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Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified
Watch 101

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

By Wristcheck
21 Jun 2023
4 min read

Here at Wristcheck, we understand that authenticity isn't just about the certificate or taking our word for it; it's about trust. Of course, alongside authenticity, condition is equally as important — as is the fact that you can trust that we've thoroughly inspected the condition of the timepiece and are being upfront in how we communicate about it.

With all that in mind, we thought we'd walk you through the process that each and every watch we sell undergoes in the Wristcheck Professional Services Centre to ensure that it's authentic and to evaluate the condition as thoroughly as possible.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

The Wristcheck Authentication Process

Every watch authenticated by our Professional Services Centre goes through a nine-stage process to ensure that everything is as it should be. 

Step 1: Unboxing The Watch

Our authentication process begins the moment we unbox the watch, as we ensure the box, papers, and accessories are genuine and correct to the watch.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 2: Comparison With In-House Replicas

It might seem counterintuitive, but the next step to ensuring the legitimacy of a timepiece involves comparing it to a range of replica watches our Swiss-trained watchmakers have on hand to ensure accurate authentication.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 3: Dial and Hands Inspection

Next, it's time for the watch to go under the microscope. First, we inspect the dials and hands to ensure they are in original condition and haven't been repainted, replicated or replaced. 

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 4: Bezel Inspection

Then it's onto the bezel, an easy-to-swap element of a watch that is frequently replaced to make a watch appear more valuable. 

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 5: Bracelet Assessment

After we inspect the bezel, it's time for the bracelet. Again, a replica bracelet can be added to a watch to increase its value or desirability, especially when it comes to vintage watches from the 70s and 80s. We ensure the bracelet, whether old or new, is correct to the watch.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 6: Stone Testing

If your watch has precious or semi-precious stones — especially diamonds — we use specialized equipment to confirm the stones' quality and their manufacture origin.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 7: Metal Examination

Just as we ensure any stones are accurate and authentic, we also use our laboratory equipment to check the purity of any precious metal on the watch.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 8: Movement Authentication

The movement is one of the most important elements of a watch, so our course or Swiss-trained watchmakers ensure that the movement is correct for the watch, and that the parts are authentic. Watches with closed casebacks are carefully opened for an up-close inspection.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 9: Stolen Watch Checks

The final step in our authentication process isn't about the watch itself, but rather where it's been. We've partnered with The Watch Register, the world's largest database of stolen watches, to cross-check the serial numbers of every watch consigned to us. We back this up with our own lists of lost and stolen watches sourced from local dealers.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

The Wristcheck Grading Process

Alongside our 9-step authentication process, each watch consigned to Wristcheck's Professional Service Centre is graded, inside and out, across a range of metrics to ensure that we accurately capture its overall condition.

Step 1: Watch Arrival And Authentication 

First of all, when our Professional Services Centre receives a watch, we ensure it is authentic, using all the processes described above.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 2: Visual Inspection

One of the most important aspects of the Wristcheck Grading process is simply looking at the watch. Our trained watchmakers visually examine the case and bracelet, dial and hands, as well as the movement at a 30cm distance, taking in all noticeable signs of wear.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 3: Surface Examination

Next, we look a little closer. Using 2x magnification, we examine the surface of the watch for blemishes, as well as signs of refurbishment, polishing or servicing. If we determine that the watch has been serviced, we source records where possible.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 4: Dial And Hands Evaluation

Step four involves us looking a LOT closer. Specifically, our team examines the dial and hands at 100x magnification, assessing the condition as well as ensuring they haven't been improperly handled.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 5: Movement Inspection

Onto the back of the watch — our Swiss-trained watchmakers train that high level of magnification onto the movement, looking for signs of tampering or improper adjustment.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 6: Timing Performance Tests

Following the visual inspection of the movement, we check the timekeeping performance of every watch using the Witschi Chronoscope X-1, testing in the industry standard of five positions. 

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 7: Water-Resistance Testing

It's important to know whether or not you can trust the depth rating on the caseback, so each watch is pressure tested using the Witschi Proofmaster to ensure it meets manufacturers' standards.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 8: Grading And Reporting

After the visual and performance assessments, we assign each watch a grade out of 10 across four categories. Case and bracelet, Dial and Hands, Movement, and Timing Results. Then we calculate a uniquely weighted average, which gives the final Wristcheck Grade. This grade is displayed on the product page, and further details are accessed via the condition report in an effort to be as transparent as possible with the overall condition of each watch we grade.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

Step 9: Handling Exceptions

Finally, if a watch falls short of our watchmaker's standards, it will not meet our consignment standards. In this instance, we provide solutions to get the timepiece into a Wristcheck-ready condition before continuing with the consignment process.

As you can see, we understand that authenticity and condition are key for any watch, so when you see that a watch has been Wristcheck Verified, you know exactly how seriously we take it.

Our Authenticity And Condition Process: How A Watch Becomes Wristcheck-Verified

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