How To Spot a Fake Rolex - The Official Guide | Luxe Watches

How To Spot A Fake Rolex!

Over the years, luxury watches from the likes of Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet and more have increased dramatically in value and popularity. The large following and price increase has resulted in many of the much loved brands becoming victims of counterfeit. Years ago it was quite easy to recognise a fake luxury wrist watch, but as time has gone by, counterfeits are becoming more sophisticated and harder to spot.

So, for those of you who are new to the luxury watch industry and thinking of purchasing, or have already purchased, an expensive wristwatch, this guide is for you. We thought we’d assist newcomers by outlining some of the most tale telling signs of fake Rolexes in particular, (probably one of, if not, THE most counterfeited watch brand on the market).

Why you shouldn’t buy a fake!

Consciously buying a fake watch from the ‘black market’ (those who deal in counterfeit goods) is not a wise decision to make. Not only does it undermine the real talent and authenticity of original brands, but the watches are also constructed using cheap alternative materials.

Credit: Hotfrog

At the end of the day the purchase of a luxury watch is not solely made for the purpose of looking good (although that is a large motivator), but is also made with investment purposes in mind. Yet, if you were to purchase a counterfeit, every penny you have spent or spend is wasted and not retained, so it’s important to think before you buy.

Credit: A blog to watch

Weight and feel

All Rolex watches are either made out of deluxe precious metals (gold and platinum) or high quality materials, including Rolex’s very own stainless steel ‘904L’, a metal uniquely blended to emit a polished finished and withstand corrosion. Inexpensive materials are used to create counterfeit watches, and so the weight would be considerably lighter than an original, and the bracelet would feel slack, hollow and cheap.

Just as an example, an original Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner weighs approximately 153 grams, where as a counterfeit only weighs around 124 grams.

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Imperfect font and features

If you’re looking online and cannot view the watch in person, it’s best to ask for some clear photos of the watch so that you can determine whether the watch is real. Always focus on features like the dial font, as this is a major tale telling sign. Rolex creates every watch with extreme accuracy, and so any font that is smudged, illegible, out of place or differing in size are huge indicators that you’re inspecting a fake.

Rolex’s iconic Cyclops lens feature is another characteristic that is extremely difficult to replicate and so a fake would either have an out of place Cyclops lens or none at all (but remember some vintage Rolexes and the Sea-Dweller do not have a Cyclops lens, so always check the official sites to see what features the watch should have if you’re not sure).

Rough engravings

As with the font, Rolex engravings are deep, neat and clean, where as a counterfeit, (if it contains a serial engraving) would exhibit a more rough and unsteady engraving. The processes used to engrave counterfeits like ‘acid etching’ or using multiple tiny dot etchings degrades the quality of the final result.

There shouldn’t be any corrosion or rust around the serial engraving as Rolex’s very own steel was crafted specifically to prevent such wear. And lastly, Rolex never engraves the back of watchcases, so be wary – the case back should always be clear and smooth.

Credit: WatchFinder

Uncharacteristic ticking

Another physical sign you can look out for when inspecting a Rolex is the movement of the seconds’ hand. Rolex does not replicate the ticking motion of a typical watch. Instead all Rolex watches exhibit a sweeping motion. You can also listen to the ticking; there should be a faint ticking sound, however it should never tick on every second, but should instead sound like a sped up ticking noise.

Credit: Chronext

Low pricing

Now this is a blatantly obvious sign, however it’s always good to remind you and reinforce this point. If you are about to close a deal on a Rolex for a couple of hundred pounds, do not close. Rolex’s are not cheap watches, even the cheapest and smallest Rolex, a ladies Datejust, retails for around £1,500-2,000. For the bigger watches like Submariners, GMT’s or Sky-Dwellers, the prices increase considerably.

If you find yourself feeling like Del Boy Trotter (Only Fools and Horses joke there) and think you’ve negotiated yourself an incredible deal, think again. If the watch you’re interested in is advertised by official sites online for around £8,000, but then find another for £2,500, it is more than likely your dealing with a fake.

Credit: Luxe Watches

One of the easiest pieces of advice to give someone who is unsure whether they are about to purchase a fake or original wristwatch is make sure you know who you are buying from. It is always best to buy from a watch dealer you know are reputable (by reading reviews online – the more the better) and can visit, so that you can personally inspect the watch. So before you venture out, remember these guidelines so that you can rest easy and enjoy the luxury shopping experience!

To start, why not browse our selection of Rolex here!


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