When you buy anything of quality in life, you expect to be paying top dollar for the best of the best. There’s a reason why some brands have such a good reputation, but when there’s a global reputation at hand influencing the market forces, you can bet there are going to fake trying to make a quick buck off it.
This, unfortunately, is common through the entire fashion and accessories industry, especially when it comes to things like trainers, shirts, and specifically watches. With this in mind, if you’re thinking of treating yourself or a loved one to a beautiful Cartier watch, you’re going to want to be sure it’s the real deal.
In today’s guide, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know to ensure this is the case.
Where Would You Find a Fake Cartier Watch?
Cartier watches can be expensive, especially if you’re buying one brand new, which means acquiring a fake one could happen anywhere. If you’re buying online from a supplier or online outlet, although the website may look official, you’re going to need to make sure it is.
Likewise, if you’re buying a Cartier watch second-hand, whether this is from an independent buyer or a sales place like an auction house, you’re going to make sure everything is authentic, and you’re not going to spend your investment on a fraud.
In short, unless you know you’re buying from a reputable and genuine watch dealer, such as a certified shop, you’re going to want to run a few tests and look for a few things to make sure what you’re buying is a real Cartier product.
The Easiest Way to Spot a Fake
The absolute first thing you can do to spot a fake Cartier is to simply flip the watch over, remove the case back carefully, and look on the movement cogs inside the watch itself. All genuine Cartier watches have the word ‘Cartier’ inscribed on the movement, and if the watch you’re holding doesn’t, it’s not a real one.
If you’re shopping online, you can always contact the buyer to open the watch themselves and send you a picture so you can be sure this is the case. Most fakes are made cheaply to maximize profit, and simply won’t have spent the time or effort, nor have the means, to add this inscription onto the back.
Check the Glass
Like the vast majority of premium-quality watches, Cartier watches are designed and manufactured using scratchproof glass. However, on fake designs, this material won’t be used very often, so by quickly looking at the watch, if it has scratches on the glass of the face, the chances are it’s probably a fake.
Due to this scratchproof feature, Cartier watches also tend to be non-smear, so by simply trying to apply a smear, or by dabbing several drops of water onto the watch glass, if the drops don’t just roll off, you’re probably dealing with a fake.
You can also run a quality check here to see how fake a watch is or not. Look at the overall quality you can see in the glass and on the dials itself. High-quality watches are produced using components that are dust and moisture resistant, so if you can see these behind the glass, the chances are it’s a fake.
In some cases, you may even be able to see where the watch was put together cheaply, especially if there are signs of glue or maintenance work.
Does It Weigh Enough?
Due to the high-quality nature of the part used in watch brands like Cartier, the watches tend to be a bit on the heavy side, making this a great way to detect whether you’re dealing with a fake. If you have a Cartier watch and it feels rather light, the chances are that it’s not a genuine Cartier watch.
Does the Watch Glow in the Dark?
Pretty much every Cartier watch has the ability to be read in the dark and in low-light conditions. It’s a standard feature on most watches, but it’s important to make sure you’re aware that Cartier watches are designed to be incredibly easy to read thanks to all the time and effort the designers and assemblers have put in.
Cartier watches tend to use a substance more commonly known as LumiNova in the hands, which allows the hands to glow in the dark, usually a bright luminous blue. However, if you’re dealing with a fake, the chances are a low-grade luminescent substance has been used, if any at all.
The best way to check how this works is to hold a torch or phone light over the watch’s hands-on full beam for 30 seconds. After this time, take the watch into a dark room and see if it glows. The watch’s hands should glow super brightly and should be incredibly easy to read.
If they’re not glowing bright or not at all, you’re probably dealing with a fake!
Does It Have a Serial Number?
Every single Cartier watch that has ever been designed, manufactured, and released will come with an official serial number. This will typically appear on either the side of the watch, or the external back, and will be a number with no letters.
You can then call Cartier themselves and hand over the serial number, and they’ll be able to tell you whether it’s a genuine watch or not.
Look for the ‘Hidden’ Cartier Word
On most genuine Cartier watches, you’ll find the word ‘Cartier’ written somewhere in what many would think to be an abnormal location. This is yet another way the designers make the watch difficult to accurately fake.
More often than not, you’ll find the word written in one of the numerals, perhaps on the ten or 7’o clock, and the text is always going to be written in full capitals. All genuine watches will also have the words ‘Swiss Made’ written directly under the number six numeral, a minute detail which is left out by fraud manufacturers because it takes too much time and effort for what is for them a small return.
Where is the Date Dial?
On pretty much all Cartier watches, the number dials that display the date are nearly always located in the center on the right-hand side of the clockface, next to the numeral for three. If you find the dials anywhere on the watch, but in this position, the chances are the watch you’re looking at isn’t real.
Also, make sure you’re checking both digits of the dials to see whether they align and work properly when set using the adjustment bar. This is such a subtle detail that is very easy to miss when you’re buying and caught up in the excitement of getting yourself a new watch.
Look for Quality Craftsmanship
Just looking at the overall quality of the build of the watch should be enough to tell you whether the watch is a fake. Sometimes, something just doesn’t look right, or perhaps the dial or hands are off-center, and it looks abnormal. Most of the time, you can trust your instinct telling you this is a fake.
However, there are more subtle areas of the watch you can look in terms of craftsmanship to see if the quality is what it should be. Another one of the most common is checking the gemstone fixed into the crown of the watch.
This gemstone should be set into the watch itself, not glued in, or able to come off. If you see signs of glue or it’s evident the gemstone has been fixed there by someone who may not know what they’re doing, don’t waste your money here.
Small details in the craftsmanship will also tell you whether the watch is real or fake. Look at the visible screws on the watch. Are they all pointing in the same direction, as they should be, or are they finished in different ones? It’s these tiny details that make Cartier the prestigious brand they are.
As you can see, there are lots of ways you can check a watch you’re buying to see whether or not it’s a fake, but it’s important you look for all aspects and factors to ensure you’re buying the real deal. Having a genuine Cartier watch can be a luxurious and well-deserved experience, so you want to make sure you’re getting it right.
Cartier watches can be expensive, so the seller shouldn’t have any problems allowing you to ask questions and testing these certain features. This is especially important if you’re buying online. If the seller is selling a genuine watch, they shouldn’t have any trouble sending you photos or video evidence that the watch is a real Cartier watch.