There are many distinctly unique marks that can differentiate a real Rolex from the fake one. In this article, we will show you how to tell if a Rolex is real by examining some of the key elements of original Rolex watches.
You may be able to test the features directly when you take the help of a Rolex watch specialist at the time of buying. It is possible only when you buy from an authorized retailer in your city by walking into the store.
When you place an order online, it is better to opt for a store that is authorized by Rolex. Visit the store website and check for the credentials, selling history, customer testimonials, and physical address through Google maps and business listings.
How to tell if a Rolex is Real
1. Serial Number
The first aspect you can check with the Rolex watch is the sound of the seconds-hand movement. If you can hear any ticking noise, you can safely assume that it is not real. You may also observe a stuttering movement of the seconds-hand as it moves.
Rolex watch seconds-hand movement doesn’t stutter. There is one more thing you need to observe. You may have read that Rolex seconds-hand moves like a clean sweep, but it is not so. After doing much research on the Rolex watches, we found them to have eight movements per second.
Rolex has removed the mechanical stutter due to its precision placement of the jewels. They reduce friction of movement considerably. Rolex has mastered the art of this technology since its first watch.
Coordination between the seconds, and minutes had is the other aspect you can observe in a Rolex watch. The perpetual movement of eight-beats per second (8X60=480 beats per minute) remains consistent throughout.
Movement of the minute hand happens smoothly when the seconds-hand completes 60 seconds. There is no stutter. You can observe similar coordination between the minute-hand and the hour-hand.
If you are not sure of the movement flow, compare the Rolex watch with any other analog brand by keeping them close to each other. Now you can observe the difference between them clearly.
Upon careful observation, you can see the distance between the three hands is perfectly equal. Overlapping happens in a flow rather than with mechanical stuttering. On a fake Rolex watch, you can see the stuttering clearly. It is as if a frictional force is stopping the hands after every tick.
3. Hands Design
The Hands of Rolex watch is distinctly different from the others due to its handmade design. Observe the center of the hands. Most of the Rolex hands have a perfect circular design for the mounting point. It is from this point that the overlapping of hands starts.
Every hand is a Role watch has its own design pattern. In some of the models, the edge of the hour and the minute hand is a perfect triangle. In some watches like the Sea-dweller, the hour hand is like the 3-point-star. In watches like pearl-master, the hand design is a triangle along the length.
Observe the shape of the hand from the center to the edge. You can see a perfect triangle with a flat base. The shape is unique only to the Rolex watch hands. If you observe closely from the top, the hand will look like the edges of a pyramid from the bottom to the top with smoothly flowing edges.
You can consider any model of Rolex and you will see the same design in almost all of them. The key point is in the surface finishing. It has a smooth and bright surface with a lustre that is distinctly unique.
The other aspect you can observe is the shape of the angle between the hour-hand and minute-hand bottom when the time is 10:10. The wide V-shape is exactly at 60-degrees between the two hands. The best way to find is by using a digital or standard protractor.
Place the protractor centre at the bottom of the v shape and measure the angle. Keep it there for a couple of minutes to observe the smooth movement of the seconds and minutes hand. Observe the flow in movement. If you observe a stutter-less movement that is consistent, you can be sure this is how to tell if a Rolex is real.
You can repeat the same experiment with the coordination between the minute and hour-hand. Of course, the experiment will take almost one hour. You need to keep the protractor constant and observe the movement of minutes and hour-hand. The smooth of hands will tell you about the authenticity of a Rolex original.
4. Bezel Design
Rolex bezels are made of several design patterns. Most common among them are Fluted, rotating-timing, 24-hour, tachymeter, gem-set, and textured.
The fluted design will have distinct leaf-like engravings on the bezel. You can run your index finger along the circle and feel the engravings. The distance between each leaf-shape is exactly the same. The bezel shape is either a dome or flat.
Steel bezels are always flat. The clear distinction of an original Rolex is stated to be its sheen and luster. To know the effect, you need to hold the bezel at an angle of 45-degrees from your view. You can see the distinct variation of brightness at the 3 o’clock position.
It is relatively darker at that position. The luster seems to increase from that position to the six o’clock position. You can observe a similar design pattern on the flat bezels made of gold, platinum, and steel.
Rotating-timing bezel can be in one direction or two directions. You can tell the difference between an original and counterfeit by the smooth of movement. The locking mechanism for each unit of time is perfect. You can adjust the position the 12 o’ clock marker of the bezel with the minutes-hand in a smooth action. Such an action is stated to be impossible in a fake Rolex since you can experience stutters while rotating the bezel.
Tachymeter bezel design is almost similar to the rotating timing. The movement is similar to that of the slider on the calipers. You can experience the fluidity in motion, but it is also possible to position the reading values at specific positions without any error.
Gem set bezel is studded with precious stones or diamonds. A goldsmith or a jeweler can spot the difference between the original gems and the artificial gems. A fake Rolex can never have the authentic gems studded onto its bezel.
5. Case Back
Most of the Rolex watches have a flat case-back that is blank and opaque. The only place where you may find the pattern is on the gap between case back cover and the bezel-back seal ring. The serrated edge has evenly distributed small-sized teeth like structure along the circumference.
You need to feel the serrated edges by holding your thumb, index finger and the middle finger in the form a triangle over the edges. Rotate your fingers in the circular pattern. Then you can feel the evenness of the edges and the smoothness of finishing. If the Rolex is counterfeit; you can feel the difference in the granular structure. It is how to tell if a Rolex is real.
6. Crown Locking
The triple lock system will have four distinct seals from the crown to the interior. You may be able to feel them when you unlock the crown-head and try to adjust the date, time, and the chronograph settings.
The crown size is larger with three dots beneath the Rolex Crown logo. The gap beneath the crown and above the Rolex logo is a smooth triangle shape with curved sides and flat base. The serrated edges on the crown are shaped evenly with each other. You can literally feel them between your fingers when you rotate the crown for making watch adjustments.
In the case of double locking crown, the unlocking mechanism will be for making adjustments to the date and time. The distinct sealing mechanism beneath the crown will be clearly visible. It is how to tell if a Rolex is real.
Identifying a Real Rolex Watch | Case Design
Oyster Steel- 904L Grade
The luster of oyster steel will be distinctly visible when taking a look at the Oyster steel case. You can test its resistance by exposing to the saline water solution. There are two distinct methods of testing. The first method is to immerse it into a cup containing saline water for an hour or more.
If you don’t; dare to do that, wet a cloth with saline water. Keep the Rolex watch case back on the cloth for about an hour. Test the surface after wiping with a dry cloth. If it remains clear, you can consider this is how to tell if a Rolex is real.
If you don’t dare to conduct the water test, the next way is to apply a piece of wax on the case back and rub it with a soft cotton cloth. Don’t worry this won’t spoil the surface in any way. Rub it for a minute and take the cloth out. The entire wax will be absorbed by the cloth. There will be absolutely no wax on the steel surface.
You can test the corrosion resistance feature by exposing the watch to a hot and humid environment for at least 24 hours. Observe the condition of the watch after 24 hours. You may observe droplets of moisture on the case. Clean with soft cotton and you will see the steel with absolutely no stains. We have tried it with the original Rolex and found out it is how to tell if a Rolex is real.
One simple method of testing the gold case of Rolex is with a drop of vinegar. It is harmless and it won’t cause any damages to the case. Put two or three drops of vinegar on the case and wait for 15 minutes. Then you can wipe the drops with clean cotton. The original gold will shine while the fake gold will change its color slightly to become dull.
If you dare to take the risk, the next test is to put one drop of hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid over the gold case for 10 minutes. If there is no reaction, you can tell it is how to tell if a Rolex is real. Fake gold will show an immediate chemical reaction. You may conduct this test if you are sure of getting a replacement if the watch is found to be counterfeit.
One of testing the platinum case of Rolex is exposure to low Bunsen flame for a few seconds. If there is no color change or chemical reaction, you can be confident it is how to tell if a Rolex is real. You can take the help of a Rolex specialist for conducting this test within the safety limits.
You can check the quality of gens and stones on the case from a jeweler who can tell you whether they are original or counterfeit.
How to Spot a Real Rolex | Dial Design
The original crown on the Rolex dial will always have a 3-D effect. It is common for all the models. You can check its authenticity with the help of a magnifying glass. Observe all the five lines. The density of the line should be high at the base and thin at the top with a circular dome on each line.
The crown logo on a fake Rolex will be mostly limited to a 2-D print. Even if someone tries to make it into a 3-D design, you can clearly see the patches of imperfection. It is very important for you to have seen the original Rolex crown logo. Only then you will know how to tell if a Rolex is real.
The other important aspect of the original logo is the distance between five lines and the size of each line. For a real Rolex, both are equal and even. It is stated to be a hallmark of Rolex which is beyond the scope of counterfeit.
The date display window on an authentic Rolex watch is made of a magnifying glass that is unique. It is called the Cyclops. It is an original Rolex invention which has remained beyond the scope of counterfeit. The magnification will be clearly visible to your eyes at a distance of two or three meters.
According to Rolex, the magnification ratio is 2.5 times the original size. Though you may not be able to measure it, it will be distinctly unique. A counterfeit will never be able to have the same level of magnification that is unique to Cyclops. It is how to tell if a Rolex is real.
The dial color of Rolex will be mostly champagne, white, mother of pearl, blue, black or silver. These are the main colors of Rolex. You can also observe the hue and intensity of the dial color. It will be sharp and clearly visible.
The lighter colors will be monotone without much variation in the hue and intensity. The counterfeit models have never been able to imitate the style. One of testing is to expose the dial to the monochromatic white light of your tabletop lamp. Hold the dial at an angle of approximately 45-degrees to the light source. The light reflection from the dial face is always even. It will never be the same as the counterfeit watch.
Dial numbering of Rolex is Roman, Hindu-Arabic, or studded pearl/stone and embedded liens. The font of Hindu-Arabic or Roman numbers is generally large and visible from a distance. The other dial-markers are also distinct with a 3-D appearance. Generally, the color will be in contrast to the dial base color.
The Counterfeit models will never be able to duplicate the numbering system’s font, size or the style of the original. You can clearly see the difference between the first visual inspection. This simple test will show you how to Tell a Real Rolex.
The dial font of every Rolex watch will depend on the color of the dial base. According to our extensive analysis, the font comes close to GARAMOND in most common models. However, the font style will be completely different from the other watch models and brands.
Most of the fonts are almost straight, except for the text showing water resistance depth, which is very close to the Italics font. The other aspect is the capitalization of all the text, except for theft and m for showing the water resistance depth in feet and meters.
The Rolex bracelet material will be mostly the same as the watch case. It could be oyster-steel, platinum, gold, or the pearl-master. Every Rolex bracelet is unique in design and construction. The tapering is from the top to the clasp. You can also find multi-tone integration of colors on the bracelets.
The bracelet may show you one or multiple features which we have listed above. However, the features will be distinctly unique. They are resistant to all the tests which we listed out for the Rolex case as long as it is metallic.
The Hyde of Rolex leather material is stated to be distinctly unique which can be experienced only by the Rolex specialists. So, the best-suggested way is to contact an authorized Rolex dealer online to know more details.
Finally, here’s a video showing you everything we’ve talked about here on how to spot a fake rolex: