*This post features photos of replica watches. Viewer discretion is advised.
*removes gloves, cracks knuckles*
Alright, ladies and gents. The time for tasteless showboating is over. Pretentious watch “collectors” and snobs who only ever wear watches above a certain price point, this write-up is for you. Oh, wait! Before I forget, you there, sir(s)! You. The ones with the replica watches, this is also dedicated to all of you.
Now before it gets messy, remember, this is only directed at those who fall under said umbrellas. As the old Malay saying goes, “Siapa yang makan cili, dia yang rasa pedas” – the one who eats the chilli, gets burned. Consequently, if you have been maintaining a healthy diet of real watches and good manners, you’ve got nothing to feel ashamed about.
Right, on to the meat of the matter. I want to start things off by asking, “Why?” “What drives you to buy a fake Rolex/Patek Philippe/Omega?” “What exactly is the allure of owning one?” “Do you really consider a watch low-quality if it costs below, say, RM15,000?” “Does it make you happy, knowing that you own replica watches? Do you derive some sort of joy from putting down the watches of others simply because it’s not as expensive as yours?”
More importantly, “How do you sleep at night?”
“I don’t! Billionaires don’t sleep cause we gotta’ make dem billions yo!”
Right, okay. If that’s how you and your associates behave and think, you probably fall under this category – the watch snobs. See, watch snobs generally feel the need to one-up every single person within a one kilometre radius not just with what is on their wrists but nearly everything else. They gotta’ drive a better car, wear more expensive suits, drink costlier water and smoke cigars of the highest end.
If they could breathe more expensive air, they would – and you’d be the first to know. Now, it doesn’t matter to me if you’re new or have been in the game for decades, I’d still sit down for coffee with you and have a chat if (and only if) you have both feet firmly planted on the ground. You must be thinking, “I can afford coffee on my own!” In which case, good on you but always remember that money doesn’t buy true friendship.
I think I also speak for a lot of people when they say they dislike snobs who do know everything there is to know about watches but behave that way. C’mon, guys! I’m willing to bet my left nut that every single snob started out not knowing what’s the difference between a quartz and a mechanical watch. While knowledge is indeed power, there’s no need to flaunt that power all the time. Stay humble, teach others and maybe, just maybe, you’ll end up learning something as well. As my Dad says, “Education never stops.”
What about those who know nothing? (GoT fans represent!)
Finally, we get to the snobs of the worst kind. The ones who deliberately refuse to learn but insist they are into watches… purely because they can show off their wealth. Yes, as mentioned earlier, these are the ones whose “knowledge” ends at the mention of a high-end brand.
They have the money, no doubt, but the extent of the homework they do when shopping for a new watch is setting aside a vague budget and walking into a boutique to see which one shouts “I’M RICH!1!!” the loudest. Technically, there is nothing categorically wrong with that – perhaps I’m just a sad, jealous, broke individual – but the issue begins when these people then declare themselves to be watch enthusiasts.
It’s as if anyone with a Ferrari is automatically a car enthusiast and therefore a good driver. Is that always the case? I don’t think so. That, more than anything else, is my issue with these snobs. You wanna’ flaunt your wealth? Go ahead, but don’t you dare try to pose as a genuine enthusiast because people will know. You may look down on them but they are certainly not as stupid as you think they are. If you wanna’ flaunt, then flaunt. Just be real about it.
Did someone say ‘REAL’?
Oh, yes. Which brings us to the bane of every watch lover’s existence – replica watches. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean homage watches. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a homage piece. What I’m confronting here is the concept of outright fake watches. Rolex models that costs less than RM1,000? A Patek Nautilus that is comparable to a budget smartphone in price? Nope and nope.
See, I wouldn’t mind a fashion watch or even novelty watches. Heck, even the RM80 Casio F-91W gets my nod. Why? Simply because they are not fake. They are not pretending to be something they are not – watches like these, no matter how cheaply priced, are genuine. Which is the exact opposite of a fake watch. A replica is an awfully-constructed piece that is made with only one purpose in mind – to deceive.
“Hey, at least no one gets hurt, right? Y’know… willing seller, willing buyer.”
Wrong. Most buyers aren’t even aware of the worst part of this trade. Individuals who purchase replicas are literally putting money into the pockets of criminals. Think about it. There is no such thing as a legit business that sells counterfeit watches, right? Manufacturers of replicas make money from infringing on copyrighted products. Let me repeat this, when you buy a fake watch, you are giving criminals your hard-earned money.
Who knows what these criminals might use your funds for, then? If they belong to an even larger organization, you could have just funded a human trafficking ring or a firearms smuggling operation. If that’s not enough to tug on your conscience, I have nothing more to add.
So tell me one – just one – good reason as to why you need a replica in your life. Want a cheap watch that looks good? Do your homework! There are tons of tasteful, genuine watches out there that costs the same as that AAA-grade replica. Going on a holiday so you don’t want anything expensive? Again, Seiko 5 or Casio F-91W. Wanna’ get a feel of the real deal before you commit? Bullsh*t! The fake will feel way off from the real watch.
“Well, you don’t… I… because if I…”
Stumped? I’ll give you one good reason. In conclusion, it’s got nothing to do with any of those questions. You need a replica because for reasons known only to you, you feel inadequate. You feel the need to be validated by EVERYONE. Doesn’t matter if it’s fake, right? As long as they think it is real, you’re good. You strive so much for acceptance that you’re willing to lie to get it.
That, my friend, is why you need a replica watch in your life. Did I hit a nerve with replica owners? Or did I offend several snobs along the way? Fire away in the comments below.
*bonus shot of a real Datejust to cleanse your eyes (and soul)