How to Spot a Fake Audemars Piguet (DON'T Make A Mistake!) - Exquisite Timepieces
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How To Spot A Fake Audemars Piguet?

How to Spot a Fake Audemars Piguet (DON’T Make A Mistake!)

I once heard a funny watch quote that says, “With great popularity comes great counterfeiting”, which is a statement attributed to most luxury timepieces. 

After being in the business of crafting timepieces since 1875, Audemars Piguet has built a reputation for designing some of the most timeless watches to have graced the watchmaking scene, like the Royal Oak and Millenary. The high demand for AP watches comes with a very high level of counterfeiting, and the market is now filled with fake AP watches.

The increasing demand for Audemars Piguet watches has led to the success of the counterfeit market. The fake watches are made with simulated materials and with poor designs also. These fakes are often difficult to distinguish from genuine AP watches because they make them look identical to the real ones. 

About Fake Audemars Piguet Watches

The fear of being called out for wearing a fake built my interest in watches in the first place because I had to understand every piece that caught my eye. It is not a surprise that there is a fast-growing market for fake AP watches, as they are one of the most sought-after brands for producing luxury watches worldwide. 

If I were not familiar with Audemars timepieces, I would have probably bought a fake one, thinking it was the real thing, because of how popular these fakes have become in the market. 

Audemars Piguet watches are made with top-of-the-notch materials and high-level craftsmanship, these fakes are quite the opposite, and they often don’t even replicate the real versions in any way. So if these watches aren’t built like the real ones, why do people buy them?

We live in a world where having a luxury timepiece on your wrist would get you into circles you won’t dream of entering. So, many people who can’t afford a real AP settle for the fake to fit into these gatherings. Some people have little or no understanding of luxury watches, so they end up buying the fake Audemars Piguet to show it off as its real counterpart. 

Purchasing a fake AP is not a good idea for whatever reason you might have because you’re not only fooling yourself by buying a sham product, but you’re also promoting the counterfeit market.

How to Spot a Fake Audemars Piguet

Even as a watch enthusiast, I’m always critical when it comes to AP watches because of how convincing the fake ones are. These are a few factors to take note of before buying an Audemars Piguet watch:

Price of the Watch

I would be suspicious of a dealer trying to sell me an AP for $10,000, and you should too. An entry-level Audemars Piguet watch, like the 33mm quartz Royal Oak could cost around $15,000,  and the most expensive AP watches could be sold for over $400,000. It would help to be careful of watches sold for less than the retail price because most luxury timepieces tend to cost more on the secondary market than they do at retail.

Build Quality and Materials

Audemars Piguet watches are made with the finest materials like titanium, ceramic, shades of gold, and stainless steel. The brand is well-known for its choice of the highest quality materials, so buying an AP watch that doesn’t portray a very high standard of quality won’t be a good idea.

Weight of the Watch

The features and complications a watch has often determines how heavy it will be. An average AP watch with few features feels pretty heavy on my 8-inch wrist, and some models, like the new calibre 1000, have up to 40 functions with 23 complications and are a lot heavier. So being conscious about the weight of an AP you are trying to purchase might save you from buying a fake one.

Case Finish

AP watches are smoothly polished with sharp edges, and it is always difficult to meet the standard of such fine finishing on a fake one as they often have uneven finish and rough edges.


The markings and logo on the dial of AP watches are crisp and clear with the same measurements, and they do not wear or fade off. Fake Audemars Piguet timepieces often have uneven logos and markings, which can be noticed if taken note of, and they always change colors because of the substandard materials used in making them.

Watch Movement

Audemars Piguet watches come with sophisticated in-house movements and some other popular ones among luxury watches. Unlike other timepiece parts, original movements are hard to find, so a fake timepiece often has a substandard movement and can be spotted. 

Watch Bracelet

The links of AP watches are appropriately aligned and made with quality materials. The clasps of the watches are also firm and secure, with the Audemars Piguet logo engraved at the tip sometimes. The fake AP watches are often made of cheap metals with unaligned links.

Watch Documentation

Having a reputable watch dealer as a friend has come in handy more times than I can count. Checking the case back for the serial number and requesting the documents is another way of detecting a fake timepiece. And when you’re still in doubt, take the watch to a reputable watch dealer for further confirmation.

How to Spot a Fake Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

The Royal Oak is not just the most popular Audemars Piguet watch. It is one of the most sought-after in the world of luxury timepieces, so it is not a surprise you can find many counterfeits in the market. You must know how to differentiate between a fake and a real one if you want to buy a Royal Oak. 

These are some of the things to look out for to spot a fake Royal Oak:

Watch Bezel

The Royal Oak is known for its well-polished steel bezels, screwed down with eight hexagonal screws. These screws are spaced evenly and are well aligned. A fake Royal Oak might have a rough bezel with different shapes of screws unevenly spaced, so be on the lookout.

Watch Dial

The signature dial on a Royal Oak is made of Tapisserie, a guilloché pattern. This pattern is spaced evenly and is symmetrical; the design used on a fake one may be uneven and crooked.

Case Back

The case back of Royal Oaks is one distinct feature that makes it easy to spot a fake one. It is made of sapphire crystal, so the watch’s movements can be seen through it. Sapphire crystals are also scratch-proof, so scratches on the back can quickly give a fake one away. And the movements are always sophisticated and defect free, which is always very difficult to replicate on a fake Royal Oak, and they could be easily spotted through the transparent back.

Watch Logo

A genuine Royal Oak has a logo designed with raised gold letters. They are well-polished and clear, and they do not fade off. The logo on a fake one might be printed or stamped on the dial and have a faded or blurry look.

Serial Number

All luxury watches come with unique serial numbers, and the Royal Oak is no exemption. They can be found on the case back of each one, engraved in a consistent and prominent font. A fake Royal Oak might have the serial number printed or stamped with inconsistent and blurry fonts.


Royal Oak watches come with a warranty when they’re bought on retail, so asking your dealer for a warranty and a certificate for authentication is a way to ensure you are getting a genuine piece. If they can’t provide you with these papers, you should probably not swipe your card for such a timepiece.

Watch Packaging

To get customers hooked at first sight, materials like suede and velvet are mostly used in the packaging of luxury timepieces. So when trying to get a Royal Oak, don’t just focus on the watch itself; take a look at the packaging for cheap materials before buying.

How to Ensure You Buy a Real Audemars Piguet 

Made up of valuable materials like gold and platinum, and having such a strong position in Swiss horological history, investing in an Audemars Piguet watch could be a great idea because most of them tend to appreciate value. But before making that purchase, there are some things you should do to ensure you are getting a genuine AP timepiece.

Do Not Buy On Impulse

Just because a timepiece looks good on the outside doesn’t mean you should jump on it immediately. Take time to compare different models to see if you can get another that might serve you better. An AP watch is a serious investment and should be carefully thought about.

Do Your Research

Learning about the brand’s history and models will help you identify a genuine Audemars Piguet watch from a counterfeit. So read about the timepiece you want to buy and also try to understand its heritage.

Make Sure You Seek the Opinion Of Experts 

Asking experienced collectors and watchmakers for their opinion on a Particular AP watch would be helpful if you are not certain about the authenticity. There are also various online platforms where the opinions of watch experts can be sought for free on watches, so make sure you are seeking the help of people that know a lot more than you when it comes to timepieces. 

Asking Your Watch Dealer for Photos and Documents

Most purchases are now made online, so asking for photos and videos of the watch would not only save you from buying a fake Audemars Piguet, but you will be able to confirm if the timepiece has any defects or damages. And if it does, you can either terminate the transaction or request for it to be changed.

Buy From A Reputable Seller

There are watch dealers authorized by Audemars Piguet to sell their watches, and these are the best people to buy from. They can provide you with a certificate to authenticate the timepiece, and you can be sure they have a return policy in place if you eventually discover any defect after purchase.

These fake watches often come with very attractive price tags to interest people. After taking these steps and you’re still not convinced about the originality of the Audemars Piguet timepiece you want to buy, you should tread the path of caution and let go of that deal, no matter how juicy it might seem, to avoid any regrets. You can also go to different buyers to compare the look of the same watch and the price. 


Even for experienced collectors, differentiating between real and fake AP watches might be difficult because of the effort put into counterfeit watches these days. Summarily, no guide can 100% guarantee you spot a fake Audemars Piguet, but being conscious of these factors above gives you a better chance of going home with an original timepiece.

About Exquisite Timepieces

Established in 1998, Exquisite Timepieces is your one-stop shop for all things luxury watches! We are an authorized dealer for 60+ luxury watch brands including Omega, Hublot, Seiko, & Longines! We are proud to showcase one of the world’s largest pre-owned watch collections, including renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Check out our brand new watch arrivals here and popular pre-owned listings here.

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