Even if you’re not a watch aficionado, chances are you’ve heard of the Swiss brand Rolex.
Rolex is a widely known status symbol, with over 700,000 of its timepieces pumped out annually. It’s also one of the most counterfeited watch brands out there.
Bloomberg interviewed watch dealer David Duggan, who has been selling watches since 1975, to find out the best way to determine if a Rolex is fake or not. Here are some of his top tips:
1. The cheapest fakes are easy to spot because of their quartz dial movements. The second hand stutters along inside the counterfeit watch, whereas a real Rolex has a smooth second hand movement.
If you’re still unsure about the difference between a “stuttering” second hand and a “smooth” one, listen closely — there should not be a ticking noise coming from a true Rolex.
2. The second way to spot a fake is by the heft of the watch. Fake Rolex watches are generally lighter, whereas a real Rolex is made of high-quality metals, and will weigh significantly more.
3. Next, take a look at the winder on the side. Usually, fake Rolex watches have rather basic winders to move the minute and hour hands. But a true Rolex will have a finely-crafted winder with engravings and grooves that are “quite a work of art,” according to Duggan.
4. Last but not least, the cyclops lens on the face of the true Rolex will magnify the date. It’s hard to replicate, so most counterfeit timepieces will skip this step and the date will appear the same size.
The cheapest watches sold on the street are pretty easy to spot. Duggan cautions it’s when the fake watch is sold for over $700 that you will need to take your purchase to a watchmaker so he or she can remove the back of the Rolex and view the inner movements to know for sure if it’s a counterfeit or not.
And always remember: “If it’s too good to be true, it ain’t true,” Duggan says.