Fakes are fakes. I think there are a lot of ways to try and justify it being ok, but it still comes down to that. It's stealing IP, and that ain't cool. Would you ride a frame painted up as a colnago? Or wheels stickered up like zipps?
Going to wade in with my 2p...
From where I'm sat, the points made about brand vs unbranded homage watch ignore the regrettable human condition which is that we are all affected to some degree by brand desirability. The people saying 'why not just buy a homage' could very well apply the same logic to a genuine watch - it will be aesthetically identical, functionally identical. Sometimes we lust after items because they are iconic, be it for good reason or bad. The Rolex 116010LN is iconic. A Steinhart isn't.
Having owned replicas for various reasons already stated upthread (economic accessibility, nice to be able to rotate through watches, but mostly because it was nice to 'try' these iconic designs with a lower barrier to entry) Over time my collection grew, and then shrunk down again, as I found out what I liked, what I liked wearing, and that I liked watches I could wear more, and so wanted a smaller collection. Interestingly the replicas held value far far better than a 'boutique' watch of the same price point with - presumably because they have for whatever reason far more appeal. The vast majority of them had either Miyota automatic movements, or ETA clones, which were hit or miss, but after a service, almost invariably absolutely fantastic. (comfortably +/- less than 10sec a day)
My overwhelming experience was that 99% of people don't notice/care about watches at all.
Of the 1% that were left, the 'watch guys' who noticed and spoke about the watch were always fascinated to find out it was a replica, have a look at it, and chat about it. There was a degree of recognition that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery from someone who genuinely shares a common interest.
The 'status symbol' guys were invariably aghast - can't think why. If you're concerned that someone would look at your wrist and think 'fake', it suggests to me you also believe the converse to be true, and thus expect to be treated/considered differently because of a piece of (genuine)jewellery you are wearing. You might. It doesn't concern me.
I suppose you could almost certainly split replica buyers down the middle in the same way - those who are into horology and for whatever reason can't afford a watch they love, admire, lust after etc and want the closest thing they can get. and those who want the word Rolex on their wrist.
Further points for discussion:
If someone puts a Zipp sticker on carbon wheels that they've already bought, does it harm Zipp in any way?
Is a homage which uses the design of an iconic watch but a different brand IP theft also?
If someone would/could never buy a Rolex, but buys a replica, is that more or less damaging than the above?
Homages are better in my opinion, at least they acknowledge that they are derivative. I wouldn't wear one though. Aside from that, I just don't think the question of "are fakes ok" is a complicated one.
The mention of stickered frame hits home with me. I built a bike for my wife. It was a cheap steel frame which I had resprayed and built with some nice parts (and big headaches). Total cost was over £500 when I had it complete. I put Gazelle stickers on it and it obviously wasn’t a Gazelle. If I had been able to find a Gazelle for her I would have bought it for considerably less money.
It’s not an homage, so it would be a fake. But it does not look like a Gazelle in any way (barring the fact it’s a bike). I thought the Gazelle stickers would look nice and they do. Am I an IP thief?
I think this a really tangible example of how you can form a personal positive connection with a brand/logo/aesthetic, and yet not have portraying the 'brand' as the most important factor in your decision. You cared enough to want to replicate the 'look' of a Gazelle, and that (seems to be) removed from a desire for anyone else to believe you were riding a Gazelle, even if it may be a tangental effect.
So it is an homage?
A friend had this on last night. Apologies for the blurry photo - I had had a few by this point.
He said it was from 1990 and was really proud of it, but following this recent chat and having never seen a speedmaster like it, I was skeptical. Anyway tried it on and it felt really nice, maybe 39mm ish. Chrono worked perfectly and it all looked lovely
I'm of the opinion that it is whatever you want it to be. It's a fascinating discourse though.
Lovely , I had one of those for a little while back in the day.
Fascinating is right.
I do think it is whatever I want it to be, but I think the discussion relates to what I want others to perceive it to be and if I care what others think.
Adding the IP aspect makes it so interesting.
Great post. Probably changed my opinion of fakes a bit based on that. I still have problems with the IP infringement and black market aspects of them. Truest thing you wrote:
99% of people don't notice/care about watches at all.
99% of people don't notice/care about watches at all.
I think there's a fair bit of research about the economics of fakes. Save where fakes are sold as the genuine article, I'm not convinced of the real impact.
Years ago I watched a great lecture with one of the IP lawyers for a major fashion house. Homages and replicas in fashion generally are great for designer brands. They market the design, and increase the desirability therefore help to convert sales for those on the boarder. Let's be honest here, with cheap credit a huge number of luxury products are within reach of anyone on more than the national average wage.
I've painted a couple of bikes in Klein colour schemes, for your to know they were Klein schemes you'd also (I think) know that the bikes weren't ever made by Klein. I had no intention of pretending that they were Kleins, I just thought the paint schemes were iconic and wanted to use them.
Don’t sell that mate it’s amazing.
I’ll still get the real explorer for my birthday next year, now I’ll have a knock around version on a nato.
This actually may be the crux of the matter. You state ‘you were skeptical’ - what exactly were you thinking at the time?
You thought is might be fake, what did that make you think of the owner?
@TGR I was mildly inebriated! Hard to explain. Didn't expect to see this particular guy having it, but it was a birthday present. And I only thought it might be fake because of salience/reading all the discussions in here recently and it not looking like most speedmasters!
@ejay2.0 nice! Do you know the ref by any chance plz?
Thanks. I think your feelings are an important part of the discussion. But not the beery ones! Lol
Not a bad looking new GS diver... quartz though.
blimey you could shave with that ^
looks like a 175.0043. I'm sorry to report that you probably shouldn't buy this watch,. It has a complicated modular movement which most repairers won't service. I've seen steel versions going for around £1000, mainly because a service will set you back almost that much again.
Seamaster? Cant remember exactly , think it may be a 2531.80.00
Oh Sorry you mean the Speedmaster.
I thought that was based on a 7750 mment.
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