There are many unscrupulous dealers out there who wouldn’t hesitate to sell you a face Rolex while claiming its authenticity. Here are some ways to tell whether your Rolex is real or fake.
1. Know your Make — Research is your friend
There are some very cheap knock-offs in which it’s very easy to tell it’s a fake. One obvious example is when the numbers on one of the inside chronographs don’t match a real one. In the image below, #3′s chronograph uses completely different numbers.
2. Pay attention to Detail
Again in #3 we can see the dial hand is flat on the chronograph and not raised like #1 and #2. This would disable the hand from moving.
The devil is in the details! In the below image, the luminator (the small arrow-looking points with white insides) on a Real Rolex is even and outlined with a silver color. Bad fakes have off-centered luminators or their coloring for the metal is all one color.
4. The Crown
The iconic Rolex logo, the crown, should be very detailed. The spherical dots at the end should be slightly 3D and raised like in #2. The inside spikes have a different color than their outline in silver. You can see the quality of the crowns in #1 and #3 are quite lacking.
5. The Lettering
Notice how #3′s lettering seems to bleed and be a little blurry. #1 isn’t as bad but it’s still not Rolex quality perfect. You can clearly see the difference in #2′s even, non-blurry font.
6. Rolex Inscription
Finally, the best and last detail in telling a real Rolex from a fake: the inside inscription. On the inner rim of the dial, the word Rolex should be laser-etched, *not* printed in ink. That is a huge giveaway and something very hard to fake unless you have expensive equipment.
Use of these details should let you know whether your Rolex is authentic or not. If you still cannot tell, it is best to take it to an expert for appraisal — just remember never to let it out of your sight.