Watchuseek strongly supports genuine innovation and authenticity in watches and is staunchly against fakes and counterfeits. But as Europe prepares for summer vacations, it’s a sad fact that counterfeiters are ready and waiting, rubbing their hands, confident that many tourists will return home proudly sporting the fake watch they could never otherwise have afforded. Provided, that is, they make it through Customs.
Flirting with risk is a game they're willing to play in exchange for what they see as their reward. But in reality, counterfeiting is anything but a game:
- With revenues in excess of US$ 400 billion, counterfeiting siphons off 7% of world trade
- More than 40 million fake watches are sold each year, compared with the 26 million genuine watches made in 2010; this equals a net profit of US$1 billion for counterfeiters
- Counterfeiting incurs fewer sanctions than drug trafficking and is a highly lucrative activity for criminal organisations.
When a customer buys a counterfeit watch they admire the accuracy and precision of the timepiece. What they don’t realise is they are becoming an accomplice to child labour, money laundering, job losses and intellectual property theft, all of which benefit organised crime.
As part of its mission, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) has made the fight against fakes a priority objective by supporting action in the markets by fine watch brands.
In 2009, the Foundation launched Fake Watches are for Fake People, a major public information campaign that appeared in 120 media in 24 countries.
Now a new campaign is declaring You have the choice! – Don't be a partner in crime.
To extend the scope of its action, the FHH also launched a short-film competition for the general public and students of the 1st year in visual communication at Lausanne University of Art and Design (ECAL) on the theme, Take a true look at fakes.
Out of all the entries, some thirty "infomercials" and short films – cartoons, fictions and montages – were selected to be shown in Switzerland and internationally.
The true cost of counterfeiting
The continued purchase of counterfeit watches, whether online or while shopping abroad, has far reaching consequences and continues to exploit thousands of innocent young lives. Fake time is anything but a good time for these victims. Buy only genuine watches.
• 7% of world trade
• 40 million fake watches are made each year, compared with 26 million genuine Swiss watches
• US$ 400 billion in revenues
• Intellectual property theft
• Damage to brand identity
• Funding organised crime (drug trafficking, money laundering, child labour, etc.)
Risks to consumers:
• Civil and criminal charges
• Health hazards
• Only buy from official retailers and distributors
• When buying online, always check the seller's identity
• Demand the product's authenticity certificate