We will start this article with an interesting fact: There are more fake Rolexes in the world than real ones, which is really mind-blowing. This amount of fake watches on the market creates great complications for people wanting to buy specifically an authentic watch, but also, given the fact that the majority of the copies are poor quality, it gives a bad reputation to replica Rolex watches as well. Being the leading vendor of replica Rolex watches, both budget-friendly and Superclone grade, even though we are happy that there are so many replica Rolex watches out there, we are very opposed to cheap quality fake watches, that create a bad impression for the whole industry.

In this article, we will look at the differences between fake Rolex vs real Rolex watches. We will not cover cheap fake Rolex watches as the differences are not subtle and not just visual but overall in the quality, weight, shape, and color of the watches. We will look into watches in our range, budget-friendly replicas, and superclone watches. We want to mention that 1:1 replica watches are a myth, or rather a marketing term, in reality, even the highest grade watches will have slight differences, they will not be inferior in quality, just tiny discrepancies, in the sound of the rotating bezel, slight tone differences in very colorful models and other things that we will discuss in this article.

Can you tell if a Rolex is real?

Now, before I take you through these six points, we will go through some images of real and fake watches so you can test yourself. Click on the watch that you consider is authentic.

Fake Watch Authentic Watch

Fake Watch Authentic Watch

Authentic Watch Fake Watch

Fake Watch Authentic Watch

Did you get them all right? We chose angles and zoomed in on parts that have those small differences we pointed out earlier, otherwise, the images would just be similar and you would just guess by blind luck.

The second reason why it’s so difficult to identify between a fake and a real Rolex is that Rolexes, however great the company and their attention to detail wouldn’t be, has flaws themselves. There are misaligned parts; there are poorly finished areas, both on the case and on tiny details like the hands.

How to tell if a Rolex is real

Here is a detailed video comparison of our Superclone Replica Rolex Submariner 126610LN.

Rolex Serial Number

The first one’s easy: it’s the serial number. Every single Rolex has a unique serial number, and before 2010, you could actually use a serial number to date the watch. But after 2010, they used a random collection of numbers, and you can no longer date the watch by that. So if you have the serial number of the watch and want to check if the Rolex serial number is fake, just type it into Google and put quotation marks on either side because that’s your command in Google to search just for that exact item, and if it comes up with lots of results, then it is most likely fake. To give you an example, you can google “z754008” and it will come up in a couple of watches sold in different configurations(Submariner black and Two-Tone), and some forum discussions regarding watches with this serial number. But not finding any discussions or sales after your Rolex serial number lookup, does not mean the watch is authentic. More budget-friendly replica watches have larger batches of watches with the same serial number because it’s cost-effective, however, the higher-end Superclone Role watches have significantly fewer watches in a batch with a single serial number or even have unique serial numbers for each produced watch.

Our Superlcone Rolex watches have unique serial numbers mostly, but we don’t endorse and strongly discourage our clients to try and sell those watches as authentic as they can face legal issues. Replica watches are solely for you, not to fool other people by taking money from them. Let Rolex do this themselves..

Fun fact: between 1987 and 1990, Rolex actually used the name “Rolex” as part of their serial number sequence, of course, missing out the “O” because “O” is similar to zero, and that would have just been confusing.

Rolex serial numbers

Where is the serial number on a Rolex?

Older Rolex watches have their serial number engraved between the 6:00 lugs, while modern Rolexes don’t require the bracelet to be removed and have the serial number engraved on the rehaut at the 6:00 position, it is known as the rehaut engraving.

Rolex Cyclops or the Date window

The next point is the Cyclops or the date window. This is there to magnify the tiny date disc behind so that it’s more legible. A real Submariner magnifies that tiny date number by 2.5 times. The Cyclops is a really hard thing for lower end fake factories to get right, not just because of magnification but also the clarity of the number behind it. A real Rolex won’t have a massively skewed, distorted number; it’ll be relatively clear. Also, Rolex uses anti-reflective material under the Cyclops to make it easier to read, but this anti-reflective material is clear. This is obviously harder for people to find, and so even higher grade fake Rolex watches often have a little tint in the Cyclops which can be spotted under certain angle and light conditions.

rolex cyclops real vs fake
Rolex cyclops real vs fake

For the date font itself, to verify it you would need an authentic watch to compare side by side. Usually the font is pretty much the same, however, under detailed inspection, some numbers might have giveaways, like this peak in this particular number 3.

Rolex laser-etched crown

With the next point, we’re going to start to get a bit geeky because it requires quite a bit of attention to detail and quite a bit of time to kind of dissect this part, and it’s the laser-etched crown down at six o’clock

Real Rolexes have a tiny laser-etched crown on the sapphire crystal down at six o’clock. It is incredibly hard to see with the naked eye, but you can just about make it out if you angle the watch in a certain way. It’s easier to see if you’ve got a loop or a macro lens on a camera. Rolex doesn’t just laser-etch the crown logo at six o’clock; they do it with tiny dots at different heights, different depths within the sapphire crystal, and so it’s not just one continuous line creating the logo. This is one of the biggest places where fake watches are identified as being fake because it’s such a hard process to replicate. Cheaper replica watches can lack the crown or have it engraved rather than laser-etched. A lot of mid-tier to high-end fake watches over-accentuate the crown down at six o’clock to make it stand out. On the real watches, it’s very, very difficult to see, therefore on superclones it is also difficult to see. Just get out a loop and or a macro lens or something that allows you to magnify it and see if it has these dots in different depths.

Rolex Rehaut

Next we’re going to look at the rehaut. This is the inner ring that connects the dial to the glass or the bezel, and it has “Rolex” written all the way around, and it’s laser-etched. At 12 o’clock is te Rolex logo, the crown, and then at six o’clock, you can find the serial number.

This is a tricky area to look at because the process has changed over the years, but there are two major things to look at.

One is how the text is executed: Rolex laser engraves this stuff; it is exact, it’s so precise, and it is super, super clean. Everything is super sharp, and it’s without a doubt perfectly executed. Sometimes the replica watch rehaut might have a deeper engraving than the authentic one or can have thick dark line right in the middle of the lettering.  Even though the differences are there, you would need an ultra macro lens to spot that, a regular magnifying glass would not be enough, and of course, an authentic watch to compare side by side. See the images below, those are 2 different factories.

Another thing to look out for is, on the right-hand side of the dial, one o’clock down to five o’clock, the “X” of “Rolex” is going to line up with the hour markers. On the left-hand side of the dial, so seven o’clock up to 11 o’clock, the “R” of “Rolex” is going to line up with the hour markers. Sometimes, even higher-end superclones get the positioning wrong.

Rolex started engraving the rehaut in 2004, therefore any model before that will not have it.

Rolex finishing

Now we will discuss the finishing on the brushed parts. Any enthusiast knows that the finishing on a Rolex should be close to perfection and any brushed or polished surface should look immaculate. The brushing on a Rolex Submariner is extremely fine and requires extra effort for the superclone watches since they are also manufactured from 904L Steel which is more scratch-resistant but harder to work with. The flanks, link, and overall finishing of the case is virtually indistinguishable for the higher-end clones, however, a giveaway can be the brushing on the clasp. You have to look through a magnifying lens to see the difference in the thin straight lines. Definitely, to see the difference you would need an authentic watch to compare, and better an unworn one, because a properly worn watch will have a worse finishing after a while if not polished regularly.

Note, that this photo is done using an ultra macro lens, for the purpose of comparison, here is a photo of two buckles from an authentic and Replica Rolex Daytona.

Rolex Movement

When buying a high-end replica watch, it’s important to consider both what’s on the outside and what’s on the inside. The factories in China have invested millions of dollars in re-producing exact copies of various Swiss watch movements from ETA, and in-house movements from Rolex. The accuracy of the replication varies, as does the reliability of these movements. In this article, we will not go into detail about multiple types of movements and their replica versions, as they vary from model to model, and different price points have different movements, but we will cover the basics and showcase differences between several movements.

Most low to mid-tier replica Rolex watches are powered by Japanese Miyota 8205/8215 or its Chinese clone called 2813, with a decorated rotor to look like a Rolex movement. Higher-end Superclones usually have cloned movements from two factories, namely VR and VF, with their naming matching the original movement, e.g. vr3135 or vr3235, or, depending on the mode, even an ETA movement, which is a renowned Swiss movement manufacturer.

Since Rolex watches have a closed case back, and we don’t encourage our clients to try to fool anyone into buying a replica as an authentic(this would be the only reason for someone closely inspecting the movement), we acknowledge the finishing shortcomings compared to the authentic movement and some technical differences that we will showcase below but do consider it came as close as it could get, and the price to quality ratio is very high, considering you can buy virtually the same watch for the 5-10% of the authentic watch’s price.


Clasp hook

This is a very subtle feature that can be spotted on newer Submariner models. The hook on the clasp is the only component that is soldered onto the clasp. If you look at the place where the hook is attached to the clasp, there should be a flawless spot welding surface, basically a series of points with perfect distance between each point and no discoloring, because soldering requires a lot of heat and steel will change color and temper under different temperature.

Weight and size difference between real and fake Rolex watches

The low-hanging fruit is the size and weight, if you have an authentic watch to compare or at least the exact specifications. It’s a sure way to tell if a Rolex watch is fake, but it’s not a sure way to say it’s authentic, since the superclone Rolex watches are identical in weight and size, or it is so close that it can be written off as poor glass positioning after service, extra polishing, extra links added or removed or other things of that sort. As you can see in our Rolex Submariner 126610LN real vs fake comparison, the difference is negligible.

Franken Rolex

Even though we can say with certainty that there is no 1:1 replica watch, it gets to as close as 97% accuracy, in our opinion, however, it’s not enough for some people. For those who are ready to put down some extra buck for those 3%, there are Franken watches. Basically, it’s a replica watch with the “flawed” parts replaced with genuine parts. There is no Franken Rolex watches store because it requires individual assessment of each model, sourcing of authentic parts, and watchmaking knowledge to work with the mechanism, besides all that, there is no market for that because people are generally very happy with their level the Superclones, since it requires a very good watchmaker to detect if it’s a replica. We want to remind our clients, that replica watches are just for you if you love the brand, the design, and the feeling that the watch provides, without having to break the bank.

Find your Perfect Replica Rolex in our catalog!


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