Knowing the difference between a real or a fake Rolex watch can be very difficult. The only way to be 100% sure that you own the genuine article is to have an experienced watchmaker or someone from Rolex examine the piece. Best Collateral has trained staff that are experienced in identifying authentic vs. fake Rolex watches. However, there are a few key things to look for when examining a timepiece on your own.

The first and most important thing to remember about Rolex watches is that from start to finish everything is crafted to absolute perfection. Examine the lettering on the face, the alignment of numbers, the motion, etc. Even scrutinizing the case in which the watch was delivered may reveal sings of forgery or tampering.

Check the serial number by removing the bracelet. If you are uncomfortable with this, have a professional do it for you. Look at the serial number and model number of the piece. They should appear between the lugs on the six position and twelve position. Look for the phrase “Original Rolex Design”. Use any references you have to examine the serial number and model number against official descriptions.

Examine the quality of the movement. Everything should be aligned and move perfectly. Again, it is always best to have a professional do this.

Many Rolex watches contain gold parts. Locate the parts that are supposed to be solid gold. Look for scratches in the metal to identify if there are any underlying base metals. This is a sign that the piece is fake.

Examine the dial. Sometimes dials are redone or repainted, but in most cases the dial should be absolutely perfect. Again, look at the printing. The lettering should be crystal clear and perfectly aligned. If there is a window that shows the date, there should be a magnification area in the crystal. The date should fill the bubble and the number should be perfectly aligned with the magnification area.
Check all stamps on the piece. The stamps should match up with the metal types used to make the watch. For example, certain stamps indicate that the piece may incorporate steel and gold, or just one type of metal.

Though not always a sure indicator, the weight of a fake Rolex is very light compared to a genuine one. Real Rolex watches have a substantial weight.

A common myth is that the second hand on all Rolex watches moves in a sweeping motion and not a rigid motion. Not all second hands on Rolex watches move in this way, and a second hand moving in a more rigid motion is not an indicator that the watch is fake.

If you need assistance determining the authenticity of your Rolex, contact Best Collateral, or come into one of our 8 locations in the Bay Area and North California.