The Horology World Holds its Breath Over John Mayer Fake Watch Story

Over night a new story has popped up about John Mayer purchasing fake watches and it absolutely fascinates me.

‘Watch Dealer to the Stars’, Robert Maron and Mayer met in 2007 and did a considerable amount of business. Later Mayer found out one of the watches contained non genuine parts when he sent it back to Rolex for a service in 2010. Mayer then returned the watch to Maron and accepted a credit to purchase another watch from him which is mind boggling in itself, how can you trust a man who’s already sold you an item that wasn’t genuine? Mayer then went on to buy up to $5 million worth of watches from Maron, no doubt ultra collectible Rolexs for which John Mayer is well-known for in the world of horology. Later Rolex informed him 7 of the watches he purchased were not legitimate. He is now seeking compensation for all seven counterfeit watches to the value of $656,000.

On the surface this just makes Maron look like a crook and Mayer a little ignorant to think Maron wouldn’t rip him off again. However when you delve deeper into the story and note that John Mayer is respected member of the horology community (he writes a column on Hodinkee) and a claimed vintage Rolex aficionado it starts to get far more interesting. Mayer’s collection has been in front of some of the top watch writers in the world and no one picked this up! Granted the watches weren’t entirely fake, many had a mixture of genuine and non genuine parts and, but it makes me wonder just how many of John’s fake watches were handled by leading members of the horology community who would now be sitting at home wondering if they’d been duped by Maron’s counterfeit examples – thus questioning their own legitimacy.

It’s an interesting conundrum. Because of John Mayer’s status and wealth, people would have never thought to question the legitimacy of his collection even if they did have an inkling, and it’ll be interesting to see if anyone claims they did. Perhaps Maron didn’t even know he was selling fakes and that’s the issue with counterfeit watches now. The vintage counterfeit game is so good now that even the experts can’t tell and it’s a real worry. I wonder how many other celebrities are walking around with fake watches on.