If you ever want to know whether your chain saw is really made by Stihl, just count your fingers and toes, then check for the safety-release lever. On the counterfeit version, it’s prone to breaking. Ouch.
You can see that pseudo slicer (along with fake Furbys, watches, Game Boys, and more) at the Museum Plagiarius in Solingen, Germany, a gallery that showcases the nuances of knockoffs by exhibiting fakes alongside their authentic counterparts. Every year curators add to the collection by soliciting nominees for the Plagiarius Awards. Designers and manufacturers submit the offending objects, and the “winners” earn a spot in the museum.
This past year, a counterfeiter in Thailand replicated a Swiss Fortis watch (shown here) with such precision that it garnered a special award for falsification. The fake differs in details only the sharpest eye would notice—missing glow-in-the-dark paint on the face, smaller crowns that are buffed rather than brush-finished, and temperature scales with incorrect unit symbols. “The expensive details are left out, but the first impression is the same,” says Christine Lacroix, the museum’s managing director. Time to check the finish on that new nail gun.