Richard Mille Fake Funds Terrorists


Richard Mille fake

I Wore a Fake Richard Mille for a Week to See How the ‘Other Half’ Live. That’s the sort of condescending headline you’d expect from HoDinkee. Then again, the Ho’s Soy Boys save their snickering for Starbucks. In fact, the headline sits above Jamie Weiss’s article for, complete with a sub-headline bleating “Let it be known I did this under intense sufferance.” Sure gun to the head and all that. Speaking of lethal threats . . .

Counterfeit goods finance criminals. Men and women who earn a living fueling drug addiction and engaging in human trafficking. Not to mention extortion, gambling, political corruption and violence of every sort, kind and description, including murder. And terrorism.

In short, buying a fake watch contributes to the sum of total human misery. DMARGE’s Weiss misses it by that much.

Jamie Weiss

Let’s be clear from the get-go: wearing fake watches is not cool. Leaving aside the whole intellectual property theft angle aside, it’s an amateur move. It shows that you don’t really care about the art or heritage of a watch – you just want to look richer and cooler than you are.

In other words, Mr. Weiss advises his readers not to buy a fake watch because it’s low-class (the ‘Other Half’ of the headline). And then tells them exactly how to do it, complete with a link (removed below) that pays his bosses an affiliate fee.

Wish website

We were curious to see if the average Sydneysider would pick a fake RM from a real one (not to mention: whether I’d magically be bestowed with Rafael Nadal’s powers by wearing one).

We found a fakie on Wish for the much more reasonable price of $45.94 (including shipping) in August. Our first surprise was that it arrived in Sydney far quicker than Wish estimated – so score one for the fake RM.

As you can tell by the tone of those paragraphs and the ones that follow, it’s all a bit of a lark for the snobtastic Mr. Weiss.

Richard Mille fake from China

Laughably, the ‘movement’ that you can see through the dial is actually just a plastic graphic, although at a distance it’s surprisingly convincing, as is the case texture. The biggest giveaway it’s fake is the crown, which doesn’t even try to resemble any real RM crowns. It’s also incredibly flimsy . . .

In other words: it’s a cheap and cheerful dumpster fire.

That would have been an excellent place to end the article. But making fun of the horologically-challenged is the real point of this piece. To reward readers who share the writer’s smug sense of superiority.

Mille sweatshirt

I posted a photo of the watch to my Instagram story and dozens of people reached out thinking I’d scored a real ‘Millie’. Walking on the street, I could see myself getting sideways glances too – either people knew of the brand and thought I was wearing a real one, or they just found it to be an eye-catching watch. I even wore the watch on a date and got a compliment on it (although I didn’t get a second date, so I don’t know if that’s really in the fake Richard Mille’s favour).

Even my dad, who’s a bit of a watch buff, thought it was pretty convincing until I pointed out that the movement… Well, didn’t move.

But fuck, it was embarrassing wearing this thing around. And that’s the point: you’d have to be a complete knob to unironically wear a fake watch, let alone a fake Richard Mille.

Fake Richard Mille skeleton

So the fake Mille did exactly what it was designed to do – fool people into thinking it’s was the real Mille, or at least something really expensive. No wonder DMARGE linked to the Wish website – Mr. Weiss’ testimonial will certainly help move the metal. I mean plastic.

Mr. Weiss article implies that it’s OK to ironically wear a Richard Mille fake watch. And calls anyone who doesn’t “get” irony – and enjoys the same secret pleasure Mr. Weiss derived from the fake – a knob (Aussie-speak for a clueless dickhead).

Mr. Weiss’ conclusion is a toxic combination or self-loathing and braggadocio – a common combo for people who look down on others because they feel they don’t measure up.


I’m ashamed to admit that I quite enjoyed the intrigue and eyeballs. I felt as if I was in on a secret that no-one else was (I mean, quite literally, because I knew it was fake). I can see why people would buy fake (or real) Richard Milles: there’s nothing quite like the man’s watches.

Now that my time’s up, I might revisit the ‘Michard Rille’ of my own volition. As a party prop, mind. Not as a real timepiece. Who knows: maybe this could be the Cinderella slipper of the 21st century? I’ll see if my next date notices and report back.

Red fake

By declaring that he can “see why people would buy a fake watch,” Mr. Weiss and DMARGE are tolerating – make that promoting a trade that engages in child prostitution and terrorism (amongst other nefarious activities). Mr. Weiss should be ashamed of himself. But as I mentioned above, I suspect he already is. Just not enough.


  1. Faked with a printed graphic dial – that easy huh? And for such a complicated timepiece. Is this a forgery or an homage? Hmmm, let’s say mere fakery for the watch and a DMARGE Homage for the referenced article.

    • Mr. Weiss calls the fake screw heads rivets too, so his technical expertise is merely at journalist level. I was expecting to see a decal by his description, but the gears and other phony innards seem to be stamped out of sheet metal.

      It looks like the Wish listing avoids use of the Mille name, and the display image is lacking the fraudulent markings that appear on the shipped product. IME the Chinese are reasonably slick about not fully advertising publicly that the counterfeit is branded so. I unwittingly bought some knockoff cufflinks online because there was no mention of anything but they arrived with bogus Tiffany &Co. markings.

      • This topic doesn’t get enough airtime given how prevalent fake watches are. I don’t get why one would wear a fake luxury watch. You get the social signaling benefit but it comes at a very high cost – that someone will publicly recognize you’re a fraud, and know you as such henceforth. “Wait a minute, doesn’t a real Patek have a…”. And for what? A brief moment of looking nouveau riche? I don’t get living with that and being ok with it.

        • This gets into the “what is luxury?” quandary, but there are people that are so many levels removed that anything beyond the appearance of the brand does not even enter their mind. That is all there is, that is the luxurious aspect. So to them fakery, even obvious fakery, is unimportant as “the look” is all they care about. See the Burberry ballcap crowd.

          • I also suspect that people who buy cheap fakes of expensive watches don’t tend to hang with people who’d know the difference.

          • That’s a good point.
            I bet you could run a consumer segmentation on this and it would support what you said.
            This will sound crass, but in a social segment where authentic luxury goods are not attainable, I’ll bet counterfeits are just fashion statements. The fake LV bag just has a cool look. But the real social risk is in the segment that can afford luxury goods, either as a stretch or comfortably. In that group, being caught with a fake is to declare oneself over-concerned with social climbing and signaling. It’s not a good look.

  2. Back in 1990, after our tour in the Persian Gulf, my ship (aircraft carrier) made a stop in Hong Kong. Several of my friends planned to buy fake Rolexes there… Apparently a “thing” in Hong Kong at the time. As I recall, the “good fakes” were reportedly about $200.

    When asked if I was going to buy one, I replied in the negative. Mind you, this was before I was into watches.

    “Why not? Nobody will know the difference.”

    “I will,” was my reply.

  3. The level of snobbery and ego in this article and the comments is off the charts. All watches are copies when you get down to it. It goes on a wrist so it’s limited in shape and size. Richard Mille is beyond most of the populace of the entire world. I’ve seen reviews on the “homages”/”fakes” and most of them have one thing in common. The cheapies are built better than the real McCoys.

    • I was with you right until you said Mille copies are better built than original pieces. Whatever else you can say about RM watches – and God knows I’ve said a lot – they are extremely well made using premium materials.

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