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How to Spot a Fake Rolex

How to Spot a Fake Rolex

Rolex is a luxury watch brand that not all people can afford to own. This is why counterfeit Rolexes are everywhere. Sometimes, they are offered at prices that are too good to be true and gullible consumers fall into the trap of purchasing a Rolex watch replica. Knowing how to spot a fake Rolex watch will save you from paying for a counterfeit watch.

 How can you spot a fake when the Rolex watch model seems to be legit? If you know the tips on how to distinguish a real Rolex, then a knockoff will be easy to spot.

How to Spot a Fake Rolex: 10 Telltale Signs It’s Not the Real Thing

Serial Number

A Rolex serial number is always engraved deeply into the metal, while the fake watches have serial numbers that are simply etched with acid. The placement of the serial number is also a sign of whether it is a true Rolex or not. Look for the serial number on the 6 o’clock side where the band connects to the lug. On a new authentic Rolex watch, the serial number is seen on the inner bezel.

Model Number

A real Rolex watch must have a verifiable model number. The model number is seen on the 12 o’clock side of the watch where the band and the lug meet. There should also be an engraving of “Original Rolex Design” on top of the model number. You may need to remove the band to see the number. To do this, simply use a paper clip to remove the pin that keeps the band in place.

Caseback Engravings

For Rolexes manufactured before 2007, a hologram of the crown logo is found on the caseback. Versions of Rolex manufactured after 2007 should not feature the logo. Most casebacks of newer versions are plain polished steel.

Most Rolex watches do not have engraved words on the caseback. The few exceptions to this rule are the Sea Dweller, military watches, COMEX, and other very rare editions. Older Rolex models like 69172, 69173, and 69174 also have engravings on the back with “Stainless Steel” and “Registered Design”.

Self-Winding and Mechanical Movements

Rolex craftsmanship is of high quality, and often unmatched. The movement must have an engraved “Rolex” on it. The location of the engraving on the Rolex movement differs from one model to another. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to know this unless you open the watch.

Rolex has also produced a limited number of quartz watch styles (mainly from the 1960s and 1970s) with the production of the now vintage Rolex in Oysterquartz.

Date Appears Bigger

The Cyclops, which is a part of the watch crystal, magnifies the date about 2.5 times. Run a finger over the watch crystal and feel the lens. You should feel a bump on the convex lens across the date. A flat Cyclops means that the Rolex watch is a fake. Another way to test it is to hold the watch sideways and look at the date without the Cyclops. If the size of the date appears the same, then it’s not a genuine Rolex watch.

Waterproof Cases

A Rolex watch is known for its waterproof capability. Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches have minimum 330 feet water-resistance level, while a Rolex Submariner can be water-resistant for up to 1,000 feet. A Rolex Sea Dweller can reach up to 4,000 feet, and the best of them all is the Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea which can withstand water for up to 12,800 feet.

This waterproof ability is thanks to the solid middle case of the watch, which has screw-down winding crowns that prevent the water from entering the watch’s internal mechanism.

Smooth Hand Motions

The hand movements on a true Rolex watch must move smoothly. If there is a jerk – no matter how tiny it may be – consider the watch a fake. A ticking noise whenever the hands move also mean that it is not a legitimate Rolex watch.

Crystal Micro-etched with Crown Logo

The crystal has a tiny crown logo micro-etched at the 6 o’clock position of a Rolex watch manufactured from 2002 onwards. To view the crown logo, you need to have the proper lighting as well as a magnifying glass since it is too small to be seen by the naked eye.

Examine the Winding Crown

The small knob on the side, which is used to set the time, is known as the crown. A genuine Rolex has a crown logo on the crown of the watch. The logo is made from one metal alone with exquisite detail. On a counterfeit Rolex watch, however, the crown logo is usually made of two or more pieces of metal joined together. Use a magnifying glass to examine the crown and the crown logo thoroughly.

Weigh the Watch

A genuine Rolex watch is always heavier than a knockoff. Before purchasing a watch, do some quick research on Google and check for the actual weight of the Rolex model you want to purchase. Then, weigh the item you are looking at. If it does not weigh the same amount as what you have researched, then it is surely a fake watch. 

Knowing how to spot a fake Rolex prevents you from being scammed. Skip the pawn shop and second hand stores and always buy from an official Rolex dealer to guarantee that the products being sold are legitimate, even on pre owned Rolex watches. If the price is too good to be true, that tells you the watch is not the real deal. Rolex timepieces, after all, is made with high-quality materials and craftsmanship like no other, which explains its hefty price tag.

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