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Oris Big Crown Pointer Date - an ocean of fakes!

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OK, so the irony of posting on the subject of fake watches on a replica watch forum does not escape me, but I suspect that like many here, while I have a replica watch I also have a considerable collection of genuine watches too. The two things are not mutually exclusive. Significantly, I made a conscious choice to buy my replica Tudor for my own enjoyment. I am not seeking to fraudulently pass it off as a genuine example.

Now, to the subject of my warning. The above image is a quick and dirty shot of my Oris Big Crown Pointer Date. I purchased this watch on ebay about six months ago. It's not high horology, it's not exceptionally valueable, and the Sellita SW200 movement is nothing but a Swiss-manufactured reworking of the ETA 2824. In short, it's no Rolex Sub or Bond Omega! I just wanted one because I love the styling and with second hand examples valuing around £250-£350 this is a lot of watch for the money.

Imagine my shock then when I searched this piece on ebay and am assaulted with at least 10 examples almost constantly for sale at any given time. This raises an obvious question: was this piece soooo popular among watch lovers that there is now a glut on the second hand market? Probably not, indeed I think most of you are looking at this watch for the first time, right now!

So I did a little research online and discovered that a particular serial number (engraved on case back of each watch) happens to be a complete fake, even to the point where Oris have officially stated this point (such is the extent of the fraud being conducted here). Therefore, should you be given to seeking out an example of this watch (and I can recommend it, as it is a lovely piece) please take note of the following case number: 26-58574. This is a fake or franken watch - always. At the time I purchased my watch I would estimate that fully 75% of all the examples for sale were fakes (that I could confirm as such)! That is a horrifying percentage for any watch. I suspect that, because this is a lower sticker price watch, these people believe they are flying under the radar and that buyers are rather less cautious and well-informed than they would be for higher priced watches. Frankly, they have a point: I followed a dozen of these watches and they all sold for full market value to some unsuspecting dupe.

The problem here is that the fakes and the genuine examples look absolutely the same...I mean identical. Most of these buyers will probably never discover the truth of the deception. I suspect that only a watchmaker would be able to correct their misconception, and how often do we visit those people?

So, how to defend yourself against such fraud? :

1. Firstly, the serial number: if you see it in the photos - walk away and/or report the seller.

2, If you can't make out the serial number (crafty bastard seller), insist on the seller messaging you the number (it's unique to each Oris).

3. Having box, papers and receipts is a major plus, but not always possible for entirely legitimate reasons.

4. On the Oris website there is a tab for "my watches". If you register there you can load a watch's serial number into the site and it will confirm the model, age, AD details, indeed the whole ball of wax. If it can't - guess what? It's time to walk away again.

I'm a big fan of Oris, in fact I own three of them. They are great watches from a company with a great history of innovation. Thanks to a little detective work and Oris themselves I also have the peace of mind that my watches are genuine examples and  if I ever come to flip them I will not be palming off some old toot on a fellow watch lover. I encourage you to do the same.

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