I've always lusted after a Rolex Submariner watch, but could never justify the thousands of dollars they are going for now. So, the idea of a high quality replica seemed very attractive to me. With this in mind, I started doing some research on the Internet.
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A couple of seemingly very helpful sites explained the various grades of replicas out there, and also gave pricing guidelines. There were also ratings of web sites that sold replica Rolex watches. Basically, the watches were graded by the type of movement and the accuracy of the details. The top rated movement was supposedly the Swiss ETA 27 jewel movement, and the top rated site for this type of movement was shown to be an outfit called Blue Fakes at http://www.bluefakes.com.
Blue Fakes has an 800 number for ordering, so I called in an order for a $585 replica Rolex Submariner with the ETA movement and an all stainless case and band. The salesman told me the company no longer accepted credit cards, even though their web site clearly states that credit cards are accepted, so it had to be sent COD. Stupidly, I agreed to these terms. The watch was shipped overnight via Fed Ex at no additional charge.
I opened the package as soon as it was delivered and took out a box in a cardboard sleeve. The black box had cheap sheet brass ROLEX letters stuck on the top. They started falling off as soon as the box was handled. Inside, in a plastic bag, was my Rolex Submariner. It did look good and was surprisingly close to the original in all the details, including a hologram on the back and serial numbers on the band. I immediately noticed that the luminous insert for one of the numeral markings had dislodged and was now loose under the crystal. Not a good sign. I gently rocked the watch to start the automatic movement. Nothing happened. I then pulled out the crown and wound the watch, a standard proceedure for getting an automatic movement going. Again, nothing happened. I should note that Blue Fakes sent this watch out to me with no invoice and no instruction sheet. At this point I have to admit that I was getting more than a little anxious. I called Blue Fakes immediately.
BLUE FAKES' RESPONSE:
I spoke to the salesman and he told me he would have someone call me back in a few minutes. I did get a call quickly and the person walked me through the wind up sequence, which I had already done. I explained that a marker had fallen off inside the watch and he agreed this watch was defective. He agreed to issue a call tag for the broken watch, and also promised to send out a replacement watch overnight Fed Ex. The call tag never arrived ... neither did a replacement watch. Subsequent calls to Blue Fakes have gotten me to an answering machine. I leave messages, but am never called back. I did get a person once and, when I explained the problem, he promptly hung up on me.
The web sites I used for replica reviews and information were all scams and set up by the illicit online sellers of replica watches. Later research has turned up numerous consumer complaints and claims of fraud. Most of the online sellers of replicas appear to be the same companies using different sites and phone numbers. Claims of returm privileges and warranties are a fantasy, as are the claims of Swiss or top end Japanese movements.
What you will get in a replica Rolex is a nice looking watch that looks pretty much like the real thing. What you won't get however, is anything but a Chinese copy with an Asian made movement of some type. You should be able to get a decent replica watch for $80 to $150, depending on the style and construction of the case. Based on my own awful experience, and the experiences of many others who have posted complaints on the Internet, you will simply not get a Swiss movement regardless of how much you pay for the watch. Ignore all the $700 Swiss movement replicas you'll see advertised. The companies that sell these are likely selling $100 watches that are being grossly misrepresented.
If you do decide to buy a replica Rolex, please search for the company's name plus "complaints" to see if they are listed as a scam
site. There are lots of very slick looking scam sites out there. Also, and I knew better, never order anything COD. If the seller won't accept a credit card, just hang up and go elsewhere.
I have found several Chinese web sites that offer quantities of replica watches for sale. In the case of the replica Rolex Submariner, all the watches shown are identical to the one I was sent by my friends at Blue Fakes. Even the blue protective plastic wrap is identical. The pictures are often the same. The price for these watches? They average from $46 per piece to as little as $35 in lots of 20...including free shipping! This was my $585 ETA 27 jewel replica Rolex watch.
The New York City Better Business Bureau shows 132 unresolved complaints on file. It also lists the following names for this outfit: Blue Fakes, Global Replica, A Fine Luxury Time, Go Replicas, Italian Fakes Jewelers, Limited Watch, My Swiss Replica, New Replica, On Time Fakes, Precise Knock Offs, Reproduction Global, and Swiss Freeze. At least seven different addresses are known, as well as over 14 phone numbers.
LATEST NEWS: Blue Fakes and all their spawn have finally been put out of business. In a lawsuit brought by several designer brands, these crooks had to turn over all their domains to the Federal government, effectively shutting them down. If you go to any of their web sites, all you'll see is a notice of the litigation.
I've also found that there really is such a thing as a good replica watch. There are a small number of web sites that do sell good watches, some even with real Swiss movements, ...finding them is the problem since the majority of these sellers continue to be scam artists selling junk for high prices.
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