As an industry one of the biggest problems we face are “knock offs ‘, generally from the Far East. The reality is that ‘it ain’t that difficult !’. Go into the market place buy the costume you want to copy , yes you might have to pay maybe ninety quid, but just break it down make a pattern and you are away. Not exactly a costly or demanding route to market.
But luxury watches , now that’s another story and a complete mystery to me . How they heck do those conniving , cheating, thieving, but fiendishly clever counterfeiters do it ?
First of all, I would assume, they have to get the real thing . Of course, they may nick one. Or they may buy one. But buying one at full retail would, in some cases, cost tens of thousands of dollars, pounds, euros , yen or whatever. So we can assume that they nick one. But they don’t just nick one , as they seem to be able copy every model of every premium brand and they do it very quickly .
So the next step is to make it . Let’s suppose it is a Cartier Ballon Bleu flying Tourbillon Second Time Zone in white gold , which retails for £121,000 . No doubt a snip especially , with such a ‘sophisticated ‘ name, despite being a pain when completing the insurance claim after you have been mugged. The counterfeiter has the real thing in front of him or her ,and starts the procedure of putting together the fake.
Every little bit of that watch , the crown, the hands, the face, the strap, the buckle, and all other little bits of minutiae, in some cases even down to the presentation box,have to be copied exactly to fool the naked eye. Then the product is shipped , distributed throughout the four corners of the globe for around about £30. Then the process is repeated for the next model .Presumably everybody in the chain makes a margin, so how the bloody hell is it done, when you can get a Timex for thirty quid (I know ‘cos I just spent £35 on one).
Just maybe some fiendish Chinese’ne-er do well’ has kidnapped a bunch of Swiss elves, hidden them somewhere in the Tibetan Himalaya and threatened to force feed them toblerone unless they make perfect copies of the world’s most expensive time pieces. In the event that this is not the case, and I have been told on good authority that elves are not experienced watch makers, please tell me how it is done.