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How to Spot a Fake Rolex

Even if you don’t consider yourself a watch enthusiast, you’re probably familiar with a Rolex. These Swiss-made watches are some of the most widely popular and produced luxury watches in the world. The company pumps out over 700,000 a year, creating a large market for counterfeit Rolexes.

The last thing you want to do when you’re investing in one of these timepieces is end up with a fake. Here are some tips on how to tell if a Rolex watch is genuine or counterfeit.

Movement and Sound

Rolex has designed the second hand on its watches to move in a semi-smooth, fluid motion. The second hand will appear to have a series of high velocity ticks that when loosely observed will have the appearance of fluid motion. Ninety-nine percent of Rolexes are automatic and therefore Rolexes do not “tick” like many watches. So, another surefire way to spot a fake is by listening. If you hear a loud ticking noise coming from a watch, it’s not a real Rolex.


The words on the dial of a true Rolex will not be blurred, run together or have other imperfections. The same is true for any engravings on the inside of the band (the serial and model number are often found here) and the inside of the watch.

Also, look for the signature crown symbol. Some knock offs are missing the crown and even sometimes the name “Rolex” on the face. These are both, of course, a dead giveaway that you’re looking at a fake.

Blank Caseback

The back of the case of almost any Rolex is blank, with very few exceptions like the Sea-Dweller and some ladies Rolexes from the 80’s and 90’s. Most do not have any logos, words or pictures of any kind, and the presence of logos and stamps on the flat caseback can be an indication of a replica.

Another feature Rolex watches don’t currently have is a clear or transparent back (unless you happen to find a rare vintage watch from the 1930s). If you can flip it over and see the inner workings of the watch, it’s likely not a real Rolex.


A genuine Rolex is pretty hefty because it’s made with high quality metals. If you pick up a watch and it feels light, that’s a good indication of a fraud. Counterfeits are generally significantly lighter than the real thing.

Water Resistance

This technique is obviously not something you want to test if you’re planning to return the watch or if you’re standing in front of the seller examining it, as it will probably ruin a fake. However, genuine Rolexes are designed to be waterproof and can stand up to a rigorous water test. Most fake Rolexes are not water resistant and will easily be damaged by water.

Price and Seller

A Rolex is a unique timepiece; therefore, it’s a significant investment. If you find a Rolex selling for a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is! The real thing won’t sell for less than a couple hundred dollars – no matter where you are.

Lastly, one of the most important rules is to buy your Rolex from a trusted seller. Buying a supposedly authentic Rolex from a street vendor or Craigslist will most likely end in disappointment.

At Dallas Gold & Silver Exchange, we closely examine each Rolex watch we sell and guarantee that it is genuine. We also offer a 2-year warranty on every Rolex we sell. It covers mechanical defects (inner workings) not caused by beyond normal wear and tear.

Browse our extensive inventory of pre-owned Rolex watches to find the one that fits you best.