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How To Spot A Fake Rolex: 10 Ways

How to Tell If a Rolex Is Real: 10 Methods - ItsHot

There are more fake Rolex watches than any other luxury watches. Fake Rolex watches have existed for decades, which has given scammers a lot of time to practice their replication tactics. While there was once a time you could tell a Rolex was fake from 20 feet away, these days it’s getting harder to know how to tell if a Rolex is real or not.

Rolex watches are a target of fakery because of the brand’s worldwide fame. Diamond Rolex watches have a reputation for quality and beautiful design, and their timeless presence has made them one of the most recognizable fashion status symbols of all time. So, how do you know if a Rolex is real? What does a fake Rolex look like? ItsHot has created a guide for you to find out how to identify replica and authentic Rolex watches.

It’s important to take all of the steps when determining if a Rolex is authentic. Even if the hands of a Rolex watch move and look like a real Rolex, and it’s made of real gold, it might not be 100% authentic. Clever fake Rolex sellers may obtain Rolex parts and put a fake case around it. So, here are things to check to tell a fake Rolex vs. real.

How to Tell If Rolex is Real
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If you hold the watch in question up to your ear, listen to the sounds it produces. If you hear the “tick, tick, tick” sound typical of many watches, that’s a key indicator that it’s fake. Does a real Rolex tick? What sound does a Rolex make?

It’s a common misconception that a Rolex doesn’t tick at all. All modern men’s or women’s diamond Rolex watches are mechanical watches, meaning they’re not battery-operated. There are two types of mechanical watches: manual and automatic. Both types of mechanical Rolex watches move with a sweeping motion. Rolex watches tick faintly at around eight ticks per second, which is much faster than typical watches. Some models may move slower or faster than others, but the ticks should remain fairly rapid.

Comparizon of fake and real Rolex watches Although Rolex ended its line of quartz watches in 2001, there are older models of Rolex watches that are quartz watches (such as the rare Rolex Oysterquartz watch). Since quartz watches are battery operated, a quartz Rolex watch will tick more like a typical watch.

If your watch has a distinct ticking sound and it’s an older model, it may still be real if it’s a Rolex quartz watch model. Either way, continue with the other verification steps to be sure your Rolex is real

Watch Hand Movement

If the second-hand moves in a twitchy or jerky way, it’s not a real Rolex; the second hand on a real Rolex will move in a smooth sweeping motion. The watch hands should move steadily, neither picking up speed nor slowing at any point.

  • If you look very closely, the movement of the hands of a real Rolex isn’t actually perfectly smooth. As previously mentioned, the watch hands on most real Rolex models will have 8 tiny movements per second.

The movement of a real Rolex watch takes hundreds of parts to create, which only the finest watchmakers can achieve. Many of the most realistic fake Rolex watches will consist of a mix of real and fake parts. Some fakes will have a real Rolex case, but fake movement inserted into it.

In other cases, the movement in a Rolex will be real, but the outside of the watch is fake. This is more likely to be the case with more expensive fake Rolex watches.

Front Text

The printed lettering on the front text on the Rolex watch face should be crisp and fine. There should be no blurring, crookedness, or uneven letters.

The spacing between the letters should be even, and the ink should not drip or bleed anywhere outside of the letters. Check the letters closely to look for any imperfections.

Notice the front text differences between these fake Rolex vs real Rolex pictures.

As you can see, on the fake watch pictured on the left, the “O” in “Rolex” is actually a Q, as are all of the other “O”s on the watch face. In the picture of the real Rolex on the right, you’ll see that the lettering is much more crisp and perfect.

Fake vs real Rolex models Some fake Rolex watches have a clear backside, usually made from a piece of glass. It may be concealed by a metal cover. A real Rolex will not have this glass backside, not even under the metal backing.

The only Rolex models with glass backings have been rare vintage models, and you’re very unlikely to encounter them. Counterfeit watch producers use a clear back to try to trick the customer into viewing the working components of the watch, banking on them being impressed.

Serial Number

To find the serial number on a Rolex, you will need to remove the band. You can usually do this by using a thumbtack or small object to push out the joint holding the band. You can also take it to a professional to do this if you wish to take extra cautions.

The serial number should be located between the watch lugs at the six o'clock position, at the end of the dial. An authentic Rolex watch will have a deeply engraved serial number. The serial number should be clean and crisp. Look at it from different angles—a counterfeit Rolex will have a worn-down or messy engraving.

Crown Etching (Watches made in 2002 and later only)

All Rolex watches made in 2002 and later will have a tiny etching of the Rolex crown logo at the six o’clock position. Use a magnifying glass and shine a light at it if you need to; it’s so tiny that it’s hard for most counterfeiters to reproduce it properly. On older models, the crown etching may be at the 12 o’clock location.

Fake and real Rolex watches comparizon The cyclops of a Rolex refers to the glass lens over the dial or window that displays the date. Many Rolex watches have a date display, though not all do. 

A real Rolex cyclops is a tiny magnification lens that makes the date more readable. If the glass over the day’s date does not actually make the numbers appear larger, it may be a fake.

  • The numbers on the date window should take up the entire space of the window. 
  • The cyclops on a real Rolex is convex, so you should feel a small bump when you run your finger over it.
Real Rolex watches should feel heavy. They’re usually heavier than fakes because they’re made of the finest materials.

Real Rolex watches use specific materials, for example, 904L stainless steel and 18k gold. There are no 10K Rolex watches or other steel alloys. Platinum Rolex watches will always be 950 platinum; which means 95% platinum. These materials aren’t lightweight.

Here’s a picture of a real Rolex, showing a two-tone combination of 18K gold and 904L stainless steel.

Difference between real Rolex watch and fake one

If you’re looking at buying a Rolex for $1,000 or less, it’s most likely fake. The Rolex brand name is known around the world, and few sellers would be silly enough to sell a real Rolex for a low price. The materials in a Rolex alone would be worth more than $1,000, even if the watch isn’t functioning. It’s a good idea to look online to compare prices for different Rolex models. These will usually be a good indication since there aren’t many people willing to sell a Rolex for an incredibly cheap price, no matter what.

Prices may vary for used or broken Rolex watches, but for a brand new Rolex watch, prices shouldn’t be under several thousand dollars. As an example, our cheapest men's Rolex watch for sale on our website currently is marked down to $5,950, and it’s over 30% off. Our cheapest women’s Rolex watch is a little over $4,000, and it’s on clearance.

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When buying Rolex watches in-store or online, it’s important to assess the seller’s credentials. A good Rolex dealer will have knowledge of Rolex watches and will have a solid reputation backed by good ratings. If you buy a Rolex watch from a dealer and you think it might be fake, compare it to the pictures on their website or in their store. If it does not look as perfect as the photos, you have every reason to be suspicious.

Sellers should provide pictures of the watch from every angle, and they should be crisp and clear. Be careful when buying Rolex from eBay or other similar sites where fake Rolex watches are common. A seller can get away with deleting their account after you buy the fake watch. Never be afraid to ask for more information from the seller. If their product is a genuine Rolex, they should be able to stand by it and answer any of your questions.

If You’re Still Unsure

There are some really good fake Rolex watches out there. The Rolex Submariner, for example, is one model that watch-makers have imitated using convincing materials and movements. It’s a good idea to take your watch to an expert who specializes in luxury watches who can safely look at the watch’s internal markings to identify it’s real.

If you have any questions on how to spot a fake Rolex or about Rolex watches or luxury diamond watches, feel free to contact us at sales@ItsHot.com.


ItsHot LogoDenis Stepansky
Founder of ItsHot.com

Denis Stepansky is a founder of ItsHot, a diamond jewelry and watches store based in NYC. He has been in the jewelry business for about 20 years and owns such high-end jewelry brands as Luccello and Luxurman. As a jewelry expert, he has citations on well-known magazines and newspapers like Insider and Daily Mail.

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