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How to spot a Fake Rolex

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  • Suhail
    started a topic How to spot a Fake Rolex

    How to spot a Fake Rolex

    Special thanks to Mr. C. Jarman for permission to use this content to better educate TURF members and help them in making a wiser buying decision!

    How Do You Spot A Fake Rolex?

    Even before deciding to publish The Rolex Reference Guide, I had this question on my mind. As a collector of watches, I have had limited experience with seeing, being offered and almost buying fake or replica Rolexes over the past decade. During the past year of offering the RRG to the public, I have received many inquiries from Rolex enthusiasts asking the same question. In this section, I will attempt to give some assistance to those inquiries.

    First, I want to state categorically that there is NO single answer to the question of how to spot a fake Rolex. There are any number of factors that can tell the tale. Also, not all statements made below about Rolex watches are true of every single watch (ie- quartz movements, dial markings, etc). In years gone by, the easiest way to spot a fake was by looking at the second hand. If it "ticked" instead of moving smoothly around the dial, it was a fake (with the noted exception of a few Rolex-made quartz & Tru-beat models). Today, it's an entirely different story.

    Modern precision machinery and computer technology have ushered in an era of very "good" replicas for many well-known products -- from high end audio to clothing, sunglasses and of course, watches. A few of the "best" fake Rolex timepieces include midrange ETA movements and karat gold plating. No matter how good the copy or quality of the movement or how thick the gold plating, there is only one genuine Rolex brand -- and only Montres Rolex SA makes it. Here are some ways to spot a fake or replica Rolex:

    DIALS, DATE & HANDS

    Minute & hour hands are too short
    (Rolex minute & second hands generally extend to the outer border of the dial's hour markings)

    Minute markers are excessive space from outer border of dial
    (Rolex markers are generally only a couple of millimeters from outer dial edge)

    Date not properly magnified in cyclops
    (Original Rolex cyclops magnify the date 2x; Cyclops lenses are never crooked on crystal; Some genuine Rolex watches have replacement crystals, so don't let this be a singularly definitive test)

    Crystals not synthetic sapphire
    (Modern Rolexes have synthetic sapphire crystals. You can use a thermo-conductive diamond tester to prove whether or not the crystal is glass or sapphire. Sapphire will produce results similar to diamond. Other glasses will not)

    Date does not rollover at midnight or rolls slowly
    (Generally, the date on modern Rolex watches will "click" over within 4 minutes of midnight)

    Wind-back test failure
    (Most Rolexes with date functions will "wind back" the date at around 6:00pm if the hands are run couterclockwise around the dial)

    Dial lettering is crooked, fuzzy, misspelled or wrong font
    (Rolex original dials have properly positioned, sharp lettering in a standard font)

    Non-working registers on chronograph models
    (Unless there is need for repair, non-working registers means the watch is a fake)

    Fourth hand non-working on GMT Master/II
    (Unless there is need for repair, non-working 4th hand means the watch is a fake)

    Excessive stones (diamonds, etc) on a non-Presidential model
    (This one is subjective, but let's face it -- Rolex doesn't put pave diamond dials in two-tone Datejusts as a rule)

    Second hand keeps on ticking when stem pulled out
    (Generally, the second hand on a genuine Rolex will stop when the stem is pulled out)

    Most replicas use glass crystals instead of synthetic sapphire.
    (Glass crystals tend to give off a greenish tint when viewed across the top. Synthetic sapphire is "crystal" clear.)

    BEZELS

    Two-color bezel inserts on Submariners
    (Submariners do not have two-color bezels)

    24 hour bezel inserts on Submariner
    (Submariner bezel inserts are all 60 minutes; with some having the first 15min marked individually)

    Bi-directional bezels on Submariners
    (Modern Submariner bezels are unidirectional only; Earlier models such as the 5513/5512 will have bi-directional bezels)

    Bezel turns on Daytona
    (On all models and versions of the Daytona, the bezel should be non-rotating)

    CASES & BRACELETS

    Incorrect case ref# on a two-tone or solid gold watch
    (It's hard to tell on many, but keep an eye open for converted SS models)

    No case reference or serial numbers between lugs
    (With the exception of vintage & dress models, modern Rolex oysters have a case ref# at the 12 o'clock end and serial number at the 6 o'clock end)

    Two-tone Presidential bracelets
    (Rolex "President" bands come only in 18K yellow, 18k rose, 18k white, Tridor [tricolor center links] or Platinum)

    Stainless steel or two-tone Day-date models
    (The Rolex Day-date [aka President] is made only in 18k yellow, 18k rose, 18k white or Platinum)

    Incorrect case thickness on Explorer II #1655
    (The correct case thickness is 5mm; Many converted GMT cases (4mm) are used to fake rare #1655's)

    Clear caseback
    (Rolex does not attach see-through or sapphire casebacks to their watches)

    Heavily hallmarked casebacks
    (Generally, there are no hallmarks or other markings on an original Rolex caseback. Some older models will have case ref# and/or serial numbers stamped on the outside or inside caseback)

    Diamonds on the side of a case
    (Rolex does not set any diamonds on the side of its cases; Some genuine Rolexes have diamonds on the top of the lugs, though)

    Karat gold cases without gold content hallmarks, but having the Rolex name are likely not authentic.
    Oyster & Jubilee bracelets are almost impossible to distinguish as original and authentic. Therefore, there are no other specific notations on them.

    MISCELLANEOUShttp://www.tcjj.com/rrg/
    Last edited by harb; 21st April 2009, 11:22 AM.

  • SlimJim16v
    replied
    You can now order fake cases with your choice of serial number, shocking.

    Leave a comment:


  • rolaxed
    replied
    It's only a watchp

    Leave a comment:


  • snu04aml
    replied
    Cheers for the info!

    Leave a comment:


  • sub2012
    replied
    Thanks for the heads up

    Leave a comment:


  • DocBud
    replied
    At our local watch lovers forum, members who have Rolexes for sale generally agree to have their watches verified at the local RSC at the prospective buyer's expense. The fee is reasonable and miniscule compared to the projected acquisition cost of the watch in many cases. It may sometimes take a few days but in addition to verifying that the watch is real the RSC determines whether it has been reported stolen or not. Any member who does not want to have his watch verified quickly finds out that there aren't many takers. There are simply too many fakes out there and some are quite good. Even if the seller is a person of integrity and good repute, he may also have purchased a fake in good faith.
    Last edited by DocBud; 24th March 2013, 12:26 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Java
    replied
    Originally posted by marco View Post
    Sorry for the stupid question but if you make sure that the serial number of the watch is the same as the one given in the certificate, isn`t it enough to prove that the watch isn`t a fake?
    I think the Chinese mastered the art of printing variable certificate numbers some time ago.

    Leave a comment:


  • fish800
    replied
    Originally posted by marco View Post
    Sorry for the stupid question but if you make sure that the serial number of the watch is the same as the one given in the certificate, isn`t it enough to prove that the watch isn`t a fake?
    In a word? No

    Leave a comment:


  • marco
    replied
    Sorry for the stupid question but if you make sure that the serial number of the watch is the same as the one given in the certificate, isn`t it enough to prove that the watch isn`t a fake?

    Leave a comment:


  • eccollision
    replied
    great guide thanks

    Leave a comment:


  • thattallchap
    replied
    Originally posted by fish800 View Post
    Awesome photos Darren! Superb skills you have. I envy your ability but admire your skill
    Thank you, that's very kind.

    More luck than skill though mate

    Leave a comment:


  • fish800
    replied
    Awesome photos Darren! Superb skills you have. I envy your ability but admire your skill

    Leave a comment:


  • thattallchap
    replied
    Originally posted by WPDials View Post
    Just tried to do a Google search for "Rolex dealer". Try it. Don't know what you see on your screen, but out of 10 results on the 1st page I see 3 companies that are very shady.... Don't want to mention their names...

    (Google search varies geographically)
    Interesting

    I get WP Dials (USA)!

    Leave a comment:


  • fish800
    replied
    Originally posted by Java View Post
    So far in this thread, I have not seen anyone tell anyone that they are clueless.

    Although there my be instances where such a disclosure may be self evident.
    LMFAO! Brilliant!

    Leave a comment:


  • fish800
    replied
    Originally posted by harb View Post
    No, it isn't - and for that very reason you'll see that I had to delete the promotional link to your business website, as per our Forum Rules:
    Is it just me or can anyone else smell a troll?

    Leave a comment:

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