You’d think avoiding a fake Rolex would be easy enough: don’t buy it at a back alley in Chinatown, for one. Still, you never know who is going to swindle you so you best be prepared to spot a phony.
In a new video from Complex, Hodinkee wristwatch expert Ben Clymer ticks off the three biggest tells of a phony Rolex (watch the clip above).
The first should be fairly obvious—the fluidity of the second hand. If it does not tick with obvious precision and finesse, it likely wasn’t manufactured in Geneva but rather in some scam artist’s basement.
The next would be overlooked by many watches novices. Typically, the date window has a 3 or 4x magnification aspect whereas a fake has none, likely due to its shoddy glass or even plastic (gasp!).
The last only applies to gold watches. Because every gold watch imported to the United States bears an import hallmark, there should be stamps on the backside of the case or on the band. If there are none, the thing was imported from somewhere shady, definitely not Switzerland.
Since you can now probably spot that fake Rolex a mile away, you’re ready to buy the genuine article… if you’ve got $10,000 or more to spare.