Fake 168.005 ensemble
The counterfeit watch industries of China, Vietnam and Thailand have done much to weaken confidence in the buying of ‘Big Name’ vintage watches such as Omega, Rolex, Patek Philippe and some of the other great Swiss brands. As technology has improved in these countries, so have the quality of their fakes. A combination of official sanction and corruption in China, for example, means that factories turning out legitimate watch parts by day can be used for the purposes of manufacturing counterfeit watch parts by night.
The sad part of about this is that many people deny themselves the pleasure and joy of owning a high-end vintage watch for fear of buying a fake. However, those oriental scumbags in the counterfeiting game have yet to produce the perfect fake. In most cases, they leave clues around like confetti and it isn’t all that hard to tell the difference between an impostor and the real McCoy.
Learn about specific vintage brands or models BEFORE you take the plunge. Join some of the bigger brand forums such as Watchuseek, Timezone, the Puristpro or their non-English equivalents; seek to build up your knowledge with the help of others; source sites like this one that specialise in certain brands or models; build up an inventory of pictures of genuine dials and movements as a resource from which you can make comparisons; join the Omega Vintage Database, and begin to notice how quickly your knowledge builds and the finer distinctions you are beginning to make.
What’s the point of owning an iconic vintage watch if you don’t know anything about its history, horology and design code? Part of the pleasure of going vintage can be to acquire enough knowledge about your favourite brands and models so as to be able to talk the ears off anyone who perchance notices what’s on your wrist!
Another reason for learning about your target vintage models is that you can then engage in banter and indeed spirited debates on various watch fora. You may even make some new friends, as many subscribers to these communities of horological petrol-heads have done.
Fake 168.005 case with fake case number 091919 stamped
The Omega Constellation models currently faked are gold cased models from the nineteen-fifties and early sixties, particularly case numbers 14900 and 168.005. Fake pie pan dials usually accompany these brass-nickel alloy pinchbeck cases made to look like gold. Stainless steel cases 14900, 167.005, 168.005 are also faked with fake hand and dial ensembles. But there are many clues to their counterfeit status, all of which can be found on this site.
So, don’t let your fear of buying a fake Omega Constellation put you off owning one of these legendary models. That means the fakers win! Accumulate knowledge at the same time as you accumulate funds to purchase, and when the balance sheets of both have reached a healthy level, take the plunge!