Q: Who has the best Rolex Submariner?

A: Rolex. ;-)

If you want the perfect sub, you're going to have to buy genuine. If you're prepared to compromise, though, there are several manufacturers making unbranded watches in a similar style, and there's also the option of replicas. In the case of the latter, the thing you have to bear in mind is that there are thousands of dealers out there (most of them scammers), but only a small number of factories. Most of the reliable dealers will be able to supply a good sub rep and, with the exception of a couple of watch builders who modify existing watches to make them a little more accurate, they're all going to be the same watch for a given price range (Rolex submariner replicas can range in price from $60 to $500). There's a saying in the world of replica watches: Pick your dealer then pick your watch. We can help you avoid the scams.

Q: I want a solid gold watch, where can I buy one?

A: Buy a gen. With very few exceptions any gold replica watch you buy is going to be plated. The cheaper ones use fairly thin plating which will eventually start to wear off. Remember how little you're paying for the watch - it's not going to be solid gold at that price :)

Q: The replicas website I'm planning to buy from say that their watches are made from 904 or 440L stainless steel just like the real thing! That sounds tempting.

A: You're being scammed. Rolex are the only manufacturer using 904L steel. NO replicas are built using 904L or 440L steel. The best you'll find is 316L (which is what the majority of quality genuine manufacturers use too). Most higher-quality reps are 316L. Cheaper models tend to be 220L, which is a tad softer (thus more easily marked) but still okay. The really cheap stuff (street market junk) is generally plated pot metal.

Q: What's the difference in quality between genuine swiss-made replicas, Italian-made replicas, Japanese-made replicas and Chinese replicas?

A: Replica watches are made in, and/or the majority of their parts sourced from, China (together with most homages and a surprisingly large number of gens). There are a handful of smaller sellers hand-building higher-quality watches and based in places such as Singapore or Thailand, but 98% come from mainland China. Any site that tells you that their watches are made by Swiss watchmakers, or made in Italy, Japan or whatever are scamming you. You will, sometimes, come across a replica that features a genuine Swiss movement but even then be careful - often the movement will turn out to be a Chinese copy (which is fine if that's what you're paying for - most of the Chinese movements are, in fact, pretty much as good as the Swiss equivalent anyhow).

Is it legal to buy a replica watch?

A: It depends on the country you come from. In many, it is legal to own replicas, but not to import or sell them. Customs in some countries are more likely to give trouble than in others - in general, the UK, US and Australia are no problem, but Italy, Denmark and France - amongst others - can be more difficult. It is often easier to buy from a local dealer in this instance. Join the forum for advice - there are usually ways to reduce the chances of your watch being seized when it enters the country. Homage watches, however, are a lot simpler to buy and sell - and are highly recommended.

Q: My replica watch needs to be fixed / regulated / bracelet adjusted. Do I just take it into the local authorised dealer?

If you just need a bracelet adjusted, it's often easiest to do it yourself - or, if you must, take it to the kind of independent watch battery/strap seller that you will find in most shopping malls and street markets. For more complicated matters, ask the members on our forum - in most areas there is either a replica-friendly independent watchmaker available or, at least, someone not too far away to whom you can send your watch for repair. Do bear in mind, however, that reps are often relatively inexpensive and the servicing of a watch can often be costly.

I have a really nice replica and I don't think anybody will be able to tell. Do you think I should post photos of it on one of the genuine watch forums?

A: Don't. Trust me, there are always tells and you'll probably get banned from the board concerned.

Q: I have a really nice replica and I don't think anybody will be able to tell. I'm going to make a profit on eBay with it.

A: Don't. As I said before, there are always tells. Not only will you be caught (we always report auctions we see where someone is trying to sell a fake as a gen) but you'll probably lose your eBay and PayPal accounts as well as being banned from every watch forum there is. Owning and enjoying a replica watch is one thing; in fact, many replica owners eventually end up liking their watches so much that they then buy the genuine article - passing it off as the real thing, however, is very uncool indeed. The reason this website exists is not to promote the sale of replica watches - it is to stop people being scammed. There are far too many fakes being sold on eBay as the real thing and our forum was started in order to help people be sure of what they are buying - if you want to know whether that eBay listing is genuine, the chances are that we can tell you.

Q: BestSwiss (or replicahause or perfect2clones or whoever) have a great-looking website. Will I get a good watch from them?

A: STOP!!! Do not go any further until you read our Trusted Dealer List. There are thousands of sites out there and 99% of them are scammers. Some of these may actually sell you a watch - but what you receive will either not be the same as that advertised (i.e. much lower quality) or will be desperately overpriced. Others will simply take your money and you'll never get your watch. Most of us have been stung at some point, but we've learned enough to have found a handful of dealers who are worthy of our trust. We can help guide you to someone who won't rip you off.

Q: There's an ad in the local newspaper / craigslist / eBay for a nice-looking Breitling (or whatever) at a bargain price. Should I buy?

A: Again, STOP!!! Unless it is being sold by a reputable dealer (and sometimes not even then) it's really risky. You need to make sure that you get the watch appraised by an authorised dealer BEFORE parting with your money. Join the RWG forum and ask - if you have photos, we may be able to gauge whether it's safe to make the transaction.