Is the appeal of a replica the price?Â The fact that you can get a watch for one tenth/twentieth/fiftieth the "real" price? Being able to flaunt a logo you can't really afford?Â Personally, I don't get it...it can't be about keeping time, since a cheesy $9 quartz jobber you get at Walmart can keep time more accurately than any mechanical watch.Â So it's about status and the perceived "jewelry" like quality of the watch, neither of which comes with a replica"”well, maybe status, but how real is that?
How real is status even with the genuine article? (This applies to more than watches, obviously.) As far as I'm concerned, what we're buying with luxury items is design aesthetics, materials and workmanship. After that, perceived status is a bonus. Very few replicas approach the originals in terms of materials and workmanship (although there are some), so a cosmetically accurate replica would be about design aesthetics, perceived status and economy. Personally, I'd rather have a real Swatch than a fake Patek, but I can understand why someone who adores a particular stratospherically-priced watch would consider a convincing replica for $150. For most people, that's as close as they're ever going to get. Good fakes are somewhat democratizing, after a fashion.