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Dead Give-Aways

No matter how good a counterfeit might be, there's always something that will give it away. Consider my favorite achilles heel, the date display...

Obvious fake: Rough edges, misaligned in window, window too short.
Much better: While also a fake, this Explorer-2 has an excellent date display

The date display is a formed by the complex relationship of many separate parts. Just the smallest error in design or manufacture can throw the whole thing off and give away the watch. This is especially true with a magnifier lens mounted right on top of it.

  • The date digits are printed on a large wheel under the watch dial. The font must be correct. The tiny imprints must be clean under magnification. Each of the 31 dates must align exactly under the dial's window opening. Positioning is controlled by gears and detents in the watch movement.
  • The window itself is originally cut larger than normal, then reduced when the dial is coated with enamel. The final window size must be precisely controlled through the cutting and coating steps.
  • The magnifier lens is mounted outside the crystal after watch assembly, using glue. If it is even slightly off center, the date display is "pulled" or "pincushioned" under the distortion of the skewed lens.
  • The movement, date wheel, dial, and crystal lens must all align exactly after the watch is assembled. The stem, winding crown, and 3-oclock marker on the rotating bezel must all coincidently line up.
 
 

There are at least 8 different things I can think of that can all lead to a bad date display. Even on the most expensive fakes can have something wrong with the date display.

Fact Matrix

The Fact Matrix has been put in a form of encrypted PDF. I've already had dealers steal my material and I need to protect it as much as possible. There's a ton of information in here, it's worth the hassle of getting the latest Acrobat reader...

   
 
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