One of the main ways that you can identify a counterfeit Rolex is by looking at the wristwatch’s caseback. Many counterfeit Rolex wristwatches have clear casebacks made out of either plastic or glass that allows you to look at the inner-workings of the watch. The caseback of an authentic Rolex is never clear or see-through and is made up of solid metal material.
Another common telltale sign of a counterfeit Rolex is the engraving on the caseback. An authentic Rolex will not have any engraving on the caseback – except for the Sea Dweller. The Sea Dweller has the following engraved in an arc-like fashion: “ROLEX OYSTER ORIGINAL ESCAPE VALVE”.
2) Hologram Sticker
Another element to consider in your check for authenticity is the hologram sticker printed on the back of the caseback. An authentic Rolex will feature a crown in the middle and a serial number below it. The background should have a repeating Three-Dimensional ‘ROLEX’ pattern on it. The hologram should be easy to identify if you view it on different angles, and the background should change depending on the view. Many counterfeit Rolex wristwatches do not have this 3D feature, and will likely have a background that is not holographic at all.
3) Serial Number
Every authentic Rolex has a unique serial number and a reference number that can be found by taking the bands off. The reference number can be found near the ‘12’ of the clock’s dial and the serial number can be found near the ‘6’ of the clock’s dial. For more information, visit the serial and reference number guide.
The hand movement in the dial of the wristwatch should be smooth – not ticking. The movement in an authentic Rolex is extremely fast–about 8 times per second–so it looks very smooth to the naked eye. However, in the recent years, many counterfeit Rolex wristwatches also have mastered this smooth movement of the hand, so it might be necessary to open up the back of the wristwatch and observe the movement that way. The exception to this rule is the Oysterquartz, which is the only line of authentic Rolex wristwatches that has a quartz movement.
5) Wear and Tear
An authentic Rolex is made up of gold and silver; thus, it does not easily scratch or wear off. Some counterfeit watches have gold or silver painted over an inferior metal, so look carefully for signs of wear and tear — if any part of the gold or silver is wearing off, then you have a fake Rolex in hand.
An authentic Rolex is made up of gold or stainless steel, which are much heavier than the metal used in many counterfeit watches.
7) Cyclops Lens of the Date
A notable element in the Rolex Datejust and DayDate is the cyclops lens attached to the crystal in the face of the wristwatch. These lens magnify the date written by 2.5 times. Many fakes often use only 1.5 magnification. Although this may be hard to tell with the naked eye, if you place an authentic and a fake side-by-side, you will be able to easily tell the difference. The date should overwhelmingly fill the cyclops lens — on many fakes, the numbers in the date do not do this. Some fakes are now using bigger fonts to give the illusion of the magnification, so be sure to look even more closely at the lens before purchasing.
Or, take your watch to an appraiser.
If you’re still in doubt about the authenticity of your Rolex, it might be a good idea to find an appraiser to have your watch professionally examined. Get in touch with a professional jeweler here at RK & Co. to make sure you’re looking at a real Rolex watch.