Were you ever curious about what are the main differences between a Swiss and Japanese replica? This has been a question I have thought about for quite some time and even though I have made some extensive research I just couldn’t fully understand it until recently. I even sent numerous emails to the most reputable replica websites trying to get an answer, but this didn’t do the trick either. To be more exact, I have selected five replica companies to which I have sent inquiries about the differences between a Swiss and a Japanese Cartier Santons 100 replica and in return I have received some general information about the products. The answers were superficial and hesitant. The basic ideas were: that Swiss fakes have a better quality mechanism; Swiss imitations are made from a superior stainless steel and Swiss knockoffs are made with a more thicker and resistant gold plating. These answers seemed a little bit too vague to me.
Irritated by their inability of giving me a clear answer or at least an understandable one, I have decided to buy both versions of the same model and from the same retailer. This way I could compare both watches in terms of looks, quality and usability and see the actual differences with my own eyes. The Japanese one was about $200 and the Swiss one about $600. It took about a week or so to receive both products, and when I got them I was amazed to discover that just by looking at both replicas I couldn’t tell them apart. Upon a close inspection I have concluded that both have the same weight, all the correct markings, the same size and feel. I could only notice a small difference in the color of the hands, but besides this small detail everything else is exactly the same.
Obviously, the inside mechanism is the basic difference between the two versions of this Cartier Santons 100. The $600 knockoff has a Swiss made Sellita SW 200 automatic movement with 26 jewels. After researching it online I found out that this is one of the most reliable mechanisms available on the replica market. Of course, tests were needed to confirm this so after more than a week I was pleased to see that my Swiss Cartier fake was losing only 3 seconds in a 48 hours time frame, which is actually pretty good for an automatic movement watch, especially for a replica.
The $200 clone watch also has a high grade kinetic movement, but it isn’t as accurate as the Swiss one and when removing the back and seeing the inside mechanism you realize that it looks like scraped metal, at least, compared to the Swiss one.
It doesn’t take an expert to see the obvious. At a quick and superficial comparison of these two fake watches, unmistakably the Japanese one looks like an inferior quality movement replica. Most certainly, it is not a worthy match for its more upgraded Swiss competitor. Even if at first it may look like these two are identical, upon a more thorough inspection you start realizing the huge difference that sets them apart both in terms of quality and price: the superior mechanism. For a luxury product it is essential to look flawlessly, but for a watch the time keeping capabilities are crucial because the bottom line is that you are buying a watch and not just a jewelry.
In the end we just need to be honest and determine if we are only after the looks of a watch or after overall quality. If aesthetics is the only thing that interests us then the cheaper Japanese replica is the best option. It will look just like the more expensive Swiss one, but cost significantly less. While if a longer life expectancy and a highly accurate movement are the most important qualities we are looking to get in a watch, then a Swiss replica is the perfect choice. This experiment has achieved what many replica companies weren’t able to: it gave me the correct answers to all the justified questions I had about Swiss and Japanese fakes. Now I know what the actual difference is between these two and it will surely help me and many others to pick out the replica suitable for both our needs and expectations.
Last modified: November 17, 2013