Swiss watch making has been expanding enormously in the last few years. But there is always another side to the coin, this growth has unfortunately meant a parallel increase in the various scourges that affect well-known watch brands. These include counterfeiting and more recently the copying phenomenon. For over a year now, plastic imitations of successful models have appeared on various markets, in addition to mainstream counterfeits.
Audemars Piguet has decided to combat these two problems, and has set up an anti- counterfeit observatory composed of lawyers and investigators. Since it began work, this observatory has intervened in a number of ways:
During Baselworld 2006, a stand distributing Macteam Offshore products (Altanus SpA) was closed down and VIP (Eurotrade SrL) products were withdrawn;
Fifteen legal and criminal proceedings have been taken before Swiss, Italian and French courts against wholesalers and retailers of copies sold under various brands (e.g. Ike), and have all had a positive outcome or are pending;
400 watched were seized from wholesalers and retailers in Italy;
Three stands were closed during the Hong-Kong Fair in March 2007. They were distributing copies bearing the K&Bros and Ice Time label (Belton China Limited and Aaron Shum Jewelry Limited). The Carich Time Limited stand was also closed;
During Baselworld 2007, Drops (Ritmo Mvndo) products were withdrawn.
Alongside these measures, the Audemars Piguet anti-counterfeit product unit strengthened its action against mainstream counterfeit products. In 2006,
126 raids were organized, leading to the seizure of 6,300 pieces;
Fifty or so civil and criminal proceedings were started, leading to over 30 sentences in favor of the Audemars Piguet brand;
120 websites selling counterfeit versions of Audemars Piguet products were closed down;
More than 600 sales of Audemars Piguet counterfeits were withdrawn from Ebay websites;
During Baselworld 2007, products from the Ultimos Manufacturing Ltd stand copying Audemars Piguet models were withdrawn.
In respect of its clients and partners, it is Audemars Piguet’s responsibility to protect its know-how and creations. The Manufacture du Brassus is absolutely determined to continue with these actions and will take all measures necessary to fight against all producers and distributors of counterfeit versions of its models.
Source: Audemars Piguet