Big name brands are trying to cull the Internet’s crop of imitation luxury watchfaces for wearables like the Moto 360. According to TorrentFreak, companies like Armani, Michael Kors, Tissot, and Omega have been disseminating cease-and-desist notices to websites and individuals hosting digital likenesses of their work, and providing as little as 24 hours to comply. TorrentFreak writes that Cartier’s owner Richemont filed takedown requests to watch face sites, citing trademark infringement.
While digital watches have been becoming more complex in recent years, the advent of a new generation of smartwatches is changing the market significantly. Manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, Pebble, Motorola and LG all have an interest in the game, with Apple set to show its hand in the early part of 2015. Currently Android Wear compatible devices such as Motorola’s Moto360 are proving popular, not least due to their ability to display custom watch faces. Fancy Tag Heuer’s latest offering on your wrist? No problem. Rolex? Omega? Cartier? Patek Philippe? All just a click or two away. Of course, having a digital copy of a watch on one’s wrist is a much cheaper option than the real deal. See that Devon watch fourth from left in the image below? A real-world version will set you back a cool $17,500. The copy? Absolutely free. While it’s been fun and games for a while, makers of some of the world’s most expensive and well known watches are now targeting sites offering ‘pirate’ smartwatch faces in order to have digital likenesses of their products removed from the market.