How to Spot a Fake Rolex. The Definitive Guide

How to Spot a Fake RolexA typical Rolex watch costs $10,000 or more when bought new. However, you can get great discounts and deals if you buy used or through a seller that has a sale going on. Getting a good deal on a Rolex watch involves careful bargain hunting but also requires you to know how to spot a fake Rolex. Unscrupulous sellers often try to pass counterfeits off as the real deal, and even some honest sellers might not recognize the difference between a real vs. fake Rolex. This guide will help you identify a fake Rolex so you can avoid paying a lot of money for something different than what you really want.

What do the Stampings Look Like on a Fake Rolex?

The first step in learning how to spot a fake Rolex watch is to check the stampings on the timepiece. A real Rolex has a precisely-cut serial and model number stamping with solid lines. By comparison, a fake Rolex often lacks the deep, precise lines on the serial and model number stamping. Additionally, all Rolex watches have the iconic crown and model name on the face of the watch. If you want a Day Date Rolex, you now know how to spot a fake Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day Date: if the model number isn’t cleanly etched and the Rolex crown doesn’t appear with the words “Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day Date,” you probably have a fake on your hands.

How Do the Hands Move?

Rolex creates top of the line precision watch components, while fake Rolexes tend to use lower-grade components that lack the Rolex stamp on them. Unfortunately, you can’t usually tell the difference in components unless you open the watch up and view the clockwork inside. Luckily, there is one surefire way to identify cheaper components without opening up the watch: check the movement of the hands. A genuine Rolex has smooth movement of its watch hands, while a fake often has jerky movements that mirror other watch types. The precision of a Rolex is especially important for watches like the Yacht Master, which are used for racing purposes, so checking the movement of the hands is essential if you want to know how to spot a fake Rolex Yacht Master.

Font Consistency

An authentic Rolex watch remains consistent in its crafting across the board. This means that the font type on all the text that appears on the watch should look the same. When you consider buying a Rolex Oyster Perpetual, how to spot a fake involves taking note of the consistency of the watch’s design. If you look at pictures of fake Rolexes, you will probably notice that different parts of the watch have slightly different fonts or spacing between different words. This is one of the easiest ways to spot a fake watch, as no amount of damage or wear can change font types. One of the best methods in how to know a genuine Rolex watch is to have a good eye for consistency and sharp attention to detail.

Magnifying Lens

Another trick in how to identify a genuine Rolex watch is to examine the magnifying lens, also known as the cyclops. This small crystal lens magnifies the date on a Rolex watch and always magnifies the number to a factor of 2.5. This is very important in certain watches, such as the Day Date or the Datejust. If you want to know how to spot a fake Rolex Datejust, look at the cyclops first. Fake Rolexes often lack the right magnification level. Additionally, as mentioned above, the font type on the date number may differ from the font used on other engravings and markings on the watch. If you find yourself wondering whether the font or magnification on a watch looks right, take it to a seller or expert who you trust.


Are you considering buying a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona but aren’t sure if you are handling a forgery or not, one of the keys on how to spot a fake Rolex Daytona is to check the weight. Rolex watches, especially cosmograph watches like the Daytona, have a heft to them due to the quality of materials used in their manufacture. A fake watch that somebody is trying to pass off as a genuine Rolex Crystal is likely to be lighter than average. If you have lined up a seller and aren’t sure of the weight of a genuine Rolex box or watch, seek out the aid of a seller that you know offers real Rolexes. You can feel the heft for yourself and then compare it to the potential counterfeit.

Water Resistance

All Rolex watches are designed to resist water to a reasonable depth, and models such as the Rolex Submariner are capable of working perfectly hundreds of meters underwater. A counterfeit Rolex might lack the ability to function properly underwater, especially as the pressure mounts. Unfortunately, people who want to know how to spot a fake Rolex Submariner might not have a good way to test a watch’s water resistance without destroying the possible counterfeit. However, you can still ask your seller about the water resistance and gauge that individual’s response to determine whether there might be some duplicity involved. A watch made with genuine Rolex parts is definitely water resistant as long as it has not been damaged in some way.

Back Casing

With only a few exceptions, the caseback of authentic Rolex watches are usually kept clear of engravings and special features. To determine how to spot a fake Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch, you can examine the caseback. Some counterfeit watches have a clear back to show off the gears in an attempt to look like an authentic used Rolex. Actual authentic watches of the Rolex brand rarely have a clear back, as this was only used in a few vintage models. Similarly, some counterfeit watches have engravings with Rolex branding in an attempt to look like an authentic Rolex. If you want to figure out how to know if a Rolex is authentic, make sure that the back of the watch is clear or, if it is not, that the seller has a good explanation for any markings.

Embedded Diamonds

Complicating the quest to identify an authentic Rolex is the fact that some Rolexes have diamond studs embedded on the watch face or band. Genuine Rolex bands do sometimes have diamonds, but they are also authentic diamonds. Some people who sell fake diamond Rolex watches might also use fake diamonds in the body or band. Of course, identifying the authenticity of a diamond can be just as easily as identifying genuine Rolex links on a band. Luckily, this is an area where a reliable seller or jeweler can help you. If you have a chance to get a seller to look over a Rolex Datejust with diamonds, for example, the appearance of fake diamonds would be a huge tipoff that the watch may not be authentic. This can help you determine the difference between a fake vs real Rolex Datejust.

Serial Numbers

In addition to identifying a genuine Rolex date wheel and other factors, you can also check the authenticity of a Rolex by checking its serial number. Every Rolex has a serial number on it, and you can verify the authenticity of Rolex serial numbers through the manufacturer. However, after 2009 Rolex decided to use a string of random numbers to create its serial numbers. This means that the only way to accurately perform a Rolex authentication is to bring the watch to a seller who deals in authentic Rolexes. That individual can tell you how to authenticate a Rolex and can check the specific watch you are looking at, so make sure to consult them for help when needed.

Finding a Reliable Dealer

In the end, the best way to figure out how to tell an authentic Rolex from a fake one is to consult a seller that you know to be trustworthy. This seller probably deals in authentic Rolexes and can help guide you on where to buy authentic Rolex watches if you can’t find what you need with that individual. The seller can also examine any Rolex watch you bring in to check for signs of a fake. To determine whether a particular seller is trustworthy, check customer reviews and examine the watches offered by that seller. In some cases, a seller might be able to show you the exact differences between a real vs. fake Rolex. This helps to provide you with a powerful ally in your quest to find the right Rolex for you.

Finding an authentic Rolex can be difficult, but the search can also lead you to some excellent deals if you take the time to look. Keep your eyes open, use the guidelines above, and seek out the help of a seller who deals in authentic Rolexes. By following this advice, you may be able to get a great deal on an authentic Rolex watch.