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Rolex Watch Fake vs Real Guide 2024: How to Tell if a Rolex is Real?

Rolex Watch Fake vs Real Guide 2024: How to Tell if a Rolex is Real?

    A Rolex watch is the ultimate status symbol. With its fine craftsmanship and elegant design, Rolex is one of the most coveted luxury watch brands in the world. Great demand also attracts a booming counterfeit market. Buyers can be tricked into handing over their cash for a fake Rolex. How to tell if a Rolex is real? What does the back of a Rolex look like? How to check if Rolex is real serial number? To help you whenever you purchase a Rolex watch, I’d like to share with you the following tips on Rolex fake vs real.


1. The Texts on the Dial of Rolex 

The text written on the dial of an original should meet the highest of Rolex standards. Examine closely every part of the text. This is how to tell if the watch you purchased is fake or not. If you see any uneven fonts, inconsistent spaces between the lettering, smudges, and/or misspellings on the watch then that is a big red flag.  


2. The Second Hand of Rolex 

1) One of the unique features of a Rolex that makes it stand out from other watches is the smooth motion of the second hand ticking away. In a genuine Rolex, the second hand moves about 8 movements per second, lending to its exceptionally smooth gliding with slight movements that are invisible to the naked eye. This craftsmanship is very hard to replicate, so in many fake Rolex timepieces, you'll find that the second hand shivers or stutters as it moves.

2) Rolex manufactured watches are powered by an automatic movement. A ticking sound from the watch would verify the presence of a quartz movement. If you hold a watch to your ear and hear a ticking, you can be certain it's not a real Rolex.


3. The Material & Weight of Rolex

Genuine Swiss manufacturers make Rolex watches with precious metals, stainless steel, ceramic, mother-of-pearl, precious stones and other materials, giving these watches quite a bit of heft to them. Moreover, an original Rolex contains a well-crafted high-quality bracelet, and this adds some extra weight to the timepiece. They should feel solid and substantial in your hand and on your wrist. However, counterfeiters don't use quality materials, so they make distinctly lighter watches, often by 20 grams or more.


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4. The Winder of Rolex

1) Rolex watches feature luxurious style and fine detail in all aspects, including the winder on the side. Real Rolex watches have an artful crown engraving on the winder's top, while fakes opt for generic winders or poorly crafted engravings on the winder. For example, a genuine Rolex and a fake one may both have the crown logo and three dots engraved onto the winder's top. In addition, the real watch's logo will be gently raised with smooth edges, while the fake's winder crown logo is flatter with rougher edges.

2) Loosen the stem and roll back the hands to change the date, it should change to the previous date when it goes down to the 6 position, not at the 12. This is virtually impossible to replicate. If it does not do this it is likely a fake.


5. The Crown Logos of Rolex

1) On many Rolex watches, there are a few signature crown/coronet logos that appear on the watch. The first is the brand name plus the coronet at the top center of the watch face. This logo is perfectly centered on the watch face and is slightly raised. However, many fakes forget this feature and only have the brand name on the watch face.


2) Another crown logo to look out for is the one located at 6 o'clock. Rolex began with the laser-etched crystal in 2001, and it was implemented in the entire Rolex collection. Rolex Laser Etched crystal is known as Rolex LEC. Also known as Rolex hologram on the crystal. It's tiny and typically requires a magnifying glass or microscope to view properly. But have in mind that if the crystal has been changed, the crown may be at a different place. 


3) If you have had your crystal serviced, it may have gotten a service crystal. On a service crystal, you will still have the laser-etched crown, however, if it is an original service crystal, it will have a small“S” inside the crown. But there have been reports of people who have had their crystal replaced and gotten a crystal without the“S”inside the coronet (which stands for service). There is no set rule here. 


6. The Cyclops of Rolex

1) The Cyclops, in Rolex parlance, is the magnifying lens (on the crystal) above the date window on the face of their watches. On a genuine timepiece, the Cyclops is convex and magnifies the date 2.5 times for increased readability, but often not to the point that the entire window is filled. If your date is not magnified, or it doesn't seem to be magnified by much, this is another warning sign.

2) The date number under the cyclops lens on a genuine Rolex changes automatically at midnight to the next day rather than slowly turning throughout the night, showing a half number. Many fakes feature the mid-roll number in the evening, meaning it doesn't change automatically. 


 7. The Serial Number and Model Number of Rolex

  •  The Serial Number 

1) Older Rolex watches have the serial number engraved on the exterior of the case, in between the lugs on the 6 o’clock side. This requires you to remove the bracelet to check the serial number. In 2005, Rolex started engraving the serial number on the inside metal ring (also called the “rehaut” or French for flange) between the dial and the crystal, near the 6 o’clock numeral. By 2008, Rolex stopped engraving the serial number on the case exterior and now only keeps it on the rehaut.


2) The serial and model numbers on a genuine Rolex are deep and perfectly marked in solid, very fine lines that will shine in the light at an angle like a diamond cut edge. Conversely, the numbers on many fake, or replica watches, are typically made up of faint tiny dots due to a lower quality marking process. 


  • The Model Number 

Rolex engraves or assigns a 4-6 digit model number to every watch type it produces. The Rolex model or reference number can be found engraved on the exterior of the watch, in between the lugs on the 12 o’clock side. As with the serial number, the bracelet needs to be detached from the case to be able to check the model number.Rolex follows a reference number system that indicates the model type, bezel, and material of the watch. 

Take Rolex 16610 for example. Obviously, the first 166 means it's a Rolex Submariner, has an engine-turned bezel (1) and is made of stainless steel (0).


The tables below show the codes for each model, bezel, and material type:



8. The Case Back of Rolex

This part of your Rolex should be absent of any etchings or engravings. Engravings on the back almost always mean the watch is a forgery. Except for just a few rare instances, like the Rolex Sea Dweller, Milgauss, COMEX, Military watches, and some older rare models, Rolex does not engrave the exterior of their casebacks with words, logos, or pictures (a majority of the time). 


9. The Inner Parts of Rolex

If you open up a watch, the movements should be a dead giveaway. The movement that powers a Rolex is an exercise in master watchmaking skill. Each genuine movement will always have“Rolex” engraved on it, and of the individual parts will be immaculately finished (as you would expect). But remember, don't try to open the case back until you find someone trustworthy with this job.


10. The Water Resistance

Rolex wristwatches are built to be waterproof, while forged versions will not withstand a proper water pressure test. However, we strongly discourage using a water test if you doubt that the piece is real, since it will likely ruin the watch, preventing you from being able to return it. 

Additionally, if a watch is old and in need of repairs or service, there is a good chance it may not pass a water pressure test – even if it is genuine, so it is best to not try to do this yourself. If you believe you have a non-genuine timepiece, have it inspected by a reputable professional.

  • Where to buy a Rolex online the cheapest?

Rolex watches are available in Rolex boutiques worldwide and online. And you can also get a second-hand and vintage Rolex on some resale websites! Sign up at, you can get up to 7% cash back on your purchase at these websites!

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2022-08-11 18:102413