these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

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gwells
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these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by gwells » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:42 pm

https://www.watchpro.com/rolex-calls-cu ... ourt-case/

Rolex being Rolex.


=========================================

Rolex calls custom watchmaker a counterfeiter in landmark court case

A customisation specialist in California is being sued by Rolex for creating counterfeits of its watches when it alters their appearance with non-Rolex approved parts, such as dials, crystals and straps.

The case could have wide-reaching consequences for customisation companies in this country such as MJJ Exclusives, which have built up a significant celebrity fan base for altered watches from the likes of Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet.

The case in California is against laCalifornienne, a company founded three years ago in Los Angeles by Courtney Ormond and Leszek Garwacki.

It was filed on November 15 at the US District Court for the Central District of California as Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc. v. Reference Watch LLC d/b/a La Californienne; Courtney Ormond; and Leszek Garwacki, 2:19-cv-09796 (C.D.Cal)

Ms Ormond is named as the defendant.
The case is unusual, and potentially precedent-setting because Rolex is accusing laCalifornienne of producing counterfeit watches, even though it only works from genuine timepieces, including contemporary pre-owned and vintage models from the likes of Rolex and Cartier.

In effect, Rolex is telling its customers they cannot alter their own watches and, while tampering with timepieces would always have invalidated warranties, now it is moving into the realms of legal disputes.

In court documents, reported by The Fashion Law, Rolex says it is enforcing its long-standing policy that the alteration of its timepieces to include non-authentic Rolex parts (or parts otherwise approved by Rolex) transforms an authentic watch into a counterfeit.

It also re-states that alterations “render Rolex’s warranty [on its watches] null and void [because] Rolex can no longer assure the quality or performance of such watches.”

Rolex claims that laCalifornienne’s watches no longer attain the aesthetic of original pre-owned Rolex watches and no longer perform or function to the same quality standards as unaltered pre-owned Rolex watches.

The company’s legal team appears to have acquired and tested watches from laCalifornienne watches. Rolex says that in addition to containing non-Rolex parts, both watches’ bezels were “bent and not properly fitted to the watch, and therefore [making it so that] water is likely to leak through, and ultimately, adversely affect the dial and movement of the watch,” among other alleged flaws.

These type of flaws could undermine the Rolex name, the Californian court is told, and has the potential to “mislead consumers” in a “calculated manner” by “falsely advertising and offering for sale ‘Rolex watches’ … on its website, Instagram page and Facebook page,” Rolex alleges.

The filing continues that: laCalifornienne is “engaging in a course of conduct likely to cause confusion, deception or mistake, or injure Rolex’s business reputation [and] diluting the distinctive quality of Rolex’s registered trademarks.”

The customiser is accused of “benefiting and profiting from [Rolex’s] outstanding reputation for high quality products and its significant advertising and promotion of Rolex watches and the [company’s] trademarks” and giving the impression that the watches are “authorized, sponsored, or approved by Rolex when they are not.”

As well as working directly with customers, laCaliforniene sells through a network of partners including London-based Farfetch.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by sierra11b » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:52 pm

Yikes for some of those! I can't blame Rolex and hope the book gets thrown at them for making such garbage. If they sold these as parts for modification then perhaps Rolex wouldn't care as much?

I've always had a fancy for an orange Stella-dial president but those are legit.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by logan2z » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:10 pm

One of the reasons I can't stand Rolex, they seem to think they still own the watch after they sell it to you.

If I want to pay a company to modify my watch to my liking then I should be free to do so. I don't see car companies like Porsche suing independent shops for putting after-market parts like exhausts etc. on their customer's cars. Of course it might void the warranty but it certainly shouldn't be deemed illegal. Totally bizarre IMO, but par for the course...

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by sierra11b » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:30 pm

logan2z wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:10 pm
One of the reasons I can't stand Rolex, they seem to think they still own the watch after they sell it to you.

If I want to pay a company to modify my watch to my liking then I should be free to do so. I don't see car companies like Porsche suing independent shops for putting after-market parts like exhausts etc. on their customer's cars. Of course it might void the warranty but it certainly shouldn't be deemed illegal. Totally bizarre IMO, but par for the course...
Are they selling modified watches or are they only modifying customer's watches? I can see Rolex's gripe if this company is buying-up every old datejust just to modify. Not that I care, but I could totally see some soyboi or fashionista thinking they're buying the real deal here.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by TSD » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:53 pm

sierra11b wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:30 pm
logan2z wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:10 pm
One of the reasons I can't stand Rolex, they seem to think they still own the watch after they sell it to you.

If I want to pay a company to modify my watch to my liking then I should be free to do so. I don't see car companies like Porsche suing independent shops for putting after-market parts like exhausts etc. on their customer's cars. Of course it might void the warranty but it certainly shouldn't be deemed illegal. Totally bizarre IMO, but par for the course...
Are they selling modified watches or are they only modifying customer's watches? I can see Rolex's gripe if this company is buying-up every old datejust just to modify. Not that I care, but I could totally see some soyboi or fashionista thinking they're buying the real deal here.
My wife told me about them, so I looked at what they offer. They sell complete watches as redials, and modify handsets, bezels, crystals, and some jubilee bracelets to add color to the links, etc. It’s no different from Bamford, or other folks who modify the original parts. In this case, the repainted dial doesn’t reflect that it’s been modified by la Californiene (as Bamford did). In either case, it’s a problem if Rolex is seeking to protect and enforce its mark and you are trading on that name and reputation.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by logan2z » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:17 pm

TSD wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:53 pm
sierra11b wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:30 pm
logan2z wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:10 pm
One of the reasons I can't stand Rolex, they seem to think they still own the watch after they sell it to you.

If I want to pay a company to modify my watch to my liking then I should be free to do so. I don't see car companies like Porsche suing independent shops for putting after-market parts like exhausts etc. on their customer's cars. Of course it might void the warranty but it certainly shouldn't be deemed illegal. Totally bizarre IMO, but par for the course...
Are they selling modified watches or are they only modifying customer's watches? I can see Rolex's gripe if this company is buying-up every old datejust just to modify. Not that I care, but I could totally see some soyboi or fashionista thinking they're buying the real deal here.
.
In this case, the repainted dial doesn’t reflect that it’s been modified by la Californiene (as Bamford did).
Every watch dial pictured on their web site has the 'la Californiene' branding at the bottom.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by Henryj » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:19 pm

It seems to me that they’re treading a thin line. If they’re repainting or replacing dials and putting the Rolex logo on them, there might be a valid argument.
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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by demer03 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:39 pm

Why? Pre-owned you can do anything you want. Cars are a prime example.

Shitty hill to die on.
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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by Ryeguy » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:41 pm

Henryj wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:19 pm
It seems to me that they’re treading a thin line. If they’re repainting or replacing dials and putting the Rolex logo on them, there might be a valid argument.
Well, in that case other watch “customizers” such as Bamford are equally guilty. As a matter of fact, just looking at Bamford’s site now and there are no Rolex models pictured.

I believe this is a part of the Rolex strategy to own the customer from purchase to grave. They realize that the initial watch purchase is just the beginning of their ability to pull revenue from their client. They are enforcing policies to ensure the client has no other choice but to go to Rolex for all future service.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the next thing we see is Rolex penalizing customers who don’t adhere to a prescribed service schedule (where the service can only be performed by Rolex). Miss your 5 year cleaning? Well, that’ll be a $500 surcharge on your next service (or have an expensive paperweight).

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by matt.wu » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:48 pm

Big difference between paying someone to modify a watch you already owned vs. selling a modified Rolex watch as your own but with Rolex’s logo on it.

If they just stuck to the former, they’d probably be fine. Problem is a lot of these companies DO use counterfeit parts to make their watches.
:htfu:

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe

Post by gwells » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:51 pm

matt.wu wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:48 pm
If they just stuck to the former, they’d probably be fine. Problem is a lot of these companies DO use counterfeit parts to make their watches.
if that's what they're suing them for, that's one thing. but modifying something you purchased and reselling it (as long as you're clear that you have done so) should not be illegal.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by TSD » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:10 pm

logan2z wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:17 pm
TSD wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:53 pm
sierra11b wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:30 pm
logan2z wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:10 pm
One of the reasons I can't stand Rolex, they seem to think they still own the watch after they sell it to you.

If I want to pay a company to modify my watch to my liking then I should be free to do so. I don't see car companies like Porsche suing independent shops for putting after-market parts like exhausts etc. on their customer's cars. Of course it might void the warranty but it certainly shouldn't be deemed illegal. Totally bizarre IMO, but par for the course...
Are they selling modified watches or are they only modifying customer's watches? I can see Rolex's gripe if this company is buying-up every old datejust just to modify. Not that I care, but I could totally see some soyboi or fashionista thinking they're buying the real deal here.
.
In this case, the repainted dial doesn’t reflect that it’s been modified by la Californiene (as Bamford did).
Every watch dial pictured on their web site has the 'la Californiene' branding at the bottom.
Must be a recent change in an attempt to mitigate Rolex's claimed infringement. I remember first seeing them last Fall being retailed online through Barneys, and they were just redials of DJ's and OP's with bracelets or the painted leather straps.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by Selym » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:15 pm

I remember seeing Air Kings with modified dials for sale at the NYC Barneys 10-11 years ago.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by KidKeith » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:00 pm

I never thought this was illegal. It's basically a used car lot only the cars have a new paint job.
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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by BacoNoir » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:35 pm

I don't think they have a basis and I think they know it too. They are using their deep pockets to try to put someone out of business who may not be able to afford long drawn out lawsuits.
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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by toxicavenger » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:02 pm

So does this mean redialing a watch is illegal regardless how old it is? I do not believe so. Especially if you are not trying to deceive anyone.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by 59yukon01 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:07 pm

I don't blame them. I wouldn't want my brand name plastered on anything that hideous either.

You individually want to f**k up your own watch that should be your right, but production for resale imo Rolex has every right to go after them.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by toxicavenger » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:10 pm

logan2z wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:10 pm
One of the reasons I can't stand Rolex, they seem to think they still own the watch after they sell it to you.
agreed. the are turning into shitheads

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by dnslater » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:49 am

logan2z wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:10 pm
One of the reasons I can't stand Rolex, they seem to think they still own the watch after they sell it to you.

If I want to pay a company to modify my watch to my liking then I should be free to do so. I don't see car companies like Porsche suing independent shops for putting after-market parts like exhausts etc. on their customer's cars. Of course it might void the warranty but it certainly shouldn't be deemed illegal. Totally bizarre IMO, but par for the course...
If a company is out there putting Porsche logos on aftermarket parts, Porsche is all over it. This company still has "Rolex" on the modified dials being sold as new.

FYI Porsche has a whole team going after these folks....
https://jalopnik.com/porsche-has-its-ow ... 1836994528

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by demer03 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:07 am

Sold as new, I might understand. Pre-owned? Fuck off.
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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by logan2z » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:47 am

dnslater wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:49 am
logan2z wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:10 pm
One of the reasons I can't stand Rolex, they seem to think they still own the watch after they sell it to you.

If I want to pay a company to modify my watch to my liking then I should be free to do so. I don't see car companies like Porsche suing independent shops for putting after-market parts like exhausts etc. on their customer's cars. Of course it might void the warranty but it certainly shouldn't be deemed illegal. Totally bizarre IMO, but par for the course...
If a company is out there putting Porsche logos on aftermarket parts, Porsche is all over it.
That's not what I meant. I was talking about companies that modify Porsches (as an example) with aftermarket parts like exhausts, suspension components, etc. The cars retain the Porsche branding yet Porsche doesn't go after them for producing 'counterfeits' of their cars.

Taking things even further are companies like Singer Vehicle Design who completely 'reimagine' the Porsche 911 with massive modifications. The cars continue to wear the Porsche badge along with the Singer badge.

Image

The only possible difference I see between Singer and the Rolex mod company is that Singer only does this for its customers own cars, they don't sell cars.

Producing fake parts with the Porsche logo is a completely different matter and I agree that is illegal.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by JP Chestnut » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:18 am

logan2z wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:10 pm
One of the reasons I can't stand Rolex, they seem to think they still own the watch after they sell it to you.

If I want to pay a company to modify my watch to my liking then I should be free to do so. I don't see car companies like Porsche suing independent shops for putting after-market parts like exhausts etc. on their customer's cars. Of course it might void the warranty but it certainly shouldn't be deemed illegal. Totally bizarre IMO, but par for the course...
I’m not supporting it, and I don’t like it, but it would be like RUF selling one of “their” cars with a Porsche emblem. I’m pretty sure that all the recent CTR type RUF’s have be devoid of Porsche badging.

That’s not the same as RUF fitting their parts to some dude’s Turbo, which does retain all the Porsche identifications.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by Ryeguy » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:52 am

I just went to the MJJ Exclusives website to see how they market their items. They offer a DLC’d Datejust they call the “Dualtone”. It seems they made 10 of them.

In the description of the watch, they state it comes with a “MJJ Made” dial in deep black. It has Rolex branding along with MJJ branding. I’m not certain it is a 100% custom dial with Rolex branding applied (which I agree would be counterfeit) or simply a repainting of the stock dial.

It seems in either case Rolex is arguing if you buy one of their watches for purpose of modification and resale, yet retain the Rolex branding, you are producing a counterfeit product. It is an interesting argument and, if won, will have ramifications beyond watches for certain.

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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by HapaHapa » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:27 am

There’s many auto customizers who mod various auto models and resell under their own name. Rezvani Tank. Saleen Mustang. However I guess if it doesn’t say Rolex on the dial then the value plummets to Grand Seiko territory, or maybe just Seiko.
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Re: these are hideous, but i'm hard pressed to believe "counterfeit"

Post by Ryeguy » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:29 am

Another thought to add is it seems interesting to me how Rolex appears more focused on aggressively pursuing brand trademark infringement (these modified watches, those companies selling "jubilee" bracelets, etc.) than IP design infringement (for example those knock off Glidelock clasps).

It suggests to me that Rolex is much more focused on protecting their brand identity than with protecting their design IP.

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