One of the things I have wanted to do while in China is buy a good fake watch. Not a piece of junk that only looks like the real thing from 30 paces and weighs nothing: but a watch with a real automatic movement (not battery operated quartz) and the heft to feel like the real thing. While still back home, I had read that the best automatic movements for fake watches were made in Japan. But there is a certain paradox in trusting the person selling you the watch – that is fake, after all – is selling you a real Japanese movement that will last much longer than the time it takes to get out of Shanghai.
To make matters even worse, the best watches are supposed to be found only in little shops off back alleys – the kind of place where they run a white slave trade. Walking down the street, about every 15 feet, somebody is trying to sell us a watch and we would walk straight ahead and keep on talking to ignore them. At some point, at about tout 42, I thought, Hey, I want to but a fake watch, I'll say Yes to the next person. And it worked out great! We were lead down a back alley to a little shop.
They had all kinds of cheap watches, but, when I told them I wanted a genuine fake watch with a real Japanese movement, they started bringing out suitcases with all kinds of watches. What do you want, Rolex? Britling? Tag Huer? Patak Philippe? Each suitcase was full of one brand of phony watches. I finally settled on a Patak Philippe that looks and feels real including a glass back so I can see the real, fake movement.