Cartier is a historic watch and fine jewellery brand enjoying worldwide popularity for creating products of elegance and quality. Cartier wristwatches are synonymous with refinement, luxury and impeccable craftsmanship, leading to their established popularity and desirability in the market.
The brand gives great importance to all attributes that make up a Cartier timepiece, including the proportions, dial, screws and other hallmarks. However, with great design comes a greater risk of forgery. This sought-after brand is counterfeited in an attempt to imitate the luxury design for less. Imagine spending a hefty price tag on your favourite Cartier piece, only to find out its fake!
To avoid being a victim of fraud, here’s how you can identify a fake Cartier.
11 ways to spot a ‘Duplicate’ Cartier watch
Cartier watches are crafted with utmost precision using high-quality materials such as gold, stainless steel or platinum. So, it is obvious that the watches will have a substantial weight. On the other hand, counterfeit versions often feel lighter due to the inferior quality of materials used. Therefore, if you feel the watch you have chosen feels lighter, it is almost certain to be a fake one.
2. Logo & Engraving
One of the most apparent signs of a fake Cartier watch lies in the engravings and logo. Pay close attention to the case back, dial and clasp. The Cartier logo is always sharp, clear and well-defined. Counterfeit models may display a poorly executed logo due to a lack of precision. Additionally, genuine Cartier timepieces have a ‘Secret Signature’ inscribed on either the 7 or 10 o’clock hour markers. You will also find the word SWISS MADE written under 6 o’clock which fraudsters often fail to imitate.
3. Roman Numerals
The dial of authentic Cartier watches typically feature bold and black painted Roman numeral hour markers which contrast well against the silver or white backgrounds. Any deviation from this could mean your watch is forged.
Screws could be an easy tell-tale sign of a fake Cartier piece. Cartier never uses X-shaped or Philipps-head screws in any of their creations. You’ll always find flathead screws holding down the case. So, turn around your Cartier watch and see what the screws look like.
5. Serial Number
Each Cartier watch comes with a serial number which is unique to every watch created. It consists of six digits and two letters printed on the case back. Current Cartier models also have a 4-digit number known as the case reference. The number is engraved on the watch. But in fake Cartier watches, it is etched onto the piece.
6. Dial Details
The Cartier watch dials are one of the toughest to replicate. The ornate guilloche dial featuring a precise decorative pattern is almost impossible for fraudsters to copy. A Cartier watch dial is very precise and has a high-quality finish. Look for any disorderly or rough dial lines, a splash of paint or missing markings on the dial. In case, you spot any one of them, you might have a replica in your hand.
7. Signature Blue Elements
On some of the popular Cartier models like the Santos, Tank, Ballon Bleu, Panthere and Ronde, the signature blue details remain a highlight. This includes the blue sword-shaped hands and the blue cabochon stone crown. The gemstone should be set into the crown and not glued in place. Also, many models with a diamond set in the crown must have the gemstone attached to the metal and not simply glued.
8. Important Hallmarks
Important markings, such as 18ct or 750 along with other stampings help distinguish a fake from a real Cartier watch. These hallmarks indicate whether your Cartier watch features 18ct gold or not.
9. Scratch-Proof Crystal
Real Cartier timepieces have scratch-resistant glass which is certainly missing in the counterfeit models. The glass is non-smear which means when any water droplets splash on it, they would simply slip off and not spread across the face. If you notice the later, you have a pretend piece.
Cartier uses a substance called LumiNova in their watches so it glows in the dark. Even if the fake models try their best to replicate such glow at a lesser cost, it is nearly impossible to glow as bright as an authentic Cartier watch. Moreover, the glow in the fake models remains only for a while and not forever.
Cartier watches claim a hefty price and a typical timepiece can range between £2200 and £360000. So, if you find someone selling a Cartier watch for £400, you know what it means. The luxury brand uses only high-quality materials to craft the timepieces, adding to the price.
What To Do?
If you’re in the pursuit of purchasing one of these extraordinary watches, keep in mind the factors listed above. It will help you ensure your Cartier watch is a real deal and not another stylish forgery. Whether you’re buying a new or a pre-owned Cartier model, it is important to shop from a genuine and authorised dealer to ensure complete peace of mind. A genuine seller will issue an Authenticity Certificate for the watch you wish to purchase. Happy Shopping!