Rolex is a universally recognized brand committed to producing watches that represent the ultimate in luxury, quality and elegance. While the Swiss manufacturer is known to assemble more than 2,000 watches each day, there are also companies that produce counterfeit Rolex watches with a dramatically lower quality. If you have a pressing financial emergency, you may decide to sell your Rolex watch to raise some fast cash. Whether it was a gift or was bought second hand you may find it difficult to establish the authenticity of your Rolex watch before selling it.

Although counterfeit Rolex watches are becoming increasingly advanced in recent years, there are some key factors that can help you determine whether your Rolex timepiece is fake or real. Take a look below!

Serial Numbers

The serial number of a genuine Rolex watch is engraved deeply into the metal. This number is situated  on the inner side of the band right where it joins the watch’s body on the 6 o’clock side. In contrast, a fake Rolex timepiece usually has the serial number carved with acid.

While a genuine Rolex watch will have its model number on the 6 o’clock side, counterfeiters do not often bother to change these numbers, and instead, they print the same digits on every replica. You can just remove the band of your watch by using a small paper clip or pushpin to see the model number.

However, the brand is reportedly known to have refined their methodology with respect to serial numbers by randomizing  the serial numbers in recently produced Rolexes. Thus only a professional Rolex dealer can help you to date them.

Quality and weight

While Rolex produces watches of utmost quality and accuracy, counterfeit watch makers have become increasingly proficient at designing high-quality fakes. A genuine Rolex comes with a precise engraving, solid bracelet links and will also feel heavy. The coronet marking at the 6 o’clock position is visible only by using a magnifying glass, whereas, in counterfeits, it can be seen clearly with the naked eye.

Moreover, a real Rolex timepiece will be typically heavier than a counterfeit one because it is made of real metal and crystal. Your Rolex watch should feel substantial and solid on your wrist and if you hold it in your hand.

The watch case also plays an essential role in determining whether your Rolex is fake or real. While the back of the case should be plain with no logo or engravings, new Rolexes come with a hologram on their case, which is a good  way to help in verifying the authenticity of the timepiece.


Many Rolex watches feature a small window that shows the date and a small magnifying lens or ‘cyclops’ to make it effortless to read. As it is a convex lens, situated right over the date, you should feel a bump if you run your finger over it. 

If the cyclops over the date dial does not magnify the date, your Rolex is probably a fake one. A real Rolex magnifying lens is apparently known to amplify the date up to 2.5 times, taking up virtually the entire date window.

The Tick

As with any Rolex, the second hand of your watch will move so smoothly that it will not make any ‘ticking’ noise. Generally, the second hand motion in many watches might be unsteady because they have quartz and not automatic movements. Thus, when the second hand shifts, it produces the ‘tick, tick’ sound.

Rolex movements are mechanical and self-winding. Indeed, a Rolex movement is broken down into eight micro ticks per second, making it look like a ceaseless motion. If you hear a slow ‘tick’ sound coming from your timepiece or see that the second hand jolts with every tick, you are possibly not wearing an authentic piece. However, every Rolex model features a particular style of hands. For example, the Yacht-Master comes with a thicker minute hand, whereas the hands of the Rolex Daytona stretch a little bit longer, extending all the way to the hash marks.

While today’s counterfeiters may be proficient enough to replicate the advanced movements of luxury watches like Rolex, they often use whatever components are available for saving money and hope that buyers may overlook such details.