How to spot fake Seiko watches on eBay

 

No fake Seikos please!

Ever since I wrote the article on spotting fake Seiko watches in this blog, I’ve received many inquiries from readers asking me to verify whether the watch they are looking at on eBay (or have recently purchased) are genuine or otherwise. Although most of the watches are not really that expensive, they still have the right to be concerned as they want to know whether their hard earned money went into buying the real deal or a counterfeit.

The good news is that most online sellers don’t peddle in fake Seiko watches as eBay is strict with sales of counterfeit goods on the auction site. The bad news is that with so many upcoming new sellers registering themselves as merchants, there’s bound to be a few bad hats that whether knowingly or otherwise that are passing off fake Seiko watches as genuine ones.

Although eBay does screen newcomer sellers of the stuff that they sell, not every item escapes their attention. For example, how can they tell a fake Sony MS Pro Duo or Sandisk Extreme memory card from the originals? Or engineering sample and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) tray Intel computer processors from the retail boxed ones for consumers like you? What about distinguishing fake camera batteries from genuine ones?

Obviously eBay’s staff responsible for vetting sellers’ merchandise need to be trained in spotting fake goods in the first place. The other way would be acting on complaints by eBay buyers duped into purchasing counterfeit items and conducting an investigation.

Well, in this post, let’s learn how to spot eBay sellers dealing in fake Seiko watches.

 

 

Grey market Seikos are NOT fake watches!

Buying online is an entirely different matter as you’re buying a watch sight unseen. You look at the pictures on the web page and have to trust the seller that the watch you’ll be getting is a genuine one and not a fake. Seiko’s customer service is not going to determine for you whether a particular seller is pushing the real product. For the two obvious reasons above, they’ll make it very clear: as long as you don’t buy online, you’re safe.

Before we go further, you need to comprehend the difference between “grey market" Seiko watches from fake ones.

In a nutshell, grey market Seikos are authentic watches except that they are parallel imported rather than sourced from the country or regional authorized distributor. Often than not you will not receive an official Seiko warranty. This is because warranties are issued through authorized dealers, who in turn receive them from their respective authorized distributors. Authorized dealers in Southeast Asia for example, are strictly forbidden to sell Seiko products online. Grey market sellers are by the watch manufacturer’s definition, NOT authorized Seiko dealers.

Fake Seikos on the other hand are…well…fake. The watches are definitely not made by any Seiko factory but by some third party backyard watchmaker, often in China. Whether the seller is aware that the watches they’re peddling are phony is a different story. What is alarming is that many buyers don’t know what they’ve received are bogus watches that look like the real deal. They think they got a very good bargain for a watch and then post a positive feedback for the transaction.

 

 

Are replica and fakes Seiko the same thing?

Technically, they are similar. Both are bogus and definitely not original Seiko watches. The difference is that replica Seiko watches sold by online replica watch sites do not try to pass of their products as genuine ones.

I mean, come on – if you’re buying one from Replica-Watches-R-Us, you are knowingly purchasing a replica Seiko! In my old article on replica Seiko watches, I’ve mentioned that some sellers irresponsibly use stock photos of original watches so that you don’t actually see what you’re going to receive.

Others have no qualms in showing the watch that you’ll exactly receive. Thus you cannot expect to demand a refund because you are aware that you’ve bought a phony Seiko from a replica watch seller.

Replica Seiko watches often use off-the-shelf movements from movement manufacturers in China. They may look almost exactly like the real ones, but you will not get the same features as with the original ones. For example, the Seiko  7T92  quartz movement has a 1/20sec resolution sub-second register. A replica may not necessarily provide the same features as they use generic movements. What matters more to replica makers is the external appearance.

These pictures I lifted off a replica watch site certainly raised my eyebrows. They are made almost exactly like authentic Seikos that if I didn’t know they were replicas, I could have mistaken some of them as the real deal.

See for yourself:

 

Replica Seiko 7T92 chrono Replica Seiko Sportura 7T62 Replica Seiko Criteria 7T62 Replica Seiko Premier

Above: Almost perfect fake/replica Seikos from an online replica store.

 

Well, at least the knock off watch site is honest enough not to claim that what they’re selling are originals. Personally it’s none of my business if you deliberately buy one of these – don’t say you’ve never been warned! 😉

What is more worrying is unscrupulous sellers on eBay getting hold of such replicas and passing them off as authentic Seikos. Replica Seikos usually look more convincing than “fake Seikos" although from the copyright perspective both are rip off Seiko watches.

Therefore it’s the sellers that are pushing bogus Seiko watches and advertising them as genuine ones that I’m against. That’s outright cheating.

 

 

“If it’s too good to be true, it usually is"

Many people select a seller based on low average winning bids or BIN (Buy-It-Now) prices without giving forethought whether they would be getting the real thing. It’s only fair to say that it’s only human to look for the lowest prices possible. Who wouldn’t? 😉

However, one has to draw the line when it comes to paying low prices for a genuine item and a fake one. No matter how cheap the winning bid is, you’re not getting your money’s worth if you inadvertently buy a fake Seiko.

Look out for tell tale patterns, like winning bids that consistently fall below the average market price for the same model. For a base line Seiko 5 automatic, the median should be between USD50-80 depending on the bidding activity (how popular an item is). As a reference, the average price of a contemporary Seiko 5 model is about USD95, without shipping. Seiko 5 Sports watches usually cost more than USD110, depending on the model.

Therefore the age-old common sense – “if it’s too good to be true, it usually is" applies when it comes to buying new Seiko watches online. No seller who auctions genuine Seiko 5s will tolerate consistent winning bids of USD30 or below, unless they’re prepared to head for bankruptcy.

 

 

Look for established eBay Power Sellers if possible

eBay sellers that have built up a good reputation over time are not likely to peddle in fake watches. Trustworthy sellers are in for a long term business. They have a lot to risk by mixing fake timepieces with original ones. Their business and reputation would be put at stake if they are caught passing fake Seiko watches as real ones. There’s nothing gained by auctioning fake Seiko items.

There are clues that you can look for. Check the number of transactions they have conducted and how long they have been an eBay seller. Those that have been around for several years with thousands and tens of thousands of sales transactions done are more likely to be trustworthy sellers.

Beware of newcomer sellers with just a few hundred transactions done. This is not to say that all new eBay sellers are hawking fake Seikos, but the likelihood coming across fake Seiko sellers increases if they’re relatively new in the game.

 

powerseller2powersellerpowerseller3

Look out for the vendor’s PowerSeller logo on eBay. Note that not all established merchants carry this logo.

 

While the presence of the eBay PowerSeller logo is a good indication of the seller’s reputation and trustworthiness, not all established sellers have earned this status or updated their respective eBay store websites.

 

 

Feedback rating from buyers

Another way to gauge whether an eBay vendor is pushing legitimate watches is to look at their positive feedback rating. As a rough yardstick, a seller that scores at least 98% positive feedback generally are trustworthy, but there are exceptions to this rule.

Fake Seiko peddlers on eBay can easily manipulate the feedback rating. They usually resort to the old trick of getting their friends and contacts to bid on their items. They can even register themselves as bogus buyers (often with very few feedback) and self-bid on their auctions. This practice is illegal by eBay’s terms and conditions but with the mushrooming of new eBay watch sellers every month, it’s a difficult task for eBay to track the fake peddlers.

Of course, if a particular watch is not won by a genuine buyer the actual item is not really “sold" but tagged as a legitimate transaction. The seller’s contacts or their phony buyers would pay for the item and leave a positive feedback. In return the seller would reciprocate by leaving a positive feedback.

This gives the appearance that there’s no hanky-panky involved in such transactions from eBay’s point of view. Remember that eBay only acts on complaints by bona fide buyers – it is logistically impossible for them to monitor each and every transaction made every day. Since the seller and their cohorts are in the game of deception, all of the bogus transactions will have positive feedback for certain.

If you’ve watched celebrity street magicians perform tricks for a live audience on television, some of their amazing tricks involve “random" people working closely with the magician, who are deliberately planted into the crowd. This leads to unsuspecting observers into thinking that the individuals selected by the magician are truly randomly picked.

In some tricks the whole audience on TV is part of the whole illusion! Ever seen the guy who literally walked across a swimming pool? All of the people in the swimming pool were in collaboration in order to successfully deceive the audience watching the show on television.

 

criss angel walks across a swimming pool..yeah right

 Top: A celebrity street magician performing his famous walking-on-water illusion.

 

In the same vein, in an effort into getting unwary buyers to bid on their fake Seikos, such eBay sellers use bogus bidders to give the impression that there is genuine interest in their auctions. This is nothing new as the practice of planting “customers" giving scripted testimonials have been around for a long time. You may have watched infomercials on television or street vendors at flea market promoting some miracle product with paid “actors" blindly agreeing with the presenter.

 

 

 

Photos and description of the watch

Legitimate grey market Seiko sellers on eBay generally take the trouble to show their watches from several angles – front, rear and and from the sides. Some will take close up pictures of the bracelets and instruction manuals. They have nothing to hide and the multi-angle photos are available for the potential buyer to scrutinize.

On the other hand, fake Seiko eBay sellers will try to hide the tell tale signs that their watches are phony buy posting just one picture of the watch, usually from the front. With only a single view of the product, they’re hoping that informed buyers won’t catch anything amiss. Of course, inexperienced consumers are unlikely to be able to tell the difference anyway and this is the market the fake sellers are capitalizing on.

The description of the watch is equally important. Trusted sellers always include the actual model reference numbers of the watch being auctioned and give a detailed description. Even if their watches are grey market ones, genuine Seiko watches will have the model tag tied on the bracelet.

 

Only USD31 for a Seiko 5 Sports. No way.

Above: Screenshot of a completed sale of a fake Seiko 5 Sports on eBay with a bogus model reference no.

 

Fake Seiko peddlers will resort to describing their phony watches with as little information as possible, often leaving out the reference number. Even if there’s a model reference number, it’s a bogus one that does not conform to Seiko’s standard nomenclature or numbering convention.

As this article is written, it has come to my attention (thanks to a blog reader) that there is an unscrupulous fake Seiko seller on eBay auctioning rip off Seiko watches. I will only mention that this seller is based in Singapore with just a few hundred positive feedback. The seller has just several Seiko 5 and Seiko 5 Sports watches up for grabs and I’ve determined that they are all fake.

If you’re curious, just look at these made-up, bogus reference numbers the seller is using:

  • SKW633J
  • SKNW168J
  • SKNS309K
  • SKNS791K
  • SKNW866J

Further to the above, Seiko does not and never has used “SKW", “SKNW" or “SKNS" as prefixes for their Seiko 5 family. I suspected just as much, because Seiko also has a 7-character limit for their watch models. “SKNS309K" and “SKNW866J" puts it at 8 characters in total – a sure sign of a phony reference number. Furthermore, all genuine Seiko 5 Sports models with the 7s36 movement start with the characters “SKZ".

This particular seller also posts just one small picture of the watches per listing that he or she is auctioning as you can see below:

 

Fake Seiko 5 Sports Fake Seiko 5 military style

Fake black dialed Seiko 5 Fake gold toned Seiko 5

Above: Very convincing counterfeit Seiko 5 and Seiko 5 Sports models.

 

I must admit that they looked pretty convincing at first, but upon closer scrutiny I noted the dial text fonts don’t look like the ones that Seiko actually uses. These are good quality forgeries and can easily pass off as originals to the uninitiated.

 

 

Payment methods

One way of determining whether an eBay seller is one that you can trust and buy from again is to check his or her payment methods, warranty and return policies.

The safest and preferred way of paying would be through PayPal. Although there had been numerous grouses against PayPal for its slowness of handling complaints and refunds, it is still better than direct bank-in payment methods and wire transfers such as Money Gram and Western Union.

When in doubt, never pay through direct payments into the seller’s bank accounts or use services like Western Union. Direct-to-account and Western Union payment methods are one way. In the event that you are dissatisfied with the watch you’ve received or even worse, got a fake Seiko watch you have no way of getting your money back.

More often than not a fake watch seller will cook up plenty of excuses not to accept refunds. Such watches are usually won at unrealistically low prices and some consumers would rather accept their misfortune rather than going through the trouble to reclaim their thirty bucks down the drain.

 

paypalwestern union

PayPal, despite its shortcomings is the safer way to pay for eBay purchases compared to Western Union unless the seller is trustworthy and with a solid track record.

 

This is NOT to say that all eBay sellers that offer Western Union are bad guys. Some buyers don’t have PayPal accounts or prefer other methods of payment so the trustworthy sellers also include Western Union as an option.

However, if a seller offers a discount on payments made through Western Union (e.g. 30% off), this raises a red flag. Thirty percent discount is just too irresistible for some people (thinking they’re getting a great deal paying by Western Union), forgetting that once the payment has been made that’s the end of the story. You’re at the mercy of the seller once or she gets your money and you end up with a fake Seiko.

Trusted eBay sellers never offer discounts for payments made through Western Union. Why should they? They have a lot to lose if they offered a 30% discount on sales of authentic Seiko watches paid via Western Union. So you pay the same amount, regardless whether you use PayPal or other modes. Don’t forget that as a buyer, it is you who is remitting the monies to the seller. With Western Union, it is the remitter who has to pay the service fees for sending the funds to the recipient.

 

 

Warranty and return policies

There are usually no official Seiko warranty cards issued with grey market Seikos. This is because only authorized brick-and-mortar Seiko dealers can issue the warranty cards, which they get from their local authorized Seiko distributor. These dealers are strictly NOT allowed to sell their stocks to re-sellers (in essence, most grey market sellers on eBay are re-sellers) but directly to you, the end customer. To evade detection, authorized dealers that supply eBay vendors with their stock do not issue Seiko warranty cards.

Due to the absence of warranty, grey market Seiko sellers on eBay will give a warranty up to 3 days in case the watch received is defective or can be proven to be not authentic. A few established companies that sell Seikos online are willing to give their in-house, 1 or 2-year warranty. Creationwatches is one of the veteran grey market Seiko vendors that has an overseas representative in the U.S (Middletown, Connecticut to be more precise) and provides a two-year in-house warranty for its watches.

If something goes wrong with the watch, you have to send it back to the seller for free repair or exchange during the warranty period. You cannot take the watch to your local Seiko repair center for claims as you don’t have a valid international warranty to begin with.

Unfortunately, fake Seiko sellers on eBay can also use the catch phrases like:

  • 100% brand new and authentic Seiko
  • Money back guarantee if watch is not authentic

The problem is that once you’ve realized that you’ve bought a phony Seiko watch, it’s your word against the seller’s. Even if you claim that you’ve taken the watch to your Seiko service center and determined that it’s not original, the seller can counter-claim otherwise too.

Also note that fake Seiko watches will not come with genuine Seiko boxes, if any is provided. Seiko watch boxes are generally issued by authorized Seiko dealers.

 

 

What kind of Seiko watches can be found as fake ones?

I get this kind of question a lot from my blog readers and it’s a perfectly legitimate question to ask. But first we have to get into the mindset of the counterfeit maker/distributor as which watches they are likely to rip off.

The counterfeit watch industry has these goals in mind:

  • Quick turnover and high sales of fake watches
  • Highest profits in the shortest period possible
  • Marques and models that are very high in demand

Customarily, the famous name brand Swiss watches have always been their market. This is evidenced by flea market sellers hawking fake Rolex and Omega watches, for example. On the Internet, there are too many online replica Swiss watch sellers to count!

 

fake Rolex Submariner fake Omega Speedmaster America's Cup

Above: Two counterfeit brands that are perpetually high in demand: Rolex and Omega.

 

Could they make a copycat Seiko Kinetic or Spring Drive? Sure, they would consider investing into the design and fabricating tools to duplicate phony Kinetics and Direct Drives if they wanted to. However, the cost in copying Kinetic and Spring Drive movements would be very substantial even if they ever succeed in replicating them.

High production costs translate into high end retail prices, which will deter consumers from buying fake Seiko Kinetics and Spring Drive watches. Add to the fact that replica watch buyers aren’t remotely interested in buying costly phony Seiko watches. The price of a genuine Seiko watch is not really much more than fake ones – therefore the whole exercise would be not worth it.

In a nutshell, counterfeits would rather spend more effort and investment in copying high end Swiss watches.

 

 

SKA367P1_3 SBWA001-08

Top: Seiko Kinetic and Spring Drive watches are currently, not feasible for counterfeiters to copy (borrowed images).

 

So that leaves the low end Seiko 5 family watches which could be copied as cheaply as possible. That is why fake midrange and flagship Seiko watches don’t exist. There’s just not enough demand for them to make counterfeiting such models feasible or profitable.

This actually spells good news for Seiko buyers as they are not likely to inadvertently buy a fake Seiko Kinetic. That also goes for Seiko sub-ranges such as Velatura, Arctura, Sportura and Premier as such models are neither cost effective nor profitable to copy.

Just remember the counterfeiter’s mind set: large profit margins in the shortest turnaround time possible.

 

 

Who are the good guys then?

The number of “legitimate" online Seiko watch sellers on eBay have grown since the early 2000s and it’s impossible to keep track of them all.

The long established ones, such as Pokemonyu, Time Paradise, Premierworld, Capital Mall and Watches59 to name a few – are all 100% trustworthy and I have personally bought from most of them. For some strange reason, Watches59 have stopped dealing in Seiko watches for some time.

As I cannot possibly evaluate all the eBay vendors that have cropped up lately, I listed only the ones that I have experience with. This post serves as a guide in weeding out the bad from the good. I hope you find this article useful in guiding you if you come across unfamiliar eBay sellers! 🙂

 

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Comments

Hi, Please would you take a look at this the seller says its genuine.

Thanks Billy.

cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220780882769&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

Please could you take a look at a Seiko watch on ebay to verify if it is genuine or not. The seller assures me it is not a fake!
cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220780882769&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

Many thanks
Sheridan

Hi Sheridan,

The photo by the seller isn’t sharp enough for me to make out the intricate details on the ladies’ Seiko Kinetic watch, but I’m positive it’s a 100% genuine 5M22 or 5M42 Kinetic. The hang tag is definitely an original Seiko one. As this is a NOS (New Old Stock) watch and assuming that the seller has never replaced its original capacitor, this watch’s electrical storage capacity may be affected due to age. You might want to replace the capacitor with a new lithium ion rechargeable battery sooner or later.

hope this helps,
Quartzimodo

Thanks for your quick reply it was very much appreciated and very helpful!

Sheridan

Hi, quartzimodo, could you tell if this Seiko Flightmaster is the real deal? The seller states to have purchased it on a cruise last year, and I was wondering if it was real,
thanks!
cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190531579829&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT#ht_500wt_1156

Hi Jim,

I believe I’ve just replied to you via email on this subject matter. For the benefit of others reading your comment, all three eBay sellers are selling genuine Seiko 5 SNK789K models. The first seller uses a stock Seiko catalog photo and from my experience, pictures from Seiko catalogs don’t look exactly like the real watch. The actual SNK789K will look like the pics posted by the second seller. As the watch has a silver face, it’s hard to discern the dial which has a semi-shiny circle on the middle of the dial. This is a nice looking dressy Seiko 5.

cheers,
Quartzimodo

Hi There great article. I boutght a Seiko 5 snk355k from ebay britannia watches yesterday and wondered if you could check it for me please:

cgi.ebay.co.uk/SEIKO-5-SNK355K-MENS-AUTOMATIC-WATCH-WARRANTY-BNIB-/250784581967?_trksid=p5197.m7&_trkparms=algo%3DLVI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D4%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D9178952336017919557

Hi Jason,

The SNK355K is a relatively new model and the one sold by the eBay seller in question is 100% authentic. All the markings and details check out OK. Congrats on your purchase, that’s a lovely looking timepiece. 🙂

cheers,
Quartzimodo

Hi, quartzimodo

Thank you for all your review

When you mentioned Seiko USA sometimes sells factory seconds. This worry me, can you pls help me verify this seller “Itstimeforwatches.com” if i will be getting factory seconds, as most of the cases it is imposible for us to identify the item is factory seconds

I just paid for Seiko Premier Automatic Black Dial Men’s Watch SPB001 for US 630.00 included shipping.
cgi.ebay.com.my/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270720471312&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

Hi Quartzimodo,
Thanks for a very informative article. Am I right in thinking this Ebay seller is dealing in genuine grey Seiko’s and not fakes judging by this example- cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110687822210 and if so, would an authorised Seiko dealer in the UK touch it if it was to malfunction? Thanks for your time.

Hi Jason,

I looked at the Pepsi-bezeled, SKX009K and can’t put my finger on it. The “Diver’s 200m” text should be orange and not white. Something’s not right about the watch. Even if it were from 1996, I don’t think the “Diver’s 200m” lettering would fade into totally white color. The caseback appears to be genuine while the dial and bezel insert seem to be aftermarket (not from Seiko). Even the day/date font seems to be inaccurate. My guess is that this watch is either a “Franken-Seiko” (made up from non-Seiko parts) or a counterfeit with a genuine caseback. That said, I wouldn’t buy this watch.

The seller says it’s “collectible” and this can be somewhat misleading. In the watch hobbyist circles, the term “collectible” generally refers to sought after, discontinued or vintage watches that you can’t find anymore. The real SKX009K diver is popular and Seiko still makes this model today by the tens of thousands per year. Because the photos in the auction listing are rather small and not very sharp, it’s difficult to ascertain the authenticity of this particular watch. I would stay away from this watch if I were you and buy a 100% genuine Seiko diver from the more reputable online dealers.

BTW, authorized Seiko dealers may not undertake repairs if they lack watch repair services. Most dealers just sell watches. If this watch turns out to be a fake, the Seiko service center in the UK won’t accept this watch for repairs or servicing.

all the best,
Quartzimodo

Thanks Quartzimodo, Recieved the watch and got to say very happy with the purchase all seems 100% and now have your approval so excellent stuff. Thanks mate 🙂

Hi Jason,

One is glad to be of service to you. You’re welcome and enjoy your new Seiko watch in good health. 🙂

cheers
Quartzimodo

Hi Quartzimodo,

I was wondering whether you could help me see if this SNDA65 is the real deal?

Hi Brandon,

Yes it’s 100% genuine. I have a watch almost similar like this one (SNDA57P) but with a brushed stainless steel finish. The seller has very good feedback and has done a lot of transactions. Buy with confidence. 🙂

Quartzimodo

People only copy/fake a brand of repute . Its a human nature to want to own a part of a big name brand , even if its a copy .

Hi Alex,

You certainly have a valid point there. Thanks for commenting!

Quartzimodo

Hi,
I wish to buy a Dive Seiko SRP043-2.

I found some on Ebay around 230 euros, mainly from UK.

Do you think they are genuine ?

Thanks
Arnaud

Bonjour Arnaud,

As far as I know, no counterfeit watchmaker has attempted to copy the SRP043K diver as it’s a relatively new model. This diver is not as popular as the classic SKX007K series, which has been cloned for decades. I’m pretty sure the ones from eBay UK are genuine. 🙂

salutations,
Quartzimodo

HI .

There are a few specialist watchrepair companies out there.

Try the watch repair centre in Newcastle . They are seiko stockists and have their own workshops.
Find them at www.rolexrepairs.co.uk

Hope that helps

HI .

There are a few specialist watchrepair companies out there.

Try the watch repair centre in Newcastle . They are seiko stockists and have their own workshops.
Find them at www.rolexrepairs.co.uk

Hope that helps .

Yes there are less and less watch repair services . It takes years to become a skilled watch technician and people as a rule dont like to pay for the time of a skilled man.

Hi Chris,

You’re right on the money. Mechanical watch repairing is sadly a dying profession, despite the presence of automatic watches from Switzerland, Japan and Germany. Most consumers tend to buy affordable quartz watches and I think many of them were born when quartz technology was already the norm. The problem is that mainstream quartz watches (especially fashion brands) are seldom serviceable; a faulty quartz movement is almost always replaced rather than repaired.
It’s like the electronic components in a digital device. If a laptop’s or cellphone’s main circuit board goes dead, it would cheaper, quicker and easier to have it replaced. With surface mounted chips mounted on the board, not even the manufacturer’s service center undertakes repairs. They just change ’em, mission accomplished.

It’s a sad truth that people are not willing to pay for quality work in servicing mechanical watches; some prefer to discard their broken automatic watch and buy a new one. Prior to the mid 1970s, automatic watches were the norm and almost every watch dealer had its own repairmen. People would take their watches to be repaired. It’s either that or you’re without a functioning watch.

Thanks for airing your views,
Quartzimodo

Thanks Quartzimodo, Your posts have been fantastic and very educational. I have baught a few watches from the grey market my preferred suppliers have become skywatches.sg and on e bay: premierworld. Both have proven to be very reliable and only sold genuine seiko and citizen watches to me. Is there a reference website that publishes watch models/serial numbers that might help us to spot a fake.

Hi Simon,

Seiko watches are considered mass-market timepieces although there are very high end, Japan market Seiko models with price tags that rival that of Rolex and Omega. These high end Seiko watches appeal to a very select, niche collector market. It’s not like a vintage Omega Speedmaster or a Rolex Perpetual Datejust from the 1960s where pawn shops are willing to pay a good sum of money for them, because pawn shop operators know that such vintage Swiss timepieces are easy to sell.

I don’t know of any reference websites that list ALL the models Seiko has produced because that list would be extremely long and even so, it wouldn’t be exhaustive. Some collectors have emailed Seiko Japan to ask for identification of their old Seiko watches and even then, Seiko itself doesn’t archive all the models they have sold. At one point in time, many valuable records had been lost or misplaced by Seiko Japan.

cheers,
Quartzimodo

What is the difference between SNZF49J1 and SNZF47K1 other than the obvious cosmetic differences. Noticed the K and J difference what does this mean? Looking to order from creationwatches and just want your green light please. Nice blog very informative.

Hi Marcus,

Both watches are the same, except that the SNZF49J is commonly believed to be made in Japan for the Middle East export market. The “J” version will have English/Arabic day languages while the “K” variant come with English/Roman numeral languages. Generally “J” versions are sold at a slightly higher price. In terms of quality control both versions are similar. No difference in terms of the watch’s accuracy either.

Creationwatches.com is a renowned grey market seller; have not heard any widespread complaints about them. Happy buying! 🙂

cheers,
Quartzimodo

Heard on another watch forum that the bezel on the K model seems a bit more “loose” and the J is pretty solid. Also would you know if the dealer “watches-us” on ebay is selling legit authentics? Thanks for the fast reply.

Hi Mark,

I looked at the Watches-US eBay store and they have a very good feedback of 99.8% although they have yet to breach the 5,000 transaction mark. Still, this is an impressive record. I feel that some of their Seiko watches are priced a bit too high but this may be due to the declining strength of the US currency and/or because the vendor is unable to obtain stock at much lower prices from its supplier.

The bezels can be either too loose or too tight, regardless whether the watch is a “K” or “J” variant. Because Seiko makes their Seiko 5 Sports models in mass quantities, it is impossible for them to check each and every watch’s bezel action at the factory. Do not be put off by reading one or two comments about loose bezels on the “K” model unless you hear about widespread true complaints. Your mileage may vary; you can equally receive a “J” model with an equally loose fitting bezel too. If the seller is willing to cooperate, email them in advance and request the seller to pick an SNZF49 (whether “J” or “K” is up to you) with a tight action bezel.

best regards,
Quartzimodo

Hey Quartzi,

Thanks for the informative blog! I was looking around for the basic Seiko 5 auto, and I came across a few sellers on ebay/amazon. My only concern that the watch in question may be a fake, is that some of the pictures appear to be stock images from elsewhere, while two of them seem to be taken by the seller (the ones with the leather band).

link: www.amazon.com/Seiko-Mens-Automatic-Watch-SNK807K2/dp/B000HGDWXE/ref=pd_sbs_watch_3

My concern with the images is based on something I read that legitimate Seiko 5’s use a white date wheel with black text only – however, several of the images he has shows colored text on the wheels. Should this be a cause for concern? Is it even true about the color use on the date wheels?

Thanks a ton.

Hi WatchMe!

That Seiko 5 “Flieger” automatic is the real deal, have no worries. I used to own one (the exact blue faced model) years ago and sold it as I felt it was too small for my taste. As for the day-of-week display, Seiko uses blue color to indicate Saturday (SAT/VI) and red for Sunday (SUN/a red filled rectangle). The other five workdays of the week are printed in black (or white-against-black). For English/Arabic dual language displays (for Seiko watches exported to the Middle East), Friday is printed in red in Arabic language as Friday is the Islamic holiday of the week for Muslim nations.

BTW, the SNK80x series are sold with a factory fitted nylon strap and not leather (as shown in one of the seller’s images). The seller appears to be using images from other sites – hence you see the watch on nylon, leather and stainless steel bracelet. The “original price” tag of $295 is a gross exaggeration as no Seiko 5 watch sells for that much, therefore the so-called “savings” is artificial. Actual prices of this model should be not more than $100, international shipping included.

happy buying,
Quartzimodo

Hi Quartzimodo, at first many thanks for your very usefull articles. I have attached a link to one from U.K. eBay seller of Seiko watches. Can you put an eye to him and say he sells genuine or fake watches, please? Thanks for reply.

Thanks a lot! You’ve put my mind at ease, and I should have my new watch in just a few days 🙂

Seiko should be paying you for this!

Thanks again.

Hi there Quartzimodo. Stumbled upon your site by accident while trying my best to research about genuine vs. fake Seiko watches. Been going back and forth on this local Ebay seller from PHL (ID: clm1002) as I have been wanting to buy my brother a watch for some time now. Been eyeing this –> cgi.ebay.ph/VINTAGE-SEIKO-5M42-0L40-KINETIC-MENS-WATCH-ALL-ORIG-/220829613115?pt=Wristwatches&hash=item336a787c3b#ht_7576wt_1122
But after reading some of your articles, I am now more confused as to whether I should buy it or not. As much as I want to buy him a brand new one, I don’t have that much money to spend.

Hope you could help. Thanks!

Hi Nikkitita,

I took a look at the white dialed Seiko Kinetic watch in question and am convinced that it is 100% genuine. The seller however incorrectly described its caseback code as “0L40” – it should be “0L10”, which bears the reference code SKH657J. This is a particular version that’s fully made in Japan. This watch was made on Sept 1999.

Have no worries, this one is NOT a fake. 🙂

Quartzimodo

Hello Quartzimodo.

First of all, thank you for help and your information about fake watches.

I would like to buy watch from this seller but im not sure if its authentic.

Seller is
mywatcheshub.com

They also have ebay shop:
myworld.ebay.com/watches-bay/?_trksid=p4340.l2559

I wanted to buy Seiko snzf45

cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280722605977&ssPageName=ADME:X:eRTM:US:1123

Please tell me your opinion.

And the

Hi Adis,

I’ve gotten inquiries from readers about the Watches Bay vendor on eBay before. They sell only genuine Seiko watches and have an impressive buyer’s feedback. You shouldn’t have any worries getting a fake one from this seller and that Seiko 5 Sports SNZF45J should look very nice on you! 🙂

Quartzimodo

Hi, I don’t know much about Seiko watches but I recently found this which seems amazingly cheap considering it retails for around the $500 mark.. too good to be true?

www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-Seiko-Kinetic-Velatura-TiCN-Black-Watch-SRH005P1-/180712706225?pt=UK_Jewellery_Watches_WatchAccessories_SpareParts_SM&hash=item2a135110b1#shId

Hi Miki,

The eBay seller did advertise the SRH005P a few days ago, but his listing seems to have been deleted recently. You already know the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it always is”. You have to be careful as counterfeiters have been making fake Velatura models for the past two years. Genuine Seiko Kinetic Direct Drives should cost at least USD500.

cheers,
Quartzimodo Admin.

DEAR FRIEND,
I am interested in two models, SNAA03 and SKA377.
Would you like to your personal opinion and expertise.
• Considering performance, construction and style, which would assign the note to watches, on a scale of 0 to 10?
• Would you use any of them?
• What value do you pay for each?
• Are older models: the production was stopped? Why?
• Where could I buy one? I’ve made contact with a seller on ebay, and also look forward other information that will bring to their analysis.
• Any other information you deem relevant (especially those great inside informations and curiosities that appear here in the post.
My most sincere thanks.

Hi Liard,

Please check your email as I have replied to you in great length!

cheers,
Quartzimodo Admin

Hello Quartzimodo,

I have found your article very ineresting and useful. Before reading it I have ordered attached watched from Creationwatches company. Do you think this company is OK and watches should be original. The price is about 1/2 of that in Australiuan shops which seems to me strange…

www.creationwatches.com/products/seiko-chronograph-watches-63/seiko-chronograph-snn233p1-snn233-snn233p-men-s-watch-2616.html

Thank you and regards

Boris

Hi Boris,

I get questions about Creationwatches a lot. They are a large scale, grey market online watch vendor, no worries. Their products are all original, no replicas. Watches are taxed in Australia (this is confirmed by my watch forum contacts and friends living in Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne) amongst other costs like shipping. Buy with confidence – they even throw in a 2-year private warranty for their watches.

cheers,
Quartzimodo

Hi Quartzimodo,

many thanks for your illuminating posts.

As I am interested in a premier kinetic driect drive (which usually costs something around >900 Eur in authorised no-net dealers) I looked on the internet and I found a model which is, apparently, out of production nowadays. The model is SRH007P1.
I was wondering about this model number (8 characters rather than 7 as you suggested) and whether these watches look genuine to you (they are sold at something like 50% discount…):

1) www.ebay.it/itm/220798852119?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

2) www.ebay.it/itm/180733454851?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

3)http://www.ebay.it/itm/120767899285?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

4) www.ebay.it/itm/SEIKO-PREMIER-KINETIC-DIRECT-DRIVE-SRH007P1-RRP-650-/170703285011?pt=UK_Jewelery_Watches_Watches_MensWatches_GL&hash=item27beb56b13

Thank you in advance for your kind response,
regards

Hello Bepi,

All the items listed in the links which you provided are genuine Seiko watches. The official Seiko designation includes the bracelet type, as in SRH007P1. Seiko watch enthusiasts generally don’t bother to include the “1” or any number like “2” or “3”, therefore we just type them as “SRH007P”. The number makes the distinction for some models that are available in more than one bracelet style or type.
For example, SKX007K1, SKX007K2 and SKX007K3 all refer to the same watch; only the bracelet or band type differs.

Since I do not consider the ending number after the character “P”, “J” or “K” necessary that’s why I regard Seiko reference numbers as 7 in total count and not 8. Hope this answers your question! 🙂

cheers,
Quartzimodo

Is this an authentic seiko? I have the watch now and it seems legit buts a bit more dark grey than I was expecting.

www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B004AMM4BC/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1317823508&sr=8-1

Hi Kevin,

Yes, the watch you received should be an authentic one. Check the caliber/caseback code at the back of your watch. It should read as 7s36-04A0. Currently there is only this caseback code is one of a kind for this caliber, e.g. there are no other variations of your model. Sometimes dial colors that you see on your browser can differ from the actual watch. It depends on the lighting, exposure, how the image is processed. This is true especially with off-white and silver dials.

cheers,
Quartzimodo

Dear Quartzimodo,
Thanks for a very informative and useful blog. I am interested in a particular men’s analogue quartz Seiko watch: SGGA11P1 (7N43-0BF0). This watch seems to be available and in stock from numerous online stores on the web and in eBay in particular (including stores which are mentioned in your blog as being “safe”). So I presume that is a relatively current model and is not a fake. However, this model is not listed in any of the current WWW.SEIKO.COM websites nor does it look similar to any of the models shown therein (but I haven’t cross-checked the calibre-case numbers). Ditto for some other models such as SGEF07P1 and SKZ291J1 (the latter being listed in one place as recently released). So I am curious to know whether all models actually get listed in the “official” Seiko range or are there some/lot of models which do not get listed?. Many thanks in advance for your insight. Regards, Owen.

Hi Owen,

Great observation on your part. Well, it’s like this. Unlike high end Swiss watch brands, Seiko makes too many models for it to list on its official websites. Each Seiko regional or country distributor have their own websites and they don’t advertise all the models that they produce. Furthermore, only models that are officially carried by the country distributor can be found in their online sites.
International market range Seiko watches like the Arctura, Premier, Velatura and Sportura are commonly advertised, while region-specific lineups can only be seen on selected Seiko official websites
.
For example, the Coutura range is only meant for the North American market, therefore you won’t see a Coutura model being listed on Seiko websites other than Seiko USA and Seiko Canada. The same goes for the Criteria lineup for the Southeast Asian market; you’ll only see Criteria watches advertised on Seiko websites for Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. Ditto for Japanese domestic market Seiko watches – you’ll see lineups like Prospex and Lukia (a women’s wristwatch range) which can only be found on Seiko sites for Japan and Taiwan.

Citizen, Casio and Orient also follows the same practice as Seiko. They would usually leave out their numerous low end models from their respective websites and highlight just their mid-range and flagship watches. On the other hand, Omega, Tissot, Rolex, Breitling, Ball, Fortis, Victorinox Swiss Army and TAG Heuer for instance, have much fewer models and therefore they’re able to list every watch that they’re selling.

If only Seiko bothered to include a “watch finder”, which helps you keep track of discontinued models like Swatch does it would make life easier for Seiko watch enthusiasts and casual owners alike. 😉

hope this answers your question. 🙂
Quartzimodo

I purchased a Seiko SKX007 off of eBay from RC Time Inc. I had a Seiko box and paperwork with it. Recently I noticed a small scratch in the crystal and thought that the crystal was scratch resistant and it got me thinking: Did I buy a fake? It sure looks real, but what do I know? Any ideas?

Thanks.

Hi Joe,

I’ve never had the misfortune of inadvertently buying a fake Seiko watch, but generally fakes won’t come with an owner’s manual and warranty card. As for the scratch (as I’ve explained in my reply to your private email) you have the option of discussing with the seller to return it – especially if the scratch is deep, you may have a solid reason to exchange it with another SKX007K.

I wouldn’t recommend polishing mineral crystals if the gouge is significant; polishing will make your watch glass thinner and more prone to breakage. Keep this in mind if you intend to wear the watch for recreational scuba diving. If the seller refuses to entertain returns, have the crystal replaced by an authorized Seiko service center or repairman. It won’t cost that much, I should think. Sorry to hear about your misfortune. 🙁

Quartzimodo

Hi there! Thank you so much for this blog! I am looking to purchase this watch for my husband www.ebay.com/itm/Seiko-Mens-Sportura-Chronograph-Alarm-SNAD23-SNAD23P2-/110758090543?pt=Wristwatches&hash=item19c9b2572f
It seems crazy to me that bidding starts at $1 if it is a geniune watch. I also asked for a photo of the actual watch and the seller (“dabrands”) replied that the photo posted was taken in their studio although it looks way to similar to all of the other photos of this watch. Please help!!!

Hi Quartzimodo,

Thank you for your blog! A lot of informations!
A question about a Seiko Premier seen on Ebay.

www.ebay.com/itm/SEIKO-PREMIER-PERPETUAL-CALENDAR-WHITE-FACE-LEATHER-BAND-SNQ105P1-/120796674441?pt=Wristwatches&hash=item1c200af989

Could you tell me your opinion on this watch about Warranty (i live in France)? Genuine Watch? Seller? Price?

Thanks in advance for you answer 🙂

Bonjour Amau,

That’s a genuine Seiko Premier quartz 6A32 Perpetual Calendar. I don’t know about the seller (there are just too many on eBay!) but he/she seems to have a very impressive feedback of 99.7% and has conducted over 10k transactions. The price is considered below the average market price from authorized Seiko dealers therefore it is likely that this is a grey market piece. Which means there is a probability that the warranty may probably not be sanctioned by Seiko France (the seller is located in Florida, US).
In any case, Seiko watches are pretty reliable and they would mostly fail (if they do) after the first year. Whether this watch comes with a valid international warranty or not, the warranty period is only for one year. After that you’re on your own so it doesn’t matter after the first year has passed.

best regards,
Quartzimodo

dear sir
i need your opinion on this
www.kaskus.us/showthread.php?t=11217633
is the seiko in four of those picture orignal?
thx for your thought n response

Hi Doy,

It’s difficult to tell because the photos taken by that seller do not have enough resolution to see the tiny details. If the watches are parallel import Seikos from Hong Kong or Singapore they should be authentic watches (that’s why the seller gives his own personal warranty). Remember that just because nobody has complained about him doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a trusted seller. Most people cannot tell whether they have bought a replica or fake Seiko anyway.

best regards,
Quartzimodo

Hi Quartzimodo,

Thanks for your answer 🙂

I saw on internet that it exists a Seiko premier SNQ105P and probably the same with an other reference wich is SNQ105J.
>> Do you know if there is a difference between both?

Regards

Hi Amau,

There’s only one version of the SNQ015 and it’s the SNQ015P. Some sellers wrongly describe the suffix letter as “J”, leading to confusion amongst potential buyers. Seiko watches having reference codes that end with the letter “P” are Singapore assembled and there are no “J” (Japan) variants for models that already exist in the “P” form.

Quartzimodo.

Good day, i just bought two seiko sportura SRQ007J1. These are supposed to be a limited edition of 1000. I got one from a dealer in cal.usa and another from dbrands in HK.
The one from HK was a bit less $.
Upon opening i find the one from cal.usa has a signed card stating it is #40 of 1000. The piece from HK has the same card w/signature but no number listed, a blank space.
My plan was to sell one of these pieces but something smell’s fishy, why the blank but signed form?
Can you advise me ?

Thanks, best regard’s, greg

Hi Gregory,

You must really know your watches since you bought two limited edition, Sportura SRQ007Js with the excellent 8R28 automatic chronograph movement. 🙂 This model is limited to 100 pieces worldwide, according to Seiko’s official sites (and not 1,000 as stated by some watch sellers).

The reason the one you received from “dbrands” in Hong Kong (are you sure it’s “dabrands”?) comes without any company stamp is because you purchased from a grey market re-seller. Seiko forbids the sale of its watches on eBay by its authorized network of dealers – they need to earn an accreditation as an authorized Seiko Internet retailer (but not on eBay). It’s possible that the watch was originally procured from an authorized retailer in HK. If that retailer is not sanctioned by Seiko Hong Kong to sell online, generally it doesn’t want the watch to be traced to its origins.

Seiko retailers are forbidden to re-sell their stock to third parties; they must deal with end customers. The practice used by eBay sellers vary from one vendor to another, but it’s not unusual to receive an undated and unstamped warranty card.

Quartzimodo.

Hi Bor,

AFAIK, nobody has bothered to manufacture fake Seiko SRP043K “Spork” divers yet. This particular model isn’t that popular yet and is costly and complex to duplicate. Rest assured, this watch is 100% authentic. You might want to scout around eBay for better prices though. The SRP043K is an interesting watch but I’d rather wait for future designs based on the 4R15 caliber. Happy buying! 🙂

cheers,
Quartzimodo.

Excellent article, unfortunately i found it after i just bought this SEIKO SNL043P1 MEN SPORTURA,KINETIC,CHRONOGRAPH,SNL043

rover.ebay.com/rover/0/e11400.m516.l1123/7?euid=e3e2c03864e7420b872f6af4f5addec7&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.ca%2Fws%2FeBayISAPI.dll%3FViewItem%26item%3D110771952848%26ssPageName%3DADME%3AL%3AOC%3ACA%3A1123

What’s your opinion?

I just bought this the other day, even after reading your informative blog. I’m thinking it might be a “franken-seiko.” On the dial, it looks like a 7000 caliber. The movement is 6349A, but the caseback appears to say “6309.” I would love to hear your thoughts. I liked the look of the watch and the price was right–I’m not a serious collector and I just wanted a nice looking retro watch–so I wasn’t terribly concerned. But I would like to be certain of what I’m getting. Also, do all “vintage” Seiko 5s