How to Spot a Genuine Rolex Watch

How to Spot a Genuine Rolex Watch

Many people think of a Rolex watch as an investment. When someone invests in a Rolex, they won’t lose much money on them because they can buy a Rolex today, and they can sell it for the same price 10 years later. If they are lucky, the Rolex they bought will become a collectible, and it will sell for much more than its original price. Many people appreciate the mechanics of a Rolex watch. They house an automatic wound spring driven movement. Rolex’s mechanical watch movement is durable, functional, and a masterful work of art. They are thought of as engineering marvels. Rolex watches are extremely well designed, and people really enjoy buying, collecting, and selling them. There are many aspiring buyers of Rolex watches; it’s only a matter of time before they will finally buy one. Aspiring buyers of Rolex watches should be thoroughly informed about these watches before they begin to shop for them. There are several ways to identify a genuine Rolex.

A Brief History of Rolex

Hans Wilsdorf, and his brother-in-law, founded a company called Wilsdorf and Davis. This company would eventually become Rolex SA, in London, England. Wilsdorf and Davis’ main business at the time was importing Hermann Aegler’s Swiss movements into England. They placed these movements in quality cases. These early wristwatches were sold to jewelers. The jewelers then put their own names on the dials. The earliest watches produced by Wilsdorf and Davis were hallmarked “W&D” inside of the case backs. In 1908, Wilsdorf registered the trademark “Rolex.” He then opened an office in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Rolex’s name was registered on November 15, 1915. Wilsdorf was reported as saying that he wanted the company’s name to be pronounceable in any language, and he also thought the name Rolex was onomatopoeic, which means it sounds like a watch being wound. Wilsdorf also liked that the Rolex name was short enough to fit on the face of his watches.

Authentic Rolex Watch Cases

Rolex does not engrave the back of their watch cases with logos or designs. The back of the case should be smooth. The two rare exceptions are watch cases belonging to ladies watches produced before 1990 and the Rolex Sea Dweller case backs. However, there is usually a number engraved inside of the watch case back. The numbers for watch model should match the number inside of the case. There are exceptions for used Rolex’s. For instance, some watches can fit in cases that are made for other Rolex watches. The important thing to remember is that the case is the right size and that it is made by Rolex. This is considered to be acceptable.

Hologram Stickers

All genuine Rolex models are sent brand new from their factory with a three-dimensional, hologram sticker on the back of the watch case. The sticker features the Rolex trademark crown, which is positioned right over the reference number on the watch case. The hologram can be identified by viewing it from several angles, which should change the appearance of the hologram. Imitations of the hologram sticker will have a simple, repetitious Rolex pattern that doesn’t change its appearance when viewed from different angles. The Rolex hologram stickers did not feature the crown logo sticker on their new watches until 2002.

Date Magnification

With the exclusion of the Sea Dweller model, authentic Rolex crystals feature a bubble, which Rolex has named the Cyclops. The Cyclops is positioned directly over the date display of the watch. The purpose of the Cyclops is to magnify the small aperture, and it does this at a magnification of 2.5 times. This is not usually found on imitations. The magnifications on imitations are about 1.5 times. It may sound like a small difference, but it’s obvious when the two are compared.

Triplock Crown Seal

Rolex models featuring the Triplock crown seal, which can be found in the Daytona, Sea Dweller, and Sub Mariner watches, have an extra seal in the threads of the winding crown’s tube. This seal is a gasket that resembles a black o-ring. It is sometimes visible when the winding crown is fully unscrewed. Most imitations will feature a seal that is similar in appearance, but when it is closely examined, it looks completely cosmetic, and it is not functional. The Triplock’s winding crown can be identified by three small dots that are positioned under the Rolex crown logo. The logo is engraved on the end of the winding crown.

Yacht Master’s Minute Hand

Genuine Rolex Yacht Master watches feature a minute hand that is considerably thicker than those on other Rolex sports models. This is often incorrectly imitated by using a thin minute hand.

Reference Numbers

One of the most accurate ways to identify a genuine Rolex watch is by removing the watch band and looking at the serial numbers. These identifying numbers are etched on the side of the case, which is located between the case lugs. These numbers are positioned at the 12 and the six hour marks on the watch. The engraving will catch the light, and its appearance is similar to a diamond cut edge. If there is a sandy or acid-etched appearance, it’s probably not a genuine Rolex. Additionally, imitations usually have numbers that are spaced too closely. Budding watch collectors should familiarize themselves with the different types of watch reference numbers. Many times, this is enough to discern authenticity. If there is any uncertainty, take the watch to a certified Rolex seller or repair shop. They will be able to authenticate any Rolex watch quite easily. It’s also best to let a professional remove the band and the case back of a Rolex watch. Special tools are needed to accomplish these tasks without causing damage to the watch.

Rolex Movements

Many of the Rolex movements, which are located inside of the case, can be authenticated by knowing the number and type of jewels that are supposed to be used, the caliber number of the movement, and the metal type used in certain parts of the movement. This can be seen when an expert opens the back of the watch to thoroughly examine the timepiece.


Rolex is one of the most sought-after watch brands on the market. The design and durability of Rolex watches are superb. Because of this, Rolex watches can be quite expensive, so it’s important to know how to authenticate them before electing to purchase one of these marvelous timepieces. There are several ways to discern an authentic Rolex from an imitation. The watch’s date magnifications on some models are an easy way to see whether the outer parts are authentic. Rolex’s Cyclops magnification is 2.5 times the original size of the date. The back of an authentic Rolex watch should be smooth. With the exception of just a couple of models, Rolex does not engrave the back of their cases with their logo or their name. New watches are sold with holograms on the back of the watch case, and an authentic Rolex hologram will change its appearance when observed from different angles. If possible, the band should be removed to check the identifying numbers between the case lugs. These numbers are listed in the 12 and six positions of the watch. An etching that appears to have a diamond cut edge is indicative of an authentic Rolex engraving. The movement and caliber numbers of a Rolex should be studied to discern whether or not the watch is authentic. The caliber number should match the number and types of jewels the watch is supposed to have. Additionally, the type of metal used in the parts of a Rolex will identify whether it is an authentic Rolex watch. A large selection of Rolex watches can be found on internet. Many sellers are collectors and traders of the Rolex brand. Most often, watches hold their value, so it makes it easy to buy and sell them on eBay. Rolex watch owners enjoy the fact that their investments will not be lost when buying a Rolex. They will likely get back what they paid for it, and many enjoy turning a nice profit on their watches. If Rolex buyers are lucky, they will pick a watch that becomes a future collector’s item. These are often sold for 10 times more than the purchase price of the watch.

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