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How To Tell If A Rolex Is Real Or Fake?

Mar 12, 2019

A Rolex is one of the most recognizable luxury items in the entire world. So it’s no surprise then that there are so many counterfeits — and so many bad counterfeits — out there. In today’s article, Ron Samuelson of Samuelson’s Buyers & Estate Jewelry is going to take a closer look at what sets a genuine Rolex apart from a fake. You’ll learn a few key tips for spotting a fake and discover what experienced watch experts like Ron look for when evaluating a luxury timepiece.

Let’s get started.

Here I have 2 Rolexes in front of me. Or rather, 1 genuine Rolex and one bad fake. You might be able to guess which one is real and which one is fake (if not, the watch on the left is a fake).

Let’s look at the fake Rolex first. It’s not even a good fake. It’s honestly a very bad fake. Just look at the magnifier which isn’t magnifying anything. If you could see it running, you’d notice that the second hand doesn’t sweep smoothly the way a genuine Rolex does.

Terms to know:

  • Magnifier – Glass crystal that magnifies the date to make it easier to read

Now look closely at the crown of the fake Rolex. It’s faded and beat up.

Terms to know:

  • Crown – The small button on the right edge of the watch. In a mechanical watch, it’s used to wind the spring.

Here’s the genuine Rolex. Everything is shiny and the second hand sweeps properly.

The real Rolex is 18k gold and the gold goes all the way through the bracelet.

Terms to know:

  • Bracelet – Another common term for a watch strap or band.

Look again at the genuine Rolex (bottom) and the fake (on top). The fake is simply more beat up and less shiny than the true Rolex.

Quick tips for spotting a fake Rolex

At Samuelson’s Diamonds and Estate Buyers, we see a lot of Rolexes and other luxury watches come through our doors. I can usually spot a fake right away. But you should know, there are good fakes out there.

Here are the first things to look for to tip you off that a Rolex is fake:

  • Look for gold that’s dull, dingy, faded, and unpolished.
  • On a real Rolex, the second hand will sweep smoothly.
  • Most fake Rolexes will not have a real magnifier.
  • Real Rolexes will just look and feel well-made, heavy, and solid in your hand.

Buying a Rolex? Don’t get ripped off!

Because Rolex timepieces are so well known around the world, they’re among the most commonly counterfeited luxury items. If you’re looking to buy a Rolex, here’s how to avoid falling for a scam:

  • Buy from a dealer you trust — in person and never online.
  • Don’t buy when you’re feeling pressured. Any watch dealer worth his or her salt will never rush you to make a decision or use pressure tactics to get you to buy something you’re not in love with.
  • Do your research and if you find a deal that seems too good to pass up, well there’s probably a reason for that. Caveat emptor!

Come see us at Quarry Lake in Greenspring

If you’re in the market for a Rolex or other luxury watch, make an appointment and come see what we’ve got in stock. We’re also experienced watch buyers who will offer you top dollar for your Rolex if you’re looking to trade up to another timepiece or maybe buy another piece of jewelry.

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