How to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

bestrade119wince1How to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

In the multi-million dollar world of fake and replica watches, you are certainly forgiven if you thought that only Swiss marques are targeted by counterfeiters in the Far East. High end Swiss brands like Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Patek Philippe, Longines and TAG Heuer are the usual victims. The replica watch industry exists so long as there is enough demand and believe me, there is enough global demand for knock-off timepieces.

Most people who look for replica Swiss watches probably buy them to impress their friends and colleagues. Others buy a fake Swiss watch to have a taste of luxury timepieces before paying top dollar for the originals. Some purchase them out of sheer curiosity, for the fun of it and as inexpensive gifts. And there are also owners of the real watch who buy replicas for safety reasons - they would wear their originals to official events and switch to the replicas for casual outings.

Replica watch manufacturers have come a long way from the instantly recognizable el cheapo junk that you typically find in flea markets. It is a highly profitable industry, as evidenced by the increasing number of online replica watch vendors. These days even fake Swiss watches have different grades of quality.  Some fake watch peddlers classify them according to their grades; you can find an "A" grade replica for as little as USD50 and an "AAA" grade one for USD500 or more.

 

 

replicamovementmedium thumb1How to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)Above: A Grade 1 replica automatic movement used in a fake Rolex Submariner (borrowed photo).

 

Many top grade replica chronographs come with fully functional chronograph movements to fool most people. Short of opening the caseback and inspecting its innards, even experienced jewelers and trained watchmakers sometimes have trouble in spotting a fake watch.

It is not the cheap knock-offs that the Swiss watchmakers are worried about - it's the high grade copies passing off as originals that deceives unwitting consumers who pay almost the same prices as the real ones. For this reason, major Swiss watch companies strictly forbid online sales of their watches.

According to the Swiss Customs Service, there are some 30 to 40 million counterfeit watches being circulated every year. It is estimated that USD600 million worth of revenue is lost to the counterfeit industry.

Replica watch retailers have capitalized on the world wide web that you can easily find online replica watch sellers. Chances are you may have received spam on replica Swiss watches (I come across them in my junk mail folder frequently).

(All photos depicted in this article belong to their respective copyright owners).

 

 

Do fake Seiko watches really exist?

Many people assume that watches like Seiko have no counterfeit equivalent because Seiko is not considered a luxury watch brand. The answer is unfortunately yes, there are replica Seikos being made and sold. However, the number of fake Seiko watches peddled either on the streets or the Internet are fortunately small.

 

 

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A seemingly genuine Seiko Premier, but it's not. It's 100% fake.

Right above is an example of a bogus Seiko Premier automatic watch. From the twin push buttons it suggests that it's a chronograph model. The irony is that Seiko has yet to introduce a mechanical chronograph version for its Premier lineup.

A Seiko watch always has its brand and movement code on its caseback. In the above photo on the right, the factory stamped "ALL STAINLESS STEEL" and "WATER RESISTANT" text in huge letterings. The Seiko watch company does not conform to this practice. It has no need to print such text as a unique selling point. Counterfeit makers however, do in an attempt to disguise their products as the real thing. icon smileHow to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

 

Now who on earth would buy a fake Seiko?

That's a pretty good question. The majority of the Seiko watches are priced well below USD500, particularly the quartz and Kinetic models, which are Seiko's bread-and-butter products. They range from the very affordable, basic Seiko 5 to above average priced models like the Sportura and Premier models costing USD500 to USD800. A genuine Seiko 5 automatic watch can set you back about only USD60 or so.

At this point you may be wondering, why are counterfeiters making fake Seikos and still selling them? And why would anyone want to buy them?

The answer is plain and simple - one of the basic laws of economics: demand and supply. icon smileHow to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

I live in Southeast Asia where there is a large presence of immigrant workers from neighboring countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam. I would estimate 9 out of 10 of them who are looking for a "Seiko" prefer to buy one at the local night and flea markets rather than visiting an authorized Seiko retailer.

Price is often the barrier as genuine Seiko watches could cost them a month's wages. So why bother paying the full price when they can get a "Seiko" at one half the price of the original?

Ignorance probably comes a close second reason as those who accidentally buy fake Seiko watches simply cannot tell the difference with the real thing.

 

 

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An imitation "Seiko 5", complete with bogus hang tags (left). The "SEIKO" print is in a straight line where it should follow the caseback's curve (right).

 

The purpose of writing this article is to highlight that fake Seiko watches do exist and you may unwittingly buy one online. There are a few unscrupulous eBay vendors who pass off counterfeit Seiko watches as originals. This is a downright deception and cheating. Whether the sellers knowingly or unknowingly advertise them as genuine watches is besides the point.

The good news is that most fake Seiko watches (hobbyists call them "Feikos") are so poorly made that it's so easy to spot a fake one. The bad news is that consumers who buy them are usually ignorant and they think they've bought a Seiko at an amazingly low price.

Some replica Seikos are pretty obvious fakes with outlandish designs. Others are near exact copies (particularly the popular SKX007 divers and mechanical Seiko 5s) that can pass off as the original ones if you don't know how to distinguish them.

Nonetheless, the counterfeit Seiko market is not a very lucrative one (as opposed to replica Swiss watches) therefore not much effort is spared to duplicate a genuine Seiko.

 

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Fake Seikos often use cheap, substandard China-made movements (borrowed pic)

 

As with replica Swiss timepieces, fake Seikos also come in varying qualities. Some look so weird that they easily raise suspicions while others look so convincingly authentic that they baffle even the most seasoned veterans.

The most popular knock-offs of Seiko watches seem to be the Seiko 5 automatics. They are simple to produce, with cheap movements from various factories in the Far East but are easy to spot if you know how.

 

 

Spotting the Real Deal

The first thing you should know about a genuine Seiko 5 is that they are cased at Seiko's overseas facilities in Hong Kong, China. The 7s26 movements are however, manufactured in Singapore and from 2006 onwards, Malaysia. The completed movements are then sent to Seiko Hong Kong for the final assembly.

Pictured below is an example of a genuine Seiko 5. A pre-2002 Seiko 5 comes with a stainless steel caseback and in some models, a faint "5" logo laser-etched on the crystal, at the 6 o'clock position. Unfortunately counterfeiters also managed to copy the emblem and incorporate it into their fake products.

From 2002 onwards, in a move to reposition the image of the Seiko 5 and to thwart copycats, Seiko introduced the glass display back (instead of stainless steel caseback) and also did away with the etched "5" emblem on the crystal.

 

 

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A post-2002 genuine Seiko 5 (model SNK379K) with a glass display caseback.

 

 

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A pre-2002 genuine Seiko 5s with a solid stainless steel caseback.

 

 

 

Characteristics of a fake Seiko

A Seiko 5 is a mechanical watch. Therefore it should have a smoothly sweeping second hand ticking at 6 beats per second. If you see one that ticks once per second, it's definitely battery operated quartz.

Update: According to Seiko Japan's customer service, the company did release short-lived quartz versions of the Seiko 5 in the late 70s. These were however, rare exceptions than the norm. Therefore throughout the rest of this article, a Seiko 5 refers to the mainstream automatic Seiko 5.

(Thanks to seikokaki@yahoo.com for this bit of info!).

Classic tell-tale signs of a fake Seiko include but not limited to:

  • Wrongly spelled Seiko brand, e.g. Sieko, Aseikon etc, which is pretty obvious
  • Seiko logo with the wrong typeface or font (harder to spot)
  • Quartz movement in a supposedly automatic model, e.g. Seiko 5
  • Rough finishing and shoddy construction
  • Fictitious reference numbers (only experienced collectors will know this)
  • A "5" logo etched on the front crystal (pre-2002 genuine Seiko 5s had this logo)
  • Generic transparent sticker with a red stripe on the caseback (genuine Seikos don't use such stickers)
  • "Seiko Japan" embossed on the bracelet clasp
  • Poor grade luminous material used on hands and hour markers
  • Lack of lume on the dial
  • Hands that have different shade of color from the hour markers

For easy reference, I'll categorize the fake Seikos according to their difficulty to distinguish them from the originals.

 

 

Category 1: The very obvious fakes

These are usually fake Seikos that come with the misspelled Seiko brand. They are very easy to spot. At least the manufacturers who made them came out with "original" sounding names. icon smileHow to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

 

 

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Three very obvious fakes: MEIKO, SALCO and SGEKO. OK, you can stop laughing now. icon winkHow to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

 

 

 

Category 2: "Original design” fakes

These are phony watches that misuses the Seiko brand but come with designs that are not copied off any known Seiko models. In essence, the copycats come up with their own designs and try to pass them off as "unique" Seiko models.

Novices unfamiliar with genuine Seiko watches are prone to mistaken these as originals. Most Category 2 fakes have outlandish and cheesy designs as you can see below. Some of them are so ugly that when you look at them, you won’t know whether to laugh or cry! icon winkHow to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

 

 

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None of the above fakes resemble any actual Seiko models, really. (Bottom right pic courtesy of Isthmus)

 

 

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Seiko never made a Rolex Submariner copy, so don't be fooled! icon winkHow to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

 

 

Category 3: "Wannabe Seikos"

"Wannabe Seikos" are fakes that attempt to mimic the genuine ones but are not very good at it. They often are made to low manufacturing standards - cheap materials, rough workmanship and incorrect dial/hands and caseback typefaces or fonts.

To the untrained eye, these counterfeits look like the real deal. However, there are evident and distinctive tell-tale signs of a phony Seiko if you know where to look for them.

 

 

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  • Top left: Fake SKX007 Arrow-tip second hand and white "Diver's 200m" text signifies this is not the real thing. Authentic SKX007s have a lumed ball on the opposite end of the second hand.
  • Top right: Imitation SKX171K diver with a black-and-red bezel. Note the etched "Seiko 5" logo on the glass just above the 6 o’clock marker.
  • Bottom left: Same as top right, albeit with a phony SKX171K style dial. The bezel insert and crown are of the incorrect design and so are shape of the crown guards.
  • Bottom right: Fake SKX171K on rubber strap. Original Seiko divers have a lumed dot on the bezel insert triangle. The “Diver’s 200m” and calendar font are also incorrect. And they don’t come with rubber straps that say “Wind Velocity” either!

 

Category 4: Convincing replicas

These are almost authentic counterfeit Seikos that at first glance even seasoned owners could mistake them for authentic Seikos at first glance. Photos don't reveal everything and it's quite easy to be fooled. A side-by-side comparison with a genuine model is the best way to discern the forgeries. Most people will say it's a real Seiko but the trained experts will tell you that it's not - and even that, after poring over the watch or photo of the watch for a few minutes.

In the photos below, both diver's watches look quite alike. Newbie buyers are likely to make the mistake of buying the one on the left. See if you can spot the difference! icon smileHow to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

 

 

SKX007K

 

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Fake Seiko diver (left) vs the genuine SKX007 (right).

Above: A very good copy of the SKX007 diver (left) and it looks pretty real. Click the picture to enlarge and you'll see that the etched "Seiko 5" logo at the lower part of the crystal is the giveaway.

Also, fake Seiko divers often are issued with a hologram sticker on the glass to make it look convincing. Authentic Seikos do not come with such stickers.

 

 

SKX779K

 

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Phony Black Monster (left) and the real SKX779K (right)

Above: This imitation Black Monster (left) has the calendar with a white background instead of black. Also the lumed dot on the bezel is jutting out too far, instead of being slightly recessed. Fake Monster divers are rarely seen and this is the best example of a fake Monster I've seen so far.

 

 

SKX171K

 

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Bogus SKX171K diver (left) vs the original SKX171K (right)

Above: The fake SKX171K watch comes with an all-black bezel and a lumed triangle that's too large. The 12, 6 and 9 o’clock markers are also over-exaggerated. Less noticeable is the laser etched "Seiko 5" logo on the crystal and the "Made in Japan" text at the bottom of the dial.

 

 

Seiko 5

 

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Replica Seiko 5 (left) vs a real Seiko 5 for the Middle East export market (right)

Above: Though hard to spot, the fake Seiko 5 (left) has the words "Automatic" and "21 Jewels" that are placed too close to the center of the watch dial. Also, the font is too thin and faint compared to the original (right).

 

 

Casebacks

 

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 Imitation SKX007 diver's caseback (left) vs its genuine counterpart (right)

Above: You can see that the imitation watch has poor quality stamping on its caseback. The "wave" logo is also poorly etched compared to the raised logo on the original. Note the “JAPAN” text etched directly above the serial number. Authentic Seikos don’t print anything on top of their serial numbers. The fake diver also says "7S26-7039", which is actually a bogus (non-existent from Seiko’s records) caseback number.

 

 

 

Watch out for that red stripe!

Often than not, fake watches have a clear protective sticker on their casebacks with a thin red stripe running across the sticker at its edge. It seems that even fake Seikos have this sort of protective sticker.

Original Seikos usually come with a semi-transparent blue or clear circular protective sticker (depending on the model) for their stainless steel backed models. Let’s see the difference below.

 

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Top: Phony SKX007K (left) with the red striped sticker and poorly copied caseback etchings. The one on the right is of an original SKX007K with the semi-transparent blue sticker. (Photos from the Internet)

 

 

Is it real or faux?

Below are examples of two dubious looking Seiko 5s albeit convincing copies. To be frank, when I first scrutinized these photos, I wasn't sure if they were phonies. I mean, Seiko made so many models based on this design and they sure look like authentic.

Upon further inspection I noticed some clues:

  1. The typeface used on the calendar wheel differs from the original Seiko 5. It's probably made of aluminum instead of plastic used by 7s26 caliber Seikos.
  2. The lower dial text is also thin and of the incorrect typeface. They are also printed too close to the center of the dial.
  3. The hands' color also differs from the green Arabic numerals, it's yellow. Genuine Seiko 5s usually have matching hand and dial lume color hue.
  4. Original Seiko 5s with gold accents usually have matching gold plated bracelets and cases. Here, the hands, calendar window and "5" emblem are gold plated but the rest of the watch is not.
  5. Bogus “hologram security sticker" on the crystal.

 

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 All of the watches above are fake Seikos!

 

A genuine gold plated Seiko 5 should look like this example below. Note that the gold accents used are uniform and matching - the case is gold plated and so are the hands, markers, logos and the day/date window.

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A lovely gold plated, genuine Seiko 5 (model SNK368K) on a classy aftermarket leather strap. Borrowed photo.

 

 

OK, pop quiz, folks! Have a look at this Seiko Arctura below. Do you think is it genuine?

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(Thanks to Peter Horne who submitted this photo in the Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum) icon smileHow to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

 

No, unfortunately it's also a fake. It’s not your fault if you thought it's an authentic Seiko Arctura, right down to the Arctura logo.

The dead giveaway is the "JAPAN MADE" text at the bottom of the dial. While Swiss watch manufacturers print "Swiss Made" on their products, Seiko never uses the text "Japan Made".

The "Arctura" and "100M" text is also printed too high up and too close to one another on the dial. Seiko usually leaves a gap between these printings for legibility. The "100M" font is also not typical of the fonts that Seiko uses.

Another thing, absent from this watch are the identifying codes that represent the watch caliber and dial number. Every genuine Seiko timepiece must have its caliber and dial codes printed at the bottom of the dial. No exceptions.

 

 

Dial codes on authentic Seiko watches

Original Seiko watches should have the following on the dial in fine print:

  • "Made in Japan" (Japan made models for specific export markets)
  • "Mov't Japan" (Singapore assembled models)
  • “Mov’t Malaysia” or “Mov’t Singapore” (China made models for U.S. export market)
  • "Japan" (Japan made models for Japan domestic market and vintage Seiko watches)
  • No country indicated (China assembled models for non-U.S.market regions)

Pay close attention to the dial codes as fake ones usually have different a typeface or font compared to original Seiko dials. With some practice, you’ll be able to discern the counterfeit ones from the authentic watches.

 

 

Where do I find authentic Seiko sellers online?

If you're in the market for buying a Seiko 5 or SKX diver on the Internet, always look for reputable online sellers. On eBay, stick to merchants with thousands of buyer feedback, preferably those with at least 97% positive feedback.

Some of the online sellers from the Far East that I would recommend you to buy from include but not limited to:

Note: I am not affiliated with any of the above merchants in any way!

There are other genuine Internet based Seiko sellers or re-sellers other than the above from other regions of the world. If you’re buying from eBay, look for merchants that have the Power Seller status with hundreds or thousands of feedback. The positive feedback rating should ideally be at least 97% or more.

For more information on identifying fake Seikos on eBay, you might want to check out my new article here. icon smileHow to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

 

 

What's a grey market Seiko?

Some of the sellers like Pokemonyu and Premierworld deal in grey market Seikos. Grey market watches are in fact, genuine products.

The only difference is that they are parallel imports which are not sanctioned by the local Seiko distributor of that country. Grey market Seikos are cheaper but they don't come with any warranty.

Warranties are not exactly free - you're actually paying extra for protection and insurance against manufacturing defects. Usually the grey market seller will exchange the watch for you if you receive a defective one.

Of course, one-to-one exchanges are subject to the seller’s terms and conditions. The watch that you receive must have not been altered, has its bracelet shortened or sized. Be sure to read the seller’s fine print before buying a grey market Seiko.

 

 

 

Are Seiko watches sold on the Internet fakes?

I’ve read posts by people saying that they were informed by some authorized Seiko dealers that watches sold on the Internet are fakes.

Here’s my take on this issue. While it’s true that some unscrupulous eBay sellers pass off fake Seiko watches as genuine, this not a generalization of all Internet based Seiko watch sellers. Some brick-and-mortar authorized Seiko dealers don’t bother to do proper research on grey market Seikos. They base their conclusions on hearsay.

Other authorized Seiko watch dealers simply don’t like the fact that grey market watches are hurting their sales because grey market imports are much cheaper. So they are quick to point out that parallel imports are fakes – which is often that not, untrue.

That said, some popular models in the U.S. like the SKX009K diver are given unique model numbers – in America it’s known as the SKX175 to differentiate it from parallel import SKX009Ks. Both watches are essentially the same, except for markings at the bottom dial. Such models that are officially distributed by Seiko USA also have the country of origin marked on the dial, e.g. “Mov’t Singapore” or “Mov’t Malaysia”.

In some European countries, like Germany for example – grey market Seikos are generally disliked by local watch dealers. To discourage people from buying much cheaper grey market watches from Southeast Asia, the watches are often heavily taxed by their country’s Customs department upon arrival. Seiko Germany is probably aware of this “problem” but I don’t know if they have complained to the German Customs to protect their local dealer network.

Many overseas Seiko sellers will inform their prospective buyers that they would no be responsible for import duties and taxes imposed by the buyer’s respective Customs. A few sellers may refuse to ship watches to certain countries due to such import restrictions.

 

 

 

Are there other counterfeit Seiko models?

Fortunately for us, it appears that the counterfeiters prefer to manufacture fakes that are:

  • easy to duplicate
  • cheap to manufacture
  • highly profitable to sell

In other words, they normally won't bother trying to duplicate a Seiko Kinetic watch or any of the higher range models like the Arctura, Sportura, Criteria, etc. The manufacturers will not bother with complicated designs and movements as it's not worth the cost and effort. Even if they do attempt to copy, the outcome is usually very poor. They hardly look like the genuine Seiko models they try to duplicate.

It seems that the most common counterfeit models are the Seiko 5 automatics and the SKX divers, both groups based on the 7s26 movement.

Fake Seikos are not to be confused with "Franken Seikos" which are genuine watches that are cobbled from parts belonging to other Seiko models. I'll cover the subject of Franken Seikos in a separate post.

 

Is Seiko doing anything about this?

From what I've read, the Seiko Time Corporation is concerned about counterfeit watches spilling into the U.S. and have successfully prosecuted the perpetrators. There are articles regarding Seiko pursuing cases against counterfeit manufacturers but they are rather old news, dating to 2001.

Here are some references pertaining to fake Seiko watches:

www.jckonline.com/article/CA73636.html

www.larrybiggs.net/scwf/index.php?mod=103&action=0&id=1102331711

 

 

What can I do to avoid buying a fake Seiko watch?

Well, it takes some reading and researching on your part to be able to avoid falling into the Feiko trap. Familiarizing yourself with photos of authentic Seiko watches can help.

If you're buying on eBay, check the retailer's ratings and feedback. While eBay does its best to combat bogus watch sellers and shut them down, they always find ways to make a comeback under some other names.

A number of fake Seiko sellers on eBay are based in China, so you'll need to be careful when buying watches on eBay. While eBay has a tough policy on sellers of fake products they are not always reported.

One infamous seller who went by the name "maimaichinaman" used to peddle in counterfeit Seikos until eBay closed his online store after complaints from buyers. Undeterred, the seller simply registered himself again and resumed his business. I don't know if he's still at it but I'm not surprised if he is.

When it comes to buying from unfamiliar sources, the caveat emptor rule applies. Beware of online sellers offering cheap Seiko watches at unbelievable prices. If you are ever in doubt of a Seiko watch, feel free to post a question to me via this blog’s Contact Form icon smileHow to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)(This article’s comments form has been closed due too many comments, which slows down this page’s loading times).

Alternatively, you can also ask in the Seiko and Citizen Watch Forum and the members will be glad to verify its authenticity. If you do post a question about a watch sold on eBay, simply link the images of the watches in your post. Please do not post ongoing auction links (not even the auction number) in the forum - it's against the forum rules.

Good luck and happy buying! icon smileHow to spot a fake Seiko watch (revised)

Related posts: quartzimodo.com/articles/how-to-spot-fake-seiko-watches-on-ebay/ 

 

Originally posted 2008-03-16 23:47:45.

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Comments

I've seen fake Vostoks so why not fake Seikos. I couldn't believe it. A $40 Vostok and someone bothered to fake one. Nuts.

Well, it's kind of a supply-and-demand thing, Ed.

It costs a pittance to make fake Vostoks and Seikos. Counterfeiting is a very profitable business - if it isn't nobody would bother to continue making fake watches. :-)

Hello. I have a special Seiko Premier. It´s like the SNA585 model with blue dial(not black). The original Premier have a 7T62 quartz movement. My Premier have the V657 movement.
There are some diferences in the dial. If you want any photo, email me.

Hi Ruben,

Chances are your Seiko Premier is an older model that I have not seen before, with the 1/10sec V657 chronograph movement.

Most, if not all V657-based Seikos have a reference starting with SKSxxxP.

I will contact you shortly for photos of your watch.

thanks for the comment,

Quartzimodo

I've just Purchased this watch
cgi.ebay.es/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130200755108
After reading this article i'm afraid it's a Fake.

Can anyone tell from the Pictures?
Thanx

Hello Mikey,

After looking at the photos I'm convinced that your 7002 is actually a genuine Seiko but with non-original parts.

The bezel insert is aftermarket (not made by Seiko) and the dial appears to be like it too. Many 7002s sold on eBay have non-original dials as they would have faded over the years - the index markers would have turned into light brown color.

The one you have has a very light green index markers - could be an aftermarket dial. However, the SEIKO font is very accurate for a non-original dial.

Your watch is not a fake. You can buy the correct straight-ten bezel insert for your 7002-7000 from stores.ebay.com/TheWatchWorks.

Quartzimodo.

Thanks a lot for your Answer.
I actually don't care too much if it's all original, I just need a Watch that's affidable and durable.
hope i've found it
Anyway thanks for the link I'll think about restoring it
( I haven't payed too much indeed for the Watch itself)
Best Regards
Mikey

You're welcome, Mikey.

I forgot to add that the hands on your 7002-7000 may be aftermarket. Original hands are treated with tritium paint which will turn brown over the years.

Many second hand 7002s are in bad shape, so the sellers replace the original dial with an aftermarket one. Finding a mint condition 7002 is not that easy - you must be willing to pay top dollar for one and find someone who's also willing to sell it.

You can also replace the hands with those for the SKX173/SKXA35/SKXA53 7s26 divers as they are identical.

I have a 7002-700J with an aftermarket dial but its SEIKO font is not as accurate as yours.

Quartzimodo.

the seller "speedtimercollection" often has some "curious" moded seiko, but it's easy to spot in. There is good watch too...

Is this ebay seller selling fakes?

stores.ebay.com/Time-The-Avenger

I bought one, but after reading your blog I'm not sure if it's genuine or not.

I bought this one:

cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=150231407870&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT&ih=005

Many thanks in advance.

Hi Damon,

Rest assured, your Seiko 5 is an authentic Seiko, so don't worry. :-) I also checked the eBay store and all the Seikos advertised are also genuine.

The reason it doesn't come with box or warranty is because the watch is a grey market Seiko. The store probably sourced it from a grey market supplier (non-authorized Seiko dealer) in the SE Asia.

I have bought several grey market Seikos on eBay and they are all 100% authentic. The 7s26 is a robust and reliable
automatic movement and it should last you for decades if the watch isn't abused.

That is a nice watch, wear it in good health! :-)

That's great, thanks for checking.

And thanks for the background info.

Great site - keep it up! ;)

[...] How to spot a fake Seiko watch [...]

Great writeup! This will help tons of people. If you want to see something very disturbing:
www.watchesprice.net/Seiko-Watches.html

144 PAGES! of fake Seiko's. If the photos are of the actual fakes, heaven help us!

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

The replica site is using photos of original Seiko watches. Look at the prices of the SBDA003/005 Ti Samurais - they are very much lower than the industry standard market prices. If something is too good to be true, it usually is.

Strangely, the seller also claims to have the Red and Blue Monsters - these are Thailand market Seiko models which are likely have been sold out. The offered prices are also unrealistically low.

Thanks for your submission. Stay away from this kind of seller too!

Hi Quartzimodo,

Thank you for your indept review & guide. I'm a newbee.

I've seen the same SKX007 (not sure if it's K or J) in Sg Wang.
It's on the ground floor. It's asking for RM900-950.
What would be the bargaining price level?

As for the Pertama Complex, what would their price be?

cheers...

Qoo

Hi Qoo,

Firstly, there are no "J" versions of the SKX007 sold here. You can only get them in Singapore or Arabic speaking countries and they're for the Middle East export market.

The price range you quoted is should be the list price. You should bargain for a minimum 25% discount (some shops can give you 30% off or more).

Back in 2005, the average discounted price for the SKX007K (on Z22 rubber strap) was RM480. Since then Seiko prices have gone up.

You should target between RM540-RM580 for an SKX007K on Jubilee style bracelet in Pertama Complex. Ideally, it should not be over RM600.

Do not buy from shops in the vicinity of Petaling Street as there are some unscrupulous sellers who try to pass off fake SKX007s as genuine ones and sell them for RM480.

I know this because I've seen such an example personally.

Happy buying! :-)

Quartzimodo.

Hi Quartzimodo,

Thank you for the info...

You meant that SKX007J can be found in Singapore store? If yes,
any recommendation store to look for & the price range?

Anyway, I'll check out the store in Pertama Complex.
Which store do you recommend?

Cheers...

Qoo

Hi

I bought this Seiko 5 on ebay :

cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=220252008486&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT&ih=012

Is it a true Seko ?? Perhaps the grey market ?? The seller is in Honk Kong. Please tell me.

Thanks for your informations

Bonjour Greg,

You have nothing to worry about, mon ami. I checked the listing and although I'm not familiar with the seller, your watch is a genuine Seiko.

Since it comes with a 1 year international warranty, it's most likely NOT a grey market watch and should anything happen to your watch, you can claim warranty from the Seiko service center in your country.

Quartzimodo

Hello Qoo,

Sorry for the late reply.

Yes, the SKX007J can be found in Singapore. It's actually meant for export to the Middle East Arab countries.

I would recommend either Mee Sing Watch store (lower ground) or Pusat Jam Pertama (1st floor). Both stores have sales staff named Desmond (no relation) and I've known both of them for a long time.

Pusat Jam Pertama has a wider array of Seikos though.

Your choice of the SKX007K or J depends on whether you're willing to pay extra for the Japan version. Quality-wise they are similar.

Happy buying!

Quartzimodo

[...] you have already read my previous article on spotting fake Seiko watches, you may have learned how to distinguish the counterfeits from the [...]

Hi Quartzimodo, please cant you take a look and tell me your opinion.
cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=260261780639&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT&ih=016

On the dial is writen "made in japan" and on the bracelet "Seiko Japan"
So its a fake wach ?

Thanks you !

Hi Roberto,

Sorry for the late reply. I don't monitor comments unless it requires moderation. Next time if you need to ask me, please use the "Ask Quartzimodo" contact form.

It's an original, vintage 7019 Seiko 5, probably from May 1985.

Q.

Hi

Just bought a seiko sportura SNAA95P1 from an ebay shop. It looks genuine to me, the detail is incredible, but just want to be sure. The serial number is 754624 and the movement 7T62. This is also printed in tiny numbers on the face next to the date box. I've also posted this question on the Seiko Citizen Watch Forum with pics. The ebay vendor is stores.ebay.co.uk/GMC-WATCHES. Tried using your "ask quazi" page but there was no form on it?! Thanks in advance, Dave.

Hello Dave,

I just read your post over in the SCWF forum. The photos were to small for me to discern, but it appears to be a genuine Seiko from the design of the case and lugs. A Sportura's design is too intricate and costly for a counterfeit manufacturer to copy, so they don't bother to do so.

Replica makers usually go for the lowest costs and the highest profits possible. There's hardly any demand for fake Sporturas as genuine ones are considered affordable (unlike the high end Swiss and German watches)

I have two Sporturas myself, including an SNL035P Kinetic and I'm familiar with its styling and layout.

GMC Watches doesn't have anything for sale at the moment therefore I am unable to view their items. Sorry if you were unable to use the contact form, in my oversight I forgot to activate the contact form plugin.

Thanks for the feedback, the form has been fixed now. :-)

BTW, your watch was made in May 2007 which makes it about right for the model.

cheers,

Quartzimodo.

Greeting Quartzimodo,

Am interested in a Seiko 5 Superior Automatic from skywatches. Don't seem to have many info about their SNZD35: www.skywatches.com.sg/watches/product_info.php?cPath=51&products_id=1509
Is it the real thing?

Then saw this SNG085 Seiko Criteria Kinetic Auto Relay: www.skywatches.com.sg/watches/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=1711
errr... what's with the extra 2 dials which are not found on others?

Hello Ken,

The SNZD35J that is sold by Skywatches is authentic. This design first came out sometime in 2006 if I remember correctly. There's not much advertising on Seiko 5 Superiors as Seiko 5s are not considered an international sub-range like the Arctura, Sportura, Velatura and Premier.

The watch in question is genuine and is fairly priced, in my opinion. Skywatches is a brick-and-mortar store in Singapore and they sell authentic Seikos online.

As for the SNG085P Auto Relay, the watch that you see is a Photoshop copy and paste job. Auto Relay Kinetics do not have any push buttons on the case.

Skywatches routinely uses digital photo software to save time photographing their numerous models. What they do is to take one shot of a watch and superimpose the dials onto others to save time.

What you saw is an error which they overlooked. The case probably belongs to a 7T92 or 7T62 Seiko Criteria chronograph and they superimposed the SNG085P's dial without realizing the mistake.

The correct photo of the watch can be found here

Hope this helps.

Quartzimodo.

Thanks a million Guru Quartzimodo.

You are welcome, Ken. :-)

Ok, on the page this says replica. Clearly labeled Seiko. Is it a fake? www.watchesprice.net/Seiko-5-Sports-Self-Winding-Automatic-Watch-Model-SNZD15K1-13066.html

I like the style and why would they charge so much for a replica seiko?

Hi Mike,

Here's the dilemma. The website claims that it deals in replica watches. Yet the photos of the Seikos depicted in their site are in fact, pictures of genuine Seikos.

You wouldn't know what you'll be getting until you've paid and received the watch. Another warning is the fact that the seller offers a 30% discount on purchases made through Western Union.

Quoting from their website:

"You could pay by VISA, MASTER, WESTERN UNION, and BAND TRANSFER for your order. We supply 30% off if you pay by western union because of its cheaper service charge, and please contact server for western union information after playing the order. VISA, MASTER payment way with no discount."

Something is definitely very wrong here.

1. For Western Union payments, it is the SENDER of the funds that pays the commission fees(you) and not the RECIPIENT (the seller). So what the seller claims is totally untrue.

2. Western Union does not impose a ridiculously high fee of 30% as commission.

3. Sending funds via bank wire and Western Union is a one-way traffic. Once you have sent your money, there is no way you can reclaim your funds. Western Union is just a funds transfer service and unlike PayPal or credit card, there will be no transaction record or invoice.

4. With credit cards, you can issue a charge-back to your credit card company or issuing bank. This provides you some protection when you find that the item is not to your expectations and you send the watch back.

5. A 30% discount just because the buyer opts to pay by Western Union is too good to be true. Brick-and-mortar stores in SE Asia typically charge three percent surcharge (max) for credit card purchases (although legally they aren't allowed to do so).

6. Also note the poor grammar used in the payment instructions. Most likely the seller is based in mainland China.

I would advise you to stay away from this seller. Meanwhile you might want to read up on this article.

Hope this helps.

Quartzimodo.

Seiko time corp japanese parts assembld in hong kong 6091a seventeen 17 jewels unadjusted water resistant stainless steel 6109-8029 p n° ???? 5n5203 , 5n3090 , 5n4010

I'm confused now... my watch hasn't arrived yet (from JustCalculators), but why would you buy a fake Seiko 5 for $178...

www.watchesprice.net/Seiko-5-Mens-Automatic-Green-Dial-with-Green-Nylon-Strap-Watch-13562.html

...when you can buy a real one for $80?

justcalculators.com/Seiko-5-Mens-Nylon-Band-SelfWinding/M/B000XT2LMS.htm

Or is mine fake, too? I guess I'll be able to tell when it arrives.

Hi Alex,

I'm not familiar with Justcalculators.com but you paid about the right price for a genuine Seiko 5. I guess replica watch sites sell "fake" Seikos at higher prices because they're capitalizing on the consumer's total ignorance.

I should think your Seiko 5 is an original one. Looks like the seller put in a lot of effort to describe the watch plus educate buyers about mechanical watches.

Enjoy your Seiko 5 "Flieger" in good health! I had the blue SNK807K once but sold it as it was too small for me.

Quartzimodo

Wow, nice response time! :)
Thanks for the reassurance. Yeah, this watchesprice.net site is really suspicious. I wonder if they just take your money and run.

[...] Spotting a fake Seiko watch [...]

ola quartzimodo, estava vendo alguns relogio no ML e achei muiot estranho os preços, fui buscar mais a fundo e achei este teu otimo site, e em primeiro lugar parabens peli otimo trabalho de alertar dos vigarista que andam por ai.
de qualquer forma gostaria de saber tua opinião sobre este dois relogio seiko. como posso saber a vericidade deles?
produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-82918883-_JM
produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-83261466-_JM
produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-83313918-_JM
obrigao e abraços

Oi Carlos,

Obrigado por seus comentários. Os relógios vendidos pelo comerciante Seiko relógios são genuínos. Agradecia que se pudesse escrever em Inglês, no futuro, porque não percebi Português. :-)

Espero que este ajude,

Quartzimodo.

Hi,

I recently got a Seiko watch from my Uncle ~ I love Seikos and I have been searching around for ages for one ~

My uncle got this from a Authentic Seiko Seller in Hong Kong ~ I've even got a warranty card and there is a model no. & the watch number on the back ~

But what bothers me is that....it doesn't have the "Made In Japan" like some other Seiko 5's do at the 6 - 8 area ~

I have realised by looking at some online that some have them and some don't ~ Depends which country ~

My one is a Seiko 5 Ladies.....
udn.monday.com.tw/gdsale/gdsale.asp?gdid=680427
This exact one but doesn't have the Made in Japan ~

So is mine still real ~

Jaspie ~

Hello Jaspie,

Your watch is an authentic Seiko - it's just that it's the "K" model (made in China instead of Japan).

Quality wise the Japan and China assembled Seiko 5s should be similar, so don't worry about it.

Your watch uses the 4207 hand-winding caliber because the movement's oscillating weight may be too small to wind the main spring efficiently.

Therefore the auxiliary hand winding feature is very welcome in the 420x calibers.

Quartzimodo

Hi,

Is the watch on ebay the real deal ?

cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=350115223247

Thanks,

Shaun

Hi Shaun,

The auctioned item has been removed or is no longer available at the time I checked your supplied link.

Therefore I am unable to verify the authenticity of the watch in question. It's a suspicious situation when the seller de-lists the item from his/her auction.

cheers,
Quartzimodo.

Hi,

I recently bought a Seiko Chronograph SNA414 in Hong Kong - so I wonder - are there many replicas of this model? How can you see if this watch is genuine and not a replica. I have never seen a replica of this model before.

Best regards,
Kevin

Hello Kevin,

Without photos it's virtually impossible to tell a replica from a genuine Seiko. However, you can rest assured that your SNA414P gold-toned "Flightmaster" should be authentic.

It is a 7T62 caliber model and should have a functioning alarm. Counterfeit makers do not bother duplicating Seiko watches as the money is nowhere as good as making fake Swiss watches.

cheers,

Quartzimodo.

Hi. I recently bought a Seiko 5 from a reputable high street dealer. It is similar to the one in your "is it real or faux?" section, with a grey face, gold accents but a stainless steel case. It does not have a hologram sticker, and the '12' marker is one solid bar, not two as in the watch you have pictured. The face also just says 'automatic' and does not say 21 jewels. My understanding from this section of your article is that this watch should be a fake, as gold highlights should go with a gold case. Is this correct?

Hi Rich,

Thanks for the heads up. :-)

At the time when I wrote this article, all the gold accented Seiko 5 pics I had seen had gold plated cases to match. Seiko does not have a catalog of the entire Seiko 5 variants that they have produced. There are too many Seiko 5 models to keep track of.

It's true that most Seikos with gold accented hands and index markers usually have matching case and bracelet but there may be exceptions.

I later found out that decades ago, Seiko also produced a few models that have gold indexes but with stainless steel cases.

Such an example is a vintage 6138-8020 chronograph (from the mid 1970s) which I purchased this year. I discovered that there were also gold plated cases and S/S cases for this particular watch.

In light of this, I may have to edit my article pending further investigation into the matter.

I should think your watch is an authentic Seiko 5 unless proven otherwise. Do you have the caseback model and/or reference number for your watch?

cheers,

Quartzimodo

Just received a Seiko Sports 5 from a seller on eBay with lots of sales and 99.5%-plus rating. But with this Seiko:

- Rotating bezel shifts a bit if you press on it
- day/date dials appear to be metal
- day can only be advanced by sweeping hour hand by 12:00
- second hand can not be stopped whether by pulling crown out all the way or by backing minute hand
- case back came with plain plastic sticker with red stripe.

Counterfeit, I think.

Jim

Hi Jim,

A genuine 7s36 caliber Seiko 5 Sports should have the following characteristics:

- Non-hacking movement (second hand cannot be stopped)
- Quickset day/date by turning the crown at the 1st detent
- Plastic day/date dials. Metal calendar dials were used on older, discontinued calibers such as the 6309 and 7009.

Do note that backing the minute hand technique (to momentarily stop the second hand) will not work on all 7s movements.

Even then, it depends on the amount of tension on the main spring. If the watch's has been wound sufficiently, the second hand will tend to keep moving even with the back-pressure technique.

I would think the red striped transparent protective sticker is the give-away that your watch is counterfeit. Sorry to hear about your bad purchase. :-(

Quartzimodo Admin.

Thanks Quartzimodo,

Ah well, I didn't pay that much and I think I may just leave negative feedback and call it a day. Interesting, though: up to a point, the build quality of this fake is *very* good.

I am going to Hong Kong in December and wonder if there are any (legitimate) deals to be had there given the weak state of the US Dollar. I am not much of a shopper, but I like to use vacatiosn as an excuse to get new gizmos, new watches....

Seiko lists *many* authorized dealers in HKG :)

Jim

Thanks!!!
This was AMAZINGLY helpful since the reason for reading this was to determine if a certain e-bay seller was for real, guess what you mentioned him by name!!! LOL That makes it a whole heck of a lot easier on me! (Even though I did pass the above quiz lol) As for the grey market and no warranty for what Im saving I can afford to buy a new one through the same dealer. He has some great deals on ebay right now if anyone is interested. Thanks for the awesome help!!!

You're welcome, Kim. Glad that this article has helped you out. :-) I don't endorse any particular seller but I make it a point to mention vendors who I have dealt with positive buying experience.

Do note that due to stiff (and unfair) pricing competition, many Seiko dealers/distributors in Europe and North America do not like the SE Asian grey market sellers. Some would accuse the latter of peddling "fake" watches, which is much contrary to the case.

cheers,

Quartzimodo Admin

Hello,

My name is Barbara. I work for EUROPON company in Poland. We are interested in buying watches Timex, Casio, Festina, Fossil, Diesel, Tissot, Seiko, Jacques Lemans etc. in wholesale prices and closeouts and overstock too.

I have got a question, I want to ask you. Can you give me your current offer about watches. Let me know about your price and rebates if we do a bigger order.

We are interested in wholesale specially. And what about clearance-sale. We are credible company and we will pre-pay for watches every time.
Please give me an answer.

Regards

Barbara

Hi Barbara,

I'm sorry but Quartzimodo's Time Journal is an information site on watches. I do not sell watches in bulk to companies or wholesalers.

Thanks for asking.

Quartzimodo Admin.

I am looking at two watches on ebay. A Seiko SKK-184 and a Seiko SKK-186. If I understood the posting rules I'm not supposed to link to an ongoing auction.

My question is .. are these fakes?

Thanks

Hi Char,

The watches in question are genuine 7N32 caliber dress watches. You can post a link to an ongoing auction in the comments section of Quartzimodo's Time Journal (such as this) but not on the Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum.

cheers,

Quartzimodo Admin.

Thank you Quartzimodo. You were very helpful and I really appreciate how quickly you got back to me. I heard from the seller this afternoon and my new Seiko is on its way. : )

Thanks again,

Char

Hi Char,

Seiko watches are known for giving you a lot of value for your money.

Your watch is likely to be rated to 30m water resistance, therefore don't immerse the watch in water. Swimming with it is definitely not recommended.

Enjoy your new SKK184P Seiko dress watch in good health! :-)

cheers,

Quartzimodo

Dear Quartzimodo,

I need your help in verifying the following ebay seller:

cgi.ebay.com.au/2008-SEIKO-ARCTURA-KINETIC-CHRONO-SNL025-SNL025P1-BLACK_W0QQitemZ350131012719QQihZ022QQcategoryZ111652QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262

Is this a genuine Seiko Kinetic?

or a pretty good fake?

Dear Rommey,

The SNL025P Arctura Kinetics in question are genuine watches, not fake. The eBay seller has a Powerseller status with lots of feedbacks. It even went to the trouble to highlight the warranty card with each watch.

There are no fake 7L22 Kinetics made yet - the design is too complicated and expensive to duplicate.

Buy in confidence! :-)

Quartzimodo.

Hello! Thanks for a excellent site! I am planning to order a Seiko from Poor Man’s Watch Forum, which you have listed as a reliable seller. I guess you have bought watches from there, and no fake ones have occured?

Also the model I'm considering is a Kinetic with auto relay, so there should not be any actual feikos of these, right? The model I'm considering is SNP001P1, how confident can I be that I will actually receive a real Seiko? It says on their site that warranity is included etc, but just the site itself does not look very "reliable" to me...
Thanks in advance if you find time to answer!

Here is the link to the watch:
www.pmwf.com/Watches/WATCHSALES04/SeikoPremierKineticPerpetualSNP001P1WhiteBracelet/SeikoPremierKineticPerpetualSNP001P1WhiteBracelet.htm

Hi Sam,

Thanks for your kind comments. :-) PMWF is run by Reto Castellazzi, who lives in Bangkok. He is well known amongst the watch collector circles and I hear that he owns over 400 watches. :-)

Rest assured, Reto never sells any fakes. He has lots of satisfied customers who keep buying from him, so buy with confidence from PMWF!

As they say, don't judge a book from its cover. Reto's sales site may not look flashy but you'll be getting real deals from him. It's those replica watch sites that look attractive that you have to beware of! ;-)

Happy buying! :-)

Quartzimodo.

Wow, didnt expect so fast answer! Thanks a lot, feel much better about making the order now! I know that they have a good reputation on some forums but still wanted confirmation. I actually like the site and how it looks :)

Your site is a gem and really helped me in deciding whether to purchase my watch from Pokemonyu. I just got myself a Seiko SKZ245 from them and I am really happy with it.

As for avoiding fakes, personally when it comes to buying online you have to do a lot of background checks. The people at SCWF were also very very helpful. I tend to rely on sellers who uses Paypal, at least your complains can be acted upon.

I'd advise potential buyers to try your local retailers too. My regular watch retailer in Penang has an extensive stock of Seiko, Casio and Orient watches and they too give a good deal on the watches. In fact, the prices are sometimes even better than what is offered online. No harm supporting them too and your purchases from them will not give you sleepless nights. Just my 2 cents worth.

Again, great job on your website.

Can you look to the picture of this watch and let me know if is a fake? here is the link:
my.att.net/p/pwp-cero
I noticed it do not have a serial number, there is more pictures on the photo album, Thanks in advance for you response.

Hi Danny,

Thank you for your kind comments on my blog, appreciate it. :-)

Actually I was told that authorized Seiko dealers in Malaysia are prohibited from conducting sales of watches over the Internet. However, it's possible to sell watches on eBay without using the store's name or being directly connected to it in any way.

Penang as they say, is the Jewel of the Orient. It so happens that Malaysia's Orient distributor is located in Penang, therefore there are more Orient models being sold there.

My preference is usually towards models that are not sold here, very difficult to find or very expensive. For this reason I bid and win on auctions from the eBay sellers from Singapore. The watches that I get are grey market ones (no warranty) but I have absolute confidence in the watches that I've bought. :-)

Thanks again for your nice compliments. :-)

Quartzimodo Admin.

Hello Art,

The gold plated Seiko 5 depicted in the website that you supplied looks like a genuine Seiko to me. The dial is intricately finished, just what you'd expect from an authentic Seiko.

The Seiko font and "5" emblem are of the correct standards and so are the day/date display font. The hands' style is also used on some other Seiko 5 models. Looks like the real deal to me. :-)

Quartzimodo.

Question. What paperwork should come with a legit Seiko? Is there some sort of stamp of numbers or something that should be on the papers?

I recently bought a SNL044 and I'm wondering it's legitimacy. What should I look out for specifically for this watch? Thanks

Hi Benedict,

A "proper" purchase of a Seiko watch should come with a fully-completed Seiko warranty card (with date of purchase and dealer's stamp) and the owner's manual. Some low end Seikos like the Seiko 5 and SKX divers don't come with manuals - nevertheless they should come with the filled warranty card.

However, grey market sellers (like some of those selling on eBay from SE Asia) don't provide warranty cards. Warranties are issued through authorized Seiko dealers and these sellers are not authorized dealers. They get their watches from backdoor channels and sometimes from authorized dealers who need to move their stock quickly. By right Seiko watches cannot be sold by "re-sellers" or third parties. To protect the identity of their AD suppliers, most of the time warranties are not supplied.

Anyway, rest assured that your gold plated SNL044P should be an authentic Seiko watch, not a fake. :-)

cheers.
Quartzimodo.

Hi,

My boyfriend just bought this watch. Any idea if it a fake or not. Am a bit concerned as there is no warranty! Thanks

cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220327113488&indexURL=5&photoDisplayType=2#ebayphotohosting

Dear Anna,

Tell your boyfriend he's got nothing to worry about - his watch is a genuine Seiko. The 7T84 is a very new caliber and so are models based on the 7T84. This design is difficult and expensive to copy by counterfeiters, so they usually won't bother. :-)

I'm not sure why the seller did not provide with a warranty - my guess is that he/she obtained the watches from overseas instead of through a UK authorized dealer. Seiko watches are generally very reliable with a very small failure rate. In most cases Seikos that eventually fail would have already expired their warranties.

Most Seiko owners have watches that have been running for over 30 years without failure. My oldest dated Seiko is a model 6106-8001 from July 1969 and it still runs fine to this day. Bought it used. :-)

Hope that helps. ;-)

Quartzimodo Admin.

Thanks very much for your comments. Am looking forward to him getting the watch now.

This site is very and your knowledge is very impressive.

Keep up the good work.

xx :)

Hi,

This article is really useful, thanks!

I've just bought this Seiko watch for my boyfriend, through Amazon's marketplace, but can't tell if it's genuine or not :(

www.bodying.com/seiko-men-retro-automatic-sarb029/watches/8989

I can't find any other sites selling this model on the internet, which is what has got me wondering if it's a fake...

Could you take a look and let me know your thoughts?

Thanks!

Hi Plum,

The Seiko SARB029 is a Japan market model from the Seiko Spirit lineup and it's very seldom sold outside of Japan. That's why you have trouble looking for sites that sell it. Bodying.com has never sold a fake Seiko watch, as far as I know.

To my best knowledge, no replica maker has really attempted at copying Japan market models - it's just not economically feasible for them to do so. Counterfeiters prefer to copy popular Swiss watches as they sell a lot better and so are profit margins.

Seiya Japan has the same watch for sale here. His price includes shipping and handling and he's a reputable seller based in Tokyo.

I must say you have impeccable taste in choosing the right watch for your partner. The SARB029 uses a higher grade automatic movement - the 6R15B. It can be manually wound and the second hand can be stopped (hacked) for time signal synchronization. You couldn't have chosen a better watch than this one! ;-)

cheers,

Quartzimodo Admin.

Thank you so much Quartzimodo!

Just after I posted I found the Seiko 2008-2009 JP catalogue, which helped me eliminate the possibility that the watch was a category 2 'original' fake - here:

www.seiko-watch.co.jp/purchase/catalog.html

Might be useful for others to include this in the original fake section of the article (although picture quality in the PDF is not great, it's still useful to know what the genuine thing looks like) :)

I'm giving the watch to my boyfriend for christmas next week, hopefully he will love it too :)

Thanks again!

x x x

very informative =)
but it's too hard to spot a fake watches by photos on bidz, for example. But it's problem of every auctions

Hi there... Me again. I am looking to acquire a good vintage seiko. Do you know of any local or online sources that will help? I saw this watch that looks interesting... any idea if its genuine?
www.mudah.my/vi/1465825.htm?ca=3_s

Hi!
I bought a Pilot Criteria SND487P1 in Sweden that i suspect is grey market. I got a manual but it's "general" not specific for this particular model, just seiko Chronographs in general. The listing's gone now, but here's the cache: 74.125.77.132/search?q=cache:955H61czGvEJ:www.klockimport.com/visa_produkt.asp%3Fid%3D716%26t%3DSeiko%2BPilot%2BCriteria%2B-%2BSND487P1%2B+SND487P1&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2
It looks great in real life but I think the stopwatch hands aren't perfectly aligned. Could that mean that it's fake?And it's annoying that I don't understand what all the numbers are for, they're not Tachymeter anyway. Thinking of returning it.
Would REALLY appreciate some advice on this!
Thanks!

Hi Danny,

The Sportsmatic watch in question definitely should not have a 6309 movement. 6309s are always day/date watches and is used in divers, sports divers and dress watches. Sportsmatics usually use calibers like the 7625, 7619, etc - but never a 6309. The advertised watch has only a date display.

The watch is what we call a "Franken-Seiko", in which parts from other donor watches are used. I suspect that the original movement must have been ruined a long time ago, so someone (not necessarily the seller) placed a 6309 donor movement instead. Is the watch a fake? No. Will the watch be genuine? No.

Here's an analogy. It's like buying a vintage Jaguar XJS V12 coupe only to find out there's a Nissan RB20DET 6-cylinder turbo engine in it. It's the Jaguar engine that gives the car its character. The sound, the torque characteristics, the reverberation of the motor. Once you replace the engine with some other model, the car's "soul" is no longer there. :-(

In a watch, it's the same thing. The movement is the heart of the timepiece. Once it's transplanted with a different caliber, it won't be original anymore.

Please contact me for the remainder of your question. Thanks.

Quartzimodo Admin.

Dear Mindy,

I'm not surprised that the Criteria you bought was a grey market Seiko. The Criteria is a range marketed only to Southeast Asia and not elsewhere. It's not a fake watch.

Your watch uses the 7T92 chronograph movement and the markings on the dial are not for a tachymeter scale, but a pilot's E6B slide rule analog computer. Here's an excellent site to understand how to use an E6B slide rule. Page 4 will lead you to Seiko and Citizen slide rule watches.

I have a few slide rule Seiko and Citizen watches myself, but never bothered learning how to use them. Really. ;-)

Quartzimodo.

THANK YOU!
You really put my mind at ease. So very nice of you to reply and explain more.
Merry X-mas!

Hello,
I have just bought 2 seiko velatura yachting watches from ebay.Did all the checks I could about the seller and it all seemed good.The watch came with a seiko box,international warrenty card and instruction book.It also looks perfect,can someone tell me how to be sure their real?

cgi.ebay.ie/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&item=200253419174
Thank you

Dear Shane.

The seller appears to be legitimate and 300 quid is about right for that genuine Velatura. The 7T84 is a very new caliber, just introduced this year. The design of the watch is quite complicated and it's not cost effective for counterfeiters to attempt to copy this model.

You have absolutely nothing to worry about, you have the real deal. :-) Just avoid buying from replica watch sites and you'll be fine. Replica sites use photos of real Seiko watches to hoodwink their victims (please see my post here) and usually they prefer payment by Western Union or bank transfer because they know there is no recourse for getting your money back via PayPal or credit card chargeback.

Have a merry X'mas and enjoy those watches in good health! :-)

Quartzimodo Admin

Thanks alot quartzmodo,
I have the watch and it looks great,just wanted to be sure before i wore it.

Hi,
Just got a Seiko watch from a friend. The number on the back is 7T92. However, I can't get the second hand to move at all for timekeeping. Is this normal. It works in chronograph mode, and I have checked the (useless) manual to no avail. Could it be symptoms of a low battery. It keeps time alright otherwise, just the second hand doesn't move from the 12 o'clock mark. It doesn't seem an obvious fake.

Dear Ray,

What you're referring to is the perpetual time second hand. All 7T92 caliber Seiko chronographs have the perpetual seconds in that little subdial at the 9 o'clock position. That is your timekeeping seconds display.

The main sweep hand (the long second hand) only moves when the stopwatch is activated. Constant use of the chronograph will drain your battery quickly, so use it only when you need to time events.

However, the 7T92's predecessor - the V657 caliber has a perpetual sweep second hand so it ticks constantly.

Your watch is not a fake. Many modern quartz chronographs have the perpetual second hand located in a subdial instead of the main sweep hand.

Hope this helps. :-)

Quartzimodo.

Hi. I've learned a lot from your site. I used to have a bulletproof Seiko 5 when I lived in the Philippines. I lost it when I moved here in the US almost 2 decades ago, and I'm thinking of buying one. I'm interested in the ebay item below. Do you think it's genuine? Also, do you know anything about Orient watches? Are there fake Orient watches? Thanks.

cgi.ebay.com/Seiko-Automatic-Scuba-Diver-100M-Watch-SKX031-SKX031K2_W0QQitemZ370134742474QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Jewelery_Watches_Watches_MensWatches_GL?hash=item370134742474&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A4|65%3A15|39%3A1|240%3A1318

Hi Al,

Seiko 5s have earned an excellent reputation for being long-lived and robust watches at their price points. I have a few Seiko 5's dating to 1969 which are still running perfectly to this day. :-)

The seller happens to be an eBay Power Seller with a reasonably good feedback. The SKX031K Submariner is worth every penny and makes an excellent all-around watch. Yes, the watch sold by that seller is genuine, no worries.

Orient is generally an understated watch brand, largely ignored by consumers. This is because Orient doesn't spend much on advertising and promotional activities (unlike Swiss brands). Orient is 51% owned by the Seiko Time Corporation and they make their own mechanical movements (quartz movements are however, outsourced from Seiko) and are proud of their achievement.

Orient watches give you excellent value for your money (especially their mid-range and upper-end models). For example, Orient has the excellent Cal 46H automatic movement which has a functional world time plus a power reserve display. Seiko has not produced a non-quartz world time watch since the mid 1970s.

From the price perspective, Orient watches are priced cheaper than Seiko, all things being equal. You can't go wrong with an Orient watch (trust me, I have two of 'em) and give you excellent value for your money.

I've not seen a fake Orient watch before but fakes are largely limited to the low end models. High end Orient models are not worth duplicating - there's no demand for those.

Please visit my friend Tony Lewis' excellent blog dedicated to Orient watches. We don't call him "The Orient Emperor" for nothing! ;-)

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Quartzimodo Admin.

after reading your groovy site yesterday evening, i wanted to do the test here in Bangkok, , and yes indeed it didn't take long to find crappy fake 5's on the pavement around Sanam Luang.
They were so obviously fake it would be a miracle if someone even payed the 100 baht the seller hoped to get from it.

Hi Frisse,

There will always be fake Seiko 5s (and other fake brands) especially at flea markets as long as people continue to buy them. People buy fakes for various reasons - they can't afford the real thing, they're curious about them, they want to impress others, they want to buy them as cheap gifts or they simply like collecting replicas.

I know of someone who collects nothing but high quality (and expensive) Swiss replicas. For what he had spent, he could have gotten a very nice Grand Seiko or Orient Star Royal, but hey..some people are Swiss brand conscious. ;-)

Quartzimodo Admin.

hi,
i have a question about sekio sporturas.
cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=350144758167
Any idea how can i be sure this is not a replica? Thanks...

Hi Minus,

I have yet to see replica or fake Seiko Sporturas for sale. Sporturas are complicated designs and there's no market for fake high end Seikos, so counterfeiters don't bother to copy them. I've not heard of this particular eBay seller but he/she appears to be a Power Seller with reasonably good feedback. I'm quite sure the watch is a genuine Seiko.

Just avoid buying a Seiko from any replica watch sales site and you should be fine. :-)

Hope this helps!

Quartzimodo.

Thanks for the reply. I have found a online store saying that thay are selling AA sportura replicas www.watches-brand.com/Seiko-wristwatch-7693.html .Hovewer for a replica, they are not so cheap too.

Hi ! very instructive site ! Thancks for giving your knowledge.
Can you tell me if takashi1955 sells authentic seiko 5 or fake ones ? (he is a seller on ebay)
Thanks for your answer.

Hi Gero,

The seller looks like legit to me. He may or may not be an authorized Seiko dealer (most are not) but the Seiko watches that he sells are all genuine.

Hope this helps.

Quartzimodo Admin.

Thank you for your help ! It is very nice and you are very quick to answer.
I wish you a happy new year !
See you !

Geronimo

PS : i suppose he is not official dealer because i received watches without seiko guarantee card and without box... so i suppose grey dealer as you explain before...

What a beautiful watch this is! Where can I find it!

quartzimodo.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/7s26-0280-003857-1.jpg

Hi Taylor,

That is a discontinued Seiko 5 model which was made before 2002. Seiko doesn't continually produce all their Seiko 5 watches because there are simply too many models in that range.

Your chances of finding an unsold, brand new one (we call this "New Old Stock" or "NOS" for short) would be pretty slim. Search eBay for the model SKX557K or SKX557J from time to time, perhaps one will turn up for sale.

Hope this helps. :-)

Quartzimodo Admin.

Hi Gero,

There's nothing to worry about grey market Seikos without the guarantee card. It's more important to check the grey market seller's reputation, e.g. does he/she provide direct exchange if the watch arrives with defects? All Seiko watches (except those sold by Seiko USA) have a warranty up to 1 year only. When the warranty expires, it doesn't really matter because any repair charges will have to be borne by the watch owner anyway.

BTW, in some countries in Asia authorized Seiko dealers are not allowed to sell Seiko watches through the Internet.

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