Updated: May 7
Because of their superb timepieces and excellent service, Rolex has become one of the most popular brands in the watchmaking industry. Their fame and fortune has won them many competitors and an obstacle that affected companies worldwide: counterfeiting. Forgery and counterfeiting are crimes that affect money, jewelry, art, and many other products and services. Each year, the number of imitation Rolex timepieces rises and reports show that for every one authentic Rolex watch, there are ten fake ones. These ersatz wristwatches are known as “Folex,” “Trolex,” and “Fauxlex,” and are found on the Internet and on the street.
The origins of the faux Rolex industry began with a simple chain of e-mails, which offered the watches at prices as low as $25.00. Though most of these fake timepieces are cheap and low quality replicas, there are a few higher quality replicas that work so well, even jewelers with a good eye for fakes are fooled at times. So how can consumers tell the difference between a real Rolex and a false one?
Spotting the signs of counterfeit is an easy task when dealing with cheap imitations. Even the untrained eye will be able to notice the warning signs such as incorrect stamps, model numbers, hallmarks on the back, and even clear case backs; lightweight and delicate construction; quartz movement requiring a battery (this would cause the hands to tick rather than follow the standard sweep motion); the movement and inside case back do not display any Rolex markings; the dial exhibits poor markings, wrong sized hands, or a low quality Cyclops lens that does not provide any magnification; a brassy finish on gold versions; bracelets featuring push pins rather than screws; loose crowns and bezels; and non-functional registers in models such as the Rolex Daytona.
Improved versions of replica Rolex watches are often sold over the Internet at comparable prices, usually in the $200 range. However, consumers must proceed with caution when they believe they have come across a real Rolex, for even the improved low quality models have their flaws. These include a sweep hand that is not as convincing as the hands on a true Rolex model; screw-in case backs similar to the ones seen on the real models, though the markings will be absent or incorrect; poor quality bracelets with the same features as the high quality bracelets used by Rolex; and are water resistant but not waterproof. High quality replicas are difficult to spot due to the many similarities they stare with actual Rolex models, including an effective Cyclops lens; a convincing sweep movement by the second hand; and a screw in case back. However, these counterfeit watches are made with lower quality materials that do not last as long as the materials used in authentic Rolex watches.
Bert Levi Family Jewelers is not affiliated with Rolex SA, and nothing
in this content should be construed as an endorsement by Rolex. We
are not an Official Rolex Dealer, and if you are searching for a new
Rolex, you should visit Rolex.com in order to find an authorized
Dealer. We buy and sell pre-owned Rolexes only.