08.07.2021 - Rolex

Top tips to spot a fake Rolex watch

Rolex is one of the world’s favourite luxury brands. The Swiss company, which has been around since 1905, is very popular with British royals, celebs and the country’s elite and therefore is always a target for counterfeiters.

The Rolex Submariner and models from the modern Datejust collection are key targets for these replicas, with many emerging from China. Even the machinery used to create the watches is now being replicated!

Which is fake?

With waiting lists for certain Daytonas years long and some on sale for more than twice the £9,500 retail price, a growing market for fakes is emerging.

To help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud, here are a few subtle things to look for when you purchase a Rolex watch


Like most luxury accessories, genuine Rolex watches are quite heavy, especially when compared to the lightweight fakes. This solid weight is due to the watch’s quality material. 

If it seems too light, it’s most definitely a fake. Rolex uses 904L steel for its watches whereas most counterfeiters use 316L steel.

However, some scammers are producing Rolex watches using the exact same grade of steel as the real ones, making it really hard to spot the genuine article. 


A mirror finish should be pristine and the end links of the bracelet must fit perfectly within the case although with some vintage models this isn’t the case as there may be a slight gap. 

A watch that is covered in scratches is a no-go as Rolex as 904L steel does not marks easily.

One great tip is to look out for the ceramic bezel. Rolex coats each one in a layer of platinum dust, making it shimmer slightly. Counterfeiters are so far unable to mimic this.


A genuine Rolex watch will always offer smooth movement. The slightest hint of a stuttering second hand should be the biggest warning sign.

If it says ‘perpetual’ on the face, then it shouldn’t tick. All Rolex watches are automatic with the exception of Rolex’s Oysterquartz watches, which are now discontinued. 


For a quick way to find a fake check the winder on the side. Basic counterfeit ones just have a basic winder which moves both the minute and hour hands.

Genuine Rolex watches have beautifully crafted winders that are engraved.

Etched logo

At the 6 o’clock sapphire glass laser etched rolex crown on the glass in tiny dots at different depths. To the naked eye you can’t see this crown unless you know about it, so if you can see it clearly, it’s game over.

The rehaut of the watch  – the inner rim between the dial and crystal – is a great way to spot a fake. Text on this should be laser-etched rather than engraved.


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. 

Serial numbers 

The serial number on a genuine Rolex always deeply marked on the watch on the rehaut at 6 o’clock.

The numbers on many replica watches are faint or made up of little dots due to a cheap manufacturing process. You can find out the number of the watch you want by checking it online.

We can help

The easiest way to prevent the purchase of a counterfeit wristwatch is to buy from a reputable seller. Here at Luxe Watches we pride ourselves on only dealing with genuine models. 

Our in-house buyers inspect each of our watches meticulously. If you have any doubt as to the authenticity of your Rolex, we can help you find a genuine new or pre-worn luxury watch today.