HalfWatchTuesday 2.11 Clone wars

We have seen the videos, a Youtube channel whips out what looks for all intents and purposes to be a Rolex submariner only for us to be told it is a ‘super fake’ when compared at almost microscope level. The video then surmises that such things are a terrible scourge on the watch world.

To say counterfeiting is wrong/criminal is not controversial. The watch world seems particularly affected by an infiltration of fake goods. One reason might be that there is now the ability to make a product that is quite close in appearance to the original, for consumption by people who care about little else other than ‘the look’.

Manufacturing is another intriguing reason to why there are so many counterfeits. Many Swiss companies do outsource case making to the far east. Therefore, such a region can develop a level of expertise in such skills and transfer these to making products for other clients. Yes this is not right, deception some might say, then again 40% of your watch which proudly shows off ‘Swiss made’ could originate from Timbuctoo or Shenzhen, or wherever you choose to call it. But the lines get blurred much more than we are comfortable admitting.

Whilst the watch community can agree a replica watch with Rolex emblazoned on it is a bad thing, what if the exact same watch was to have a different name? There are a number of brands (some respected, some less so) whose design language sails very close to the wind. One wonders how is it some of these are deemed palatable whilst others derided. Do I own a replica watch, no? Would I own a watch from a microbrand which borrows heavily on the design of another larger brand? Potentially yes. How I square that in my head is any bodies guess.

Recently there was the story about a ‘Homage brand’ (we will call it) whose origins seemed to stem from making replicas. There very much seemed to be a change in how many viewed that brand after the story broke, perhaps it’s the inference of criminality?

When it comes to criminality there is the counterfeiting element, then there is the selling of the product as if it is real. I would hazard to guess that most people who are getting a replica, know it is not genuine. In fact, the passing of a replica as genuine is a very murky game played at a much higher level than the shop you find on holiday with their AAA+ genuine fake Royal Oaks, in which the owner is relatively upfront about the nature of the watch and tries to sell it to you based on ‘quality’ and his personal iron-clad guarantee.

Listen to the Scottish Watches Podcast here

Many of you will remember the sordid tale of a well-known YouTuber who sold a fake Daytona for multiple thousands. Whilst the holiday shop guy selling a fake stands to earn perhaps a few hundred pounds, these other individuals look to make thousand through deceit.

Many members of the watch community can detect a reasonably high-level fake, there seems to be the emergence of super clones, a form of replica so accurate it requires a seasoned eye with a loupe to detect its inauthenticity. These watches are so close in look and feel to the original that the differences are imperceptible from across the room, or in a darkly lit Redbar venue.

Are you still not the slightest bit intrigued? Good on you. Whilst I have zero interest in buying a fake and pretending it is the real thing, I’m simply not wired that way. I must admit to being interested in seeing how close these counterfeits can get to genuine article, some of their movements are even very close in imitation.

This then got me thinking. If these super clones are extremely difficult to detect with the naked eye, they must be impossible to spot on Instagram, could there be accounts we follow out there who have all this time been showing us (and getting likes) for fakes??

Many reading this might like me be intrigued with how close these super clones are to the original, heck some might even own one. In fact, if these things are shipped with a decent movement you might get a decent watch that will serve you well. If buying such a product a thought might be given into the type of venture you are funding. The issue comes when some might decide to pass these off as the real thing, that renders not only the watch as fake.

Far be it for this writer to hold any moral judgement on how members of the watch community spend their money. Whether one thinks the purchasing of a clone is wrong or not is very much up to them, one man’s fake is another man’s homage. Passing off a fake as the genuine in the hope it gets you some sort of kudos might however elicit strong opinions from others. One thing is for sure that same money can go to a small independent company who are trying to survive whilst instilling their image into a more genuine product, in this way you are not only buying a product but part of someone’s journey.

One thing that we can never fake is the awe when we try to pick each week’s top picks. This is who made the grade this week.


First up there is nothing fishy about this entry from @the_time_keepers_wrist.

It’s always great to welcome one of our earliest poster @edinburghtimepieces on top picks. He’s on a one-man mission to post excellent shots of amazing pieces on Instagram.

Now, @rossmac2 may have got inspiration from another watch buddy but we love the use of colour throughout this shot. It also makes me want more Lego

@hendersonshorology is not afraid of using a touch of colour also. He makes top picks for his love of peanut M&Ms alone.

The SKX is one of the hits of the year and this lovely textured shot from @philwatchcollection shows us what a great watch it is for the money.

It is always a joy to see the lovely @dianaevansillustration partake in Halfwatch Tuesday. It’s been too long my dear, but we will always ‘Love you do’

@tick_and_sticks reminds us to stay safe out there, but also of how amazing the wonderful that GS mirror finishing is

Closing out top picks is @books_watchaholic with one of the best ways to spend lockdown, buried in a great book.

Shout outs

We are always on the lookout for brands who are showing great potential in the hope we can introduce them to our community. This week we welcome two to the Halfwatch party

The field watch is one of the watches of the moment. Simple and robust yet very difficult to make right. Upstep @mitchmasonwatches who have put a unique spin on it. There is not a single detail on these I do not like, I must say I’m looking forward to seeing these come to fruition.

Next up is @ten_eleven_nine who offering a variety of looks each one perfect of everyday wear.

Both look tantalising prospects and we hope to see more of them in the future. Best of luck to both in their journey from inception to our wrists.

Thank you all to those who posted this week and to those who tuned into Halfwatch Tuesday live with @isotope.watches, honestly, I had a blast. Next up we have Nic at the helm with our friends @sidereuswatches. I simply can’t wait. See you there and next Tuesday.