08.07.2021 - Rolex

How To Spot A Fake Rolex!

The Rolex brand is widely regarded as one of the most popular and influential watch brands in history. Over the years their value, popularity and affluence has continued to grow and the number of them sold each year is a sign of their quality and desirability. However their widespread demand and exclusive price tag has meant the much loved brand has become victim to counterfeit and fake Rolex’s.

Years ago it was quite easy to recognise a fake Rolex watch, but as time has gone by, counterfeits are becoming more sophisticated and harder to spot. You can no longer spot a fake Rolex a mile away and some counterfeits are so good they can only be identified once they have been disassembled.

Fortunately for you Luxe Watches has almost a decade of industry experience and we pride ourselves on our knowledge, expertise and competence of authenticating luxury watches. We would like to share our knowledge with you in a guide on how to spot a fake Rolex. In this guide you’ll learn how to identify a replica Rolex from a real one.


Why you shouldn’t buy a fake Rolex

Consciously buying a fake watch from the ‘black market’ (those who deal in counterfeit goods) is not a wise decision to make. Not only does it undermine the real talent and authenticity of original brands, but the watches are also constructed using cheap alternative materials.

Credit: Hotfrog

At the end of the day the purchase of a luxury watch is not solely made for the purpose of looking good (although that is a large motivator), but is also made with investment purposes in mind. Yet, if you were to purchase a counterfeit, every penny you have spent or are to spend is wasted and not retained, so it’s important to think before you buy.

Credit: A blog to watch

Weight and feel

All Rolex watches are either made out of deluxe precious metals (gold and platinum) or high quality materials, including Rolex’s very own stainless steel ‘904L’, a metal uniquely blended to emit a polished finish and withstand corrosion. Inexpensive materials are used to create counterfeit watches, and so the weight would be considerably lighter than an original, and the bracelet would feel slack, hollow and cheap.

Just as an example, an original Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner weighs approximately 153 grams, whereas a counterfeit only weighs around 124 grams.

Credit: Youtube- the Punisher

Imperfect font and features

If you’re looking online and cannot view the watch in person, it’s best to ask for some clear photos of the watch so that you can determine whether the watch is real. Always focus on features like the dial font, as this is a major tale telling sign. Rolex creates every watch with extreme accuracy, and so any font that is smudged, illegible, out of place or differing in size are huge indicators that you’re inspecting a fake.

Rolex’s iconic Cyclops lens feature is another characteristic that is extremely difficult to replicate and so a fake would either have an out of place Cyclops lens or none at all (but remember some vintage Rolexes and the Sea-Dweller do not have a Cyclops lens, so always check the official sites to see what features the watch should have if you’re not sure).

Rough engravings

As with the font, Rolex engravings are deep, neat and clean, whereas a counterfeit, (if it contains a serial engraving) would exhibit a more rough and unsteady engraving. The processes used to engrave counterfeits like ‘acid etching’ or using multiple tiny dot etchings degrades the quality of the final result.

There shouldn’t be any corrosion or rust around the serial engraving as Rolex’s very own steel was crafted specifically to prevent such wear. And lastly, Rolex never engraves the back of watchcases, so be wary – the case back should always be clear and smooth.

Credit: WatchFinder

Uncharacteristic ticking

Another physical sign you can look out for when inspecting a Rolex is the movement of the seconds’ hand. Rolex does not replicate the ticking motion of a typical watch. Instead all Rolex watches exhibit a sweeping motion. You can also listen to the ticking; there should be a faint ticking sound, however it should never tick on every second, but should instead sound like a sped up ticking noise.


A quick way to find out if a timepiece is a fake is to check the winder on the side. Basic counterfeit Rolex’s have a basic winder which moves both the minute and hour hands.

Genuine Rolex watches have beautifully crafted winders that are engraved in great detail.


Micro Etched Crystal Logo

In 2002, Rolex began micro etching a small Rolex crown at the 6 o’clock position on the crystal covering that protects the dial. The crown is so delicate and small that it is almost invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen with a magnifying glass or in the right light.

So if you’re considering buying a Rolex from 2002 onwards, look for this marking for proof of authenticity. The precision of this detail makes it hard for counterfeit watches to replicate. The rehaut of the watch  – the inner rim between the dial and crystal – is a great way to spot a fake as the text on this should be laser-etched rather than engraved. Always look for this unique feature when buying a modern Rolex.



With the exception of the Rolex Cellini series, all Rolex wristwatches are designed to handle water pressure to a minimum of 100 meters. 

Fake watches, on the other hand, are seldom waterproof, so testing the watch’s water-resistance is often a way to tell if the watch is fake or not. However an unserviced or old Rolex may have lost this quality and so this isn’t an ideal method to spot fakes by.


Credit: Chronext

Low pricing

Now this is a blatantly obvious sign, however it’s always good to remind you and reinforce this point. If you are about to close a deal on a Rolex for a couple of hundred pounds, do not close. Rolex’s are not cheap watches, even the cheapest and smallest Rolex, a ladies Datejust, retails for around £1,500-2,000. For the bigger watches like Submariners, GMT’s or Sky-Dwellers, the prices increase considerably.

If you find yourself feeling like Del Boy Trotter (Only Fools and Horses joke there) and think you’ve negotiated yourself an incredible deal, think again. If the watch you’re interested in is advertised by official sites online for around £8,000, but then find another for £2,500, it is more than likely you’re dealing with a fake.

Credit: Luxe Watches

One of the easiest pieces of advice to give someone who is unsure whether they are about to purchase a fake or original wristwatch is make sure you know who you are buying from. It is always best to buy from a watch dealer you know is reputable (by reading reviews online – the more the better) and visit their store, so that you can personally inspect the watch. 

There’s nothing quite like Swiss craftsmanship so if it sounds too good to be true then the chances are it’s a fake. So before you venture out to buy a luxury timepiece, remember all the tips you’ve learned from our how to spot a fake Rolex guide and you’ll be able to rest easy and enjoy your luxury shopping experience.

Why not start shopping now and check out the range of unworn and pre owned Rolex’s we have to offer. Or for more information and advice on buying a Rolex why not give us a call on 0203 397 1596 or visit is in our Epping Boutique in Essex.