Rolex is one of those watchmakers who have made classic iconic watches since day one and will continue to make more exceptional timepieces. However, as we all know, they come at quite a cost these days and this unfortunately is one of the reasons there are so many fake/replica Rolex watches in the world. We’re not here to discuss whether you should or shouldn't buy a fake watch, we simply want you to understand how you can check to see if your Rolex or the Rolex you’re considering buying is authentic. With modern day technology, fake Rolex makers are getting scarcely accurate and we want to make sure you know how to spot a fake!

Real and Fake Rolex

Source :  Orion Watches

The first thing you want to do is pick the watch up and have a look at it, does it feel like a high end watch, is the detailing on the dial well finished and does the watch wind properly? Whilst a well made fake Rolex from a distance looks identical, when you have the watch in your hand you can inspect it and look for any potential flaws. Rolex can sometimes have small defects or quality control issues but these are very rare so if you look at an image of your Rolex watch on the Rolex website you can compare the details. 

Extern authenticity

One area fake Rolex models usually get it wrong is the cyclops lens and the way the bracelet fits the case. Often you will see that the cyclops is not perfectly lined up on the date window so this is an easy giveaway. The cyclops lens of a Rolex magnifies the date by a factor of 2.5 so if you notice that the size of the date without looking through the cyclops is quite large, it’s likely a fake. A Rolex watch takes many weeks to make and takes hours of craftsmanship, a fake will cut all the corners to make money so the attention to detail is not nearly at the same level as Rolex.

Real and Fake cyclope

Source : The Watch Standard

 If you look at the real vs fake Rolex Submariner, you can quite clearly see that the real Rolex has a bracelet perfectly made to fit the case while the fake doesn’t. At a first glance, it looks identical but upon closer inspection you can notice the difference, the authentic Rolex’ bracelet has a perfect intertergration to the case but the fake one has the bracelet lower than the lugs.


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Real and Fake series numbers

Source : Bob's Watches

If you remove the bracelet from the case, you will see that the Rolex reference number for your watch is engraved on the case. Rolex makes sure that the engraving is done flawlessly and there are no rough edges, unlike fakes which are done with basic laser engraving technology.

Help from the Rolex specialists

The downside to all these methods relies on you knowing what the real version looks like and having spent a decent amount of time with it. Without knowing exactly what the authentic Rolex looks and feels  like, it will be quite hard for you to tell. There are many options you can choose from if you’re concerned about the authenticity of your Rolex. You could always take it into your local Rolex AD and hopefully they can help you. Otherwise, a reputable grey market dealer will know exactly what to look for as they have thousands of people trying to sell them fakes anyway so they will be able to help you. Another issue is, even some of the high grade fakes can be hard to tell apart from the authentic Rolex’, however, the biggest and easiest way to tell is looking inside of the watch. 

Real and Fake calibrer

Source : Watchfinder

Obviously, if you’re not a watchmaker or have the tools to do this, it’s not going to be easy but it will tell you for sure whether the watch is authentic or not. The best way to go about this option is to visit your local AD or a watch dealer that specialises in Rolex watches, both of them will be able to help you out. Once the case back is removed all becomes clear, even the highest grade fakes cannot replicate the Rolex movement. At a first glance the two might look similar but no more than 10 seconds looking and you can see the sloppy poor quality that the fakes movement is due to the machine finishing being much rougher on the fake. Nowhere near the high standards of a well made Rolex movement. 

Real and Fake logo

Source : The Watch Standard

The last key way to verify whether your Rolex is real or not is one of the most practical ways, it will help if you have a magnifying glass though! If you’re Rolex was made from 2001 onwards, you will notice at the 6 o’clock position a laser etched Rolex crown, this was created to make it very hard for replicas to copy because the laser etched crown is done at different depths and costs a lot to do, something a fake with be looking to cut corners on. Rolex makes sure to do the engraving ever so delicately done with lots of dots, not a solid line and with extreme precision. However a fake will usually do it all joined up instead of the dots like Rolex making it much more obvious it's not from Rolex.

These methods will help you to check to see if  your own Rolex or future Rolex watch is authentic or not. The main thing to do is do your research on your watch and know what the real one looks like,  that way you’re more likely to notice if something isn’t quite right. But if you really want to put your mind at rest, take a visit to your local AD and they’ll be able to help you verify the authenticity of your watch!