What are the best ways to tell a fake or genuine Rolex Submariner watch? Our guide and comparison video show you the clues to watch out for.
Rolex is probably the best known watch brand in the world, and the first brand many collectors look at when they start to get serious about watches. This means it is a very lucrative market for counterfeiters.
Best ways to tell a fake or genuine Rolex Submariner watch
Numbers on the bezel
The genuine Rolex Submariner will have numbers on the bezel applied in platinum using a PVD process (see the left image below) which gives an even, flat surface. On fake Rolex watches, the numbers are usually painted, and under high magnification — you need about a 40x magnifier or a jewelers loupe — the paint will be revealed as being shiny and uneven.
Rolex Submariner comparison video
Interesting video comparison between an original Rolex Submariner and four counterfeits.
Rolex Submariner bracelet & case back
The plagiarist’s bracelet is often not mounted in the case but processed on top. This method of attachment was used on the Rolex 14060M – but not as “unlovingly” as in the following illustration. Furthermore, the fake bracelet is made of cheap steel with an inferior nickel alloy!
There are no original Rolex watches that have been produced with a sapphire glass back in the last 50 years, nor models that have been engraved on the back or on the back! (Except for a few limited models) The Rolex hologram is 3-dimensional and not, as with many counterfeits, has a microfiber 2-D effect!
Sealing ring on the tube
If you pull out the crown to adjust the time and you see that no black sealing ring is attached to the tube, then it is a fake. In the case of higher-quality counterfeits, there may also be a sealing ring, but the sealing ring on the tube is usually made much thicker and is not fixed in the center.
The winder and crown
You might need a magnifying glass for this — but if you are looking at watches, it is an essential tool — and you will be able to see that the machining on the fake (on the right) is much cruder than on the genuine Rolex Submariner.
Likewise, a close look at the crown logo on the winder will show that it is not precision-made and in sharp sculpted relief.
Hologram sticker on original Rolex
With luxury watches from Rolex, it is customary to label the products with a hologram. This hologram sticker is attached to the back of the original in 3D. The copy is usually only equipped with an inferior sticker.
Magnifying glass of the date display
The original Rolex Submariner is characterized by a 2.5x magnification of the date display. In the case of plagiarism, the date is magnified at most 1.5 times by an inferior magnifier. In contrast to the original, many counterfeit products also use a changing and different font.
Also, the numbers are usually not centered on the replica, and the printing of the font used isn’t as good quality.