.

Thanks!
I think you need to add to this post the pictures that he provided, clearly labeling them as photos provided by the seller. That should make it simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
The first time I checked for the phantom date myself was last week when I physically got the watch back from my buyer. While the watch was in my possession originally, it wasn't on my radar that it was fake-- I didn't even know the phantom date was something to check for until I got deep into researching the issue last year (when my buyer contacted me about it being a fake).
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
I have not been able to find photos of the eBay listing. Listings over 60 days old are difficult to get information on from what I can tell. I've tried to find snapshots of the listing in the Internet Archive/Wayback machine just making guesses about when Unknown Man #2 bought it, but that has been unsuccessful so far.

Here's a link to the watches the pawn shop in question CURRENTLY has for sale on eBay. I'll be honest, it would be pretty awesome if one of these was a clear fake and we can call them on it:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/Wristwatches/31387/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=&_ssn=motorcitypawn
 
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