How to spot a fake Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch

Written by christa titus
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How to spot a fake Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch
Ask for a certificate of authenticity when buying a new or used Rolex. (Image by Luciano Belviso; Flickr.)

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a classic watch that never goes out of style. This is a timepiece that has been to the summit of Mount Everest, dived deep into the Pacific Ocean and baked to 260C -- and it still looked great and performed well. So remember the old adage "You get what you pay for" when a bloke down the pub tells you he can pick one up for just £650. Telltale signs on the watch will warn if you bought a fake.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Glass of water

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  1. 1

    Consider the source of the watch. Luxury department stores and jewellers are the best places to buy a genuine Rolex. People do buy them first- and second-hand on eBay, providing the seller can authenticate the piece. If you think you've found a genuine Rolex for £195 in a London street market, the seller probably isn't reliable or trustworthy.

  2. 2

    Test the Rolex's heft in your hand. This is a solid watch and should carry some weight to it. Does it feel flimsy or lightweight? The watch's bands should also be solid, not hollow.

  3. 3

    Look at the second hand. If it moves in small steps or jerks, immediately suspect the watch is a cheap fake. Rolex is known for producing watches with a second hand that makes a continuous, smooth sweep that is hard to replicate.

  4. 4

    Check the reference numbers on the case. Between the lugs on the side of the case are the watch's serial and case numbers. They should be nicely engraved and very smooth. These digits will be shoddily engraved on a counterfeit Rolex.

  5. 5

    Flip the watch over. Examine the holograph of the Rolex crown logo on the back of the case. The holograph should shift when you move the watch around.

  6. 6

    Smear some water over the watch's face. Rolex watches are made of sapphire crystal, and its extremely smooth face will make the water pool together. This won't happen on a fake with a regular glass face.

  7. 7

    Drop the Rolex in water. The Oyster Perpetual has been to the bottom of the sea, after all. Your watch should work fine after being submerged for several minutes.

Tips and warnings

  • Always ask for a certificate of authenticity when making an expensive purchase.

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