If you’ve been following our series on Rolex timepieces, you know by now that Rolex is undoubtedly the worldwide leader in its industry. Unfortunately, that level of notoriety also means Rolex is the most counterfeited watch brand in the world. If you are in the market for a used Rolex, it is critical that you are able to recognize red flags that may indicate inauthenticity, or at the very least, decrease the watch’s value.

How to Spot a Fake Rolex Watch

7 Ways to Spot a Fake Rolex Watch

  • Irreplaceable. Check with a certified Rolex dealer to determine if any of the parts of the watch have been replaced. If the answer is yes, this will cause the value of the watch to go down. While it might make sense to replace watch parts that need it, doing so impedes that overall value of the Rolex.
  • Feel the weight. Rolex uses only the highest quality materials, so the weight of the watch should feel heavy considering the crystal and precious metals. If the watch feels too light, it is likely a fake.
  • Smooth as butter. Be sure to feel the surface of the face of the watch. The crystal Rolex uses is, again, high quality and should feel incredibly smooth to the touch. Also, ask the dealer if the crystal has been replaced. Original crystal will make the timepiece higher in value. Keep in mind that some of the older Rolex watches have patina crystals that are slightly yellow.
  • Tick – tock. Rolex prides itself on the mechanic precision of all its watches. Therefore, the Rolex you are considering should run smoothly. If there is any ticking motion or rugged movements of the piece, it is best to move on to another Rolex.
  • Dated. Another recommended way to spot a fake Rolex watch is to look at the appearance of the date. If the numbers are crooked or difficult to read, it is a fake. Everything about a real Rolex watch will appear perfect.
  • Do your research. If you can pop off the bracelet, you should be able to locate the reference and serial numbers of the Rolex on the top and bottom of the case. These numbers can be researched and can verify that all the parts of the watch including the bracelet, bezel and design, match up.
  • Go with your gut.  If the price seems too good to be true; it probably is. And if you get an uneasy feeling from the dealer, or the location of the dealer seems odd, find another Rolex dealer instead.

Because Rolex watches hold their value so well, there’s both a market for used Rolex watches as well as opportunities for counterfeiters. Having solid knowledge and awareness of what to look for when you shop can ensure that your future Rolex purchase is a good one.