Skip to content Skip to footer

Real Rolex – Beware the 10 Counterfeit Watch Cons

Real Rolex – Don’t buy until you read through these simple but effective tips on spotting a fake watch.

The short answer is that you can’t always tell without a professional watchmaker looking at the watch itself. Yet, with the simple tips below, you can reduce your chances of buying a fake Rolex over a real Rolex watch or any other watch with a high degree of certainty. Over the past decades, the ability of Chinese watchmakers and other high-capacity manufacturers to create duplicates of high-end brand watches has increased significantly.

Today’s 3D modeling technology paired with high precision tools and machinery has closed the gap in separating a replica from an authentic watch with the naked eye. It used to be very simple to see the glaring disparities. Now it has become a bit harder.

Searching for 21 karat gold jewelry. Halo Jewelers has a large selection of chains, rings, earrings and more Shop now for best selections!

Street and Price

How to tell if a Rolex is real? Let’s start with the price. If you see a Rolex watch for $500 on the streets of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. Then you can, with 100% accuracy, know you are buying a counterfeit or replica. High-end watches are not sold on the street.

A real Rolex will come with all this information unless it is a vintage watch and you are aware you are buying a vintage watch.

Watches of this type are also sold at Estate Sales and as vintage merchandise. Typically you will have time to research the watch before buying it. Estate Sales may also do their diligence and appraise a watch to support its value. Yet, vintage watches often do not come with any paperwork. It is up to the buyer to pay for an appraiser or bring an expert with them before purchasing the vintage timepiece.

Inspection of the watch

Real Rolex

The first thing to do is to take the watch in your hand. How does the weight feel? If the watch feels light or does not give the feel of being durable and hefty, then you should have good reason to inspect the watch further.

Rolex, Omega, and other high-end brands watch only use premium materials. These materials are not lightweight, often made of alloys and jewels. These all add to the weight of the watch.


Something to look at is the colors found on the watch. Research the model you are buying. Does the model have the same color scheme as a real Rolex? Are the watch hands painted?

Watch hands that are painted are a clear sign of a replica. Highend premium watches do not paint their watch hands. Do the letters, numbers, etc., have straight and perfect colors to their appearance?

If the watch has color around the bezel, is the color uneven, chipped, or lacking in brightness?

Text and Marks

Check the Rolex markings and engravings on the watch. A Rolex is real if it has words that are legible. Are there any misspellings or grammar mistakes? Where is the watch made? Is it miss any wording that you would expect to see on the watch?

Now check on the marks. A real Rolex will have a serial number. Does the watch you are inspecting have a serial number? Does it have a model number? Does it state the company name? If the watch is gold, then it must have a stamp noting the parts of gold on the watch. For instance, a 22-karat gold watch would show a stamp stating 22k on it.

If any of these are not right or have you questioning things, then these are telltale signs of something not right with the watch and you may not have a real Rolex in front of you.

Position of the Watch hands

Rolex Watch

This is an easy one to spot. Do the hands of the watch make sense of their location and features? A lot of counterfeit watches will have hands glued on to give them the allusion that they are a working feature on the watch.

Do the hands move fluidly and easily? Or do they jerk as they move along? Precision hand movement and craftmanship in high-end brands ensure smooth movement and accuracy. A real Rolex will never make a ticking sound and its hands will glide around the watch face gracefully.

Features and Functionality

A big giveaway that a watch is not authentic is:
• The timepiece features appear on the watch that would typically not be part of a particular watch model.
• Features that don’t seem to work right on the watch
• Features that seem out of place or do not integrate well into the watch’s overall look.
• Almost all Rolex watches are mechanical. There are a few Quartz movement watches out there. Still, very few and only limited models were released with the Quartz movement. Quartz movement is a giveaway that the watch is fake.

Brand and Model Expertise

This one is hard to do because of the vast number of models of watches on the market. Yet, if you are good at memorizing watch brands and their model unique features, it is easy to spot things that are out of place on a fake watch. Counterfeits never have everything perfect.

Speed of Manufacturing

Watch Making

A Rolex, Omega, and other high-end brands take a lot of time to put together. All pieces, wording, colors, gears, jewels, crown, bezel, movement, and other parts must fit precisely. Every aspect of the watch is meticulously and lovingly put together. No part of the watch is left undone.

This is not the case with counterfeit watches. They are put together fast and in large batch quantities. The more the vendor can sell, the more profit made. This is why the price is eye-catching, and the sales techniques are heavy and fast and move the buyer from shopper to buyer as quickly as possible.

If you go back the next day, that street vendor may not be there again. Most likely moved to another part of the city to avoid issues with unhappy buyers or the law.

Use this information to your advantage by looking over the watch

• Look for gaps in the case seal.
• Look for rough-looking watch hands.
• Look for colors that don’t look fresh and crisp.
• Look for watch hands that are glued on or don’t function smoothly.
• Look at the back of the watch. Are the letters engraved deeply and crisp in the metal? Are they perfectly aligned as they round the case covering?
• Don’t try to match serial numbers etc. Counterfeit makers are good at faking serial numbers etc.
• Look only at the craftmanship.

A real Rolex or other high-end watches will not have a single issue with its craftmanship. It is basically a work of art.

Origin of Watch

Finally, know where your watch should originate from. You can quickly grab your phone and look up where a particular Rolex watch is made. You can also do this with any brand of watch.

There are only a few places in the world where a real Rolex is made. This goes for many of the other watch brands. Don’t let a vendor tell you otherwise.

Real Rolex Wrap Up

Rolex Watch

These tips will save you money and time. The best way to ensure you are buying a real Rolex or any other watch brand is to buy from the Rolex store or a reputable watchmaker or store.

There may be a time when you are actually looking for a replica over a real Rolex. It could be because you want the look of a Rolex without the cost. Just keep in mind it is illegal in the USA to purchase or sell replicas or counterfeit products. Owning or selling one can put you into serious legal trouble.

A watch buyer can still get a nice mid-tier watch that looks great and has precious timing. Watches like Movado, Citizen, and others in this category of watches are just as good as a Rolex in their internal workings and craftsmanship without the high price.

More Guides and Jewelry Tips