Why is Rolex So Counterfeited?
Rolex is arguably the most recognizable and popular luxury product in the world. For most people, when they hear the words “luxury watch”, they immediately think of a Rolex.
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For counterfeiters, Rolex is a goldmine. Although the outside of a Rolex is often quite lovely, the can be replicated fairly easily and at low cost. Of course, the quality isn’t close to the same as the real thing, but the real feature you pay for is inside the watch. It’s the movement and the materials and the craftsmanship. Just a decade ago it was fairly easy to quickly identify a fake Rolex just by looking at it. Unfortunately, today it can be almost impossible without opening the case, even for a watch enthusiast. Fortunately, there are some ways to spot a fake.
1. Serial & Model Number Stamping
The serial and model numbers on a genuine Rolex are deep and perfectly marked in solid, very fine lines that will actually glow in the light at an angle like a diamond cut edge. Conversely, the numbers on a fake, or replica, are typically made up of faint tiny dots due to a lower quality marking process. In other cases, these numbers on counterfeit watches will have a sandy-like appearance from being “acid etched” as shown in the photo above on the left.
Replica watches come in different grades and the really low-quality phony ones don’t even bother to put the Rolex name or famous crown logo on the watch. This, of course, is a dead giveaway that you are dealing with an inauthentic piece.
The movement that powers a Rolex is an exercise in master watchmaking skill. A replica watch cannot match the craftsmanship, dedication, precision, and knowledge invested into each genuine caliber bona fide movement will always have “Rolex” engraved on it, which you can only see if you open up the watch.
Something else to consider is that the majority of the brands watches have mechanical movements, so if you’re looking at a quartz, that could be a red flag since only a very limited quantity of quartz watches throughout their history have been produced.
The dial of an original is perfect, so if you see any uneven fonts, inconsistent spaces between the lettering, smudges, and/or misspellings on the watch then it is absolutely a fake.
The Cyclops, in Rolex parlance, is the magnifying lens above the date window on the face of their watches. On a genuine timepiece, the Cyclops is convex and magnifies the date 2.5 times for ease of readability. If, on the watch you’re considering, the magnification lens is flat and the date isn’t magnified as such, then you are dealing with a forgery. To spot counterfeit watches you need to pay close attention to every detail.
Rolex wristwatches are built to be waterproof, while forged versions will not withstand a proper water test. However, we strongly discourage using a water test if you doubt that the piece is real since it will likely ruin the watch, preventing you from being able to return it. If you believe your have a non genuine timepiece have it inspected by a reputable professional.
A genuine Rolex will have some weight to it because they are exclusively manufactured from the finest materials. A counterfeit watch will feel lighter and flimsy due to cheaper construction materials. If your watch doesn’t have any heft to it you are likely dealing with a counterfeit.
8. Clear Caseback
With the exception of a couple of very rare vintage models produced in the 1930s, Rolex does not equip their watches with clear casebacks, so beware of replica watches that have a clear window with a view of the movement on the back of the watch’s case.
9. Caseback Engravings
Except for just a few rare instances, like the vintage Rolex Sea Dweller, COMEX, Military watches and some older rare models, Rolex does not engrave the exterior of their casebacks with words, logos, or pictures (a majority of the time). If the watch you’re looking at features engravings on the back of the watch’s case, then chances are you have a fake Rolex or imitation replica watch. In addition, some authentic older lady Rolex Datejust models like the 6917, 69173 and 69174 have “Stainless Steel” and “Registered Design” on the back.
10. Micro-etched Crystal
In 2002, Rolex began micro-etching a tiny crown logo at the 6 o’clock position on the crystal that protects the dial. If you’re looking at buying a Rolex made in 2002 onward, look for this marking for proof of authenticity. Since it’s so small, it is difficult to see with the naked eye. This detail also makes it difficult for counterfeit watches to include.
How to Buy a New Rolex
If you’re buying a new Rolex there are some ways to get a better deal than paying the suggested retail price. However, the higher the reward, the higher the risk. Here are some tips on how to buy that Rolex if you’re not very familiar with the luxury watch market.
Where to Buy It
AuthenticWatches.com is a family owned and operated business dedicated to offering high quality watches at unbeatable prices.
Unlike most online watch retailers you may encounter, AuthenticWatches.com started in the industry as an authorized dealer of high-end watches and jewelry. The family business, known as McPherson Jewelers, had been family owned and operated since 1979.
Wanting the business to grow and expand its southern California base to an international scale, a bold decision was made to venture into the online marketplace. In this day and age, what better way is there to serve a larger proximity of clientele than by transforming to an online business? And so, the still family owned and operated business was rebranded as AuthenticWatches.com.
Key to continuing the success of the business has been serving online clients the way they were served at McPherson Jewelers – like family. The biggest benefit our company has found from the retail to web-based transformation has been the ability to mark prices at more accessible rates to please our clients. By ordering items in mass volume from authorized dealers, we are awarded with heavy discounts, which we pass along to our clients.