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Technology and strength to counter counterfeit watches



Rolex, Breitling, IWC Portofino, Cartier or TAG Heuer: Few prestigious brands of Swiss watchmaking are safe from the millionaire industry of plagiarism. In several countries around the world, it produces fakes that are closer to the originals, which makes the work of specialists even more difficult.

To combat the problem, the Swiss Federation of Watch Industry uses the Swiss watch industry’s “anti-piracy task force” to use devices such as detectives, police forces and even high-definition microscopes.This is a real step to prevent things that can disrupt the development of the world watch industry, not only the Swiss watch industry but also the watch industry in other countries.

When they launched “Fifty Fathoms” in 1953, Blancpain knew they were writing history. The first modern diving watch was created by the watchmaker at the request of a French Navy captain to support up to 50 feet (91.45 meters) deep. Their fame grew even more in 1955 when one of their products was seen in the arms of French explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, divers and director Louis Malle in the film “The World of Silence”, winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956. In 2007, Blancpain decided to relaunch the watch that is considered to date a legend among collectors. The new “Fifty Fathoms” line hit the market in 2007 with three new models: automatic, chronograph and tourbillon. The simplest costs 13,000 francs.

This and other success stories, which made the fame of the “made in Switzerland” brands, helped the Swiss industry to win the battle against Japanese competitors. But now the enemy is much more powerful: piracy. The piracy has been proven to generate losses of up to millions of dollars while worsening the reputation of popular watch companies throughout the world. Keep reading!

Combating piracy

FIghting against an industry that moves billions and floods the globe with all kinds of products, from industrialists to medicines is not an easy task. In fact, the most expensive counterfeits of Swiss watches generally use mechanical movements made in China. Rarely they can also use precious metals, like low carat gold. In these cases, only specialists can identify them. One possibility is to take the acid test to check the gold carat.An example is the “Portugieser F.A. Jones” model of the IWC brand, one of the most prestigious in Switzerland. It can cost a few hundred dollars, because it uses a mechanic almost equal to the original. The piracy is also a problem of conscience. Consumers who spend so much money to buy a pirate copy know what they’re doing.They cherish brands, but they do not want to spend money. Some even have the original for use on special occasions and the day-to-day copy.

Piracy is an international phenomenon. That is why the Swiss watchmaking industry tries to combat the problem through several instruments: advertising campaigns such as the “Stop Piracy”, launched in July 2005 to raise consumer awareness; lobby against legislators in several countries, which allowed, among other things, to criminalize the possession of counterfeit goods in countries such as Italy, France and Switzerland and logistical support for police operations in several parts of the world.This is a global piracy prevention step.

Some points to consider are how today’s counterfeiters are so sophisticated. They can imitate to the smallest parts. Therefore experts advise to hold structured training for each body or law enforcement that has the main goal of eradicating the piracy. This is a necessity given the increasingly advanced technological developments, encouraging the development of counterfeiting techniques.

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