How to Spot a Fake Rolex

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How to Spot a Fake Rolex

Nowadays you can purchase a Rolex watch just about anywhere in the world for just about any price. While some of these watches are laughably easy to spot as fakes, many appear to be a genuine Rolex.

So how can you spot a fake Rolex?

One of the simplest clues to spotting a fake is the case. With very few exceptions, produced in the 1930’s for exhibitions, a genuine Rolex never has a clear case back or display to reveal the inner workings. Another clue can be seen in the “Cyclops” lens placed over the date display. A genuine Rolex lens gives 2.5 magnification of the date aperture, while a fake will give at most 1.5 magnification. Be warned though that some counterfeiters will increase the font used for the date to give the illusion of greater magnification. From 2002, a genuine Rolex will have a 3D hologram attached to the case back, while a fake sticker will only show the same view, regardless of the viewing angle.

In 2002 Rolex also introduced a tiny crown logo etched onto the crystal in the 6 o’clock position. However the logo is not present on all Rolex watch models.
If you look under the Rolex crown logo at the end of the winding wheel, you will see 3 very small dots engraved, if your watch is a genuine Rolex, that is. The 3 dots indicate that the watch has the extra Rolex triplock seal in the threads of the winding crown tube. Of course both genuine Rolex and counterfeit watches have serial and case reference numbers engraved between the lugs on the side of the case, but examine these closely and the fake engraving will appear to be rougher compared to the genuine Rolex article.

Take a look at the hand movement of the second hand. A genuine Rolex has a very smooth movement, while a fake will often display small, jerky movements. The lettering on the face of a genuine Rolex also has extremely clean edges.The glass on a genuine Rolex is made of quality sapphire crystal, while many counterfeiters will simply use glass. Apply a smear of water to the crystal and if the water pulls together, you can be reasonably sure that the front is sapphire. Finally, a real Rolex is relatively heavy and the links on a genuine model will be solid, unlike the hollow links often found in fakes.

So what’s the best advice? Check out the items above, but, as with most things in life, if the price for that Rolex seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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