How to Buy an Authentic Second-Hand Rolex Watch

There’s no denying that Rolex watches are the epitome of class. Yes, they may be expensive, but invest in a Rolex watch and it will last you a lifetime. You may even find yourself passing it down through the generations. Whilst purchasing a brand new Rolex watch from an authorised dealer is one way to be sure you are getting an authentic Rolex, there is still an undeniable charm that vintage Rolex watches possess. Unfortunately, counterfeit Rolex watches are everywhere these days, and you may be surprised at how hard it is to identify them. Luckily, we’ve come up with five ways to spot a fake Rolex, which will ensure you end up with a genuine watch and not a cheap copy.

1. Look at the Price

A ‘too good to be true’ price usually means one thing — the watch you are looking at is not a genuine Rolex. Real second hand Rolex watches don’t come cheap. If in doubt, look at a similar new model online and compare the prices. If you’re unsure whether the watch you are looking at is genuine, get a second opinion from somebody who knows what they are talking about, or walk away from the sale.

2. Location

As with houses, location is key when it comes to buying a Rolex watch. Buying a vintage Rolex at an online auction or from a market is not recommended. Instead, you should always choose a reputable retailer of luxury goods or a renowned jewellery company, so that you can be sure you are buying the real thing. Reputable dealers should be more than happy to provide you with details of a history and an authenticity check as well as a 12-month warranty.

Rolex Watch

3. Always Check the Back

An easy way to spot a fake Rolex is by looking at the back of the case. Almost all Rolex watches don’t have clear case backs. It’s worth noting at this point that there were two (very rare) models of Rolex made in the 1930s that did have glass case backs. Fake watches may often have case backs made from crystal, plastic or glass which allow you to see the inside workings of the watch. This usually means the watch you’re holding is not a genuine Rolex.

4. Compare the Metal and Model Number

When buying a Rolex online or in-store, you’ll often find that counterfeiters try to recreate expensive models using cheaper materials; after all, this means more profit for them. It is a good idea to check the model number of the Rolex you are buying online. This is to make sure that the metal listed for the watch in question matches up with the metal of the watch you’re buying.

5. Tick-Tock

Rolex watches are designed to be virtually silent, so one of the biggest tell-tale signs that the watch you are holding in your hands is a fake is the sound of loud ticking. Rolex watches don’t make the ticking noise associated with other watches. When counterfeiters try to create a fake Rolex watch, it is often hard for them to perfect the gears, leading to a ticking noise that is a dead giveaway to those in the know.