Chopard launched over 150 years ago. In the years since, it's become one of the most popular Swiss watchmakers in the world. Unfortunately, as its reputation has grown, so has its vulnerability. Like many premium watchmakers, Chopard has become a target for counterfeiters, something that not only threatens the brand's reputation but which also puts its customers at risk. Some people are happy enough to save a few hundred dollars to get a 'Chopard' branded watch, even if they know it's no such thing. For the people who spend several thousand on what they believe to be a genuine Chopard watch, it's a different story. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your investment. If you're in the market for a Chopard watch, here's what you need to know about how to spot the difference between a Chopard replica watch and the real deal.
Check the Quality
As truefacet.com explains, a cursory examination of a watch will give you an incredible insight into its authenticity. Chopard doesn't make garden variety watches. It makes premium pieces using only the highest quality materials, gemstones, and precious metals. Its craftsmanship is exquisite, it's attention to detail is beyond fault. Every watch that leaves its factory goes through vigorous quality standards: if a flaw is noticed, the watch doesn't see the light of day. When you examine the watch in question, look for any flaws or defects. If it's a preowned piece, you can expect some light wear and tear. However, there's a world of difference between wear and tear and manufacturing defects. Take any obvious flaws, no matter how minor, as a red flag. Even vintage pieces should still have their parts and gemstones intact (Chopard's pieces may look delicate, but they're built to last). Similarly, a watch that feels insubstantial or flimsy is probably a fake.
Check for Adhesive
Counterfeiters sometimes get cocky. They miss the obvious giveaways of a fake. For you, that's good news. Use their oversights to your advantage. One of the most obvious things they miss are signs of adhesive residue where they've glued the parts of the watch together. Some counterfeiters even use adhesive to glue the logo to the end of the crown. Run your finger around the surface of the watch. If you feel any roughness that suggests adhesive has been used, you're dealing with a fake.
Check the Crystal
As ezinearticles.com notes, always check the quality of the crystal during your examination of a watch. Chopard always utilizes sapphire crystal in its pieces. Counterfeiters, on the other hand, usually cut the cost of production by using glass.
Watch Out for a Dirty Dial
Always examine the dial as part of your pre-purchase inspection. As 800citizen.com (www.watch.800citizen.com/replica_watch_Chopard/fake_Chopard_replica_watch.php) writes, as there's no quality control in replica factories, hairs, dirt and other contaminants can often be found under the counterfeit crystal. As all genuine Chopard pieces go through vigorous quality inspections before leaving the factory, a dirty dial is a sure indication of a fake.
Check for Spelling Mistakes
You'd be amazed at how many counterfeiters forget to check basic details like spelling and grammar. Check the spellings of any markings on the watch, as well as any accompanying packaging. Sometimes, the mistakes are obvious; other times, they're less so. As you're checking the markings for typos, pay attention to the general quality of the hallmarks and stamps. Engravings on genuine pieces will be as crisp and clean as a paper's edge. A blurred script, mis-spaced alignment, or an unclear font are all clear signs of a replica.
Has It Been Signed?
An authentic Chopard watch should be signed by the jeweler. It should also list its metal content. If it's a platinum piece, check for a "950" stamp. If it's a gold piece, watch out for the “750" stamp. You should also be able to find the serial number imprinted on the case. Although the serial number shouldn't be used as proof of authenticity in isolation (it's easy enough for counterfeiters to engrave genuine numbers on their replicas), it's worth cross-referencing the serial number against the serial number listed in Chopard’s record. If it is a fake, then with any luck the counterfeiter has got careless and used the wrong number.
Does It Glow in the Dark?
Most modern Chopard watches use LumiNova coating on the dial and hands to improve luminosity in dim conditions. Before you inspect the watch, check out the model's spec to see if it should come with the coating. If it should, take the watch and inspect it under low light. LumiNova should glow loud and proud. The poor-quality luminous material used by counterfeiters doesn't. If it either doesn't glow at all or only glows slightly, it's probably a replica.
Buy the Seller
When it comes to buying a Chopard watch, you need to be as invested in the seller as you are in the watch. If you're buying online, pay attention to the overall quality of the website. The less time and effort that's been invested in the design, the more suspicious you should be. While you're checking out the website, take a glance at the URL. Many counterfeiters capitalize on misdirected traffic and customers that land on their site as a result of a typo. If the URL spells Chopard with an extra P, take it as a clear indication that you've landed on the website of a counterfeiter. Equally, pay attention to the seller's location. As China is one of the biggest exporters of counterfeit goods in the world, be wary if the seller confirms they're based there. This doesn't mean that every seller in China is a counterfeiter, but it does mean you should be extra cautious. If the site has a feedback section, check it. It's usually easy enough to tell genuine feedback apart from feedback the site owner has written themselves. Type the seller's name into your search engine and see what comes up. If any customers have been ripped off in the past, most of them won't be shy about advertising the fact on forums and reviews sites.
Take It to a Professional
The internet may have made armchair experts out of all of us, but ultimately, there's only one guaranteed way to confirm if you're dealing with a real Chopard or a replica: take it to a professional. A professional appraiser will examine and test the watch to confirm its authenticity. It may cost you extra in the short term, but if it saves you wasting your money on a replica, it's worth it.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker