How to Spot a Fake Rolex

Last year, Rolex was recognised by Forbes, a bi-weekly American business magazine, as one of the world’s most valuable brands. With the Swiss watchmaker largely considered to be the quintessential luxury institution, it comes as no surprise to hear that it is also one of the most counterfeited watch brands in the world. If you are concerned about the veracity of your Rolex, consider our professional valuation service. The BQW Blog has previously provided our readers with 10 reasons not to buy a fake watch, and in this week’s post we’ll highlighting 3 simple ways to identify a fake Rolex watch.

1. The Second Hand on a Rolex Moves Smoothly

Rolex Yacht-Master

A cheap, fake Rolex is immediately detectable because they will be equipped with what is known as a quartz dial movement. This means that the second hand will appear to stutter as it moves around the dial, whilst a genuine Rolex will have a second hand that sweeps around in a smooth, precise manner. 

Even if the fake Rolex may look like a real one at first glance, the counterfeiters cannot compete with the flawless automatic movements manufactured in-house by the iconic Swiss brand, and this is where they often fail under scrutiny. 

If you’re still not sure if the second hand is “stuttering” as it moves around the dial, it is also common for fake Rolex timepieces to produce a slight ticking noise if you place your ear to the watch. Again, a true Rolex will never do this, as the second hand will smoothly sweep around in silence.

2. A Rolex Cyclops Lens Magnifies the Date

Another easy way to distinguish if the Rolex you are looking at is genuine or not is to examine the cyclops lens on the crystal. All Rolex watches that display a date function will have a cyclops lens over the date window, usually found at 3 o’clock on the dial, and it is used to enhance readability.

The cyclops lens on a real Rolex watch will magnify the date window to appear 2.5x larger, whilst the majority of fakes provide no magnification at all, or only a negligible amount.

Another thing to look out for is the clarity of the number displayed in the date window. A real Rolex’s date will be clearly visible through the lens, almost filling it, whilst the fake will appear to be slightly blurry or difficult to read. Some fakes will also just be presented with large numbers, to give the illusion of magnification.

Rolex Submariner

3. The Minute Hand Should Reach the Minute Markers

As one of the most respected watchmakers in the world, Rolex want to showcase the accuracy of the timepieces they manufacture. A genuine Rolex timepiece will always have an elongated minute hand that meets the minute markers around the edge of the dial, ensuring that it is always easy to take in the time. Meanwhile, Rolex counterfeits will use common copy minute hands, which often fall comfortably short of these minute markers.

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