A New Low in Fleabay Fraud

This is a current fleabay offering that is so deceptive and insidious that it deserves to be outed for the benefit of the vintage Vacheron & Constantin community.

The watch is actually an Omega triple calendar that has been defaced very professionally:

A New Low in Fleabay Fraud

However, it probably provides a great example to review the relevant indicators of true vs fake vintage V&C.  Considering several recent posts asking for the "recipe", this may be as close as it gets!

A New Low in Fleabay Fraud

To begin, the positioning of the dial openings are wrong.  It is the movement within that dicates the placement of subdials and a real calibre 485 places the day/date apertures closer to the center of the dial and the moonphase a little farther away.  Because the fraudster was working with this limitation, you can see they were unable to crowd the "Geneve" underneath Vacheron & Constantin.  

The real V&C this watch is trying to represent is circa 1950 and generally wouldn't feature the Maltese Cross on the dial at all, but there are rare exceptions.  However, they were always applied and NEVER printed.

Here is a real Ref. 4461 from 1949 for comparison:

A New Low in Fleabay Fraud

The most effort was applied to the movement of the fake V&C:

A New Low in Fleabay Fraud

All the necessary engraved markings are present and accounted for, although a bit crowded on that little plate.  Don't be surprised if you can't recognize the caliber, because it never existed in V&C's inventory...it's the mass-produced Omega calibre 381 of their vintage Cosmic Moonphase Calendar model:

A New Low in Fleabay Fraud

And here is the Omega dial to bring the entire picture into focus:

A New Low in Fleabay Fraud

A few other signs that expose the fake is the absence of proper V&C markings on the inside of the caseback, which on the real deal would provide the case serial number, possibly a model reference number, the case maker's mark, assay mark for gold content, and a V&C logo.  Here there is nothing:

A New Low in Fleabay Fraud

In addition to the subtleties of the dial, case shape can also provide a clue as to authenticity.  In the "case" of this fake, I would be concerned about the weak lugs and vulgar protrusion of the corrector pieces:

A New Low in Fleabay Fraud

The criminal nature of this enterprise is revealed in the use of a real V&C strap and buckle that were attached to lend an aura of legitimacy where none is deserved:

A New Low in Fleabay Fraud

A New Low in Fleabay Fraud

In brief, one cannot judge a watch by it's cover...or strap, or buckle, or movement.  The entire package must be "right" but the ability to make this judgement is no different that deciding the merits of a fine painting.  It takes practice, patience and knowledge A New Low in Fleabay Fraud.
Good eye Sherlock (nt)
05/31/2010 - 11:28
e
i cannot understand why so much effort into faking a watch that ......
05/31/2010 - 11:39
doesn't look authentic ? anyway, this is an interesting topic to share among collectors, especially the extent of even engraving the Vacheron onto the movement .  definitely tells how valuable a VC is !
Looks funny :)))
05/31/2010 - 15:40
LoL :))) Looks funny. Is this device available for sale? If the price is not high - it's a nice watch for the collection :)))
1- 31? Seconds? What is the Unit of measurement?
05/31/2010 - 16:34
subj.
Days ;-) nt
06/01/2010 - 02:27
nt
Thanks:)In the world full of unusual things I may be seconds. simply))
06/01/2010 - 14:44
Thank
mistype: "it may be seconds", not "I may be..." sorry :))
06/01/2010 - 14:46
subj