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Buy A Rolex | How To Spot A Fake Rolex!

Updated on September 28, 2015

Want To Buy A Rolex Watch? Learn How To Spot A Fake Rolex!

It's important you learn to spot a fake Rolex if you plan on buying a Rolex because Swiss Customs estimates that 40% of counterfeit watches come from China. The BaselWorld annual watch trade show attracts people from China whose actual job it is to take pictures of the watches on display from prestigious watch brands. As a result, a a fake Rolex version of a new or prototypical design is often launched in the marketplace before the real, authentic version is.

Learn how to spot a fake Rolex: This is the REAL deal!
Learn how to spot a fake Rolex: This is the REAL deal!

Learning To Spot A Fake Rolex

Counterfeit Watch Estimates

According to estimates by the Swiss Customer Service, there are some 30 to 40 million counterfeit watches put into circulation each year. That means your chances to spot a fake Rolex watch are significant. However, after reading this guide, I hope you will have an idea of how to spot a fake Rolex watch, and you won't become a victim of an unscrupulous seller. In addition I've researched what I believe to be five of the best trusted eBay Powersellers that specialize in Rolex watches and accessories. If you would like to check out these sellers' stores and auctions to see what they have for sale, you can find my review and their current listings (updated automatically) Here.

Fake Rolex Daytona
Fake Rolex Daytona

Learn To Spot A Fake Rolex With These Tips

There are two groups of counterfeit watches. The first group consists of low-priced imitations that keep time. A cheap counterfeit watch sports the name of a prestigious designer brand, but lacks the functions and design. The second group involves counterfeit watches made to resemble the original designer watch. There are some higher-priced imitation watches that are made from higher quality materials and have gold-colored parts and leather straps.

Like many high-priced, designer watches, Rolex watches are frequently counterfeited and are sold illegally on the internet, on the streets, and at flea markets. These fakes are primarily made in Asian countries such as India, Korea, Taiwan and mainland China (however, there are counterfeit Rolexes being made in the USA as well). The prices are anywhere between $5-$1,000 depending on the quality of the replica. The higher-end counterfeits can have parts fabricated from solid karat gold (although many gold Rolex counterfeits use gold electroplating). The fake Rolex trade has become so sophisticated, that it's really hard to spot a fake Rolex these days.  There there are even full-color, glossy marketing materials to accompany these fakes made in China and sold to retail vendors throughout Asia.

Spot A Fake Rolex With These Characteristics

  • One common giveaway that a Rolex is a fake is a transparent case back which allows the watch movements to be seen. Rolex has almost never produced a watch like this except for some extremely rare models from the 1930's and some very new Cellini Price models.

  • Authentic Rolex watches never have a manufacturer engraving of a logo, design or Rolex name on the outside of the caseback. The only exception to this is the Sea-Dweller which says "Rolex Oyster Original Gas Escape Valve" on the back in black along with two Rolex logos.
  • Genuine Rolex models are free of engravings on the caseback, therefore they are smooth (however, there are some ladies' models with engraving on the caseback).
  • More recently, some genuine Rolex models were shipped new from the factory with a 3-dimensional, Hologram-encoded sticker on the caseback with a floating Rolex crown positioned above the watch's case reference number, which is now printed in black. Most fake stickers are a solid green color or are actually a repetitious "Rolex" pattern, not a hologram.

How To Spot A Fake Rolex Watch: Additional Information

  • As of 2007, Rolex stopped using the hologram and new watches are not being shipped with them. I
  • In addition, inside the crystal of an authentic Rolex is a very subtle, almost invisible laser etched Crown Logo located at the 6:00 position. Some fakes have this etching, but it is often smaller than what is found on an authentic Rolex.
  • The date magnification of a Rolex is 2.5 times the normal size.The date should take up the entire glass bubble. There are some fake Rolexes that have a bigger font wheel to imitate this look, but come far from close to looking like the real appearance of the date.
  • The lettering on the dial should be precise. Under high-magnification, the type should reveal clean edges not found in forgeries.
  • Many fake Rolexes will have have regular glass instead of true sapphire crystal. A great test of the materials is to check the water surface tension. A smeared film of water will pull together on sapphire because the surface is smooth.
  • The second hand on a genuine Rolex always is smooth and continuous. Most fake Rolexes have movements that are small and jerky (although this is not always the case in higher-priced counterfeits).
  • The weight of an authentic Rolex is relatively heavy because of the materials used. This isn't a scientific method in determining a fake, but a counterfeit Rolex will feel lighter due to the cheaper materials used. In addition, the bands on a genuine Rolex are full whereas fakes often display hollow links.
  • The serial and case reference numbers on an authentic Rolex are engraved with great detail and are smooth. The numbers are located between the lugs on the side of the case. The numbers on counterfeit Rolexes often look like they have been sand-blasted or roughly etched into the case.

In Conclusion:

If you do have the ability to compare a replica Rolex next to the real thing, you will be able to spot the fake Rolex by noticing the subtle differences in the laser printing on the face, color differences on the band and dial, and other defects that will let you know if a Rolex is authentic or a replica. In addition, the edges on a Rolex and its band are not sharp and scratchy; they are smooth.

Again, to read the review I've written describing five trusted eBay Powersellers that specialize in Rolex watches and accessories so you don't have to do the eBay searching yourself, go to my hub titled, "Best Deals On New and Pre-Owned Rolex Watches From Trusted Ebay Powersellers."

Happy Shopping!


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      submariner replica 7 years ago

      Rolex watches are well known throughout the world for their excellent quality and impeccable designs. I opt for replica Rolex watches to get them affordably. Thanks for the useful article.

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      k00lit 7 years ago

      That's was a great Tips. Owning a Rolex is like the ultimate status symbol, for rolex watches come at a very steep price, usually outside the income levels of many people. Rolexes come with an air of extravagance and class that very few luxuries offer. Purchasing a Rolex is like buying a piece of history. Rolex watches are always in high demand. will help you sell Rolex fast, safe, and for a price that will make you happy if you want to sell your Rolex.