Spotting a Counterfeit Rolex: Tips from LH Watch Trade

Posted by Suzie Kidger-Clarke

on 5th October 2023

The Rolex name has been synonymous with luxury, precision, and craftsmanship for over a century. As one of the most coveted watch brands globally, it’s no surprise that counterfeiters attempt to replicate and sell fake versions to unsuspecting buyers.

The world of Rolex counterfeits has grown so sophisticated that distinguishing between an authentic timepiece and a knockoff can be challenging. Thankfully, with expertise from professionals like LH Watch Trade, you can arm yourself with the knowledge to spot the differences.

1. The Rolex Movement

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of an authentic Rolex is its movement. Rolex uses very high-quality, precise movements that are difficult and expensive to replicate.

  • Telltale Signs of Counterfeit Movement: Cheap quartz movement can be a dead giveaway. If your Rolex ticks, it’s likely a fake. Genuine Rolex watches have a smooth, second-hand movement.
  • Examine the Engravings: Authentic Rolex movements are immaculately engraved with the Rolex name and logo. Counterfeits often have poorly engraved or entirely missed logos.
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2. Triplock Crown Seal

Rolex watches are known for their water resistance. This is achieved, in part, through the Triplock Crown Seal, which ensures no water gets into the case.

  • Spotting the Fake: Counterfeit Rolex watches often overlook this detail or poorly replicate it, making the seal one of the best ways to identify a fake.

3. Cyclops Lens

On Rolex watches featuring a date function, the date window has a magnifying cyclops lens. This lens magnifies the date 2.5 times, making it easy to read.

  • Detecting Counterfeits: If the date isn’t magnified sufficiently, or if the magnification appears to be a mere glass bubble, you’re probably looking at a fake.

4. Rehaut Engravings

Starting in 2002, Rolex began engraving the rehaut (the space between the dial and the crystal) with the Rolex name repeatedly.

  • Identifying a Counterfeit: If the watch is a post-2002 model without this engraving, or if the engraving appears messy or misaligned, be wary.

5. Case Back

Genuine Rolex watches typically have a plain and unmarked case back, with no logo or engravings (with very few vintage exceptions).

  • The Fake Tell: Transparent, engraved, or clear case backs that let you see the watch’s movement are often a sign of a counterfeit Rolex.
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6. Serial and Model Numbers

Genuine Rolex watches have well-engraved serial and model numbers, located between the lugs on the side of the case.

  • Counterfeit Clues: Fake Rolexes often have blurry, shallow, or poorly engraved numbers. These are etched out in a haphazard manner, rather than with the precision of a genuine Rolex.

7. Weight

Rolex uses high-quality, dense materials in its watches, making them heavier than their counterfeit counterparts.

  • Feeling the Difference: If the watch feels suspiciously light, it might be a fake.
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8. The Logo and Text

The Rolex logo, especially the iconic crown, and the watch’s text should be immaculately detailed.

  • Spotting a Fake: Misspellings, uneven fonts, and misaligned text are indicators of a counterfeit. The crown logo should be detailed and precise, not smudged or irregular.

9. The Price

One of the most apparent indicators might be the price. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  • A Cautionary Note: Never purchase a Rolex at a heavily discounted price from an unverified source without proper authentication.


While these tips from LH Watch Trade provide a foundational understanding of distinguishing between genuine and counterfeit Rolex watches, always consult with professionals when in doubt. An expert’s eye, backed by years of experience, is invaluable in the luxury watch market.

Trust, expertise, and attention to detail are pivotal in ensuring that the Rolex you’re investing in is genuine, and a partner like LH Watch Trade is essential in this discerning journey. Ready to invest in a Rolex watch? Speak to us today.