Replicas and Knock-offs, are they legal?

By John E. Brozek
© InfoQuest Publishing, Inc., 2004
ABC 7 News KGO-TV, February 26, 2004

I was recently asked to participate in an investigative report by Michael Finney, a consumer reporter for KGO-TV (an ABC affiliate in the San Francisco Bay area), and I was happy to oblige.

For the investigation, KGO-TV sent undercover reporters to the streets of Tijuana, Mexico where they purchased a $60 replica Rolex Submariner. Mr. Finney then purchased a $200 copy from a website which claimed to sell “high grade” Rolex replicas.

Mr. Finney took the fakes, along with a genuine $4000 Rolex Submariner, to Union Square (in San Francisco) to see if the average person on the street could tell the difference.

They also brought the fakes to me (St. Petersburg, Florida). as well as to a dealer in the San Francisco Bay area, to compare them with a genuine Rolex Submariner. While the website claimed to sell “high grade” replicas, we found them to be no better than the cheap $60 junk purchased from a street vendor in Mexico.

Also participating in the investigation was Brian Brokate, a Rolex attorney who confirmed that, last year alone, Rolex seized over 500,000 counterfeits

Michael Finney, ABC Reporter

John E. Brozek, author of The Rolex Report

A street vendor on the streets of Tijuana selling fake Rolex watches

Cannal Street (Chinatown) also selling fake Rolex watches

Michael Finney shows the fakes, along with a genuine Rolex Submariner, to people at Union Square (San Francisco) to see if they can spot the fake.

Does this picture look familiar? The counterfeit website claiming this Daytona to be one of their “high grade” replicas, has actually STOLEN the photo from a reputable dealer who ONLY sells genuine Rolex watches. How do I know this? Well, as you can see from these images, it was taken by the same person who donated the picture for the cover of my book!

A comparison of the movement in a genuine Rolex Submariner with that of a replica.

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