Quora answers – How to spot a fake Rolex?


When it comes to counterfeiting there are very few things that trump a Rolex. As popular it is also the most copied watch brand in the world. While buying a new one is relatively safer as one would buy or rather should by from an official showroom it is the pre-owned ones which one should vary of. Thomas shares some tips on how to identify the takes.

Unfortunately, fake Rolexes can get really good. Rolexes have a very high re-sale value and are more often than other luxury watch brands purchased by people with little experience with the market, so it can be worth it for frauds to invest in making a good fake.

In fact, there are more fake Rolexes produced worldwide than there are real ones.

Good news is, the vast majority of them aren’t terribly well-made, and can be spotted if you know what to look for.

– First and foremost, know the watch you’re looking to buy. This will help you spot inconsistencies. Such as when someone offers you a stainless steel Day-Date. Only 10 of these were ever made, the rest were in gold or gold+steel, so if you’re being offered one in stainless steel, it’s almost certainly fake. Make note of things like what hands are used, what variations are available (for instance, the Submariner is available with and without a date, but the GMT Master is only available with a date), and any relevant design details, helps you spot a fake.

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– Weight. Fake watches use cheaper materials to reduce price, but cheaper materials also tend to be lighter. If a watch is very light, it is likely to be fake.

– Price. Rolexes are expensive, so if someone is offering for a price that is so low that it is too good to be true, it is probably too good to be true.

– Second hand movement. A Rolex second hand should sweep in a near-fluid motion, not “tick” along. If it does, it is most likely a cheap quartz movement.

– On newer models, from 2002 onwards, Rolex add a very small micro-etched crown (from their logo) on the crystal (the “glass”), right by the 6 o’clock. It’s small, so easy to miss, and hard to reproduce for fakers.

– Details and craftsmanship. Rolexes go through rigorous quality control, so any misspellings, skewed lettering, misaligned cyclops bubble (if the watch has a date function), or signs of bad craftsmanship are all indicators of a fake.

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But, like I started out with writing, there are some very good fakes made, so the only way to be really sure is to buy from a reputable store, or, if you’re buying a used watch, take it to an authorised Rolex dealership for authenticity verification (the shop will most likely charge a fee for this, but it’s worth it). Never pay for a watch before having it checked, as most Rolex dealerships will not give you the watch back if it is fake, but will send it off for destruction. After all, the production and sale of counterfeit products is illegal in most countries.

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