Watch out: The billion-dollar industry with counterfeit timepieces

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The noise is deafening as a massive metal roller smashes through thousands of glittering watches, shattering the glass and crushing their cases. This is the scene at the Swiss Watch Industry Association FH, which rids the World of counterfeit watches. Two years ago, some 15,000 fake watches were in circulation, forged branded goods from rip-off Rolexes to Breitlings or Patek Philippes. The business is worth billions, run by criminal gangs to meet the World’s demand for fancy timepieces. Swiss watch exports reached a record value of 24.8 billion Swiss francs ($26 billion) in 2021, an increase o…

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