Annual revenue in the replica timepiece industry is estimated to be more than 1 billion U.S. dollars. This revenue is derived from people choosing to use that money to buy a watch and then seeking the product and purchasing the timepiece.
That money should be going to legitimate businesses that sell reputable products, but it's not. That revenue is being stolen by Counterfeiters. But from whom are they stealing? The obvious answer is probably not the most accurate. Of course, Rolex and other companies are affected by the selling of watches bearing counterfeit trademarks, but there are also other Victims. Companies like Seiko, Citizen, Timex, and many others who produce watches that retail for amounts in the $100 to $300 price range are losing part of their target demographic due to the option their target market has of buying a fake Rolex.
If a guy only has $200 to spend on a watch, if their were no replica watches available, he would be forced to choose a reputable brand's product. He would be spending his money on a Timex, Citizen, Invicta, Seiko, etc., but he's not. Many times, he is buying a knock-off Rolex, Hublot, TAG Heuer, Omega, or Breitling watch. So the manufacturers of Timex watches, Citizen Watches, and Seiko Watches, as well other brands are severely damaged by the sales of watches bearing counterfeit trademarks. Not only that, but the retail stores that sell these reputable watches are having money stolen from them.
One can also make the argument that many people who choose to buy a replica Rolex, might choose to buy a real Rolex via credit instrument such as a credit card or bank financing if that person didn't have replicas available to him/her. He may choose to pay $300 per month on his credit card in order to wear the Rolex logo around his wrist. Or he may choose to save his money for awhile in order to be able to pay cash, but he's not. He's spending a couple hundred dollars on a fake.
Of course, there are also individuals who can afford to buy a Rolex; want a Rolex; but would rather not spend the money on a Rolex... maybe they would rather keep the money in the stock market. Some affluent individuals are not wired to want to spend large amounts of money on a wristwatch. Hopefully they would choose to buy a lower end watch that doesn't infringe on the intellectual property rights of others, but some do not. There are many accounts of celebrities being caught wearing fake watches. If the fakes weren't available, the celebs would need to choose between having a nice lower end brand or coughing up their money for a piece of haute horlogerie.
There are arrests happening almost every day throughout the world with regards to replica watches. We have personally posted advertisements on craigslist to inform buyers and sellers that buying, selling, possessing, and manufacturing replica watches is criminal conduct. These ads are quickly removed from craigslist. It is our firm belief that the Parties who request the removal of these ads are Cops with whom we are not currently working. We believe they look at it as a funny little feeding frenzy. "Look for the dumb guys selling counterfeit watches for a couple hundred bucks." Then arrest them. Then that guy who listed the fake Rolex on craigslist has to spend thousands of dollars on attorney's fees, court costs, time in jail, fines, fees, etc. As far as we are concerned, these individuals selling replica watches are simply looked at as sources of revenue for Law Enforcement.
We advise anybody who possesses, buys, sells, and/or manufacturers replica watches to stop immediately. The replica watch industry causes a large amount of damage to watch manufacturers of high-end and low-end watches; to the retail industry; and unnecessarily lines the pockets of attorneys and the Justice System. We are all for assisting Police and the FBI as well as law firms such Gibney, Anthony, & Flaherty in their quest to pursue the sellers of these timepieces, but we would prefer to help end the production of these watches. Then the damage caused by the replica watch industry would be curtailed.