Budget Watch Collecting/Fake Seikos

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Believe it or not, fake Seikos not only exist, they are fairly common. For collectors, there is also the problem of "FrankenSeikos", watches using authentic Seiko parts, but from various sources. Sometimes frankens are merely repaired using whatever parts are available, but sometimes these are trying to look like a more collectable watch.


Common Signs of a fake:

Electra 360. These were cheap pinlever movements

Bling--Frequently an Electra, fake diamonds as markers. These will frequently be missing in places.

Mismatch of movement number Seiko movement numbers are the first 4 digits of both the dial and case numbers. While sometimes backs are swapped, it may be a sign that the watch is fake, especially on a "new" or "NOS" watch.

Mismatch between jewel count and movement:

Vibration engraved: One Feiko I wound up with had the back engraved with a vibrating engraver--A series of small dots rather than continuous lines. This one also had no serial number on the caseback, and was marked "Rotomatic" on the dial, a Swiss trademark. Inside was a Ricoh movement.

5 etched on the crystal of a non-5 watch

Holographic sticker on the crystal

Look for signs that letters were removed before and after the name--Some watches were printed as ASEIKON or ESEIKOR, with ink that can be easily removed.

Day/date disks poorly aligned, cheaply printed.

"Swiss Made"--Seiko did not use Swiss movements, but some fakes have cheap Swiss or Hong Kong pinlevers.

Pinlever movement

Chrome plated--Not sure of older Seikos, but from the late 60's on, silvertone Seikos were stainless steel, not chrome.

Quartz Seiko 5 The 5 is always an automatic.

Misspellings--One fake Seiko had "Sevesteen jewels" engraved on the rotor, visible behind the display back.

Poor quality/misaligned day or date wheels

Aseikon watches are sold by thieves who will place one dial over the a and the other dial over the n so the watch reads "seiko"