How to Tell If a Rolex Is Real or a Perpetual Oyster

Written by manuel paucar
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How to Tell If a Rolex Is Real or a Perpetual Oyster
Gullible buyers can be fooled into buying fake Rolex watches. (watch image by petar Ishmeriev from

A Rolex is a high-class watch specially designed by Swiss watchmakers. Because they're very expensive (the price range of these watches can go from a couple hundred to several thousands of dollars), many have created counterfeit watches to cheat people into buying fakes for a reduced price. Gullible buyers, thinking they are getting a bargain, only get a cheap imitation. The Perpetual Oyster Rolex watch is a popular among counterfeiters. It can be offered in stainless steel, 18 carat gold and 18 carat diamonds.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Magnifying glass
  • Internet connection
  • Rolex watch

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  1. 1

    Check the back of the watch. If it has a clear display, and you can see the inner mechanisms of the watch, then you are dealing with a fake Rolex. Also, if it has any engravings, it is also a fake (unless it's a ladies watch issued prior to 1990, or a Sea-dwell). The surface of the case back should be smooth with a hologram showing the serial number of the watch in 3D, and a pattern with the name ROLEX that changes its appearance when slightly moved. Fakes are simply engraved and don't have holograms.

  2. 2

    Look at the date on your watch. The number should occupy almost the entire space. Counterfeit watches have a date magnification of around 1.5 times the original roller, while original Rolex go to 2.5 times.

  3. 3

    Unscrew the winding crown completely and use a magnifying glass on it. You should see a black ring around the base of the crown.

  4. 4

    Check right behind the 30 minute marker for a tiny coronet engraved on the crystal. Use your magnifying glass for this step as well. Only watches issued after 2002 will have this.

  5. 5

    If you are buying a Perpetual Oyster, check between the lugs for a serial/registration number. This is the most accurate way to check for authenticity. You can cross reference the numbers. See Resources for a list of them.

  6. 6

    If you are buying a Yachtmaster, check the minute hand. It should be significantly thicker than those on any other Rolex models.

Tips and warnings

  • Try not to buy watches online--they are very hard to check for authenticity. Always buy your watches at an official Rolex retailer.

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