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25 Jul

Ultimate Guide To Recognise A Fake Rolex Watch

What if we told you that the Rolex watch which brings you so much joy and bliss is actually a fake model? Calm down..we aren’t specifically talking about your beloved timepiece. But, well, this truth has been lived by many out there. The fakes are only getting better and many times you almost have to disassemble the watch before you can identify them as counterfeit. Even the well-versed Rolex connoisseur can fall into the trap!

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It’s important to be extremely careful when you invest in a Rolex these days. You probably do not want the watch dealer to claim your investment as ‘fake’ when you go to sell your Rolex years later. So, how to recognise those red flags at a glance? This guide will share all the legit ways you can easily differentiate an original Rolex from a duplicate one.

9 Ways To Tell If A Rolex Is Fake

1. Light Weight

A genuine Rolex is made of high-quality metals and materials, contributing to its substantial weight. So, if a Rolex feels lighter on the hand, it probably is a fake version. The low-quality metals used to produce the counterfeit Rolex watches make it feel light.

2. Stuttering Sound In Movement

Pay attention to the watch movement. Rolex is a master at creating flawless movements. An original Rolex ticks 8 times per second (modern watches) and 5-6 times per second (vintage models), creating a ‘sweeping visual’. Simply said, the movement of the second hand should glide around the dial face without pause.

The replicas on the other hand are either battery-powered or have quartz movements. The second hand on these watches move in micro-ticks per second, resulting in a semi-continuous motion. This creates a small ticking noise. Please note: unless your Rolex is an Oyster Quartz, it surely is fake.

3. Check the Case Back

Authentic Rolex watches have a solid and smooth case back, devoid of any engravings, logos, words or pictures. They also do not have a display case back showing the movement inside. However, there are some exceptions to this, like:

  • Rolex Sea Dweller & Military models
  • Old Rolex Lady Datejust models
  • Rare vintage models from the 1930s
  • Rolex Milgauss models
  • Recent Rolex Daytona Ref. 126506 in platinum

Counterfeiters often try to get overly fancy or decorative with the case backs. So, in case your Rolex features any personal engravings, you have an imitation.

4. Vaguely Marked Serial Number

An easy way to assure that a Rolex is genuine is to check the serial number present on the 6 o’clock where the lug meets the band. The serial number is always seen on the inner bezel in an authentic Rolex. It is perfectly marked with fine lines that shine in the light. On the other hand in a replica, due to a low-quality watchmaking process, the serial number is often acid-etched, giving a shallow appearance.

5. Text Above the Model Number

The model number is found above the 12 o’clock in between the lugs which are accompanied by the ‘ORIG ROLEX DESIGN’ text. You have to remove the band to find the model number deeply engraved into the metal. Fake Rolex watches on the other hand will have a messy-looking model number made with several tiny dots and in the worst, case no text at all!

6. Imperfect Finishing

Most of the tell-tale signs of a fake Rolex remain in the small details. The dial of an original Rolex is clean, neat and perfect. So, in case you spot any uneven text font or spacing between the letters or misspellings, it’s a red alert! Rolex watches feature flawless printing because of the level of attention the watchmakers put into creating every single timepiece. Sadly, the counterfeiters find this hard to replicate, leading to display imperfections.

Moreover, if the Cyclops lens feels flat and makes it difficult to read the date, you know what it is. Therefore, make sure you check everything, from the finishing of the hour markers and hands to the printing on the dials, the bracelet clasps and the Cyclops lens. Counterfeiters can never match up to the brand’s level in creating faultless timepieces.

7. Failed the Water-Resistance Test

We already know that Rolex watches are waterproof and showcase sturdy water resistance. Of course, counterfeit models can never match up to these standards. But what’s the way to find that out? Do not do the water-pressure test at home on your own, for the below reasons:

  • If your Rolex is indeed fake, subjecting it to a water-resistance test will only ruin the timepiece, cancelling the chances of returning it.
  • If the watch is real but a vintage Rolex model, it may also not withstand the water-pressure test.

Therefore, it is best to visit an authorised Rolex dealer and allow professionals to inspect your Rolex.

8. Crown On The Crystal

From 2002 onwards, Rolex started micro-etching a tiny crown logo on the crystal at the 6 o’clock position. So, if you own any Rolex made in 2002 or after that, make sure that you look for this small proof of authenticity. The logo is so small that it is often impossible to see it with the naked eye and requires a magnifying glass to view it properly. This is a hallmark of real Rolex watches and the precision of the crown makes it difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.

9. Absence of Crown Markings

Rolex doesn’t spare any detail or part when it comes to intricacy and accuracy. This means even the crown present on the side of the watch exudes perfection. The crown has a fluted design and is engraved onto the dial which is popularly known as the Rolex Coronet. If you spot a Rolex having a smooth crown, it’s a sign. Fake Rolex watches lack detailing on the crown because of course, the forgers won’t spend so much time perfecting such a small detail.

In the recent Rolex models, the Coronet has two dots underneath, which can also be bars instead of dots. But it will be present unfailingly.

Real Reason Behind Fake Rolex Watches

Rolex is one of the most sought-after luxury watch brands in the world, with worldwide demand and recognition. And, it is the great demand for these watches that fuel the blooming counterfeit market. Buyers unaware of the fake-alert signs often end up indulging in a duplicate Rolex, only to repent later. Recently, the copied pieces look so appealing that even experienced buyers get fooled.

To help protect yourself from such dishonest forgeries and replica models, ensure that you keep in mind the hallmarks of a genuine Rolex timepiece listed above.

How To Avoid Getting A Fake Rolex?

No matter how much you know about luxury watches and especially Rolex, it is easy to get trapped in the world of fake models. Here’s how you can avoid buying one.

3 ways in which you can avoid buying a Rolex replica are:

  • Buy only & only from authorised Rolex dealers

This is undoubtedly the most straightforward way to buy a genuine Rolex timepiece. The authorised Rolex dealers will always provide a genuine timepiece that comes with an authorised warranty for added security. It ensures that the watch is real and it is possible to return it if anything goes wrong. Moreover, the dealers have adequate knowledge and can help you pick the right Rolex model.

  • Learn About The Rolex Model

One easy way to protect yourself from the hassle of forgery is to research and learn about the particular Rolex model you’d like to buy. Get familiar with the model’s history, watch details and other characteristics so you can figure out if the watch you’re shown is genuine or not.

  • Find Out the Market Value

If not the most accurate figure, at least try and find out the approximate market value of the Rolex watch you intend to purchase. A fake Rolex is comparatively cheaper which itself works as a big indication! Remember, no good thing comes cheap.


Rolex does a lot of hard work to make their watches worth the amount you spend. So, you definitely do not want to lose all the money on a fake one.

While we cannot guarantee that you’ll never stumble upon a fake Rolex, but now that you’re armed with the right knowledge, you can confidently identify a counterfeit Rolex and invest in a genuine timepiece that will stand the test of time.

If you have a Rolex that you’d like to sell but wondering about its genuinity, Luxbrokers can help you right away! Our experts are fully equipped to verify your Rolex’s authenticity and guarantee to offer the highest possible price if you wish to sell your Rolex watch.

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