How to Tell if a Rolex Submariner Is Real

Written by brenton shields
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The Rolex Submariner is a popular watch line from Rolex; so popular, in fact, that it has been worn by Ian Fleming's James Bond in several films. Unfortunately, considering its popularity and notable expense, many people have resorted to making fake Submariners, known colloquially as "hot watches," and selling them cheaply either in black markets or online. If you think the price of a Rolex Submariner is simply too good to be true, then it probably is, and you may be purchasing a fake. Luckily, with a little practice, you can learn to tell if it is indeed genuine.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Magnifying glass

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    Authenticating a Rolex

  1. 1

    Check the Cyclops magnification bubble. This is a bubble typically placed right over the date to make it easier to see. On a genuine Rolex, the bubble will be directly over the date and magnify it 2 1/2 times, while on fakes the bubble may be off-centre and will not have as powerful a magnification.

  2. 2

    Look for the micro crown. After 2002, Rolex began engraving a tiny crown right below the "6" on the watch face that is often undetectable without a magnifying glass. Many counterfeiters will not even attempt to replicate the crown.

  3. 3

    Look for the extra seal on the winder. You can do this by gently unscrewing the winder, which is located on the right side of the watch case. Rolex puts in an extra seal, typically black and made of rubber, that is usually absent on fakes.

  4. 4

    Check the hand movement. On genuine Rolex watches, the second hand should sweep around in a smooth motion as opposed to a jerky, sudden motion found in most fakes.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have any doubts and want to authenticate a Rolex Submariner or any other type of luxury watch like Omega or Cartier, simply bring it to a professional jeweller, who should be able to tell you within minutes.

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