Swiss Army Battles Counterfeiters

Swiss Army Brands Inc. scored some successes recently in its ongoing fight against watch counterfeiters. The Shelton, Conn., company has been working with New York City law enforcement officials to crack down on street peddling of fake timepieces.

Over a four-month period between late 2000 and early this year, say company officials, New York City legal authorities made 35 felony arrests—mostly in New York’s Canal Street area—and confiscated more than 17,000 counterfeit Swiss Army watches.

“We’re determined to continue to show our intolerance for this illegal activity and hope to raise the awareness of consumers who are fooled by this second-rate merchandise,” says Sue Rechner, senior vice president of the Retail Division of Swiss Army Brands.

Since it launched its anti-counterfeit strategy in 1999, Swiss Army Brands has worked with watch designers, local police departments, and customs officials to teach law enforcers to quickly recognize discrepancies between legitimate and counterfeit watches.