Rolex produce some of the most iconic and sought after watches, desired by almost every human on earth.
Unfortunately, this also means that Rolex are the watches that see the highest number of homage and fakes on the market. And some of the fakes are now produced in the factories that are basically copying everything, down to each screw and component of the watch from inside out.
And we're not talking about homage watches here; we're talking about the nasty but well equipped factories that even copy the name "ROLEX" on the dial to produce fakes.
These fakes are now getting far too close and far too real, to the point that even if you put them side by side, to an unseasoned eye, you'd be pushed to find differences and spot which one is fake.
And this struggle to spot the fake is when it's literally right next to the real one. Move one of them away and look at them in isolation, and good luck trying to conclude if the one you're looking at is a real Daytona or the fake!
Every detail of the dial is identical, including the functionality, the push buttons, the screw down crowns and pushers, the dial hands, the font, the size, the logo and this is just scary how close the fake Daytona is here to the genuine Rolex Daytona.
The shocking details that the fake ones are now coming with are surprisingly not limited to just the dial or the case, rather these fake-watch factories have even produced a clone 1:1 Rolex movement too.
You open the case back, and even the engraving on the caseback is identical.
Can you tell which caseback is real or looks real?
Gone are the days when after opening the caseback, while the dial looked real, the movement inside the fake Rolex was a cheap and nasty ETA or Sellita movement.
Now you open the case back, and what you see inside is an identical movement, with every detail carved to exact position, location and size. Every engraving on the movement a 1:1 copy of the original and genuine Rolex calibre.
Look at the aesthetics, the design similarity down to each bridge, each screw, the rotor, what not..
Surprised? Shocked? Blown away? You should be, because it is shocking and mind-boggling!
You can check any screws, bridges, aesthetics of the movement, the rotor, and even turn the rotor around to see the other side of the movement, and all you see is an identical (ish) movement in both of the watches, with one being a $1500 fake, and the other one, a genuine Daytona.
And yes, one of the above is a fake Daytona, with a fake movement. But which one is it? Can you tell? If not, then this is exactly the reason why you must always buy watches from the trusted sources who you know have done their work to ensure that what they are selling to you is a genuine watch and what exactly you're paying for.
The movements are alike and the fake Rolexes are getting very, very close, but the good news is that there are tell tales, and a seasoned eye, with an experience of Rolex can still pick up and tell which one is a real Rolex and separate it from the nasty, but very close fake.
Since the days are gone when the movement will look different, it's come down to the quality and workmanship, and as you can appreciate, these fakes aren't produced with the intention to deliver quality, rather these are made to just look like the real ones.
There's a difference in making watches for the love of horology, and in producing them only to make money by making them look like, what they're not.
These macro shots reveal the differences in how the real Rolex will separate from the fake one like the day and the night. And trust me, you don't even need a macro lens to note these differences. An experienced and Rolex skilled watchmaker or a seasoned eye can spot them from a naked eye, and without any use of macro lenses or a loupe.
The movement can look identical, but really, you can see a genuine Rolex with the intricate details and display of workmanship even from one meter away, let aside the loupe or a magnifier, if you know what a Rolex looks like.
You can look at the screws, the details of bevels and polishing, the finish of Coates de Geneva, the bridges, the balance, the escapement - everything, basically everything screams which one is a Rolex and which one isn't. But no to the unseasoned eye, these differences can only be spotted by a trained and experienced professionals.
Here's another good news, if you know, you know. The tell tales from the fakes are so easy that you can actually spot a fake with eyes closed as well. No pun intended, you can tell just from the sound of winding with eyes closed, which one is fake. And if you close your ears, and close your eyes, you can still spot a fake by just turning the crown, and feeling the grittiness of winding, the roughness of screw-in, click of the clasp and easy link etc. But you can't, if you don't know.
This is to reiterate that you must always do your due diligence when buying a Rolex or basically any luxury watch from any channel other than the factory boutique or dealership. And if you don't know how to spot a fake, you must ensure that you're buying your watches from a renowned and reputed dealer or the source that you know has done the check to ensure that the watch is genuine.
At Calibre24, we go to great length in authenticating and verifying every watch we sell, and we further provide Guarantee of Authenticity for every watch we sell.
We perform not just an up-close and detailed inside-out inspection of watches but we also complete stringent performance testing on the watches to ensure that their timekeeping is consistent with Rolex specifications. We further perform water resistance testing to ensure that the watch's water proofness complies with the Rolex specs. And this is exactly why you'd want to purchase your luxury watches from the stores that you know have done their job to deliver you the genuine timepiece that you paid for.
With the frenzy that often happens in the watch market, always protect yourself and if you're buying from someone new, private, or with no past references, you should reconsider your choices.
If you'd definitely want to take the risk in buying from new or private sources, take the extra precautions, ask for evidence of authentication or even better, authenticate the watch by an independent and skilled watchmaker before purchasing it.
One of these clasps and bracelets is fake. Can you tell which one?
Have you ever run into an even better fake Rolex than the one shown in the photos above? And what did you think of above comparison photos in regards to how close the fakes are getting to the genuine ones?
Could you spot from the photos above, which ones were taken from the fake Daytona and which ones were from the genuine one? If so, how? What differences did you find?
Leave your comment below and share your experiences and thoughts with us.
In the meantime, if someone tries to pass us a fake, our stringent authentication process will inherently pick it up. And I'll make sure when we catch it, we share the findings with our audience here too.
A video comparison on these two watches is coming soon on our YouTube Channel, so stay tuned on https://www.youtube.com/HafizJMehmood