How To Spot A Fake Cartier Watch

Cartier is a historic and esteemed fine jewelry house renowned around the globe for products of quality and elegance. While they are especially known for their jewelry, they have been producing equally fine timepieces as far back as 1903.

How To Spot Fake Cartier Watches

Modern Cartier wristwatches have consistent qualities and design characteristics that make them distinct and desired. The brand places great importance on all attributes that are visible.

They recognize themselves as having a 'culture of design' that is purposely devoted to producing watches with precise shapes, pure lines, perfect proportions and precious details.

With great design, often comes an equally great and steep price. This covetable brand is often counterfeited in attempts to emulate the brand's designs for less. In this article, our experts share their knowledge on how to spot a fake Cartier watch from distinct stampings and details to fake screw backing marks and more.

Spot a Fake Cartier Watch

How To Spot A Fake Cartier Watch?

Cartier design qualities should be known, understood, and looked for when you are in the pursuit of one of their watches for yourself. Below, our experts elaborate on the signature Cartier design details to look for

1. Roman Numerals

Their designs typically feature dials with bold and black painted Roman numerals which contrast well against white or silver backgrounds. This results in wristwatches that are very legible and recognizable.

2. Signature Blue Cabochon

Another common design feature is blue hands that match nicely with their signature blue 'cabochon'. The cabochon is a polished gemstone that caps the mechanism that winds the watch on the right.

3. Case Back

When you examine the case back of any of their watches the printing will be clear and purposeful. This printing serves to fully identify the watch. The two examples below showcase this.

Authentic Cartier Details

4. Serial Number

Most Cartier models have two important sets of numbers. The longer number is the serial number which is unique to every watch created. Current models have serial numbers that are 8 characters long and consist of 6 numbers and 2 letters. Modern Cartier watches also have a 4-digit number which is the case reference.

This is like a broad model number that indicates the movement inside and should also reflect the shape, size, and design of the watch case. In the example on the right above, case reference 3284 indicates a Cartier watch of this shape and size.

5. Stamping

In addition to the key numbers, we also see important stamping that indicates the movement and make of the watch. For the watch on the right above, these stampings indicate that the watch has an automatic movement.

On another line, we see that the metal of the watch case is stainless steel.

6. Hallmarks

Important markings such as “18K” or “750” along with other proper hallmarks case and stampings distinguish whether a Cartier watch features 18kt gold. The above left image is an example of this.

7. Screws

Screws can be a tell-tale sign of a fake. There are no known instances where Cartier uses 'Phillips-head' or 'X-shaped' screws in any of their watches. Even worse, the screws on the image below aren't even screws. They are stamps to look like screws, an easy sign of a counterfeit Cartier watch. 

Fake Cartier Watch Screws

8. Overall Look

Sometimes the counterfeits do not resemble authentic Cartier watches at all and there is absolutely nothing to compare them to. See below for some examples of cheap, counterfeit watches that look nothing like a genuine Cartier model.

Fake Cartier Watches

Luxury watch brands care about their quality and craftsmanship. They build timepieces to be functional, appreciated, and worn for a lifetime. This is especially true with a renowned brand such as Cartier.

Examples Of Counterfeit Cartier Watches

Fakes will mimic the official rules of design, however, when inspected and contrasted properly, they will not stand up to the standards that Cartier sets.

Now that we know some key characteristics to look for, we can see some telling signs that things are wrong when watches are compared side by side. Here are several examples that we have seen that needed a closer look to be properly dismissed.

Example Of A Counterfeit Calibre De Cartier

First off, images of an authentic Calibre de Cartier with a case reference of 3299.

Authentic Calibre Watch

Meanwhile, below is a counterfeit version of the same watch, also engraved with 3299. However, on both the front and back, it has several aspects wrong with it. 

Counterfeit Calibre Cartier Watch

The most visible is the design of the dial. The fake looks like a chronograph but has numbers that are haphazard such as 7, 12, and 24. These numbers do not correspond to any known timing function for Cartier or any other brand.

Also, the numbers and letters engraved into the case back are too shallow and imperfect.

Example Of A Counterfeit Pasha De Cartier

Next, we'll look at the Pasha de Cartier watch. Below on the left is a genuine Pasha de Cartier automatic chronograph with a case reference of 3832. Dial designs can differ, but the counterfeit on the right has chronograph dials designed to register 24 hours, something that Cartier never produced. 

Authentic vs. Counterfeit Pasha de Cartier Watch

 Example Of A Counterfeit Ballon Bleu De Cartier

Next, we'll look at another timeless design, the Ballon Bleu line. Below, the real Cartier watch on the left has high-quality diamonds perfectly set into the bezel. The counterfeit on the right uses a thin, easily damaged metal.

When looking at the back of Ballon Bleu watches, there are other distinguishable features to note. Below on the left, a genuine Ballon Bleu case back.

Meanwhile, to the right is the counterfeit where the design, especially the eight screws, do not match real models. The counterfeit looks like gold but is stamped stainless steel. The “rose” colored deployant clasp is also stamped stainless steel.

In conclusion: The copies that are in the marketplace will not match the standards discussed here nor stand the tests of life too far beyond their fabrication. When buying a pre-owned timepiece such as a Cartier, put in the effort and research to know what to look for and what you are looking at. Read on to learn more about how to buy and sell authentic Cartier watches for the best possible prices.

How To Buy Real Cartier Watches For The Best Prices?

While Cartier watches, come with a steep price tag, there are ways to make them more affordable. Look no further than the pre-owned market. While you won't be buying from the brand directly, you will be directly contributing to a more sustainable luxury market. 

myGemma provides pre-owned, expertly authenticated Cartier watches and other luxury brands at up to 80% off retail, including Rolex, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton and more. Our renowned team of experts authenticates, answers questions and is there to help you navigate purchasing your luxury watch.

How To Sell Cartier Watches?

Whether you're looking to upgrade, trade-in, or get cash for your Cartier watches, look no further than myGemma. We provide a fast, easy and transparent way to sell luxury watches online. Our service can take as little as 24 hours, from price quote to payment. 

With an A+ BBB rating and over 1,000 customer reviews, myGemma is your trusted one-stop shop for selling designer goods, from watches to jewelry to handbags. Learn more from our experts on selling your Cartier watches and get your price quote today from our team of luxury authenticators.

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