Rolex Watches have been a symbol of status since 1912 when the company made the move from England to Geneva. To date, the most popular style of Rolex is the Submariner. Because of its recognisable style, many companies produce Submariner replicas. As of 2010, the average cost of one of these swanky timepieces is £4,550. So, chances are, if you find a "too good to be true" deal on what you think is a real Rolex, it's not. Aside from price, there are a few simple ways to tell if you're getting the real deal before you pay for a fake.
Inspect the back of the watch. If the casing is clear and you can see the inner workings of the watch, it's fake. The back of a Rolex Submariner is not see-through.
Look at the bracelet of the watch and feel the edges. The Rolex logo on a replica is often rough-looking and a lot less clear. Also, the numbers on the bracelet of a genuine Rolex are much more pronounced and clean; the numbers on a fake are not as clean and engraved in a more shallow fashion. When you feel the edges of the bracelet, fake Submariners have a much sharper edge while a real Rolex has a more dull edge.
Examine the Rolex hologram sticker on the back of the watch. Turn the watch in the light to see if it is in fact a hologram sticker. Many fakes are simply images that are not holographic and do not change when looked at from a variety of angles.
Inspect the crystal, and look for the signature Rolex crown. On an authentic Rolex, this crown is often small and hard to detect. Most fakes have a very large crown that is visible even from a distance.
Think back to where you purchased the watch. If you bought it from a reputable dealer, and paid a lot of money, it's most likely real. However, if you purchased it from a less than reputable dealer, or even worse, from someone on the street, it's a fake.