TAG Heuer has made a name for itself for being one of the most luxurious watch lines in the market. In 2017, the Swiss watchmaker company made headlines for releasing the most expensive smartwatch, the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45, valued at $180,000. Although the diamond-studded model has been discontinued, TAG Heuer still has timepieces worth as much as $25,000 or more.
The jaw-dropping price tag on TAG Heuer collections inspires many watch enthusiasts to opt for secondhand models, but a common apprehension people have is authenticity. Genuine TAG Heuer watches will have bona fide features that appear in every timepiece, regardless of the collection. In this article, we run through everything you should look for when purchasing a used TAG Heuer Aquaracer, TAG Heuer Monaco, or other models.
1. Smooth Crowns
The Swiss company has had more than 160 years to perfect its mechanisms, and it shows in its watches’ crowns. An authentic TAG Heuer will have crowns that rotate smoothly and effortlessly without resistance. If you turn a TAG Heuer crown and notice erratic dial movements inside the case, the chances are that you are looking at a counterfeit.
2. Precise Watch Bezels
TAG Heuer watch bezels have the same level of precision as their crowns, and they should turn quickly. You will also hear clear-cut clicks accompanying each marker. A fake TAG Heuer might have bezels that are more burdensome to rotate since they are carelessly latched on to the case, and they could have unpredictable clicks.
If you are looking at a diamond-filled case, you could also inspect the quality of each stone. Expect authentic TAG Heuer timepieces to have uniform-quality diamonds with similar sheen levels and consistent cuts and shapes.
3. Unique Serial and Model Numbers
When scrutinizing the case, do not neglect to check the case back. It might be more challenging because different TAG Heuer models have different case back styles, but all of them will have unique serial numbers and model numbers.
Serial numbers are made up of four numbers and two to three letters. While forgers can easily fake them, it pays to visit TAG Heuer’s official website to check whether the serial numbers match the models. It would also help to look for a marking that indicates water resistance. All TAG Heuer models, except their watches, should be water-resistant to a minimum of 100 meters.
4. Fine Glass Dials
Luxury timepieces are expensive for many reasons, and one of them is the sapphire crystal guarding. An authentic glass will protect your watch from scratches and everyday wear and tear. Every TAG Heuer watch has sapphire faces, which means that the glass must appear unquestionably refined and without coarse surfaces.
The water drop test is an effective way of checking for sapphire crystal guarding legitimacy. Water will spread roughly on counterfeit crystals, while drops will pool on genuine sapphires.
5. Authentic Markings
You should also look for familiar markings on your watch. TAG Heuer models always have “Swiss Made” pressed onto the dial by the 6 o’clock mark, while fake timepieces often show “Japanese Movement” or nothing on the same area. The company logo should also appear polished and pressed onto the dial, and it is usually located below the 12 o’clock mark and directly above the hands’ center point.
The last telling feature in genuine TAG Heuer timepieces is the illumination. TAG Heuer utilizes state-of-the-art LumiNova technology, giving its wristwatches a sharp and brilliant glow in the dark. While counterfeits can mimic the light, it is less bright and frequently dims more and more as the watch ages.
6. Made of High Quality Metal Links
Most watch forgers pay less attention to bracelets than they do to cases and dials, so it will be easier to spot mismatched or wrong details on fake TAG Heuer timepieces. Steel bracelets should be linked with high-quality bits of metal with identical shapes and sizes. Misaligned pieces that appear isolated but are continuous are a giveaway of being counterfeit.
7. Smooth Movement of the Bracelet
TAG Heuer steel bracelets are exquisitely constructed with distinct materials, so they should flow, bend, and move more seamlessly than forgery. Fabric or leather straps must also be impeccable, with no single seam or thread sticking out.
The TAG Heuer Link collection’s bracelets are more straightforward to clock since they have similar S-shaped pieces of metal joined together. Spotting a single S-form that looks different from the others will inform you of forgery. Dents and scratches on the bracelet’s surface also indicate hasty and crude manufacturing, which is not characteristic of genuine TAG Heuer watchmaking.
When looking for a second hand TAG Heuer timepiece, it is best to ensure that you check all the boxes above. A forger does not have the training and expertise to match TAG Heuer’s 162 years of luxury watchmaking, and they will not pay as much attention to detail as trained manufacturers, so there is bound to be at least one slip-up in every watch.
If you remain suspicious of the timepiece you are inspecting, visiting a TAG Heuer Official Service Center can help put your doubts to rest. You may also purchase from reputable sellers of luxury watches, such as TheWatchCompany.com.