Source: Portal Satova/

Since 1929, Rolex watches have signified luxury, style, and success. All authentic Rolex watches are finely crafted with quality materials, mechanical precision, and attention to detail. From crown to clasp, every part of a Rolex is meticulously finished. It used to be fairly easy to spot a fake Rolex, but in recent years, counterfeiters have utilized sophisticated technology to make realistic forgeries. When you shop for a Rolex to match your gold-plated chain, it’s important to recognize the hallmarks of the genuine article and make sure you buy from a trustworthy dealer.

The Markings

On any Rolex, all markings, from branding to serial numbers, will be clear and crisp. Deeply engraved serial numbers should catch the light and be perfectly symmetrical. Upon inspection, fake serial numbers may appear to be etched, pale, shallow dots. When you look at the watch face, its letters, numerals, and iconography should be slightly raised, legible, and elegant. By comparison, the stamping on a fake Rolex may seem messy, uneven, or incomplete.

The Movement

Rolex is prized for its Swiss craftsmanship. Expert watchmakers meticulously finish each part to create a precision timekeeping machine in miniature. Even the best replica watches are unable to match the fine detail that makes a real Rolex durable, reliable and timeless. Most models, whether manual or self-winding, are mechanical. If you come across a quartz Rolex for sale, proceed with caution and thoroughly examine its history. When you are choosing a watch, it’s a good idea to have a reputable dealer scrutinize the interior under high magnification. The brand, metal type, and model number should be engraved on the movement.

Shop for Rolex Watches Today

The Crystal

In 1970, Rolex began protecting some of its watch models with lab-created sapphire crystals, an extremely hard, durable and scratch-resistant material. Rolex sapphire crystals are refined components that have exceptional optical clarity. Today, all Rolex crystals are micro-etched with the brand’s iconic coronet at the 6 o’clock position. This tiny crown is difficult to see with the naked eye and even harder to imitate. If you are purchasing a Rolex watch that was manufactured after 2002, be sure to inspect the etching. If it’s missing or poorly rendered, the watch could be counterfeit.

The Cyclops

Many Rolex watches have a date feature that is enhanced by a magnifying lens called a Cyclops. This convex window has an obvious curvature and feels like a bump under your finger. A real Cyclops makes the date appear 2.5 times larger than it actually is. You should be suspicious of forgery if the Cyclops feels flat or barely enlarges the date.

Water Resistance and Weight

Rolex watches are crafted from fine materials like Oystersteel, a corrosion-resistant 904L-type alloy. Waterproof Rolex watches that are new or properly serviced will pass a water pressure test. Because Rolex watches are built to last, they will have some heft and not feel flimsy. If a Rolex watch feels light or looks dull, you may have encountered a fake.

a rolex dropping into a shallow creek with rocks

Source: Balta Mihaita Sorin/

Models and Metals

Rolex has created many wristwatch models in a variety of fine metals and proprietary alloys. Metals are often selected to suit particular timepiece models and production runs. Fake Rolex watches will be crafted from inferior metals or have a composition profile that is outside the model’s specification for a particular release date. An expert can ensure that the model you choose is crafted from the appropriate metal for its type. 

Find Your Perfect Women's Rolex Watch

Fit and Finish

When it comes to knowing how to tell a fake Rolex from a real one, there are many signs of deceit, like a second hand that ticks when it should sweep. For any Rolex watch, the look, feel, detailing and composition of the bracelet, bezel, case, crown, dial markings and engravings should always be consistent with other models in its class.

a person wearing a glove holding a rolex

Source: S-Studio/

Frost NYC Is Your Source for Authentic Rolex Watches

For over 30 years, Frost NYC has brought authentic and luxurious Rolex watches to men and women who love a little flash. Our collection of classic and iced-out men's and women's Rolex watches is sure to delight discerning customers who want to stand out.

August 08, 2022

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.