Replica IWC watches… Some love them, some hate them. I for one, fall under the first category, and from what I can tell, so do the majority of those bitten by the replica bug. Now, like all non-original merchandise, there are great fake IWC out there but there are atrocious ones, as well. The best way to tell if a fake IWC is any good is to know a few things about the real ones. I know that we’ve covered this topic before, but you know how they say, repetition is the mother of learning.
As you already know, replica IWC can vary in quality greatly, but that’s the replica world, some are extremely high in authenticity and build quality, while others are… let’s say inferior. With the most recent wave of high-end replica IWC watches, it is so difficult to tell the difference between the real and the fake, that it becomes imperative to at the very least educate yourself on the nuanced differences between the two categories. In some cases, it would be a good idea to a step further and enlist the assistance of a trained professional in determining whether your watch is authentic or not.
There are a few fairly easy things to look for when trying to determine the authenticity of an IWC watch. It is advisable to first closely examine the overall quality of materials and construction. IWC watches utilize high quality materials, and chances are, a replica watch will appear somewhat lesser in build quality. This may be difficult to determine, however, if you are unable to do a side-by-side comparison. Pay particular attention to the detail on the dial and date wheels. Is there any unevenness? This is a tell-tale sign of an inferior replica IWC watch.
The majority of IWC replica watches utilize an Asian movement of one sort or another that effectively replicates the original movements found inside real IWC watches. Some of the newer replicas, including several chronographs, Big Pilots, IWC Portuguese, and several other models, contain ETA movements.
Also, if the price seems too good to be true, you’re probably dealing with a replica IWC, not an original. That’s why, when planning to buy a used one, take it to a watchmaker and let him inspect it. Of course, if you’re buying it online, from eBay for example, it’s hard to know if you’re getting the real deal or not. There are a lot of “Frankenwatches” around and you can easily get fooled (a “frankenwatch” is a mix between a replica and an original; for example, they take an original dial and an original caseback, put it on a fake IWC or any other brand and sell it as an original).