Rolex Identification

Updated June 13, 2017

There are many Rolex counterfeits that attempt to duplicate the high quality of Rolex watches. Fake Rolex watches are catching up with the company's technology and providing imitations that are true to the originals. Yet, it is possible to identify a genuine Rolex by closely examining some of the key components of the watch.

Rolex Logo

Familiarise yourself with the age-old Rolex crown logo, and check out the watch to see if you can spot it. On authentic Rolex watches, the Rolex logo appears on the face around the "6." The etched crown is very small. Fake watches often duplicate the crown at larger and uneven proportions.

Seconds Hand

The trademark of the Rolex lies with its technology. Real Rolex watches have a seconds hand that glides smoothly along the face of the watch, with no ticking sound. Some fakes have a seconds hand that ticks both in motion and in sound.


Check to see if the Rolex watch has a clear back or an area that reveals the watch's inner mechanism. One of the clearest signs of a fake Rolex is a clear caseback. Rolex has never made a watch with a clear caseback. This is a conscious effort to protect the company's trademark mechanism.


Identify a real Rolex by inspecting the materials. Authentic Rolex watches are made from 24-karat gold, platinum or stainless steel. This is indicated on the band. If you are examining a Rolex that is chrome coloured, gold plated or has two different materials, most likely, it's a fake.


Look for any engravings on the caseback of the watch. Rolex, contrary to popular belief, does not engrave or mark the caseback of any authentic watch. Fake Rolex watches often etch a serial number, logo or trademark on the back of the watch in an effort to look real. Authentic Rolex watches are completely smooth on the back.


Factory-shipped Rolex watches come with a hologram sticker on the caseback that features a 3-D image of the Rolex crown as well as the watch's reference number. Fake Rolex watches also come with a sticker on the caseback, but it typically isn't a 3-D hologram. Often, fakes also have an image other than the Rolex crown.

Reference Number

Identify a real Rolex by the serial and case reference numbers on the watch. The reference numbers on an authentic Rolex watch are engraved on the side of the watch case. The engravings are diamond cut. Fake Rolex watches have serial numbers that appear rough, as if they were etched with acid. The reference numbers should also match the certification of authentic Rolex watches, which are a unique series of numbers. Fake Rolex certification numbers are repetitions of number combinations.

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