The Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch comes in many models with the original classical design. Our aim in this article is focused on how to tell if a Rolex is real Oyster Perpetual, based on specific parameters. Some of them are generic to all the models, while the others are specific to individual models.
Typically, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a luxury wristwatch that never goes out of fashion. It might interest you to know that this timepiece has been to the apex of Mount Everest, thrown into the bottom of Pacific Ocean and baked to Five Hundred degrees F, and after all the torture, it still looked and performed excellently.
For the record, Rolex generally retails between $5,000 and $10,000, therefore, remember the old saying, “you get what you pay for” whenever your friend says you can buy one for just $1,000.
However, apart from the price, there are numerous ways you can tell if a Rolex is real Oyster Perpetual, and that’s what we’ll be focusing on in this article.
How to Tell If a Rolex is Real Oyster Perpetual | Generic Parameters
1. Hologram Test
The original Rolex Oyster Perpetual (ROP) Crown hologram (on the case-back) has a 3-D view with its unique colors and shades. It creates a virtual sense of shift when you change the angle of view. The counterfeit will never be able to match this authentic creation from Rolex.
2. Moisture Test
The stamping and machining procedures on the ROP middle-case (Oyster steel, platinum, or 18CT-Gold) makes it extremely waterproof. Take a pipette tube with a few drops of clean water and spread it over the middle-case-back.
You can see the water forming a single droplet after a few minutes. The counterfeit will never have this feature and the water sticks onto the middle-case-back. You can observe the same phenomenon on the dial window glass made of sapphire crystal.
3. Winding Crown Design
Hold the ROP in front of your eyes with its winding crown facing you. You can see the embedded logo of Rolex Crown. It is made of five columns projecting from the oval crown base. All of them thin towards the top evenly. The distance between them is equal from bottom to the top spherical head. There is also a rectangular 3-D shape just beneath the crown base.
Observe the sheen on the winding crown top and feel the metallic softness on the body you can see two distinct colors of silver and dark black at the bottom and top. Black covers all the five columns at the base. These features are to be seen only in the original ROP. It is stated to be one method of how to tell if a Rolex is Real Oyster Perpetual.
4. Bezel Design
The ROP bezel could be fixed, rotating, 24-hours, tachymeter, seconds-time-zone, or diving time. All the bezels are fluted with long pyramid-like projections. As you move your index finger over them, it is possible to feel the equidistance between the tops. These are some of the distinct features of ROP which the counterfeit can never have.
5. Bracelet Design
The metallic bracelet of ROP will carry the Rolex Crown logo somewhere near to the clasp. The pattern is somewhat etched and embedded onto the bracelet. You can clearly feel the micron size projection of the entire crown with your finger.
The clasp has a safety latch and a folding (slim and long) clasp that locks the bracelet with your wrist. The design is so unique to ROP that the others can’t even think of making a counterfeit anywhere near to its quality.
The key aspect you have to observe is the three-layered links on the bracelet. Their shapes could be different for the various models. But the most common features are the center and edge links.
Hold the ROP in such a way that its face is towards you and the position is straight. Observe the link structure. The width of the center links is greater than the edge rings. The edge links are longer than the center links
The center and edge links will have two distinct layers at the top and bottom. The top is fully visible, while the bottom front and edge t is the only part you can see. Overlapping of the center links with each other is smooth. The two edge links get locked smoothly with the lugs on either side.
6. Dial Fonts
7. Dial Design
Almost all the ROP will have a minimalist plane dial design with moderate brightness. Polishing and finishing of the dial top will have the effect of a shining random from the 12 o ‘clock to the 6 o’clock indicator when exposed to sunlight.
You can see the shape when you hold the dial at an angle of 45-degrees from your eyes’ horizontal gaze. The shape is unique to the ROP models and it is impossible to imitate on a counterfeit watch. It is of one way how to tell if a Rolex is Real Oyster Perpetual.
8. Case Back Design
ROP has a twin layer case back design with a raised round mid-case. The etchings around the mid-case bottom are evenly spaced and their heights are also equal. The top of the case back is has a flat design with no engravings of letters or symbols. It may look like a simple design, but it cannot be copied by any of the counterfeit watches. The etchings are either flat or too raised above the Rolex standard level.
Fake vs Real Rolex Oyster Perpetual | Model 31
Dial Color: Red-grape dial color with the micron-sized granular design is the hallmark of ROP 31. The section beneath the 12 o’clock Rolex Crown symbol is relatively darker in shade and so is the section above the 6 o’clock indicator.
The section from the dial center to 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock is somewhat lighter in shade. Hence, it reflects more light and looks brighter. The counterfeit dial can never match the finest aesthetic design of the original.
Dial Indicators: The XII o’clock indicator is replaced by the Rolex Crown logo. It is pure white and has a twin layered ring crown base. The outer ring is a red grape line, which covers only the semicircle. The white Rolex Crown is typically 2-D and bright.
The middle column of the crown top is very close to the minute indicator on 12 o’ clock position while the others spread out evenly on the left and right. It is very clearly visible and you can identify it from the counterfeit almost immediately.
All the other time indicators are in light red-grape while the 3 ‘o clock, 6 ‘o clock and 9 ‘o clock indicators are etched in pure white. None of the counterfeit watches can match the finest design pattern. There are always differences in the shade, crown design, and the time indicator shapes and sizes.
Bracelet Design: The bracelet is a flat 3-piece link. The links overlap each other with a small gap in between. The length of all the links are almost the same, but the center links are wider.
Bracelet Resistance: One way of testing the Oyster steel bracelet is to use a drop of mild hydrochloric acid on it. Let it stay for a minute and wipe off with a thick tissue. Then you can observe the surface. There will be absolutely no reaction from the metal. If you are scared of doing it, you can try the mixture of lemon concentrate and vinegar.
The counterfeit metal can get a dot on the surface which you may have to clean with baking soda. The original oyster steel will enhance the shine of the material and leaves no stains. It is one way of how to tell if a Rolex is real Oyster Perpetual.
Watch hands: The small screw at the dial center holds the hour, minute, and second-hands together. It is so tiny that you may not be able to use any of your tools to unscrew it. It resides on the Seconds-hand and goes down to pass through the dial base.
The immaculately cut and shaped hour and minute hands resemble extended pyramids. It is a typical ROP design which can never be counterfeited by the fake watches.
Hand Movement: 2231 perpetual movement makes the seconds-hand smooth without mechanical impedance. The sweep test will tell you about the authenticity of the ROP watch.
Perpetual Rotor: The ultimate test of how to tell if a Rolex is real Oyster Perpetual is the rotator. The authentic watch works on an automatic winding system which needs no manual intervention. A counterfeit watch needs manual winding since they cannot copy the design of perpetual movement. It is the hallmark of identifying the Rolex Oyster perpetual. You can also test the power reserve feature that works for 48 hours without break.
Bezel Design: ROP designers have worked really hard to create the dome design of the bezel. Though it may look like any other bezel, the density, and aesthetics are distinctly the hallmarks of ROP 31. As a practical test, you can compare it with the other brands. You will always find the bezel to be different. Counterfeit watches can never have such a design.
Water Resistance: It is another critical test for how to tell if a Rolex is real Oyster Perpetual. Wear the watch and get into the pool water. Swim for 40 minutes or just keep floating with the watch immersed in the Chlorinated water.
Wipe the watch with a dry cloth and see how well the watch is functioning with no water leaks. You may (if you dare) put the watch in a water tank filled with seawater. Or you may wear the watch to the sea swimming exercise and wear it for 40 minutes. Dry the watch after coming out and test the leak and working condition.
Other Rolex Models
Water resistance depth may increase for the other models from 100 meters to 500 meters and above. The common features are the sapphire crystal dial window glass and 3-stage winding crown and perpetual movement. If you opt for a gold or platinum case, a jeweller will know how to tell if a Rolex is real Oyster Perpetual.
For a better understanding of this topic, here’s also a video showing you how to easily spot fake Rolex watches: