Wearing a Rolex watch gives one a feeling of accomplishment, and it's usually regarded as a status symbol. With Rolex watches costing thousands of dollars, purchasing a Rolex is an investment and is not usually a decision made on a whim. The purchaser likely conducted research to help him decide exactly what model he wanted and what features he was looking for on this Rolex. Once he finally makes his decision, he is proud and confident in his choice. He can now wear that Rolex proudly, knowing that he put in precious hours and money into this purchase. However, this image is now being diluted with the introduction of replica Rolex watches. When purchasing a used Rolex, one can’t help but think: “Is this Rolex real or fake?” The market for replica Rolex watches is continuing to grow and these replica-makers are perfecting their pieces. It is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish between a real Rolex and a fake Rolex. We have conducted some research and have done our best to provide you with several key tips that could help prevent you from buying a fake Rolex when your heart is set on a genuine, authentic Rolex. Here are some guidelines to follow when you are looking to buy a used Rolex:
One of the first give-aways will be the look of the Rolex
Rolex creates perfect pieces. If the lettering on the dial is blurred or if one of the hands is bent, you can pretty much assume that this is a replica. Rolex only sells perfect pieces and would not release a flawed watch into the market.
Another indication that the Rolex is a fake is the date window. When you view the date through the Cyclops, the date should be magnified 2.5x and fill the entire window. The majority of the time, a fake Rolex will only be magnified 1.5x and will not be clear. If you have trouble reading the date or it doesn’t fill the entire window, be on alert. Chances are that this is a fake Rolex.
Also, a stainless steel Rolex will never have a date and day on the dial. This is the most popular kind of fake Rolex. Only 18kt gold and platinum Rolexes will have a date and day on the dial, never a stainless steel model. (Thanks to one of our readers, Pat, who informed us that “For the general public there are no stainless steel Day-Dates, but from my readings I have learned there are 10 of them! Years ago when Rolex established the Day-Date as part of their line, 10 were made from stainless steel and presented to the major technicians who worked on the project. However, they are rarer than the Kew Observatory Rolexes.”)
Many times, one can tell if the Rolex is authentic or a replica based on the weight. Typically, fake Rolexes are very light. If you put on a Rolex and it is a lot lighter than you were expecting, proceed with caution.
Another quick and easy way to help determine the authenticity of the Rolex is by taking a look at the caseback. A Rolex caseback is always smooth. If the caseback has an engraving or etching, you can safely assume that it is a replica.
These next few tips take a little bit more work, but are definitely helpful in preventing you from buying a fake Rolex.
Authentic Rolexes will not leak when underwater. However, a replica Rolex will almost always leak. If you are able to conduct this test, place the Rolex underwater and see if it leaks. If it does, do not purchase it, because chances are it's a fake.
For models made in the early 2000's and later, Rolex began etching the Rolex crown into the crystal at the 6 o’clock hour marker. Using a loop, you can see the crown etched into the glass.
If you have the chance to remove the band, look for the model number at 12 o’clock and the serial number at 6 o’clock. Also, the inscription “Original Rolex Design” can be found on the 12 o’clock side.
Take every precaution necessary when purchasing a used Rolex. A Rolex is a beautiful piece and you deserve to purchase a real, authentic model. We hope these guidelines help you as you are searching for your perfect authentic Rolex model!
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