How to Tell If a Cartier Watch Is Real

Updated May 10, 2017

Louis Cartier is a famous watchmaker who lived at the turn of the 20th century. He's been credited with creating the first men's wristwatch and the first water resistant watch. Some of the most famously designed Cartier watches include Tank, Tonneau and Torture. If you're interested in donning your own authentic Cartier timepiece, you're looking to spend anywhere from £1,950 to £8,450 for most models. If you're forking over that kind of cash for a watch, you want to know that you're getting the real thing.

Check the price. Most replica watches in the United States sell for between £32 and £130. According to Chronocentric, an Internet resource for fine watch collectors and enthusiasts, luxury watch manufacturers do not have fire sales, inventory clearances or year-end model closeouts.

Buy your watch at an authorised dealer. On, look under "boutiques" for a list of stores that sell Cartier timepieces.

Take a photo of the watch you want to purchase and note the serial number. Find that watch at a Cartier store, the Cartier website or an official dealer's shop. Compare the latch, bezel, leather texture and other details of that model. If anything is different, your watch is likely a fake.

Consider the weight of the watch you're looking at. A luxury watch does not skimp on materials, so it will generally be heavier than imposters. Knobs and joints won't wobble, looked crooked or off centre. Engravings will be consistent. If part of an engraving is not visible or inconsistent, you're not holding an authentic Cartier.

Check spelling and colours. Cartier is not spelt "Carter" or "Catier." "Made in Swiss" and "Nlimited Edition" are also indicative of a replica. Details on the watch face should not appear to be painted on, or painted over. The logo won't be glued on and you should not see rough or rugged edges anywhere on the watch.


You can call Cartier and ask them to confirm the serial number on the watch you're going to buy. If someone is selling you an actual Cartier watch, they wont mind if you take a few days to authenticate the timepiece.


Don't assume your watch is not authentic if you're buying it at auction or a reduced price from an individual. A person selling a real Cartier timepiece will not hesitate to prove it is real. Cartier has manufactured hundreds of different models and the parts have got more sophisticated over the years. A latch used on a 2008 watch will be different, and a better quality, than a watch from the 1980s.

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About the Author

Shannon Marks started her journalism career in 1994. She was a reporter at the "Beachcomber" in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and contributed to "Philadelphia Weekly." Marks also served as a research editor, reporter and contributing writer at lifestyle, travel and entertainment magazines in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Temple University.