Watch expert has a hard time telling the difference between an Omega Seamaster watch and a knock-off

Originally published at:


Well, he asked us to give our opinions in the comments below, so here we are… :wink:

I value the original watch; I understand why it costs what it does, and why it is a value at that cost. It is a work of art. And I really, really wish that I could have a collection of cool, expensive watches that I select like a vintner for the day’s wear. But not only do I suck at wearing watches; often damaging them on my wrist; I also hate the feeling of having a watch on my wrist, and it interferes with my typing.

So it is exceptionally unlikely that I would buy the original watch. Which makes me quite sad, in many ways. Also, it ironically makes me exceptionally unlikely to get the replica watch, either; it is still too expensive for something I wouldn’t wear much.

One watch that I had that I really enjoyed was a replica Rolex Submariner. I really liked it; it suited me well; even the replica was one of the best watches that I have ever owned. But it made me feel very self conscious; and I felt that as embarrassing as it would be to be mugged for a Rolex; to be mugged for a street Rolex would be even worse. I also felt a bit fake with it. I considered buying one (if I owned a real one, I could wear the fake one… I know, I’m weird) but couldn’t justify the cost. Then I stopped wearing watches about the same time.


I too have the “can’t type and wear a watch” problem. I wonder if watches are now signifiers of not being an office drone. (Plus I’m a t-shirt and jeans type, and that watch just wouldn’t work). Really enjoyed the video, but wish they’d done more side-by-side comparisons.

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Which functions better?

For me, that’s the sole consideration. When the video talks about heritage and brand, it’s making the ‘fake’ seem far more attractive - I really don’t care about that stuff. If the ‘fake’ is as functionally identical as it looks, it seems only logical to choose the clone.

However, I did notice that the video mentioned that the mechanism isn’t a direct copy, which might make all the difference. I wish that had been discussed in greater depth, rather than the superficialities of tradition and alleged prestige.

I’ll be sticking with my Fitbit. :wink:


I only wear pocket watches -


I wear t-shirts and jeans and also Swiss mechanical watches, at times. Why not? :slight_smile:

I do not support buying fakes. There are plenty of (in relative terms) reasonably-priced mechanical watches that are very nice. Hamilton is a good example, among plenty of others.

Another suggestion to save some money? Buy used! Obviously from a reliable source and insist on boxes and papers, but a used mechanical will in many cases lose no value over time, and can be a fraction of the price of a new one. Nothing wrong about buying a previously-loved piece and giving it a good new home!

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Doesn’t that mean it’ll cost you basically what a new watch would, then? Or do you mean, “buy used from someone willing to drop the price for reasons”?

(edit) My dad left me a rather nice mechanical watch, but I never wear it. I should dig it out and make sure it still works. Maybe start wearing it again. It’s no Rolex, but it’s nice.

I did know someone in college that loved wearing 3 piece suits and a pocket watch daily, a hard task in the Vegas heat but he always looked sharp as hell.


As far as wearing watches i own two, getting a 3rd soon but i haven’t actively worn them. I do wish to wear them more often but like others here i’m clumsy and end up smacking them on stuff and i’m scared to damage/scuff the watches.

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I’ve spent some time looking for a replica of the 1960’s era splash-proof dress watch with the same model name that was a company retirement gift to my Grandfather. I wore it for many years to remember him, but the regular cleaning required to maintain an “automatic” mechanical watch began to add-up, and over decades I cracked the “crystal” (the front glass, which was actually a “plexi” for this era/model) at least 3 times.

Between concern of damage, and being told “there is no point servicing this watch” by the master watchmaker, I thought if I had a new automatic that either just looked the same or that had “swappable” parts, I could at least carry on honoring my grandfather by wearing a facsimile or ship-of-Theseus version of his watch.

I’ve been unsuccessful so far, and anti-counterfeiting activity means that it is not easy to search out reputable counterfeiters (sic) but I’m still hoping that someone will sneak a name to me of some business selling copies of the less popular antique dress models.

I feel lost without a wristwatch, when a young colleage heard me complain about the cost and (lack of) availability of the odd-size battery used in the Skagen I was wearing that had just died, he put me on to the Casio MQ range, which I proceeded to buy for less than the cost of a battery replacement in a typical quartz watch.

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I appreciate the artistry and engineering of both the real ones and the fake ones. But I absolutely do not understand even spending $450 on one. Like, it’s just a clock. On your wrist.

To each his own.


I mean that once the watch goes from being “new” to being “used” (and there is indeed a significant price drop when this occurs), so long as it is maintained decently, it will generally stay at that used value in a consistent way. So if you resell it, you will probably be able to get what you paid for it, as that price drop already occurred before you bought it. In some cases value can actually go up over time, but this is rarely the case if you buy “new” in the first place.


Oh bang them up, they can take it! Scratches and dings on watches are signs of love. :slight_smile: And if they ever get really nasty, send them to the manufacturer for service, and they can get them back to almost-new condition, sometimes essentially looking brand new. Service can easily cost several hundred bucks, however. But again, they will bring them to tip-top in most cases.

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I don’t wear a watch, nor any rings or anything on my hands/arms. I consider this to be “surgeon style” and feel no need for fancy watches - which I did wear once upon a time, my dad owned a jewelry store but I am afraid the simplicity and practicality of no watch (since we all have phones) simply wins over the fashion of it.

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I love my Timex Indiglo: tells me the time and the date, has a light so I can check the time in the dark, and never needs winding. That last point means I can wear my other Timex Indiglo for a few days and not have to reset the time on the first one.

I’ve only got the two, but I suppose I could buy about 10 Timex Indiglos in different styles for the cost of one fake Seamaster. That seems like a way better value proposition to me.


When I was just starting out in the world, I went out and bought a half dozen fake watches at $20 apiece, and I branded them myself with miniature automotive decals. So even if I couldn’t have that exotic car, I had six watches that looked pretty spiffy! But then I gave away five of them as party treats and only kept one. Which I never wear anymore. I don’t know what the lesson is here, but it was still kind of fun.


Oh, I should mention that Swatch has some very nice automatics these days, and they are absolutely Swiss made with in-house movements. Sistem51. Fully mechanized factory line I believe, which is a first I think.

Except that it’s not art - at least not in the since that it’s an original creation and solely unique. A watch is a manufactured product with duplicative copies that have no distinct value over the one made the day before or another made the next day after. In this case, both watches are replicas of a work of art. The only thing really separates them is ethics.

For the record, I don’t support buying fakes that unjustly (and illegally) infringe on the work of others, nor do I support exorbitant prices charged purely to crate a sense of elitism or snobbery – or to make insanely rich people even richer. However, I’m happy to support a fair price for a quality product that honors the hard work of creativity and craftsmanship and support a honest wage and just governance. In this specific situation, I support neither.


Is an etching a piece of art? A poster? Almost all Swiss mechanicals are assembled by hand, and many of the parts are hand-machined. It is a very precise form of craftsmanship. My understanding of “art” is, no one person gets to define what constitutes art. :wink:

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Indeed! Even the definition of art is, in and of itself, art.

If it matters (and it doesn’t), I’m of the persuasion that etchings, posters, and other manufactured items (including hand assembled Swiss watches) that aspire to be exact duplicates are just that, a replicant of art. The copy adds no additional value to the interpretation of the original.

However, if a person expresses creative license in the replication, then I’m ok with it crossing the bar. Or in the case of Giménez’s Ecce Homo, being so unique in the intended replication that it is without copy and thus able to stand alone in interpretation.

But if you ask me in another 10 minutes and I’ll argue against what I just said… with Andy Warhol as evidence.