Spotting A Fake Rolex

Fakes and Replica’s DO hurt people. Many people tell me of how they have bought watches in good faith that turn out not to be genuine. I NEVER want to this to happen to my readers and so have compiled a few points of reference.

If you own or may be purchasing a Rolex please heed some advice I have for honest people wanting to buy the genuine article;

1. Modern Rolex watches are fitted with a sapphire crystal which is a very robust scratch-resistant glass that can only be scratched with a diamond. Earlier examples have plastic acrylic crystals however they should only be fitted to early 1980’s models.

2. The ‘cyclops’ date window in a real version is dead centred above the number. Run through the numbers on the date-wheel to see if the numbers look consistent in font and size. Compare the magnification of the dates on the watch to another.

3. The quality of the printing on modern watch dials (face of the watch) should be excellent, with indicators and type evenly spaced and no fuzzy edges.

4. The genuine Rolex movement sweeps smoothly round at about 28,800 revs per hour – each second is broken down into eight steps. Even when a fake uses a Swiss-made movement, the second hand’s ticking is usually visibly jerky.

5. Over where ‘Swiss made’ appears, the brand’s logo is laser-etched into the crystal. In a genuine Rolex, this is made up of hundreds of dots set at different heights throughout the crystal (so it doesn’t create a weakness in the glass) and as such is barely visible – to see it clearly you have to look through a loupe (the small magnifying glass used by jewellers and watchmakers).

6. If you remove a Rolex bracelet you should find the watch’s case number and model number engraved on the side at six o’clock and 12 o’clock (see my ‘Date your Rolex’ link). Even if the watch has no papers you can identify the model and serial number. Rolex operate a Lost and Stolen register free of change worldwide. If you call with the model and serial number you can check if it is registered as either for your peace of mind.

7. Ensure the crown (the part of the watch that is turned to set the time/date) screws in tightly and firmly. If it doesn’t the watch is either damage or not genuine.

8. A Daytona 24 was never made nor do Rolex engrave model names on the back of their watches ever.’ TO ‘A Daytona 24 was never made

9. Often fakes have dial and bezel (the rotating ring around the face of the watch) in colours that were never produced. For instance a Rolex Submariner will only have a blue bezel or face/dial if it is a gold and steel or fully gold model. If you cannot find it on offer in the same colour combination it is highly likely to be fake.

10. Gold models will NEVER have the gold rub-off. Very few Rolexes are gold plated and that was back in the 1950’s so if gold has rubbed-off and there is a base metal underneath it is very likely to be fake.’

Sadly fakes/replica’s were very poor but now production processes have become more sophisticated.

Good fakes feel substantial, keep decent time and have the patina of high quality. Some are so convincing that the only way to tell they’re fake is to take the back off and look at the movement.

HOWEVER they are produced poorly, break within weeks usually, are poorly sealed (therefore allow water inside causing condensation in the glass) and fund illegal money-laundering operations. I NEVER buy any type of non-genuine watch and urge all my readers to follow suit.

To see and feel the difference visit a local jeweller selling genuine Rolex, Cartier, Audemars Piguet or Hublot watches and Vertu mobile phones. You will soon realise the massive difference between genuine and fake. The sense of achievement in owning a genuine piece is a fantastic notion plus they have a value so when you get bored or would like the cash email or call me for a same-day best cash offer!

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