Last week I wrote a blog lamenting the loss of my Cartier Tank. I am still terribly upset and my Cartier watch tan line is fading fast. I have irrevocable hope that my watch will turn up somewhere; however, I have come to terms with the fact that I still need to know the time. Time has not stopped since I have misplaced my watch, but marches on never the less. Now what if someone offered me a replica of my Cartier Tank, would I buy it? It might be tempting at first, but after feeling the watch case and running my hands over the inferior crystal, I would probably hand the watch back in disgust. I am not a fake. If I cannot have the real deal I would rather not have it at all. I would rather purchase a cheap real watch that does not hide behind the pretense of being an expensive timepiece. A fake watch is part and parcel of a fake persona. In my mind it actually is quite a good judge of character or lack thereof.
The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has unleashed a worldwide campaign against counterfeiters and the individuals who sell and purchase the products. It is an important campaign that is exceedingly important in the current economic downturn. Not everyone feels so strongly as I do about fake watches and thus the amount of fakes on the market has reached incredible proportions. Counterfeits and piracy range between 200 billion to 360 billion a year. The FHS (Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry) estimates 40 million fakes are manufactured each year generating a net profit of One Billion Dollars. Who is the one losing out? The genuine prestigious Swiss Watch Brands who pour Millions of dollars into research and development, manufacturing, marketing and customer satisfaction are suffering.
The fake watches are often manufactured using inferior materials which are most often not hypoallergenic and health and safety standards are disregarded. The watches are manufactured in regions where child labor is common place and the revenue fills the pockets of mafias, criminal organizations and terrorist groups.
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