Dangerous counterfeit goods might hurt real investors, but manufacturers are still making enough money to keep the fakers going.
Counterfeitings are no longer really a problem in the United States — that was about ten years ago. There’s still the problem of fake watches, sunglasses, knock-off jeans, jewelry, cell phones and DVDs, to name a few categories. But that’s nothing compared to a few years ago when fake Rolex watches and other luxury items would be a hot seller at pawn shops, flea markets and flea markets.
These days, fake Rolexes and other luxe items are so easily purchased that the demand is lessened — the high-end counterfeits are often replaced by knockoffs. Retailers like Forever 21 no longer see a spike in sales when a certain item appears in the stores. Similarly, just because the counterfeit Rolex is a subcompact comparison against the original or better advertised makes no difference to consumers. They’re likely to be confused. And the fake Rolex placed at a flea market or on a tables of counterfeit merchandise doesn’t compare, period.
That said, the high-end counterfeiters are still going strong. In 2011, G-Star Raw, an apparel brand that sells high-end T-shirts, canvas shorts and cotton prints, decided to drop Rolex as the brand of watches they used. The reasoning was simple. The brand had declined so much they no longer had the cachet to generate big sales.
The Rolex logo can easily be substituted for a version of the same watch that’s recognizable but free of the premium mark that sells at $11,000 for the limited edition silver (the “Covid” version with a black face) at Glurman Jewelers in North Miami Beach, Florida.
Glurman, in South Florida’s fashionable North Beach neighborhood, is an area that is home to one of the largest collection of high-end watches. In a small one-person showroom, you can buy a brand-new brand-new Rolex watch for about $650. In the Target Marketplace at Glurman, clients can buy a second hand Rolex for $600. It’s a free country and no one will punish you for having a second hand Rolex — the National Center for Counterfeiting & Piracy Enforcement (NCPPE) says that they support these retailers and luxury purveyors.
And if you want to wear a Rolex without breaking the bank? Most adults in the United States could. Young women are the biggest spenders because of the appeal of the watches, but demand has tapered off recently. High-end Rolex G-Stars mainly belong to the baby boomers.
Paul G. Robinson is a Curator in the Miami showroom. His reference materials, research reports and student presentations are published through the American Association of Museums, American Science and Engineering Museums Association, and many others. Robinson joined the international Field & Stream retailer in 2011.