Rolex Replicas watches
15-30% of internet searches on watches involve people looking for replicas. According to the Swiss watch industry, the replica watch market costs them billions of dollars each year, and efforts are made to confiscate fake watches and destroy them in spectacular ‘demonstrative’ ways. One of my favorite examples was from 2010 when about 7, 000 replica Rolex watches were smooshed with a steamroller in front of press cameras as the culprit was sent to jail for six months. Most counterfeit goods aren’t given this treatment, and in reality this theatrical performance was done at the behest of concerned watch makers working in tandem with customs officials. How big of a problem are replica watches and are they actually a substitute for the real thing?
The Watch Industry’s Sentiments
A few years ago a consortium of high-end Swiss watch brands known as the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) began a publicity campaign with the message that “Fake Watches Are For Fake People.” I don’t think that the message truly resonated with an English speaking audience, but it showed a serious effort on their behalf to pressure people into buying the real thing. I was at a dinner a few years ago where speaking before a large audience, a famous Swiss watch brand’s CEO measured the group’s annual success by indicating a large amount replica watches with their name on them having been seized at the Swiss border. Apparently the more fakes made, the more popular one’s brand is. It was a telling sign of a lighthearted approach to the issue. Why wasn’t he more concerned?
How Big Is The Problem?
Working closely with customs officials in major markets, the luxury industry does play a large part in the successful seizure of fake goods. Though, very many still make it through to market. It is just too difficult to catch them all. As the watch industry pours more money into marketing their goods all over the world, awareness of their products increase and thus demand. Having said that, by nature, luxury goods are just that and can be priced outside of what most people can afford.
The replica watch industry is a natural tangent of a market for items that are outside of the realm of affordability for most people. It has been that way for literally thousands of years as currency was among the first types of things that were faked. Fake watches exist to satisfy the desires of people who cannot afford “the real thing” but want to portray the same status symbols as those who can.