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How to spot a fake Rolex: 5 Ways

How to spot a fake Rolex: 5 Ways

The counterfeit luxury watch market is waging war against the luxury watch industry, and unsuspecting buyers are getting caught up in the crossfire.

You see, in the past, fakes were easy to spot.

That’s no longer the case.

Creating counterfeit watches has not only become a huge industry but a hobby.

Some watch enthusiasts are getting a kick at creating watches so close to the original that they are almost impossible to tell the difference by the consumer.

Here are some of the strategies we use to determine the authenticity of a Rolex during our valuations and sales.

Check it out.

How to spot a fake Rolex: 5 Ways

Please note: while you can use this information for your own personal knowledge, or pleasure (like taking your big shot mate down a few pegs when he realises his watch is fake) we always recommend using a professional before making any serious purchase.

1. Take a look inside

From the outside, a professional counterfeit Rolex looks almost identical to a real one.

The real test is when you take a look inside.

Faking quality-looking exteriors is easy enough, but due to the insanely talented watchmakers at Rolex, the inside is impossible to replicate.

But be warned: hobbyists and certain fraudulent dealers have started to take real-parts from other Rolex’s and use them in their counterfeits to make them look even more authentic.

That’s why at Pride and Pinion we take every watch apart, clean it and put it back together piece by piece before making a sale.

Because you never can be too careful.

2. Don’t be fooled by paperwork

There seems to be this assumption in the trade if a watch comes with official papers/documents, it must be authentic.

This is bollox.

Not only are papers much easier to replicate than watches, but there’s no guarantee that the papers genuinely belong to the watch in question.

What’s to stop dealers from acquiring real papers and then pawning it off with a fake watch?


Don’t get lulled into the false sense of security people often feel with ‘official documents.’

That's what the dodgy dealers are counting on.

3. Feel the weight

If it’s a low-quality fake, you’ll be able to tell just by holding it in your hand.

Rolex never has and never will compromise on the materials they use for their watches.

The metal should be strong, robust and weighty.

However, if the counterfeit is exceptionally well made, weight alone may not be enough to prove authenticity.

At the higher end of the counterfeit market, there is sometimes only 1-3 grams difference in weight…

This is problematic because there is often 1-2 gram of difference in weight between official Rolex watches.

Therefore it’s vital that weight is only ONE factor you use to determine if a watch is fake or not.

4. Inspect the details on the dial

By using a magnifier, you can inspect small details on the dial that are hard to see with your eye and that are even harder to replicate.

Is the logo well-applied?
Is the date perfectly centred?
Is the font smooth and without jagged edges or interruption?

Look at the wristwatches hands.

Are they smooth and rounded at the ends or are they roughly cut?

It’s details like this that often sets the real apart from the fake.

5. Look for world-class quality

In all of these methods, one theme reoccurs.


It takes 500 hours to make a Rolex.

That intensely meticulous process leaves no room for ANY error, down to every last detail of a watch.

Rolex will never let a subpar product through their quality control.

That’s why they have the reputation they have... because they’ve earned it.

If you come across a watch that has coarse engravings, rough edges or odd font spacing, be very wary.

When trying to spot a fake Rolex, quality will ultimately be the deciding factor, and if there is any aspect of a timepiece short of perfection, you can guarantee it’s a fake.

Precision every time

At Pride and Pinion, we go to extraordinary lengths to ensure every watch we source for our clients is 100% authentic.

Our expert team is trusted by some of the leading auction houses in the UK to determine the price and legitimacy of the luxury watches they sell.

Whether you need an evaluation or are thinking of investing in a luxury watch, we are here on hand to assist you in your search for the perfect timepiece.

Take the first step today and get in touch to see how we can be of service.

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