There are several methods of doing this and I have seen nearly every one of them done on Ebay. Let's take them one at a time. In nearly every case you must start with an old original watch or clock. Many crooks don't bother to do this and will put a 1950s face onto a 1970s watch or sometimes a 1940s face on a 1930s watch or clock. I never said they were experts, just crooks.
One method is to copy an original dial and put it on old clock. Many of the old dials were printed on paper so this is fairly easy to do with any decent copier. You will see many Black Americana clocks by Westclock being offered on Ebay....Westclock never made a Black Americana clock.
You will also see many Black Americana pocket watches being offered. Some of the sellers tell you it is a fake, but most others do not.
Lets move on to the pocket watches. I have been told that many of the fake pocket watches are coming out of Bulgaria. I must admit that many of the fakes I have seen are darn good and if you don't know what to look for you may have a problem. The pocket watches coming out of the US are just barely OK, but some are very good also. However, most of the crooks from the US don't pay as much attention to detail as the crooks from Europe. Nearly all of the European fakes are done with the Ingersoll from Great Britain. Here's how.
The original dial with the second hand is removed and the depression for the second hand is filled in and smoothed to the level of the rest of the dial. Then the second hand stem is ground down to the same height as the rest of the watch under the dial. A fake dial is created (come back to this in a min) and glued over the original dial and then the edges are painted to match the dial face and reinserted on the watch body. If a paper dial was used it is very difficult to see if there are any imperfections in the face and you just simply have to go with your gut feeling and experience with old paper. If the seller is saying that the watch face is enamelled, generally that will mean that a decal was created and put over the original face and then sprayed with a clear coat. This one is a bit easier to pick up. Simply get the watch face at an angle to a light and look for any minute ripples in the face. Also, look in the area where you would normally expect a second hand to be and you can make out the minute difference between the new and old parts of the watch. It will show up as a faint circle under the watch face.
Another way the fakes are created is to simply make a decal on a clear background and place it over the old original dial. This is the simplest way to make a dial and the easiest to dectect. Generally, the decal will chop off parts of the original dial print or numbers or you can make out the original numbers and print under the new dial. I recently saw a Donald Duck fake pocket watch sold on Ebay and I just couldn't believe that people were bidding on such an obvious fake. Part of the watch name was cut off and you could actually make out some of the print under the decal.
Some of the fakes I have seen (but not nearly all) are Buck Rogers, Betty Boop, Masonic watches, Black Sambos with the original boxes (big ole smile here) Bugs Bunny, Nearly all of the Howdy Doody and his gang watches, Thor, Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr, Mary Marvel, Popeye, Donald Duck, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Snow White, Woody Woodpecker, Davy Crockett, Goofy, Spiderman, Little Orphan Annie, Andy Capp, Three Stooges, Mickey Mantle, Space Cadet, Lone Ranger, Mighty Mouse, Flash Gordon, Space Cadet, Tom Mix, Dick Tracy, Red Ryder, Huckleberry Hound, Boy Scouts and on and on and on.
I'm not going to list the fake advertising watches and clocks, but if you can think of any vintage product with name recognition it is being faked.
To give you an idea of how easy it is to fake these watches just give me about 20 or 30 minutes and I can use any decent print or graphics program and make any watch you like. As far as aging is concerned that is even easier. For paper you can simply use tea with a bit of yellow food coloring to artifically age paper. Or Old English furniture scratch and stain remover will do nicely.
As time goes on I will be adding to this page.