Swiss Customs Authorities Impound Over 5,000 Counterfeit Watches

Counterfeit Watch Store


by John Sealander  

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry Continues to Fight
Counterfeiting With a Record Seizure at the Zurich Airport

Forgeries have been a major problem within the watch industry for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, recent advances in technology have made the problem even worse. In today’s world, it is easier than ever to make realistic copies of famous designs. Swiss watchmakers are being hit particularly hard by counterfeiting, since a flood of fake watches undermines the well-deserved reputation for innovation, perfection and expertise that the words “Swiss Made” represent.

To combat the growing counterfeiting problem, The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has mounted an aggressive effort to identify counterfeiters and seize the fraudulent goods they produce.

On September 30, 2013 the Federation announced that customs officers at Switzerland’s Zurich International Airport had impounded more than 5,000 fake watches in one of the largest postal seizures ever made in Switzerland. Between August and September 2013, customs officials impounded nearly 9,000 counterfeit items, including more than 5,000 watches. The counterfeit goods were initially shipped in a number of consignments, all originating from the same source in Greece. The fake watches were in transit to Spain and Portugal, and could have ultimately entered the American market.

Vigilance Required

According to watch industry insider and Gevril Group founder Samuel Friedmann, these new seizures by Swiss authorities make it more important than ever to be vigilant when purchasing a fine timepiece. “You need to always make sure you know who you are buying from,” says Friedmann. “There are many reputable retailers, but it doesn’t hurt to be careful. The more desirable the timepiece, the more people who are going to try to copy it.”

With watches continuing to grow in popularity as essential fashion accessories, the incentive for counterfeiters to sell their fakes is expected to continue unabated. The sad truth is that as long as people continue to buy cheap copies of their favorite luxury watch brands, somebody will continue making them.

Be a Part of the Solution

A number of international studies have already demonstrated clear links between organized crime and counterfeiting. “Anyone who loves fine watches needs to help combat the counterfeiting problem by never knowingly purchasing counterfeit goods,” says Mr. Friedmann. “There is real value in the expertise and craftsmanship that goes into the production of a genuine Swiss watch and we need to do everything we can to preserve that value.”

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Amazon on the Verge of Joining Top-10 US Retailers

Amazon Warehouse


by John Sealander  

The World’s Second Most Valuable Brand
Moves up to Number 11 in US Domestic Sales

AmazonThere is no better sign that online shopping is here to stay than when a pure play online retailer is poised to join the ranks of America’s largest brick and mortar retail giants. The new kid on the block is Amazon, which jumped to number 11 on a list of the largest U.S. retailer in terms of domestic sales. Amazon raked in $34.42 billion in U.S. sales in 2012, a 30% year-over-year increase.

The Seattle-based online retailer is already ranked as the second most valuable global retail brand on a list that includes international retail giants like Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour, and Aldi. Cracking the top ten in the influential US market is considered significant because it clearly demonstrates that Americans are changing the way they shop.

Although giants like Walmart, Kroger, Target, and Home Depot, still lead Amazon in domestic sales, they are not growing nearly as fast as the online retailer. Traditional brick and mortar stores haven’t even been able to come close to Amazon’s impressive 30% year-over-year increase in sales.

Amazon’s Growth in the Luxury Industry

Amazon’s steady growth hasn’t gone unnoticed in the fine jewelry industry. For many years, Amazon has been creeping up in the ranks of the largest and most influential fine jewelry and watch sellers. Amazon is already ahead of familiar jewelry and watch sellers like Sears at number 13 on the list, and Macy’s at number 14. To put things in perspective, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is all the way down at number 84 on this year’s list of domestic sales.

It seems clear that Amazon will soon join the exclusive ranks of the top-10 US retailers. If their performance continues at present rates, Amazon could even be number one in the not too distant future. This explosive growth has serious implications for anyone who makes or sells luxury goods. According to Gevril Group President Samuel Friedmann, Amazon will be an important component in any luxury goods marketing strategy. “Every year, we see an increase in the number of watches selling on Amazon,” says Friedmann. “Amazon sales are a part of world marketing strategy now, and will continue to be so in the future.”

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Couture Las Vegas Vital to U.S. Market Say Watch Industry Insiders

by Ivo Jackson  

Globally, Las Vegas represents the ultimate in exquisite indulgences in nearly every way imaginable. The fashion industry is no exception.

Luxury timepiece dealers and distributors meet every year at the majestic Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada for The Couture Show, the premiere jewelry and watch event for high-end retailers in the U.S. Watch industry insiders gather at Couture Las Vegas to browse exclusive new collections, strengthen business relationships, and prepare to bring the best of the fashion and luxury watch world to consumers throughout the United States.

Historically, the Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show, held in Basel, Switzerland, has been the world’s premiere timepiece trade show. Beginning in 1917 in the world capital for fine timepiece manufacturing, “Basel Fair”, as it is often called by Europeans, is the largest show for watch manufacturers and distributors worldwide, and was by default the most important show in the industry.

However, as the U.S. market is becoming increasingly important to luxury and fashion timepiece brands, The Couture Show in Las Vegas is growing in importance, as well. According to many Couture 2013 attendees, this fabulous five-day show now rivals its Basel counterpart.


Paolo Marai, CEO of Vertime, commented that “Compared to Basel Fair, as a very limited number of US customers are coming to see the new products, Couture is really the hot moment of the year to show the new collections to our customers based in the U.S.” Danny Govberg, owner of Govberg Jewelers agrees. A fan of the show, he calls Couture Las Vegas, “one of the most prestigious shows in the world with the most prestigious designers and watch brands.”

Besides quality and exclusivity, location and accommodation also make The Couture Show at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas a growing and vital influence within the luxury timepiece industry. To have such a quality trade show in the U.S. makes it easier for more North American retailers to attend and do all their shopping for the upcoming season in one place.

Furthermore, American buyers are often more accustomed to the large, luxurious accommodations in Las Vegas, as opposed to the more conservative and “cozy” accommodations available to Baselworld attendees, so going to Couture Las Vegas is not only more convenient, but potentially more comfortable than traveling to Switzerland for Baselworld.

As the U.S. luxury watch market grows with designer brands launching high-end fashion watch brands to accompany their clothing lines, the timepiece exhibition at The Couture Show in Las Vegas will continue to grow in importance and excellence.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Gold Prices Plunge Amid Interest Rate Fears

Gold Rolex Watch


by John Sealander  

Will Lower Gold Prices Result in Higher Sales of Gold Watches?

Investors watched nervously as gold prices fell precipitously after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke hinted that the central bank might reduce its bond purchase program this year and possibly even end it in 2014. The dramatic 5% drop on Thursday, June 20 extends a 28% decline that began on October 4, 2012.

With gold prices at a two-year low, luxury items made from the precious metal are starting to fly off the shelves in jewelry stores from Macau to Mumbai. In this part of the world, gold has always been an important part of the local economy and gold bracelets, necklaces, rings and coins are highly desirable. Locals see the plunging price of gold as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance to buy the items they have always desired. Some jewelry stores in Macau are already reporting sales figures that are three times higher than normal.

Gold Prices and Luxury Watches

Ironically, the plummeting price of gold has not yet resulted in increased sales of luxury watches. A solid gold timepiece remains one of the most desirable of possessions, but don’t expect today’s lower gold prices to result in lower prices for your next gold watch. Retail jewelry prices are not traditionally market driven, especially when it comes to luxury watches. Since much of the gold used the gold watches you see in the stores today was purchased earlier when prices were higher, it is impossible for the price to accurately reflect the current price of the raw metal.

A fine gold watch is generally priced by the design, craftsmanship and reputation of the watchmaker, which adds considerable value to the gold. Does the price of gold impact the selling price of a gold watch at all? It certainly does, but it can take a long time for the falling price of gold to significantly reduce the retail price of an 18K gold watch.

If gold prices stay low, or drop even further, the prices of many gold watches will certainly decline. The price will have to stabilize at these low levels to have any lasting impact, however. Many in the watch industry see falling gold prices as a good thing. When gold prices are extremely high, a gold watch is out of reach for all except the extremely wealthy. Sustained low gold prices might actually signal the return of the gold watch as a retirement gift or wedding present.

According to Samuel Friedmann, President of Gevril Group, a fine gold watch will remain highly desirable, whatever the current price of gold in the financial markets. “A gold watch is a family heirloom that can be passed from one generation to the next”, says Friedmann. “It finds its true value in the memories it creates and contains.”

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog updates. Like us on Facebook. Reader comments are welcome.