If there is anything that watch brands hate more than a bad economy, it is fake watches. Asia pumps out fake watches faster than ever, and Swiss watch brands have been lobbying lawmakers and law enforcement all over the world to help out. First of all, fake watches are illegal. As far as watch brands are concerned, they are as bad as hard drug trafficking. While replica watches (and other luxury goods) don't represent a violent crime, they are very damaging to the luxury goods economy, and are severe infringements of intellectual property rights. For a long time many Asian countries (especially China) have a bad reputation for utterly disregarding intellectual property rights. It is hard enough to enforce such laws in those countries, but when the goods travel here, the US is pissed off.
A major dealer of fake luxury goods including Rolex
watches who was arrested last year had his good endure a unique public spectacle. The take down was operated by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
agency (ICE), who apparently worked closely with Rolex. The arrest last year was after years of investigation and gathering evidence. The culprit was one Binh Cam Tran of Pennsylvania. After importing the parts for the fake watches, the replica timepieces were assembled in his home outside of Philadelphia. Tran is currently serving 6 years in jail and has been ordered to pay over $2 million dollars to Rolex USA.