How to tell if a Rolex is fake

How to tell if a Rolex is fake? Good question… First off: I could probably never tell.

If you already own the Rolex (modern), the easiest way is to have it serviced by Rolex, which essentially provides a seal of approval. Also review articles and videos (see bottom) on the best clones and how to identify – for me the key items are the finishing of the movement, and the use of a regulated balance instead of free sprung. Otherwise, if I didn’t have a legit and fake Rolex side-by-side…I’m not sure I could tell.

If you are talking about vintage Rolexes, then doubly beware. You should probably throw away the whole ‘Buy the Seller’ since there are so many fakes about with dealers selling them as well. Provenance is key. And anytime it passes through a dealers hands…even for a moment…well…it’s not an original owner piece, and presumably even more review is warranted.

Some examples of vintage Rolex fakes and frankens that have been for sale: