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Luxury Watchmakers Looking to Crack Down on Lookalike Watch Faces for Smartwatches

November 24, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

As a lot of you will know from owning a Pebble, it’s pretty easy to make a smartwatch show an image of whatever watch you want, be it digital, analog or something in between. Now, the same thing is happening on Android Wear, thanks to apps like Facer and websites like FaceRepo. A lot of these faces that have been circulating are “homages” to more luxurious and expensive watches like Rolex, Cartier and Panerai. Owners of the Moto 360 will be able to attest to how easy it is to turn the smartwatch into something more luxurious. Now though, it appears that the big names are going after these watch face designers, handing out cease and desist letters with the aim to have these watch faces taken off of the internet.

I’ve been using FaceRepo for some time now and I’ve found some really great watch faces there, with most of my favorites being homages to retro gaming lie a Game Boy face or a Poketch face. There are however, a great number of lookalike faces to turn your G Watch, or Moto 360 into a Rolex or Cartier of some sort. TorrentFreak has spoken to the maintainer of FaceRepo and the site has already received a number of take down notices, with Luke, the man behind FaceRepo saying that “although some of the replica faces we’ve received take downs for are very cool looking and represent significant artistic talent on the part of the designer, we believe that owners of copyrights or trademarks have the right to defend their brand”.

This sort of thing is hardly surprising and Apple themselves had to pay out $21 Million in licensing to swiss maker Mondaine for using one of their clock designs in iOS 6, something we wouldn’t have come to expect from the inventor of everything. Replica Watch Faces will no doubt continue to flood the internet, but we’re sure that these efforts from the watch makers will probably stem the flow somewhat and while this is perhaps disappointing to see, I would rather my smartwatch look a little unique, rather than pretending to be something it certainly isn’t.