How to Know If My Rolex Is Authentic

Written by david hicks
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How to Know If My Rolex Is Authentic
(watch image by petar Ishmeriev from

Rolex watches are known across the world as luxury timepieces that are both beautiful and functional. While it is possible to purchase high quality second-hand Rolexes, it is important to understand how common counterfeit watches are, and some of the warning signs to avoid buying one. A basic examination can give a good idea, while a more in depth examination can fully authenticate a Rolex.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Case back opener
  • Jeweller's loupe

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  1. 1

    Check the price that you are paying/being asked to pay for the Rolex. The cheapest Rolex models are priced at over £1,950 new, and an Rolex priced significantly less than original retail should be viewed with suspicion.

  2. 2

    Determine if the watch comes with the original boxes and papers. The papers will indicate where the watch was purchased, and the dates of the original warranty. A fake Rolex will rarely include faked boxes and papers, so a watch without these should be viewed with suspicion.

  3. 3

    Check the Rolex for a serial number. These will be located under the watch near the 12 o'clock marker, near the lugs on the underside of the watch, or along the side of the watch under the bezel. Many well made fakes include fake serial numbers, but cheaper fakes will not.

  4. 4

    Take the watch to a local Rolex dealer. This is the easiest and best way to authenticate a watch. Ask the seller if they mind having a local dealer examine the watch during the sale.

  1. 1

    Use the jeweller's loupe to examine the face of the watch. If the text on the watch is misaligned, or crudely printed, the Rolex is probably fake.

  2. 2

    Check the caseback. Rolex does not create engraved casebacks--they are simple and smooth. New Rolex watches have a holographic sticker on the caseback, but otherwise will only list simple information (or no information).

  3. 3

    Remove the caseback and examine the movement. Rolex movements will contain red coloured wheels and simply adorned movement. Compare the movement with a picture of an original Rolex movement (available online).

  4. 4

    Post pictures of the watch face, movement and other details to the Rolex forums. They will help you authenticate the watch.

Tips and warnings

  • A Rolex dealer will be able to authenticate the watch easier than any other person, due to familiarity with the internals and specifics of the watch.

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