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Home » Rolex Watches » How To Differentiate Between A Real Rolex And A Replica

How To Differentiate Between A Real Rolex And A Replica

Rolex timepieces are among the most coveted pieces of jewelry in the world and as a result, those who wish to purchase one of their own must remain on the lookout for the telltale signs of a replica. While some of the knockoffs are easy to spot, there are others that are far more sophisticated.

It all begins by knowing your seller and steering clear of online retailers who do not have a reputation for producing quality. If the company you are making a purchase from cannot provide a guarantee of authenticity with each sale, this is a sure sign to take your business elsewhere.

Rolex crafts every timepiece to absolute perfection, so if you find yourself wondering how to tell the difference between what is real and what is fake, the following list of characteristics will provide you with a helpful guide.

Tiny Crown Logo

This tip is especially useful if you are purchasing a Rolex watch that has been made after 2002. In 2002, Rolex began to add a miniature crown logo that is now micro etched at the timepiece’s 6 o’clock position. This logo is often too small to be seen with the naked eye, so you will need to look closely. Conversely, the logo is also too small to be properly included by most counterfeit watch makers, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled when purchasing a post 2002 Rolex.

Engravings on the Back of the Case

With the exception of the Rolex Sea Dweller, there is no Rolex timepiece that comes with any sort of engraving on the back of the watch’s case. If the watch that you are considering purchasing comes with any sort of words, pictures or engraved images on the back of the case, this is a sure sign that it is a replica.

Clear Casebacks

Unless the timepiece is one of Rolex’s vintage models from the 1930s, they do not come with a clear caseback. A watch with a clear caseback that offers the viewer a clear look into the workings of the watch from behind is usually a replica and should not be purchased under any sort of circumstances.


If a Rolex is genuine, it will always weigh more than a replica, since a genuine Rolex is only crafted with the usage of the highest quality materials. On the other hand, a knockoff Rolex is much lighter than a real one because of the cheap, flimsy materials that are used in its construction. Lift the watch before purchasing and if there’s no heft to it, it is more than likely to be fake.


A real Rolex can survive being submerged in water, whereas a replica Rolex will experience severe damages. However, it is not in your best interests to test a replica Rolex in this manner, since the resulting damages will keep you from being able to make a return. If you believe that the watch is unable to survive a water test, bring it to a reputable manufacturer.


For those who do not speak the Rolex parlance, the Cyclops is also known as the magnifying lens that rests above the date window on each watch. When the watch is genuine, the Cyclops allows you to read the date 2.5 times more easily and it is also convex. If the watch is fake, this lens lays completely flat and the date will not be magnified.


The dial on a real Rolex is perfect in every way, so if you see even the slightest imperfections, this means that you are in danger of purchasing a fake. Be on the lookout for any uneven fonts or any misspellings on the watch’s dial, no matter how minor they may seem. You’ll also want to check the spacing in between the lettering for any inconsistencies or smudging before making a final decision.


The movement of a Rolex is what separates the real from the fake, as a legitimate Rolex represents the pinnacle of watch making skill. Replica watches simply cannot match this type of precision and it is noticeable to experienced observers. Each genuine movement has the word Rolex engraved on it and if you would like find out if your watch is real, enlisting a reputable retailer to open the watch and look more closely is crucial. The majority of Rolex watches also have mechanical movements, which is something else that you should bear in mind.


One of the toughest parts about identifying a replica Rolex are all of the different grades that are available. However, the truly low quality fake Rolex makers will not even bother to place the famous crown logo or the Rolex name on their watches, which makes it really easy for purchasers to avoid them. This is a clear giveaway that you are dealing with a piece that is not authentic and that you should take your valuable business to a far more reputable retailer.

Serial and Model Numbers

The serial and model numbers on a Rolex that is genuine are perfectly marked and etched deeply. The lines are very solid and fine, glowing in the dark if the watch is titled at a certain angle. On the flip side of the coin, the serial and model numbers on a replica Rolex are made from tinier dots that are more faint and difficult to read. On a counterfeit watch, these markings give the timepiece a more sandy appearance.

The bottom line is that you want to purchase from a reputable seller, get a certificate of authenticity and I suggest once you purchase you then get it checked out. Always make sure that you take in the watch for proper rolex service to keep it in good working order.