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Mario Peserico: Counterfeit Watchmaking, Towards New Rules

Mario Peserico, CEO of Eberhard and President of Assorologi and Indicam, outlines a problem worth 300 million Euros annually

«Counterfeiting is exceedingly damaging to the watchmaking industry, one of the sectors most affected by this crime. An activity factor that, in recent years, has increased at an alarming rate, going from shipments of small quantities to being heavily conducted through the web. That is why Assorologi and Indicam, the association that has been battling against this parallel market since 1987, are trying to make consumers increasingly aware of the risks they are running by buying on-line from websites that are not the individual brands’ official domains. To this effect we are also operating so that the authorities will, at last, impose precise rules on the marketplace. Unfortunately, search engines often still do not check the products put up for auction: they offer both CtoC and BtoC products that undermine the regular supply chains and deviate the final customers from official sites. And while up until a few years ago, you could speak of a secondary market with obvious limits in the final result, nowadays, we are, unfortunately, coming up against products that can easily be passed off as authentic. A trick that only comes to light when the item needs repairing by expert hands. To give an idea of the value of this business, estimates place it at 10% of the total, in other words, about 300 million Euros of the watchmaking industry’s 3 billion Euro total. Another problem is the difficulty in intercepting shipments: forgeries are mainly produced in the East and in Turkey, which specializes in components, and then the products are assembled in Italy, a “split” assembly line that makes it extremely hard for the authorities to monitor. That is why close collaboration between the parties is fundamental, starting from updating e-commerce regulations, whose last law dates back to distant 2001… Centuries ago!»

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