New York City Cracks Down on Counterfeit Purchases

If you have ever been to New York City, then you know all about Manhattan’s Canal Street in Chinatown. Tourists can be seen sneaking into the backs of buildings behind secret doors, or climbing up 12 flights of stairs to a room at the top of the building, all in the hopes of finding the perfect Louis Vuitton, Gucci, or Burberry items. However, these products are not authentic. Whether or not they have the brand labels saying they are authentic, these items, whether a purse, scarf, or any number of items, are counterfeit. Tourists are aware of this and visit Chinatown to buy products that may or may not be able to pass off as authentic, for a fraction of the cost of a real item.

Chinatown is most known for its fake purses, but there are also several vendors who sell fake luxury watches. Fake Rolex Submariners and OMEGA Speedmasters line the walls of some shops on Canal Street. No matter who close the exterior of the watch resembles a real Cartier or Panerai watch, there is absolutely no comparison in quality.

canal-street-nyc-03

Image from urban75.org.

While there are efforts in place to find the makers and sellers of these counterfeit items, there is no punishment in place for the buyers of these goods. However, that is about to change. The NYC legislature is hoping to pass a bill that would punish these buys with a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000. The sale of these counterfeit items loses the city roughly $1 billion in tax revenue every year. The money that these groups are making goes to organizations that are involved in crime, terror, and child slavery. Who wants to support something like that?

If you are a true watch enthusiast, you value quality, prestige, accuracy, and reliability. Luxury watch brands spend countless hours working on each individual watch, ensuring that it will function properly and will last for a very long time. Many brands only produce a couple thousand watches a year so that their watchmakers aren’t rushed and can focus as much time as needed on each individual watch. These brands spend years designing and perfecting new models for their customers and can usually charge a high price. Watch enthusiasts are often willing to pay these prices because they know they are getting a product that will last for a very long time. They also know that the watch will function properly for several years and, after a few years, will just take a quick service to begin running again. These features are why one purchases a luxury watch. Purchasing a counterfeit Rolex completely defeats the purpose of owning a watch.

The watch bought in Chinatown may look very similar to an authentic watch, but that is where the similarities end. The watch was probably put together by a machine, or by a person who spent almost no time at all making sure that it was assembled properly. If the movement of the two watches were compared, the real luxury watch would have a beautiful and flawless movement that was meticulously crafted by a talented watchmaker. The knock-off watch would hold a cheap Chinese movement that is almost certain to stop running in no time. These fake watches dilute the market for a real luxury watch. If the fake watch industry is allowed to grow, then the fake watches will slightly increase in quality, making it difficult for the average person to tell if it is real or fake. However, a true watch enthusiast will know.

If people stop buying and encouraging these fake luxury watches and purses, then people will stop making them. What do you think? Do you think this bill is a good idea?

This is what is a luxury watch is supposed to look like:

Breitling Navitimer

Breitling Navitimer

OMEGA Seamaster

OMEGA Seamaster

Rolex Sea-Dweller

Rolex Sea-Dweller

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