When we get a fake watch into the facility, oftentimes it’s pretty easy to see right off the bat.
But not all replicas are made equal, and recently, they’ve gotten pretty good. We’re talking Frankenwatches that combine both real and fake parts, really well-done copies that look like the real thing on the outside, you get the idea. We understand why getting into fakes is a relatively attractive business model in terms of profits, but the question remains as to why you’d want to spend your hard-earned money on a fake watch. But maybe that’s just us…
Either way, we continue our series of real versus fake watch comparisons. On the watchmaker desk? A Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller 116660.
The First Glance
The outsides of a watch are going to be the first thing you notice. With Rolex, it’s nothing less than perfection, from the stack of the hands to the polish on the case. A fake watch (at least not a good one) won’t have that level of care and quality in its construction. So look closely and consult a trusted resource if you’re not sure. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell whether a watch is fake or not solely from the outside.
Next up is a function check. The Sea-Dweller has a few complications: the rotating bezel, the helium escape valve, and the winding crown that is so distinct to Rolex. If you’re winding the watch and it doesn’t feel right, then you’ve probably got a fake on your hands. Same with the bezel. With the helium escape valve, make sure it’s an actual functional part of the watch and not just a stamp—poor-quality fakes will cut corners.
Movements are always going to be the real giveaway with a fake watch. Nobody is really going to be able to make an exact copy of a Rolex movement to the quality and precision that Rolex does. Nobody. So producers of fake watches will either use other legitimate movements instead or try to copy it as best they can. Even then, they don’t come anywhere near close.
So back to the question we posed earlier: why would you spend your money on a fake watch? Sure, you get something of the look of the authentic for much less money, but is it worth it? What happens when the watch breaks? You can’t get it serviced anywhere, and then you’re out your money. Best to just stick to the real thing, in our opinion.