🎁 Save an Extra £100! Use Code: NEW100 - shop now

19 Jun

Expert’s Tips To Spot A Fake Rolex In Minutes

The hype of owning a Rolex is REAL! And why not? The feeling of owning the world’s most prestigious luxury watch brand is unparalleled. Rolex is a status symbol in itself. But with such great power comes the attempt of the replica watches to trick you into thinking they are the real deal.   

We don’t blame you here, actually. Rolex’s insane popularity has fueled the market for counterfeit watches, and the forgers are getting pretty good at it. Even the most seasoned collectors fail to distinguish genuine Rolex models like the GMT-Master, Submariner, and so on.

Well, not anymore! Here, we will explore the key indicators of a fake Rolex watch that will protect you and your wallet while shopping.

10 Ways To Spot A Fake Rolex Watch

1. Weight of the watch

The weight of your Rolex can tell you a lot about its quality. Rolex uses only high-quality materials to make the watches, from start to end. Everything you see in a Rolex, from the bracelet to the inner workings, is made with the best items available. For instance, the watches are made from the brand’s very own 904L stainless steel, 18ct gold and 950 platinum. That means the watches have a considerable weight and would have a solid feel and heft to them.

Fake watches tend to be a lot lighter due to being made with low-quality materials. The absence of weight signals a lack of solid construction that Rolex is known for. Vintage Rolex watches may weigh slightly lighter due to the hollow bracelet links, but they’re still heftier than the replicas. So, trust your senses when you pick up a Rolex.

2. Dial Details

The Rolex dial is a prime spot for finding inconsistencies, as it has most of the writing and text. Rolex pays great attention to detail, and the dial of an authentic Rolex watch is meticulously curated with consistent fonts, spacing and marking. Look for the following things in a dial:

  • The text should be well-spaced, straight and without bubbling.
  • Look for any misspellings.
  • Any sign of smudging, blurs or irregularity means cheaper printing methods and signals a fake.
  • Check for specific colouring. For instance, Rolex Explorer II has a distinct orange or red hand depending on the year of manufacture.
  • If the etching of the Rolex logo at 6 and 12 o’clock is small or large enough, you may have a fake.
  • Inside the dial rim there should be etched lettering. Use a magnifying glass to check. The lettering should be sharp, precise, and elegant. If it looks printed or painted, the watch is fake.
  • If the Rolex has a date specification, make sure it changes at 12 o’clock. While a slight deviation of 5 minutes is considered normal, it could be a sign if the date changes gradually or slows down significantly.

3. Cyclops Lens

Rolex’s iconic Cyclops lens is extremely difficult to replicate, so a fake piece would either have an out-of-place Cyclops lens or nothing at all. The Cyclops is the magnifying lens that magnifies the date of the watch. Run your fingers over the lens to feel a little bump precisely centred over the date. It must be well-magnified around 2.5 times when you look at it.

The lack of magnification indicates a counterfeit model. Counterfeiters use whatever materials are available to replicate the Cyclops lens, making it difficult to read the date. Please note that only a few Rolex models will not have a Cyclops lens.

4. Ticking Sound of the Hands

The seconds hand of an authentic Rolex watch must move smoothly and uninterruptedly. If it jerks or produces a ticking sound, it is fake. However, there’s a minor consideration.

Rolex Oysterquartz watches run on a battery-powered quartz movement. The seconds hand in these watches often jerks forward several seconds, producing a ticking sound.

Today, most Rolex watches are powered by mechanical movement, either manual winding or automatic. Thus, the seconds hand moves much faster, creating a smooth sweeping effect.

So, hold the Rolex watch close to your ears and listen closely.

5. Find the Serial & Model Number

The serial number of a Rolex is located where the bracelet meets the case, below 6 o’clock. The model number is found above 12 o’clock, between the lugs and is accompanied by the text ‘ORIG ROLEX ESIGN’, just above the number. You need to remove the band to spot it.

The serial and model numbers are engraved into the metal and glow in the light when raised at an angle. On the other hand, fake watches have the numbers etched by acid, leaving a shallow appearance. It is difficult for counterfeiters to replicate such detailing.

Moreover, the Rolex watches made after 2002 have a tiny etched crown logo on the crystal at 6 o’clock. It is almost invisible to the naked eye, and you might need a magnifying glass to see it clearly.

6. Crown Markings

Rolex spares no detail to showcase its excellent craftsmanship, including the smallest piece of metal on the side of the watch—the crown. It is used to wind or set the time. The crown is extremely intricate and accurate, with clear markings.

It has a fluted design and a Rolex Coronet logo is engraved into the centre. The watch is a duplicate if this signature design is missing or has a low-quality finish.

Recent Rolex models have two to three dots underneath the Coronet. These dots can be bars or anything else but are surely present.  Remember, if your watch is missing those dots, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is fake. You must ensure that you’re looking at a recent Rolex model to find this extra design.

7. Bezel Movement

Rotating the bezel of a Rolex produces smooth, subtle clicks. For example, the latest GMT-Master II models are equipped with spring-loaded ball bearings under the bezel, ensuring a smooth and seamless rotating action. On the other hand, bezels on cheap diving watches do not have a satisfactory motion. If you aren’t sure about the legitimacy of a Rolex GMT or Submariner, give the bezel a spin.

8. Water-Resistance

All Rolex watches are perfectly engineered, with a high focus on water resistance. A genuine Rolex watch is certified through rigorous water pressure testing and boasts a construction that seals it against the water entrance. However, a duplicate or fake Rolex watch is not subjected to such a high level of scrutiny and, thus, lacks sophisticated seals and casings, resulting in poor or no water resistance.

If the authenticity of your Rolex is in question, avoid testing its water resistance at home, as it can lead to irreversible damage, closing the chances of a possible return. Vintage Rolex watches and those that require servicing might also fail such tests despite being authentic. It is best to entrust professionals with verification.

9. Bracelet Fit

Rolex enthusiasts say the band or bracelet must lie straight and not kink when laid on a flat surface. Due to regular wear and tear, bracelets can get stretched, and the seller may pair a genuine Rolex piece with an aftermarket bracelet. However, a reputable dealer will always disclose such modifications before sale.

Additionally, certain Rolex models would sport a specific type of bracelet design. For example, a Rolex Submariner will always fit an Oyster bracelet, not a jubilee design. Therefore, it is important to know the bracelet style of your Rolex. If the bracelet is mismatched with the watch you bought, it could either be a very rare model or a counterfeit.

10. Check the box & papers

The Rolex box and papers are equally important to check, as there can be notable differences between the packaging of a genuine Rolex and the packaging of counterfeit pieces. Genuine Rolex packaging maintains the same standards and displays the same commitment to quality as the Rolex watches. For instance, you can see accurate embossing, perfect box corners, and precise pouch stitching.

How the Rolex is presented inside the box also differs. Authentic Rolex watches are often placed within protective coverings and support to secure the valuable timepiece. Counterfeiters pay less attention to presentation or any such protective measures.

Coming to the original Rolex documentation, the paperwork is well-printed with accurate information and sharp text. On the other hand, fake Rolex watches have documentation with frequent printing errors and missing elements.


With a burgeoning counterfeit market, fake Rolex watches have become relatively common and difficult to detect. So, the best defence against buying a replica is to buy Rolex from a reputable seller with substantial experience and expertise in the pre-owned luxury watch market.

Luxbrokers specialises in pre-owned or used Rolex watches and has a solid online and store presence. Our long-standing list of valuable buyers attests to the quality of the Rolex watches. Browse the entire collection of pre-owned Rolex watches online or visit us in-store with an appointment. We guarantee your peace of mind throughout.

For any query, call 0207 123 50851 to speak to our experts.

Home Menu shop sell pawn
whatsapp us