I will append this classic post for the new readers:
Setting aside the fact that you're a fool for paying $5000 for a watch... (or just wealthy and bored) My friend bought a few high quality replicas ($300+) He took them to Tourneau and they were not able to tell the difference. Even after opening them up, it was not entirely obvious. Without opening them up, the salesman said it was impossible to tell. This is how good the highest quality fakes are. And if they're $300, you should ask yourself why you're paying $5000 for something virtually indistinguishable. The money might be better spent on quality shoes, tailoring your clothing, and unique/stylish accessories. (or a therapist)
What? No resale value on the fake? Yes, the $300 is sunk cost, but you overlook oppty cost on the $4700
You love the envious looks your watch receives? My friend gets the same looks for $300.
If your watch is fake then you're a fake? Certainly one way to see things. Or perhaps a real Rolex is the "fake". If I sold some people an ice cream cone for $100, sounds like you'd be upset at only paying $6...
He actually started out researching the real thing. Then decided to test out a fake just to see how he'd wear the real thing in daily life. Once he knew his watch was functionally identical, he felt that the people who paid for real thing were suckers. Trust me, he felt very smug, savvy, and content with his $300 widget that basically functioned the same as a $5000 widget. That's 6% of the cost. Talk about deep discount bargain shopping !
You insist upon the real thing? Either you want to pay $13 for a burger, or you insist on paying $456. Pointing out that the $13 burger has 1 less sesame seed is worth the difference to some, and not to others. Live and let live. This is a religion.
He got ripped off paying $300 for a fake? When he first told me he spent $300 on a fake Rolex, I myself told him he got ripped off. You can get a Seiko for $100, etc. Or you can get a fake for much less. After all, $300 is a lot to spend on any watch ! I think he researched intensely on some watch forums, and became fairly savvy about the entire replica market, and who exactly to buy from. He said the maker of his particular $300 replica was the only one that would pass muster. If he could have gotten away with the $100 fake, he would have. Lesson here is that not all replicas are made the same. It's an art form. I'm sure not all $300 replicas are the same, either. eg: I can get a crayon and write Rolex on a watch and try to sell it for $300.
Is he trying to be something he's not?
My friend pulls down $500k a year.
He also has liquid assets totaling as much.
In the big picture, a small timer, but not a $30k guy either.
The point being, he can easily afford a few nice watches.
He absolutely LOVES his fake watches.
He has several. (Rolex, Brietling, etc)
He spends on nice stuff: clothes, trips, cars, etc.
The watches fit his lifestyle perfectly, so they do not look suspect on him.
B/c he's got the rest of the package, everyone simply assumes they're real.
In fact, I am the only person he's told they are fake.
He gets loads of compliments on them...
His logic is that he's getting "$5000" worth of "value" for $300.
Does he feel like a fraud? In fact, the opposite. He feels brilliant.
He literally laughs aloud with glee when he tells of people who paid $5000 for what HE views as the exact same thing.
He laughs and says it would be utterly retarded to pay $5000 for the same thing.
"Do I look like an idiot?"
So, some men have the opposite reaction to wearing a fake.
They feel they got the deal of the century.
He would feel dirty paying $5000, after getting away with only paying $300.
Is he a wanna be? No. He is a SERIOUS watch guy (ironically), and would pay $5000 if he had to.
But, he feels only a fool would pay more, when you have alternatives.
Well, the logic is quite simple for him.
First, why does he want the name brand watch? Same reason as everyone else!
$5000 watches have a certain "utility" in the social status and compliments they bring.
If he actually wanted to tell time, he's got a cell phone for that, or a $300 Seiko that looks just as good.
Relatively speaking, he feels he is getting a huge value, as others pay $5000 for what he's getting for $300.
So, he's getting 100% of the same social status and compliments at about 7% of the cost.
He absolutely loves this "discount" and feels these watches are the best deal & value he has ever gotten in his life.
In fact, he mocks and disdains people he meets and does business with who have the real thing.
He has basically said, "You've got to be an idiot to pay $5000 for this." He always laughs vigorously after saying this, shaking his head.
He "knows" it only costs $300 to make these watches, and the rest of pure profit. He feels the lux watch makers are marketing geniuses.
You must remember, this guy invests heavily into his business and into many real estate holdings. He has wealth. And he is shrewd.
He feels that most of the (broke wage slave) people he meets have no business spending that much on a watch in the first place.
As such, he feels they are bigger fakers than he is. (and naive suckers, to boot) LOL !
He researched it heavily, and spent big on his replica.
He knows watches as well as the next guy on watch forums.
It is identical to the real thing.
The only difference is that if you open it up, one of the tiny screws is not blue.
Not all replicas are made the same, and he found the best maker.
Very limited supply. You are talking about $20 replicas made of tin?
His are the real deal. Not even dealers can tell them apart.
You may have never seen how far the replica market has come.
Again, he paid over $300 for his watches, which is more than most non-replica watches.
These are not your father's replica Rolex's is what I am saying.
Why do I hang out with him? He's a great guy.
Very funny. Intelligent. Hard worker. Successful. Knows how to have a good time.
Very generous also. He has given me free reign of his summer homes, and has taken me up in his plane many times.
(Beats driving to the Cape!)
He is in the real estate business. Therefore, he interacts with many levels of people.
For example, he has many uneducated blue collar clients that wear $5k to $10k watches.
(Although they are, predictably, more garish and ostentatious than say a more reserved Submariner.)
Lawyers are the same type of animal. They deal with lawyers, yet they deal with low lifes.
My eyes? $500k a year is empirically successful b/c he is in the top 1% of earners.
Yes, there are millions of people who out earn him, but he is still successful if you consider 99th percentile "successful"
He doesn't perceive his worth any more than any other rube who pays the full $5000.
He loves watches. They make him happy. He also enjoys getting complimented on them. Just like SF.
This is SF.
People here are obsessed with clothing.
By definition, it is the most shallow forum I visit on the internet, bar none.
Your "simple living Middle Way" will fall on deaf ears here.
Here, people aspire to $5000 watches. Not downsizing, meditation, and eco-issues.
I'm not a watch guy, but I pressed him about how good these replicas really were. I was also skeptical.
He said the only way to EVER know is to take the thing apart (he laughs whenever he says this)
He even weighed it against the real thing. Dead perfect.
He has also handed them over to other "watch guys" he's met, for them to examine.
Never once has he been called out.
He even told me one time where both were wearing the same Brietling !
Guy never knew, he then laughed and said the other guy was an idiot spending $5000 on that watch.
The key with wearing a fake is to have confidence.
When asked "Is that a fake?" he answers "Would I wear a fake?"
Then he takes it off, and hands it over for examination. Again, he has topline fakes.
Since he's a hardcore watch guy, he knows all the models. He can "talk the talk"
He just didn't spend the $5000, but has the entire context that supports it.
Oh, you mean like buying used designer label clothing that you can not (or prefer not to) buy new? (suits, jackets, ties, shoes, belts, shirts, etc)
I'd say about 90% of SF is guilty of that. If not, what's the difference?
And before you say it, if you think people of SF are NOT trying to pass off "status/wealth/taste", then you're oblivious.
The guy started out intending to buy a $5000+ watch.
He researched all over the watch forums.
He then took a chance on what was considered the pinnacle of perfect fake producer.
Again, the watch dealers themselves could NOT tell the difference, much to their chagrin.
He would have dropped the $10k on a real one, but he saw absolutely no reason to do so.
He has no reason to lie to me. He told me they are fake.
He could have told me they are real, and I'd be none the wiser.
He has a Rolex and Brietling fake.
He also told me owners of the identical watch did not know the difference.
Ok, I just spoke with my friend, and got the lowdown.
Don't skim b/c there are 2 hilarious anecdotes in here. Enjoy!
As a disclaimer, I wear neither replicas or the real thing.
I could give a damn what anyone on SF does with their money.
I just think it's an interesting and amusing topic, and hopefully, you do to.
First, he is very happy with his watches:
"I still have all of them. They run perfectly. They still look fantastic!
In fact, some even have the same problems as the real ones!"
With his Brietling, the bezel has marks at the 12/3/6/9 corners, and one fell off.
His friend has a real Brietling, whose same markings also fell off.
How did he get into this whole thing?
He had a friend who used to buy replicas to "test drive" a style before dropping $7000 for the real thing (on his credit card)
My friend thought this was a smart insurance policy.
One day, he tried on his friend's admittedly fake Rolex, and he said it felt the same as what he wore at Tourneau.
He said he loved the way it looked. Then it hit him, why buy the real thing, when you can get this for $250.
He says he's not trying to impress anyone, he just loves the way his watches look, and can't see why he'd spend more for the same product.
He has felt all the real ones in the store. He has tried them on. They weigh the same.
To him, there is literally no difference, and that is important to keep in mind.
"The only difference is that one is made in Switzerland, and one is made in Taiwan. I'm not paying $7000 just b/c it's made somewhere else"
Funny story about Torneau:
The first time he went in there, shopping for watches, he got bad service.
Sometime later, he was in the store, and he happened to be wearing one of his fakes.
"Holy shit, the service I got at Torneau! That's when I could REALLY check out the others, and REALLY ask questions and compare."
That's when he knew this was the real deal. He held the watches, and they felt exactly the same to him.
He noted that Rolex has hologram on back. The hologram on his fake "is decent"
"I mean, maybe a certified Rolex hologram cop could tell, but whatever......HAHAHHA"
How did he find his replica? He went to a replica watch forum.
A common newcomer question was where to get the best replicas, and not the tin foil junk.
He kept seeing the same guy/site suggested over and over in the top 3.
He decided to try it, noting that $250 is still a lot of money for any watch.
He has 4 replicas, and hasn't bought a new one in years.
One reason: The replica site he used has been gone for a few years.
Limits in choice? You can't get anything brand new, like the latest model.
He doesn't like wearing his Rolex, b/c it's famous for being copied.
People almost assume it's a fake. Or it's the first question they ask.
He wears his Breitling Chronomat as his daily workhorse.
More becuase he just loves the way it looks...
"It's beautiful....It's their flagship"
When he's handed it over to others for inspection, since they're so heavy, no one questions it.
"You'll get 'Ohhhh, wow' just from the weight........HAHAHHA"
He also has a Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel
"They're very hard to get. You'll pay out the ass. There's even a waiting list...HAHAHHA"
Get this, RSS. You want to hear his rationale and conscience?
He says the only scammers are the people in Switzerland.
"I've had mine for years, it keeps time, it's been underwater, it doesnt nick."
Cartier is spending $200 to make the watch....and charging $10,000. Fuck that shit....
I want to wear a beatuful watch, I'm not gonna pay some scam artist $10,000"
Other select quotes:
"I'm gonna give it to my son, and not gonna tell that fukcer either. HAHAHHAAH"
"I got mine from Taiwan. It's a big industry down there. They've actually invested money into this industry."
"I've had this 5 years. I've gotten more use of this than ANY peice of jewelry I've ever owned. I love this thing"
Are you bored of it?
"No. Not bored of it. Not even close. I LOVE this watch. It's beautiful"
"I've worn the real one.....you can not tell the difference."
"I brought it to Torneau to get some links removed.
All I got was "Nice watch, sir" and "Yes, sir, right away sir! HAHAHHA!
They did it for free, hoping I'll drop another $7 grand on some fucking watch"
"I challenge any store clerk to tell the difference, maybe if you were a replica cop, but no one else can tell....I really don't think they could ever tell."
"Instead of buying 1 and bankrupting yourself for 7k, just buy 20 replicas and have the greatest watch collection ever."
"They're such dicks.."
A young client once had same Breitling Chronomat as my friend.
He was genuinely shocked. He started quizzing HIM.
How did YOU pay for that? With a check? (No, credit card....)
"5 grand for a fucking piece of jewelry that I got for $250???
I was just shocked that someone could do that"