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It only takes a few clicks to find fake Rolex watches at extremely low prices on the internet. The counterfeits of the Swiss luxury brand have opened up a completely new branch of industry. Since these fakes are getting better and better, we would like to show you some pointers on how to spot an original Rolex from a fake.



How to recognize an original Rolex or a fake


All it takes is a few clicks of the mouse to reach the website of an online wholesaler where you can find fake luxury watches. As with so many things in life, supply and demand are the root of all evil in the field of counterfeiting Rolex watches. A Rolex is considered a status symbol and represents success. That's why many people dream of owning their own Rolex, but oftentimes cannot afford it. That is where the cheap imitations come in handy. Today, there are more Rolex fakes in circulation than all other watch brands combined.

In Germany, it is possible to buy forgeries of this kind without any problems. However, the resale of a counterfeit is a criminal offence. Many people also forget that the production of these low-quality watches usually doesn't occur under fair working conditions and also makes use of child labour. Therefore, we would like to make an appeal to anyone interested in buying a counterfeit luxury watch: Please do not buy fake watches! Although you might be able to deceive a large number of people around you with a well-made counterfeit, you cannot deceive yourself. Furthermore, the difference in price will quickly become clear in the quality and your fake model won't stand the test of time.


Original Rolex Submariner 116610LN next to a fake Submariner watch
ROLEX SUBMARINER 116610LN


Even if you wish to purchase an original Rolex and opt to buy it privately without any guarantee, the worst that can happen is that you might end up with a fake. That's why we'd like to offer some quick tips for checking the authenticity of any Rolex you're offered.


Tip 1: First check the dealer, then the watch

The easiest way to avoid the risk of spending a lot of money on a fake is to buy it from a trusted concessionaire or jeweller. It is best to avoid private sales or meet the seller at the jeweller of your choice to have the watch verified for authenticity. When buying online, you should pay attention to the seriousness of the respective dealer. At trustworthy retailers such as Watchmaster, the watches offered are checked and certified for authenticity by master watchmakers before they are offered for sale.


Tip 2: A Rolex is perfect

Rolex is the flagship of the luxury watch industry. The brand with the crown has more than earned this reputation, because timepieces manufactured by Rolex are perfect in all respects. There are no unpleasant, sharp edges, no blurred letters on the dial and definitely no slipping indexes. Examine watches very meticulously. If there is anything about a "Rolex" that is not perfectly crafted to the finest detail, you should be careful. Naturally, this is more difficult if there are signs of wear on the case, which older models may well show and are not immediately a sign of a fake.


Tip 3: Feel and weight of the watch

Often counterfeit Rolex watches are unmasked the very first time they are picked up. Cheap movements and inferior materials cannot weigh the same as a genuine Rolex and simply feel cheap. They may even clatter and shake. Even the grooves are imprecisely made and on the whole, the watch just doesn't feel real. The rule of thumb here is that not every watch that has the correct weight is automatically an original, as lead can be added to the movement. Conversely, any watch that doesn't weigh enough is definitely not genuine.


Tip 4: The date magnifier

If a Rolex model has a date magnifier, it will magnify the number underneath by 2.5 times – no more and no less. In addition, the number is very sharp and has clear, clean lines on its edges. If this is not the case, the watch is most likely a fake.


Blue dial of a Rolex Datejust II 116300 with cyclops lens
ROLEX DATEJUST II 116300


Tip 5: A Rolex does not tick

One of the best indicators for identifying a counterfeit is the sound of the timepiece. Hold the Rolex to your ear and listen. If you can hear the classic ticking of a wristwatch, then it is a fake Rolex. The second hand of a luxury Rolex watch moves in a fluid motion across the dial and does not produce the classic tick-tock sound of a jumping second hand.


Tip 6: Automatic calibre

With the exception of very old timepieces and some Oysterquartz models, every Rolex has a self-winding calibre. In the 1930s, Rolex developed automatic movements, which is why many of the brand's series were soon equipped with such a mechanism. So, if someone offers you a Rolex Daytona with a brand-new battery, you should quickly go on your way.


Tip 7: The price of a Rolex

The unpleasant truth is that a Rolex is in the upper price segment of luxury watches and therefore not cheap. Quality has its price and that will not change. Even used Rolex models with clear signs of wear and tear start only in the thousands. If you come across a particularly cheap offer for a Rolex that seems too good to be true, then it probably is. An original Rolex never costs "only" a few hundred euros – and especially not a desirable or new model.


Tip 8: The serial number

The serial number of a Rolex makes it possible to identify each individual model. On older Rolex models, this number is engraved on the outside of the case, so the bracelet must be removed to check it. On newer models, the serial number is engraved on the flange, the inner part of the bezel, at 6 o'clock. A simple check for authenticity can be done without having to go to the concessionaire: If the serial number is poorly engraved or even completely untraceable, don't bother with the watch.


Serial number on the inner part of the bezel of a Rolex Submariner 116613LN
ROLEX SUBMARINER 116613LN


Tip 9: The inside of a Rolex

Usually only watchmakers get a look at this part of the watch: the movement. However, this will always reveal whether a watch is an original or an imitation. Even though very good replicas have a certain water resistance and an automatic calibre, even resourceful counterfeiters cannot match the quality of Rolex movements. However, if the movement is visible to you through a sapphire crystal case back, it is definitely a fake, because Rolex does not offer models with see-through case backs. Nevertheless, an inspection of the movement by an experienced jeweller or watchmaker is essential in most cases.



Use caution during private watch sales


In conclusion, it can only be said once again and emphatically: Counterfeits are constantly improving and even experts often can only identify them from the original by opening the case. Do not give counterfeiters and dealers of imitations a chance. Instead, rely exclusively on trustworthy jewellers and secure sales platforms such as Watchmaster. However, if you would still like to make a private purchase, please refer to this or our general guide for help to identify original and fake watches.