Fake watches aren’t created equally.
Believe it or not, there is such thing as a sophisticated replica watch. This means that if you’re interested in the real thing, you have to trust the seller. And understand that if the price on your dream watch seems too good to be true, it probably is. And when it comes to Rolex, probably the most copied brand in the world, you have to be doubly careful. Which is why we rounded up one of our watchmakers to compare the real against the fake.
On deck? The Rolex Milgauss.
Fake Rolex Milgauss: The First Glance
The Rolex Milgauss is a pretty substantial watch—even more so than the Submariner. That’s in part because the Milgauss is an anti-magnetic watch with special components that protect the movement from magnetic forces. It adds a bit of weight and height to the watch. And you may not realize it, but the difference in weight between a real and fake watch is a big tell. A fake will usually be lighter for a number of reasons. This can include the different metals used in the case and bracelet, the movement inside, etc.
Another big thing to look for? Everything about a real Rolex watch will be smooth. We’re talking about the case finishing—all rounded edges, perfect polish. With a Rolex, you can feel the quality and care that goes into it. But we’re also talking about the other aesthetics of the watch, like the smooth sweep seconds. A Rolex never ticks, but a fake will.
Rolex Milgauss: The Details
Certain models of the Milgauss (specifically the 116400GV) have a green sapphire crystal. Rolex uses an interesting, complicated process to produce the special green crystal that is difficult to recreate. Which is why producers of fake watches won’t even try. Just look at the edges of the crystal—fake watches will have inconsistencies in the green coating they use to cover the crystal.
So the fake that we examined did a pretty good job of copying the modern Rolex trademarks—the laser-engraved inner ring and the placement of the serial number. But, an easy way to verify whether a Rolex is real or not is to run the serial number.
The movement inside a fake watch will never compare to the quality and finish of a real Rolex movement. Opening up the watch will show you that. Fake watches that try to replicate a genuine Rolex movement can only do so much. However, it’s hard to replicate the red reversing wheels, plate engravings, and overall finish on the movement to Rolex’s high standards.
Sometimes, you come across a really skilled replica manufacturer that can fool even the biggest watch nerd. That’s why you trust the experts to tell you for sure. To check out other information on spotting fakes, visit our Real vs. Fake Watch Roundup.