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How to tell a fake or genuine Rolex Daytona

to tell a fake or genuine Rolex Daytona

What are the best ways to tell a fake or genuine Rolex Daytona watch? Our illustrated guide outlines the clues to watch out for so you can avoid counterfeits.

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Rolex first introduced the Cosmograph Daytona in 1963. This timepiece was specially developed for the demands of professional motorsport: the extremely reliable chronograph movement including the integrated tachymeter bezel made it possible for racers to measure average speeds of up to 400 km per hour. But not only racing drivers and motorsport enthusiasts enjoy a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. The sporty timepiece is the perfect luxury accessory for every look, every occasion and every occasion. However, this means it is a prime target for counterfeiters — who are increasingly getting better at faking the watches.

Best ways to tell a fake or genuine Rolex Daytona watch

Rolex Daytona laser crown

An original Rolex Daytona can be recognized, among other things, by the fact that it bears the Rolex crown as a laser engraving in the sapphire glass at 6 o’clock. As can be seen in the picture, the laser crown is formed by small dots. You can easily recognize this laser crown by illuminating the sapphire glass on the side with a flashlight and using a magnifying glass for viewing.

Rolex Daytona laser crown

Rolex Daytona dial

Hold a Rolex Daytona in the sun or under a bright lamp and watch the reflection of the dial. The dial or the sapphire glass casts a clearly delineated round reflection. In addition, you should clearly see the reflection of the hour, minute and second hands (at six o’clock), as well as the hands of the totalizers (auxiliary hands or auxiliary dials of the chronograph). In the photo, the pointer types are colored for clarity. The minute hand (yellow) and hour hand (red) generate two parallel reflections. The hands of the totalizers and the totalizer rings (purple) can be clearly seen like the second hand of the stopwatch (green). If the reflection of your Daytona is out of focus and the hands are not recognizable, you have a counterfeit / plagiarism.

Reflection Rolex Daytona dial

Rolex Daytona luminous material Superluminova

Luminous material is applied to the dial, minute hand and second hand of the Rolex Daytona. No luminescent material is attached to the 12 o’clock position. The three, six and nine o’clock positions have a smaller illuminated area than the other hour digits on the Rolex Daytona. 

Depending on the year of manufacture of the watch, the radioactive and self-luminous radium was used at Rolex until the late 1950s. After that, it was replaced by tritium, which was weaker radioactive. Due to legal regulations, the no longer radioactive Luminova was introduced in 1998 and the more luminous Superluminova from around 2000.

If the luminous material is irradiated by the sun or a bright light source, it continues to glow. The glow can still be seen very well in a dark room after an hour. A minimal glow should still be visible after approx. 3 hours. You can check this by holding the Daytona in the sun and then placing it in an absolutely dark room. 

To judge the glow, your eyes have to get used to the darkness for about 3 minutes. In addition, the room must be really pitch black. Check the intensity of the watch every 30 minutes. (Note: The thin luminescent lines outside the hour digits are reflections on the edge of the case and not part of the dial). In the case of counterfeits and plagiarism, the digits and hands shine significantly less — or even not at all.

Rolex Daytona luminous material Superluminova