While shopping overseas or even locally, at times we unknowingly end up buying fake versions of iconic brands. But if you know the signs, you can tell if it is the real deal says Raghavendra Rathore.
Recently a good friend surprised me with a situation that most of us never wish upon ourselves – an encounter with a fake luxury product, one that you have spent a fortune on. What makes it even worse is few of us keep receipts and bills at the hour of need – especially if you have purchased it overseas.
But there are ways to spot a replica in its tracks! There are no classes or special schools that teach you to have a knack to spot a fake watch or for that matter a pen that looks like the real thing.
There are no guarantees, but before you make the purchases it is said that if you follow these golden rules you might be spared eternally.
On Rolex watches with a date (DateJust, Submariner, etc…), the date has to be very small to work properly and so Rolex adds a magnification glass to allow the wearer to see it more clearly. On all Rolex models the magnification is 2.5X so the date really jumps out at you. On fake Rolex watches the magnification is often 1.5X so the date looks relatively smaller. This is a huge tell tale sign of a fake Rolex.
Listen closely. If you hear loud ticking from your watch this Rolex is a definite fake. Rolex watches do not make the ticking noises common with other watches. Counterfeiters can’t often perfect the gears of a Rolex and so a ticking noise is made and this can really help you spot fakes quite easily.
Examine the writing point (nib) of the pen through a jeweler’s loupe. If the words “Iridium Tip” and “Made in Germany” are stamped on the curved metal section just behind the tiny ink delivery aperture, the pen is a fake. The only genuine Montblanc pens made with the word “Iridium” engraved on the nib are the “Starwalker” series—the most widely copied model in the Montblanc range.
Look at the underside of the nib assembly. The black section should be precisely aligned with the aperture and the joint between the ink-feed tines. If it is the slightest bit off-center, the pen is in all likelihood not genuine.
Send the pen to the Montblanc factory for analysis if you’re still not sure. Apart from a microscopic examination, they will analyze the barrel material; Montblanc pens are made from a “precious resin” which cannot be replicated.
Alcohol and cigarettes
The bootlegger you trust blindly may be part of a sinister plot too… It is rumored, that 80% of alcohol supplied to the farm house parties in the capital is adulterated. India-Burma border too, sees counterfeit alcohol and cigarettes making their inroad into the country. These products have very attractive prices but the effect is not so pleasant; fake branded cigarettes that taste horrible and Scotch that tax your health -in the early 80s, one single batch of bad ‘hooch’ led to 300 deaths in Bangalore. The best way to avoid counterfeit alcohol or cigarettes that perhaps give nasty side-effects, the only way is by buying the genuine product, very selectively. Also choose the rarest stuff that may have less incentive in duplication– price being the key indicator, packaging being the second and of course a genuine and trusted supplier will not let you down.
And finally milk, hardly a luxury product but a staple part of an extravagance meal is one of the most abused products around. If possible, buy pasteurized paper carton packaged milk and not the plastic pouch. Sometimes the solutions are so simple!