Top 5 YouTube Videos to Help You Spot a Fake Rolex

October 13, 2016

How to Spot a Fake Rolex (photo: Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer)
There are many different ways to tell the difference between an authentic Rolex and a knock off. Some fakes look quite convincing, but when they are taken apart they reveal their true origins. There are as many ways to spot a fake Rolex as there are ways to manufacture one, so I decided to compile a few YouTube videos to illustrate the differences between an authentic Rolex and a counterfeit. Seeing a fake next to the real thing is the best way to train your eye to spot the design flaws and technical inconsistencies that can help save you from being swindled on the gray market. Check out the videos I embedded below to find out what to look for in an authentic Rolex wristwatch.

Pawn Stars is a reality show on History Channel that centers around Pawn Shop owners. In the video above, one of them breaks down how he can tell the difference between a real Rolex watch from a fake. He focuses mainly on waterproof testing, checking for proper configurations and the magnification of the Cyclops lens.

Archie Luxury focuses on the finer points in his video, recommending taking the bracelet off the case to check the serial numbers on the case and bracelet for authenticity. He also comments on the stamping and printing on these watches, pointing out that some fakes have incorrect information stamped on them, like a stainless steel Explorer having an 18k gold stamp in the case - a dead giveaway that is less apparent than other inaccuracies.

The video above shows the movement of a fake Chinese knock off (you can skip to the 5:00 minute mark to get to the movement). I included this one so that you can see the difference between a fake Rolex movement and the real thing. The rotor on the fake only moves in one direction and the rest of the movement lacks the markings and parts that make a Rolex and Rolex.

The Daytona model is one of the watchmaker's most coveted and this video by TraxNYC is very helpful in comparing two counterfeit versions with the real thing. It goes into detail about the markings and design features of this model, something that would be helpful to watch on your phone when you are getting ready to check out a Daytona for purchase.

In this final video, a gentleman compares his authentic Datejust II with a knock off that his friend purchased. He goes into great detail, revealing the issues with the instantaneous date change and the winding crown that give away his friend's fake. It is very difficult to tell the difference just looking at them, so this video would be great for anyone on the market for a preowned DJ2.

There are other videos on YouTube that go into the difference between real and fake watches, but I feel watching these five will give you a good primer on what to look for in an authentic Rolex. The key is to know every single detail about the model you are looking at, from the finer details like stamping and markings to functionality and consistency. I would recommend going to and printing out the PDF brochure for the model you are looking at before going to see the watch in person. Their model brochures include reference numbers and details about the dials, bracelets, crown and configurations that will help you know what to look for in an authentic Rolex.


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