Copy (or fake) watches have been around for a very long time, and the forgers have been making copies of Omega watches for a long time.
Traditionally, the fakes were kept to the more "modern" watches, i.e. watches only made in the last 5 years or so. However, never let your guard down, and remember the saying that if it's too good to be true, then it often will be.
Take this vintage "Omega Constellation" with the 12 sided "pie-pan" dial from the 1970's for example.
Brought in for repair because it wasn't working, this watch was bought from a very well known and large worldwide internet auction site for several hundred dollars.
There are quite a few things wrong with this watch, both inside as well as out, as will be pointed out. Fortunately, we had the original version to compare this along side the copy.
Let's look at a few things:-
N.B. The original is the one on the LEFT and the copy is the one on the RIGHT for all the images.
The original on the left is the real one, with the 12 sided dial. The one on the right, just doesn't have that look about it. Ignore the baton markers that have fallen loose, just shows the poor quality.
Let's first look at the word "Constellation". The original on the left has nice script, and a well formed letter "n", as opposed to the copy that curls under itself. The letter "i" has the dot on top - the fake doesn't. Harder to see, the top of the letter "a" goes too far up on the copy.
Don't forget to notice the Constellation "Star". On the genuine, it is raised i.e 3 dimensional, and the fake is simply a flat star stuck on.
The date window on the original is not actually rectangle, rather having edges, as opposed to the copy that has all corners at right angles. And that number 2! No flowing line to it, just ram-rod straight - looks like it is on parade in the military.
Here is another interesting thing to note - the original (genuine) Omega Constellation crowns are multi-sided. This copy one is more the "standard" style.
Please note that sometimes when a watch is serviced, the incorrect or generic crown may be used instead - not ideal, and of course, not what we do when we service a watch here, but you will see the wrong crown from time to time, so if your watch has the wrong crown, don't jump to the wrong conclusion straight away.
The watch case (and back) on the copy was made by "casting" the original and making multiple copies of it. What you will notice in these images and on the close-up below, is that the observatory and the stars are just not as sharp as the original that has been "stamped" out.
Close-up of the original and the copy.
I must say, that the forgers here have gone to the extent of trying to copy the inside of the back. One can only assume that this is now done, so when photos are taken of it and put on the on-line auctions, this gives it a bit more credibility. Note here not the differences in wording, rather the way both have been written.
The original has all the text, logo etc stamped
into the case - the copy is just engraved.
You need to look close, but it is good to note and remember.
Again, the forgers have gone to the extent of using an automatic movement - not too rare in fake watches today, but again, they have gone to the extent of writing Omega and various other (misleading) information on the movement.
But just look at the quality of the Omega movement - just beautiful.
A close up of the balance complete - wonderful in the Omega, just plain boring in the copy, but what do you expect. But how nice in the genuine. Oh so wonderful to admire.
Overall, this is a copy that should make you remember not to get too excited when one is seen for simply a very cheap price.
And don't forget, a fake watch is a fake watch. I can never understand how people are so proud to show of their fake Rolex or Omega watches with pride. Would you be proud to say, "Look at these fake diamonds that I bought for my wife!". Trust me, you won't, your friends won't, and neither will your wife!