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How to detect fake Seiko watches

How to detect fake Seiko watches
How to detect fake Seiko watches

 


What's new, readers? Ripley Sellers here, writer, editor and journalist at aBlogtoWatch.

Today I'm going to tell you how to detect a fake Seiko watch using a counterfeit Alpinist that I recently got my hands on.

Let’s dive in and see how this convincing fake compares to the real thing!

Key takeaways

  • The fake Seiko Alpinist had a better bracelet than the real one, which shows how bad the real bracelet is.
  • The case engravings, especially the Made in Japan text, were sloppier on the fake.
  • Inside, the fake had a decorated 4R movement disguised as a 6R15, with a plastic retaining ring and metal gears interfacing with the compass bezel.
  • The dial was a dead giveaway, with pasted-on luminous tracings, the Seiko logo and indexes, and less sharp text.
  • The level of detail on the fake is frightening, considering the relatively low retail price of the real Alpinist.
  • To avoid making a mistake, examine the watch carefully, compare it with a known authentic example and don't be afraid to open it and check the interior.

Seiko Prospex Mountaineer Spb121 Watch

Buy the fake mountaineer

A fake Seiko mountaineer watch
ClickyBezel

I found this supposed Mountaineer on OfferUp for just $40, a steal compared to the regular retail price. I went to Long Beach to pick it up, which was a bit far from Los Angeles, but it was cheaper than shipping. As soon as I got my hands on it, I had doubts. I was wearing my real Alpinist at the time, and although the fake one seemed close, something was wrong.

Comparison of straps and case

First of all, the fake bracelet was actually better than the real thing: softer, more flexible, and even with the same padding. This shows how bad the real Alpinist bracelet is!

The case engravings were close but not as sharp on the fake. The Made in Japan text, in particular, seemed a bit sloppy.

Comparison of the back covers of a fake and original Seiko Alpinist
ClickyBezel

Internal movements and functioning

Alright, time to open this baby up. Remember that safety comes first, always use finger cots!

Inside it looks like a 6R15 movement, but I suspect it's actually a decorated 4R, judging by the Geneva stripes on the rotor, a genuine Seiko movement but not the right one for a mountaineer. Some other red flags:

  • The retaining ring looks like plastic, not metal.
  • The gears that turn the compass bezel are metal, not the self-lubricating polymer found in the real Alpinist.
  • The text on the compass bezel is not as sharp.
  • The date wheel font is slightly offset.

Numbering differences

This is where the fake really shows its true colors. Everything is placed correctly, but the construction is completely wrong:

  • Lume studs are glued and not riveted.
  • The Seiko logo is glued, not applied.
  • The indexes are glued on from behind and not stamped through the dial.
  • The dial is too bright and the text is not as sharp.
Comparison of fake and original Seiko Alpinist watch faces
ClickyBezel

You can spot these differences without even opening the watch, but having a real one to compare is helpful!

The scary part

It's terrifying how much detail they put into faking a watch that only costs a few hundred dollars. Using a real Seiko movement and a case that looks legit at a glance, imagine what they could do with a watch costing thousands of dollars!

Side-by-side dial Close-up of a fake and original Seiko Alpinist watch
ClickyBezel

To avoid burning yourself, carefully examine the Alpinist or any other Seiko. Compare it with a known authentic example and, if necessary, open it and take a look inside. The little details make all the difference when spotting a fake Seiko watch.

Video trip

Conclusion

I hope this detailed comparison will help you know how to spot fake Seiko watches and show how sneaky these fakes can be. Keep your eyes peeled when shopping for watches and remember these tips for spotting a fake Seiko. Stay vigilant, fellow watch enthusiasts!

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.fashionbeans.com/article/how-to-detect-fake-seiko-watches/

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