How to spot a fake vintage Omega

A quick visit around our favourite auction site today, revealed a selection of very dubious vintage Omega watches, including this out and out fake.  Sadly as genuine examples continue to rise in value daily, we see more and more fakes popping out of the woodwork.  This watch was actually for sale at a price higher than a genuine similar example could be obtained for, from a specialist such as ourselves, crazy!

It looks very shiny, nice dial, but it certainly wasn’t made by Omega.  How do we know? well it’s more of a case of where to start, as nothing is remotely right.   The dial and hands are very ‘un-Omega in style’.  Omega didn’t print ‘Incabloc’, (the type of balance shock system used in the movment), on their dials.   The Omega font is also wrong and the last ‘A’ is tipping over to the right.  The Omega Ohm symbol is crudely fashioned and looks like it’s melted.

 

omefake

Fake Vintage Omega

The case isn’t a recognisable Omega design.  All Omega cases with the exception of the early English made and South American ones will be Omega signed on the inside case back along with the case reference stamped underneath. The case reference number consists of a 5 digit reference or 6 digit in the format XXX.XXX.  Both identifiers are missing here.  This case has some stamped information ‘Incabloc, Antimagnetic, stainless steel back, waterproof’ etc.  Omega didn’t specify such information on the rear of it’s cases and only specified the model name (if there was one), if the watch was waterproof, and if a special Omega tool was required to open the case (i.e. Tool 106).  Omega never stamped Antimagnetic or Incabloc on the rear of any of their cases.  There is also a the number ‘502’ stamped, which the seller in this case has taken to be the movement calibre number.  Sadly not even close.  Calibre 502 was an automatic movement, not a manual one as seen here and again Omega never stamped the calibre number on the rear of cases.

Fake Omega case back

Fake Omega case back

Fake Omega inside

Fake Omega inside, note the blank inside case back and crude ‘Omega’ stamp on the movement.

Occasionally you will see fake cases with genuine Omega movements houses inside but in this case the deception carries on to the movement.

Here we see what appears to be a Swiss made stock calibre from FHF or AS .  Oh look it has Omega engraved on the train bridge so surely must be an Omega?, sadly not.  To start with it’s the wrong colour.  Omega movements from circa 1949 to 1985ish should be pink in colour due to the special plating they used.  The shape of the bridges and regulator are also completely wrong for Omega.  The Omega designation has been very crudely stamped into the bridge. Genuine Omega movements should also have a the calibre number stamped (3 digits) and a production unique serial number (xx,xxx,xxx) which can also be used to date the watch both of which are missing here (see our dating your Omega article).  The true origins of this movement will be revealed under the balance wheel where the Swiss Ebauche mark will be.

omefake2

Fake Omega movement.

The actual value of this watch is around £10-20, certainly not the £500 it’s currently for sale for, and we hope no one gets taken in by it.  It’s definitely one to be avoided. To take a look at what a genuine Omega vintage looks like, check out out selection here.

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  1. John Kelly says

    I have found this article most helpful although no doubt i will get bitten at some point, probably already have if you count the omega marrige watch which i bought with eyes wide open as to what i was getting. An old omega pocket watch movement inside a modern generic case from a seller who pretty much invites you to read between the lines of the discription to come to a conclusion about what you are buying. The reasoning behind my purchase was accasional comments about how small my omega 561 was compared to even the supermarket check out girls monster on her wrist, so content in the knowledge that at least the movement was omega -after all in the 1920s how many rolls royce movements (engines) left the factory without going to casemakers (coach builder’s ) – i made my purchase and when i wear it again on accasion its akin to that moment in crocodile dundee when confronted by the thug with a knife He gets out His own and says “call that a knife” thats a bit how i feel when my wrist is on the bar next to one of these modern gargantuan timepieces. I acknowledge that fakery is a big problem though and it even extends to believe it or not the watch boxes.

  2. Nick shepherd says

    Purchased a ladies vintage Coctail watch a while back , movement was working just( corrosion)
    Sent to omega Switzerland but unable to repair due to parts not available
    The movement has 12/2 and I think it is dated pre 1939
    Where would I find a list of independent watch makers to try and source spare parts, I would love to give it to my granddaughter for here wedding in 9 months
    I know it is needing a balance wheel and pivot
    Do I give in as I have walked miles around Edinburgh and Glasgow looking for help, some being very kind and some being quite horrible
    Where do I start

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