How To Spot A Fake Seiko Watch In 7 Simple Steps

Time is golden. 

And that’s why you don’t want to waste your time on a fake watch. 

Especially with a world-class brand like Seiko. 

But how could you tell if yours is real or not? 

There are proven ways you can find out. 

Continue reading to discover: 

  • 7 simple steps to spot a fake Seiko watch. 
  • Real signs that your Seiko watch is genuine.
  • Tips on what to do if your Seiko watch is fake.
  • And more…

Table of Contents

How To Spot a Fake Seiko Watch? 

To spot a fake Seiko watch, you should examine the logo, the quality, and packaging. Moreover, genuine Seiko watches have a valid 6-digit serial number carved on the back of the dial. You can check these numbers to see if they match the design of the Seiko watch you have.

However, spotting a fake Seiko watch can be more challenging these days.

Counterfeit producers are getting better and better every day.

In that case, this article will cover everything you need to know about real and fake Seiko watches.

7 Simple Steps To Spot a Fake Seiko Watch 

Step 1: Observe the packaging

The first thing you’ll get your hands on is the product box.

You see, Seiko watches have the “Seiko” logo written on the box. But what you should pay attention to is the font style used for it. 

That’s because fake Seikos tend to use a different type of font. And it sometimes doesn’t match the logo on the watch itself. 

Not to mention, genuine Seikos come with warranty cards as well. Now, those cards also have the Seiko logo printed on them. 

That being said, an imitation might show inconsistencies in the printed logos. 

But what exactly should you look for? The list below can guide you:

  • The logo is uneven. 
  • The font style is too thick; genuine Seikos use thin lettering.
  • The font styles on the box and the warranty card don’t match. 
  • The box’s logo looks different from the logo on the watch itself.

Now, let’s say that you didn’t spot anything unusual with the font.

In that case, your next step is:

Look for the instruction booklet 

Real Seiko watches come with a handy manual. 

However, most imitations forget to include that. 

So, if your Seiko watch doesn’t have a booklet inside the package… 

Then that’s a big red flag that you might have a fake Seiko watch in your hands.

That aside, what else could you check in the packaging itself? 

For one, the watch’s box should also be of good quality. 

Of course, you won’t expect a super durable box. But still, genuine brands invest money in their packaging. 

This ensures that their Seiko watches are well protected. 

After all, poor packaging can potentially damage the item. And no company wants that.

In that case, search for the following signs on your Seiko watch’s box: 

  • Tearings or discolorings.
  • There are dents on the box.
  • Having too many plastic fillers inside the box.

Now, if you can’t find anything questionable in the packaging… 

Let’s move on to the next step.

Seiko has a reasonably plain logo. It’s literally just the brand’s name.

But certain Seiko models have a more extravagant one.

Take the Seiko 5, for example.

These models have the classic ‘Seiko’ brand name, of course. But they also have the number 5 underneath, written in a swoosh-like figure.

Mimicking that swoosh is pretty difficult.

But counterfeits are getting better at that recreating it. 

So, here’s what you should look for.

First, the wave carving should be neat and even. There should be no discrepancies at all. That means you won’t see any wobbly lines in the carving. 

Now, a fake Seiko logo often looks like it was poorly stamped. This makes the logo appear rough. 

And obviously, that poor quality shows that it’s a rushed counterfeit product. 

That aside, you should also pay attention to the size of the logo. 

While it differs per model, Seiko is typically discreet regarding the logo.

Step 3: Look at the colors

Seiko watches come in a variety of colors. 

That said, a genuine Seiko watch has a metallic shine on them. For brand-new watches, you know how smooth the iron plating on the watch should be. 

But colors can be tricky to judge. So, what exactly should you look at? 

For example, Seiko rarely uses a pure white color. Instead, they typically use silver or a bluish type of gray. 

Or in other words, they almost always go for a stainless steel look.

Now, they do also have a couple of gold-plated watches.

As for the gold parts, they shouldn’t be too saturated. Meaning, their yellow color should closely resemble the hue of sand.

So if your Seiko watch is too white or yellow, then it could be a fake.

Plus, those strong colors fade away quicker than a genuine Seiko watch, as they’re typically of lesser quality.

Step 4: Check for a date calendar window 

Automatic divers from Seiko must have a date calendar window. 

That said, most fake Seiko watches don’t have that at all. But let’s say that your watch does have a date window. 

In that case, it all boils down to the carved numbers on it. 

Just as I mentioned in steps #1 and #2: The carving should be precise. 

Meaning, you shouldn’t spot unevenly engraved digits. And the date should also be symmetrically aligned. 

Since a calendar reel is typically quite complicated to make, this is an easy area to spot any discrepancies.

Step 5: Take a close look at each part of the watch

Watches look small but they’re accessories full of complicated details. And it’s no different for Seiko.

In fact, Seiko is one of the most respected watchmakers in the world. They’re loved for their incredible quality and attention to detail.

That said, take a look at the hour markers of your Seiko watch. 

On a real Seiko watch, those markers are evenly designed. 

But on a fake one, you might notice plenty of discrepancies. 

For example, the circle marker for the 7 o’clock hour is way bigger than the others. Or let’s say the line is thicker than the rest. 

Now, those are huge signs that your Seiko watch could be fake.

And the same thing applies to the secondary hour markers. Sometimes, 1 or more of those pointers could be longer than others. 

Aside from that, you’ll also find writings on the dial. 

Usually, you’ll find “Japan” carved at the bottom of the dial between the numbers 6 and 7. But take note, the font used for that should be thin and small, even to the point where it’s barely noticeable. 

So if the carved writing appears too thick and big, then that’s a sign of a fake Seiko watch. 

And in case you need visual guidance, check out this helpful video:

Step 6: Search for carved writing on the glass

Aside from the parts inside the glass, you can also stare at the crystal of your Seiko watch. 

To begin with, brand-new watches should be free from harsh scratches. 

Now, if you look even closer: 

A fake Seiko watch might have “Seiko 5” carved on the glass itself. 

However, real Seiko watches don’t have that at all.

But since this can be hard to spot with your eyes alone, you might wanna try using a magnifying glass. This can also help you take a closer look at the tiny details of your Seiko watch. 

Alternatively, using your phone camera is an option too. 

Just use the zoom feature to check for carvings on the glass. Though, this won’t always work as details can get blurry with a phone camera.

Step 7: Verify the serial and model numbers

As I mentioned early on in this article… 

Seiko watches have serial numbers. You can find this number on the case back. 

Nowadays, those numbers are only 6 digits. These numbers indicate the year and month the Seiko watch was made. 

However, you might also spot a letter after the first digit. 

And it could either be N which stands for November. Or D for December.

That said, fake Seiko watches might use random numbers and letters.

But what if your Seiko watch has 7 digits? 

Well, don’t panic yet. 

You see, Seiko watches made before the 1970s had 7 digits for the serial number. In that case, you might have an early Seiko model in your hands. 

But of course, those older models aren’t as common. 

Therefore, it’s a pretty safe bet that a 7-digit serial number belongs to a fake Seiko.

On the Seiko case back, there’s another row of numbers.  

Aside from the serial code, there’s also the movement model. 

“What’s that all about?” 

The movement model has 2 sets of 4 numbers. And there should be a dash between them.

Now, that’s the right format you can expect from a genuine Seiko watch. 

So if you’re seeing too many digits, then your Seiko watch could be fake. 

BONUS: They’re cheaper

Depending on where you live, the price of Seiko watches might differ. 

But for anyone in the US, the average price of Seiko watches could range between $200 to $750. 

Clearly, Seiko watches are still within the affordable price range for most folks. 

However, you might find resellers that offer Seiko watches for a much cheaper deal. 

But that’s exactly the time you should be suspicious. 

After all, resellers should increase the price to gain more profit from the product. 

So, if the deal is too good to be true, then you should examine the watch carefully before you decide to buy it. 

That being said, Seiko watches do not hold their value too well.

So it isn’t too out of the ordinary to see one listed for about 50-75% of its original value.

But if you’re suspicious, you can follow the 7 steps listed in this article to verify its authenticity!

What To Do If You Have a Fake Seiko Watch 

Fake Seiko watches can get past anyone. Especially for those with an untrained eye. 

So, what can you do in case your Seiko watch isn’t genuine? 

Well, according to the official site of Seiko

Imitations might pose a health risk for anyone. This suggests that it’s best for you to get rid of the watch instead. 

Unfortunately, Seiko can’t offer more assistance about this matter. 

However, you have a chance of getting a refund. But that only works best if your transaction was done online.

Though, it will still depend on the site and the merchant.

If you paid through PayPal’s Friends & Family service, it’s easy to get a refund, for example. And most credit card companies will also back you up.

But if you paid cash, you’ll have a hard time getting your money back. Especially if the seller knew he was selling a counterfeit. 

In the end, the Seiko company encourages everyone to check their watches carefully before making any purchase.


Jasper has always been a fan of watches. But when he took on a project of restoring a nearly 30-year-old timepiece, he was hooked. Throughout the years, he has learned a lot about horology and shared his passion on Watches of Today!

Recent Posts