Omega watches are works of art. Unfortunately, they are also the frequent victims of imitation knockoffs.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery—and just like with flattery, you can always tell when you’re being fooled, as long as you look close enough.
Any fake will attempt to capitalize on the model’s sophistication and unique identity of the Omega design. However, even a good copy can’t finesse the taste, meticulousness, and details that distinguish an original Speedmaster from a fake one.
The devil is in the details. Spotting a fake can be a simple task for the trained eye. Below are the details that trained experts look for when spotting the differences between exquisite craftsmanship and a cheaply manufactured reproduction.
The key to knowing when you’re looking at a fake vs. the real thing lies not in weight, material, or color. Instead, you’ll want to look at the most reputable details that are sure to come off as fake immediately, once you know how they would compare to the real thing.
Look at every facet of the model’s orientation and function, not just the immediate appearance. It’s usually the minute details that distinguish a counterfeit because the scammer does not expect the average buyer to recognize, or even question, them. Investigate the following details.
Omega Serial number
Omega watches come with a 7- or 8-digit serial number imprinted on the back of the watch.
First, check to make sure one is engraved on the back of your watch and cross-reference the number online to make sure this model and serial number exist.
If the serial number is anything other than engraved on the back, it is a fake.
A fake is typically most apparent in the many details on the dial. Are there any spelling errors, incorrect spacing or markings, or intricate detailing that appear in any way amateur? If so, the dial is most likely fake.
Look carefully at the letters, numerals, or minute markings. Are there too many markings? Are there any letters spaced too far apart or detailing that appear bold or painted rather than engraved? These are signs of inauthenticity, too. Omega is famous for its precision in every aspect of its design.
The Omega logo is a very recognizable design. However, it can be an element of the watch that may go unnoticed if not attended to with a careful eye.
The Omega logo can appear too thick or bold on counterfeit watches. A slightly off sizing happens to be the case most of the time because counterfeit artists usually simply paint on the logo rather than engrave, embed, or stamp it.
The Omega brand comes from a long heritage of sophisticated Swiss craftsmanship. The most significant indicator of this lies in the steady, precise movement of the second hand.
There are no ticking sounds produced from the second hand of an authentic Swiss-made watch. Additionally, the second hand should stop completely for superior accuracy when adjusting the time.
When pulling the crown to adjust the time, the second hand should stop and not tick ever. If the timepiece contradicts any of these authentic indicators, it is undoubtedly a fake.
Omega watches, especially the Seamasters, are equipped with luminescent markings to illuminate the watch face in dark spaces. The lume consisted of radioactive material in the past, but now watchmakers use safer materials like photoluminescent pigments.
On Omega watches, the markings, hands, and dot of the rotating bezel on the dial contain detailing that glows brighter than any fake could—the comparison would be no contest.
Fakes often have thin lines for lumes, as opposed to authentic Omega models, that maintain such brightness due to large, clearly identifiable illuminating lumes that span the entire shape of each individual marking.
You can test the watch’s lumination by placing it under a bright light for around 15 minutes, then examining it in a dark space.
A watch that makes any sound is not an Omega Watch. The Swiss craftsmanship allows for a sharp, ticking motion.
However, the watchmakers wind the hardware beneath the dial and craft it with such exquisite perfection that the watch itself should never produce any noise. It is one of the hallmarks of Swiss design and an easy way to assess the authenticity of an Omega watch.
Omega watches, like the Seamaster, contain various functions that are hard to replicate in inauthentic reproductions. For instance, the helium-escape valve is a difficult and overly meticulous chore for most counterfeit artists, and most will not bother to add it at all in reproductions.
However, other counterfeits might indicate fraud if multiple crowns sit around the side of the dial yet don’t correspond to markings on the dial or even move the hands at all on the face of the watch.
The date window is another meticulously crafted function of Omega watches that is strenuous for counterfeits to produce. One can often tell the difference between a fake and an authentic Omega if the date is off-center on the window, or the numbers are too small for the window/do not fully cover the window space.
Helium Escape Valve
Omega Seamaster watches are made with a helium-escape valve to preserve the watch from water damage. The lack of this function or lack of the valve entirely indicates imitation.
Other clear indicators of fraud include the placement of this valve. The valve is rendered on the watch to be slightly off the center of the 10 o’clock position on the side of the dial.
If imitations do include this component, more often than not, the valve will be placed right in the center of the 10 o’clock position, on the side of the watch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is the Serial Number on an Omega Watch?
The serial number will always appear on the back of one of the watch’s lugs. The serial number will always be 7 or 8 digits in a small, engraved print. On older, vintage models, the serial number will appear engraved on the inside of the case.
How Do I Date My Omega Watch by Serial Number?
By looking up the Omega watch by serial number, you can get its entire history, orientation, and previous ownership. This information will help to verify the date and longevity of the timepiece.
If the watch is more than ten years old, you also can use Omega’s Extract from the Archives service to learn more detailed information about its production history.
Get Your Watch Professionally Authenticated
If you own an Omega and wish to verify it is not a counterfeit, consider seeking a professional opinion. Some counterfeits are easy to identify, but others are a more subversive type of fraud that can be difficult to determine.
Precision Watches are happy to provide our expertise to clients looking to verify the authenticity of their watches.
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