For the vast majority of us, the only way we will ever own a Rolex is by buying a second hand one. Since they are built to last and will always look great, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing so. The only issue is that there is a significant chance that any used Rolex watches you come across are counterfeit. Buying a counterfeit watch, even unwittingly so, is actually an illegal act. Furthermore, if someone were to find out, you would look as if you were simply trying to have a certain status but have actually totally failed at doing so. So how do you make sure your used Rolex is the real deal?


Test Your Watch to Make Sure it Is Real

There are a number of things you can do to make sure you find out whether or not your Rolex is real. This includes:

  • See if the watch really exists. The Rolex website shows the full line of watches they have ever made, including photographs and names. This includes information on discontinued models, so if it’s not there, it’s not real.
  • A stopped watch should immediately start to run again if it is moved clockwise a few times. The Rolex movement should never break. If, by some miracle, it does break, there is no point buying the watch anyway, even if it is real.
  • The second hand on a Rolex does not tick and it should sweep very smoothly. If it doesn’t, it is either an Oysterquartz model, or it is a fake.
  • Listen to the tick of the watch. It should be very fast and almost impossible to hear. A slow or loud tick is almost guaranteed to be a fake.
  • Make sure you listen when you go through the circular motion described above. You should not actually hear the rotor on doing so, as a Rolex is always quiet.
  • Maneuver and move the crown of the watch. On a real Rolex, it will be one screw down. In most cases, it will have a 6mm diameter. The exceptions are found on Oyster models, where it is 5mm in diameter, and on Sea Dweller models, where it is 8mm. The crown should either have a line underneath it, or three dots. Three dots are found only on Sea Dweller and Submariner models.
  • There should be an O-ring on the stem of the crown. When you unscrew the crown, this will be uncovered.
  • Check the hands and dial. Most models have some sort of inscription on their dial and these should be crisp and clear. The finish should also be beautiful. Most fakes will have inscriptions, but these are of notoriously poor quality.
  • On a fake, it is likely that the hands are slightly misshapen or too short. It is also common for the wrong hands to be on a certain watch. For instance, a fake Daytona will often have hands that look like those from a Day-Date.