Spotting a Fake Rolex
A few quick tips to keep you from becoming the proud new owner of a fake Rolex.
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In an effort to prevent you from being liberated from your hard earned cash while synchronously (pun intended) obtaining a worthless Rolex knockoff, we're providing a couple of quick tips to help you save your um, pride.
Note: nothing about buying a Rolex should be quick, but we know opportunities sometimes come unexpectedly. Make sure you do your research. Scam artists are good.
First of all, always buy a Rolex with its original box and Certificate of Authenticity. If the seller can't offer these basics, walk away, strike that, run away. Quickly. If you refuse to heed this advice, continue reading. And remember, the brains at Rolex must continuously come up with new features to thwart wily counterfeiters, so this is by no means an all inclusive list. Caveat emptor.
Rolex models from the past 6 or 7 years have an engraving of "ROLEX" around what's called the rehaut, the area just above the dial. Make sure the text is engraved and not printed, counterfeiters usually won't go through the trouble of engraving.
Look for a serial number engraved on the rehaut at the 6 o'clock position. Do your research and ensure that the serial number is authentic. Most should begin with an "F" or "D".
If you shine a penlight at an angle at the 6 o'clock position, you should just be able to make out a laser etched crown. If you can see the crown with your naked eye, it is most certainly a fake.
Remove the bracelet and look for a serial number between the lugs just under the 6 o'clock position. Ensure that the serial number matches the one on the rehaut.
You will also want to check engravings, clasps, bracelet styles, end links and case-backs to make sure that they correspond to the model in question. Again, do your research. Counterfeiters have become very good at replicating some of these features and they can be very hard to spot to an untrained eye.
The best way to ensure you are getting an original is by using an authorized Rolex dealer and remember, if the deal seems to good to be true, it probably is.