Due to their exceptional quality, performance and style, Rolex is one of the most iconic, respected and coveted brands in the world. Unfortunately, their popularity also means that there are endless fake Rolex watches on the market, some of which can be very convincing to the average buyer. The good news is that Rolex utilizes many anti-counterfeit measures in their timepieces and once you can identify those, you’ll know how to spot a real Rolex among fakes. While it’s easy to tell that a $25 dollar “Rolex” is fake, we’ll show you how to spot even the most high end of fake Rolex’s.
How to Spot a Real Rolex
While all Rolex collections have their own signature features, below are general characteristics that will help you spot a real Rolex. See our experts’ top tips for spotting a fake Rolex:
- Everything on the dial will be perfectly printed, even when under extreme magnification. Any uneven print or misspellings are a big red flag.
- Rolex’s signature five-point crown will be at 12 o’clock.
- Current Rolexes have their serial number printed on the inner bezel ring at 6 o’clock with the word Rolex printed multiple times in the remaining space.
- If the watch features a date window, the date will automatically change at exactly midnight. A fake Rolex will have a slow date change.
- Also, if the watch has a date window, it will be covered by a cyclops lens which works to magnify the date by 2.5 its normal size. Fake Rolexes either have a flat cyclops, weak magnification or are offset from the date.
- Rolexes made after 2002 will have a small five-point crown laser etched within the crystal at 6 o’clock. Typically, you will need very good lighting and a magnifier to see the etching.
- Real rolexes are heavier than their fake counterparts because genuine Rolexes are made with high quality materials including Oystersteel, 18kt gold and platinum.
- Rolex’s signature five-point crown will be on the watch’s winding mechanism, known as the crown. The exact number of dots below the crown will vary depending on the specific model.
- Genuine Rolex watches have smooth case backs that are free from engravings and decorations, expect for the Deepsea Dweller.
- All Rolex watches have waterproof Oyster Cases except for the Cellini which is a dress watch.
- Rolex’s do not have transparent case backs, except for the Prince Cellini collection.
- Older Rolex’s will have the serial numbers printed between the lugs at 6 o’clock. The watch’s bracelet needs to be removed in order to see these numbers and should only be removed by professional watchmakers.
- The watch’s model number will be printed between the lugs at 12 o’clock and the bracelet will also need to be removed to see it. Fake Rolexes will be missing these numbers, have numbers that do not reflect their actual model or be faintly printed.
- Rolex bracelets are only made in Oystersteel, 18kt gold, Oystersteel and 18kt gold or platinum.
- All Rolex bracelets have their signature five-point crown on the clasp and the straps have the five-point crown on the buckle.
- The bracelets will have the Rolex’s arabesque hallmark printed inside the folding clasp.
- Rolex movements are always mechanical with the exception of the Oysterquartz Rolexes made from 1970’s into the 1990’s and certain Cellini models.
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