Sales of counterfeit watches to tourists in Thailand is very big business. You will see the well known names such as Tag and Rolex touted around the bars of Pattaya by watch sellers. Almost all the watches have a retail value of no more than 500 baht although the asking price by the touts will be considerably higher. Generally these watches are very poor copies and only for amusement only and will not convince anyone that you are a person of means. Although there are some who have bought such watches and claim to have had many years of good service, but these are in the minority. After purchase on a closer examination you will see that the watch has a cheap and gaudy appearance. It has been known for the battery operated Rolex versions, for the watch winder which is only used to adjust the hands to fall out. The glass cover itself is soft and will scrach easily and the glue holding the glass falls out in time, or some other malfunction.
Better copies can be found in areas such as Patpong’s night market in Bangkok. Occationally the police make token raids on vendors selling counterfeit watches a very unpopular move by the locals, in such raids confiscating their entire stock and handing out on the spot fines. Of course once the police have left the vendors start the whole process again. Counterfeit goods can be found everywhere in the Patpong district of Bangkok, everything from latest CD’s, blockbuster DVD’s, clothes and ladies designer bags.
The quality of some of the copies of watches available in Bangkok are exceptionally good even under closest scrutiny. Even experts themselves cannot tell without opening the watch and checking the internal works of the watch, they are that good. The better copies are of the self-winding type, powered by kinetic movement using a Seiko movement, Remember most inferior copies of watches are battery powered. Expect to pay in the region of about 3000 to 5000 baht for a top quality Breitling, Rolex, Patak Philippe and Tag copy.
A good idea before buying a watch is to download pictures of a genuine watch you would like to purchase, to check the accuracy of the picture against that of the counterfeit.
Another article by Bangkok Missy at http://www.bangkokmissy.com blogger and on the editorial team of many Thailand related websites