Fraud? Counterfeiting? The Ginault Controversy Explained

Ginault, the infamous Rolex homage brand has recently come under fire after an exposé finally brought forth evidence linking Ginault to the “TC” counterfeiting operation, which was well regarded in the circles of fake watch collectors. To many, this doesn’t come as a shock, for questions were raised regarding the uncanny similarity between the two products. This case especially involves Ginault’s founder, who was identified as Tsung Chi yet claims to be Charles Ginault.

Furthermore, the article goes into depth about how Tsung Chi supposedly operated the Thomas Caddell counterfeiting operation. The article claims that Tsung Chi used the suppliers and infrastructure from his criminal operation to start a legal homage business. The piece chronicles the undeniable similarities between TC and Ginault, the evidentiary forum activities, and the uncanny similarities in product descriptions. The objective was to prove that Charles Ginault, Thomas Caddell, John McMurty, and a host of pseudonyms were just one person: Tsung Chi.

But by far the most damning pieces of evidence involves photographic analysis and the eerie similarities between TC fakes and Ginault homages. The author of the exposé, known as “DeepDweller,” used freely available tools for photographic analysis and discovered that the exact same camera (serial number and all) was used by both TC and Ginault. I’ve tried my best to maintain the presumption of innocence in this case, but this evidence is monumental in linking the two. The author also describes the strange similarities in the parts of this watch, even going as far as to include minute details such as canon pinion height. To fully grasp those details, you must read the article here.

Since the publishing of the exposé, it appears that a cover-up operation has taken place. The articles have systematically been taken down from forums (as Ginault is a heavy advertiser) and even removed from DeepDweller’s own WordPress site. However, the cat is out of the bag! Despite Tsung Chi’s deletion of photos and forum activities, the evidence is still verifiable based on what DeepDweller has presented. If watch forums continue to mask this subject, it has the potential to highlight the dishonesty of online platforms. This might seem negative, but I believe it must be done in order to foster an interesting community of vibrant debate. A sheltered platform where every watch is “perfect” is not sustainable, nor is it interesting!

Although the survival of Ginault means nothing for 99% of the watch community, the fact that these details were uncovered has weight. It shows that watch enthusiasts are willing to question brands and expose them for who they really are. This will no-doubt benefit transparent companies, but it will collapse those with buried secrets. I thought this event was really interesting and deserved a mention on this blog.