Spot A Fake
Is the Rolex on the guy sitting next to me a real Rolex? You probably have asked yourself this question alot of times. Whole new levels of counterfeit watches have entered the watch market place making it very difficult to identify them. The top level quality of these fakes is so good that they are almost impossible to be distinguished from the genuine.
Our team compared a genuine Rolex to a Swiss hand made replica. After 3 hours of inspection we came up with the following results. Having a Swiss hand made replica for an eye inspection without opening the case back it’s impossible to tell if it’s a replica or not. We tried to find a notable difference even using a magnify glass but nothing was notable enough to make the difference.
Our Swiss Rolex replica was equipped with the new Rolex clone 3135 movement. After we open up the two watches we placed them side by side for comparison. We were amazed by view. If you have no watchmaking knowledge then you can’t identify the clone movement. If you have some knowledge then after a long inspection you may see a more delicate and shine finish to the genuine movement but still it’s hard to tell.
These new Swiss hand made replicas are manufactured using the same materials and techniques as the genuine Swiss watches and that makes them almost impossible to distinguish. So if the guy sitting next to you wears a Swiss hand made replica then it’s impossible to identify it.
If he wears a lower grade replica then the following guide may help you identify it.
If you hold the watch in your hand then it should feel solid and heavy. If it feels light and airy then you can be sure that it’s a low quality fake. Rolex always number the head fixing bracelet end pieces and edges of the bracelets are always smoothed. Low quality fakes do not have this attention to quality.
Rolexes have a face that is composed of sapphire crystal. Low quality fake watches will usually use regular glass instead. Sapphire actually feels cool and solid like marble. Because of the extremely smooth surface, water dropped onto the sapphire crystal face of a genuine Rolex or a Swiss made replica will always bead up. On a low quality fake, the water will simply spread across the face and will not bead up. If the face is plastic and not real crystal then it’s a cheap fake. Real Swiss watches use a sapphire crystal and so do high end Swiss made replicas.
Genuine Rolexes will never have a clear or see-through case back. Rolex never produce a watch with a clear case back. But this shouldn’t be a sign that the Rolex is authentic or not, cause there are aftermarket clear case backs for Rolex. Plus if the watch has a clear case back you can see the movement and you can tell if it has a Rolex caliber or not. But if the watch has a clone Rolex movement then you can’t identify it.
One of the signature features of a Rolex watch is that bubble-like date window. It’s there to magnify the date numerals like on the Date-just, GMT, Submariner and other models. This crystal bubble is called Cyclops and magnifies the date 2.5 times. If the date numbers appearing in that window or the magnifying bubble itself is crooked, or even just a little off kilter or the Cyclops only offer 1.5 times the magnification then you are looking at a low quality fake. Same thing is true with the numerals and arrow points on the dial.
Rolexes have a tiny micro-etched crown etched into the crystal just below the 6 o’clock position. The mark is so small that it can only be seen under magnification. The detail on this micro-etching is perfect, making it impossible for the low quality fakes to duplicate.
Rolex Seconds Hand move smoothly without jerks. A jerky motion indicates an internal Quartz or low quality Asian movement. The smooth movement comes from the 4 – 5 ticks a second of a Swiss made movement.
Rolex movements have different coloured wheels and rotor. Low quality fakes often do not go this far and movements are Asian automatic or quartz. Only in the Swiss clone movements you will find coloured wheels and rotor.
Rolex engraved numbering has a continuous smooth and crisp movement throughout each number or letter. Low quality fakes exhibit evidence of multiple starts and stops under magnification.
Feel all edges for smoothness both inside and outside, as Rolex pay particular attention to chamfering and smoothing everything including the screw heads.
Many Rolex models, like the Submariner and Sea-Dweller, use an extra seal within the threads of the winding crown’s tube. The gasket looks like a small o-ring and can be seen if you fully unscrew the winding crown. Most low quality fake Rolex watches don’t have this extra seal and only the highest quality Swiss made replicas have a functioning seal. Remember, a real Rolex is pressure tested for diving and so are the highest quality Swiss replicas.