Suite 10, 88-90 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8PN, UK.
October 26th, 2022
The French luxury watch brand Cartier has made its name since 1847 by creating watches and jewellery for royalty. The brand is historic and renowned around the globe for its unmatched elegance and class. The watchmakers ensure consistent qualities and other design characteristics that make them stand out.
Fantastic guilloche, screwed bezel, cabochon, the flawless movement- aren’t these the most stunning hallmarks of a luxurious Cartier timepiece making them so popular. But with popularity comes the risk of imitability. Due to the iconic design, Cartier watches are always at risk of high forgeries. Several counterfeit Cartier watches are circulating in the global market, so it’s important to use strict caution while purchasing a Cartier.
Keeping that in mind, discerning a fake from a real Cartier is easy once you know what to look for in the Cartier watches. Hence, this guide will help you understand how to identify a fake Cartier easily.
One of Cartier's most prominent design characteristics is the flat head screws attached to the case. The screws hold together the back and front of a Cartier case. The brand never uses ‘x-shaped/cross-shaped’ screws on their timepieces; hence, you can easily identify if it’s a counterfeit model. When looking at a fake Cartier model, you can spot imprints of the screws, not the real ones on the case.
One of the telltale signs of a Cartier timepiece is the ornate guilloche dial which is a precise decorative pattern, almost impossible for the fraudsters to duplicate. A Cartier watch always has a high-quality dial finish, and many models feature silver-colour dials with surface texture.
Look for missing markings, unruly dial lines, a splash of paint on the dial, rough lines on the hour markers, and irregular fonts. You might have a replica on your hands if you notice any of them.
Cartier puts a secret signature on most of its dials. You can spot it on the 7 or 10 o’clock markers, which often seems like a thin line to the bare eyes. This is Cartier’s ‘Secret Signature,’ and you can see the brand’s name spelt in full.
Moreover, you’ll often find the words ‘Swiss Made’, ‘Swiss’, and ‘Paris’ spelt out in full below 6 o’clock. Even though they are hardly visible, the incredible small details ensure the authenticity of a Cartier timepiece, which the forgers often miss.
Other important markings like ‘750’ or ‘18K’ distinguish whether a Cartier features 18ct gold or low-quality metal.
Related: How to Verify The Authenticity of An Audemars Piguet Watch?
Turn your Cartier timepiece and look for the following imprints:
These inscriptions on the case back of a Cartier watch check its genuinity. Moreover, depending on the model, you may find the texts ‘Stainless Steel’ and ‘Automatic’ engraved. The most important thing to notice is ‘how’ the words are engraved and not ‘what’ is engraved. Each inscription should be precisely defined and etched deeply onto the case back.
There should be no light lettering or curved placement, as both are signs of counterfeit.
The Santos, Ballon Bleu, Panthere, Tank, and Ronde are some of the most popular Cartier models featuring significant blue details. For instance, the blued steel hands, the blue sapphire or blue spinel and the circular-grained crown make a remarkable statement. Also, many models with diamonds have a diamond set in the crown. The gemstones must be attached to the metal and not glued.
A genuine Cartier timepiece has the serial number engraved and not just etched on the case back. The serial number is 8 characters long and consists of 6 numbers and 2 letters. Modern Cartier timepieces also come with a 4-digit case reference number. A fake Cartier will often have the serial number etched onto the back. And, since there’s no online tool to check if the serial number is genuine, you have to take it to a Cartier service department.
However, all Cartier watches come with a certificate mentioning the serial number. Therefore, check and match the serial number on the certificate and the watch before spending money on it.
Cartier produces watches made from high-quality materials, including precious gemstones and quality metals. So, it’s only normal if the watches are heavy. You should at least feel the weight of such a prestigious timepiece on your wrist. However, if you feel that the watch is too hollow or light in weight, there’s a high chance that it is fake, as forgers use low-quality materials to make them.
Cartier makes many watches with a luminous substance called LumiNova, which makes them glow in the dark. The fakes have tried their best to reproduce similar effects at a lesser cost. Hence, you may find the fake Cartier watches glowing in the dark for a while but never as brightly as a true Cartier.
Finally, you have something you cannot find on any fake Cartier model- scratch-proof glass. The best way to test whether or not your Cartier has scratch-resistant glass is to drop some water on it. If you see the water droplet roll off, it is genuine, and if the water smears on the glass face, then, unfortunately, you’ve been tricked with a fake watch.
A Cartier watch can cost £2300 to £370,000. So, if you find someone selling a high-end Cartier model for £500, you know what to do. When it comes to Cartier, the brand uses the finest materials to create one timepiece, hence the cost.
It is advisable to always shop with a trusted watch seller, whether you’re buying a new or pre-owned Cartier watch. This ensures a genuine Cartier timepiece, and you can ensure complete peace of mind. Moreover, should you ever choose to sell your Cartier, you can get the best value for your genuine Cartier timepiece.
If you’re looking to sell Cartier today, The Luxury Hut can offer you the best value for your stunning watch. We have over 40 years of combined experience in the industry, and our experts will be happy to assist. Get instant payment in a hassle-free way. Start by filling in the online form or call us on 0207 242 9160 for more details.
Related: How to Verify the Authenticity of a Patek Philippe Watch?