How to Tell if a Rolex Daytona Watch is Real

Introduced in 1953, the Rolex Daytona was designed to appeal to the avid racecar driver. The Rolex Daytona quickly became one of Rolex’s most popular models and continues to be an iconic watch in today’s world of watches. It is an extremely coveted model and is on the wish list of most true watch enthusiasts. Because this watch is in such high demand, there are a good number of counterfeit Rolex Daytona watches out there and it is important to know the difference between an authentic Rolex Daytona and a replica. Follow these tips to lessen the likelihood of purchasing a replica.


Perfect font/lettering

  • Rolex would not release a watch that is less than perfect, including the lettering on the dial. If the lettering is bubbled or crooked at all, it is most likely a fake.

rolex daytona dial



  • The Rolex Daytona does not have a date window. If you see a so-called Daytona that has a date window, it is absolutely a replica Rolex Daytona.



  • There are always engravings on the sides of the case at the lugs. One lug tells the model number and the other displays the serial number. If any of these engravings are missing or crooked, odds are it’s a replica.



  • The movement should be a mechanical self-winding movement. If it’s not, chances are that it is a Chinese movement, making the Rolex Daytona a replica.
  • To see the movement, have a watchmaker remove the caseback of the Rolex Daytona so that you can see inside of the watch.


Model number

  • Make sure that the model number of the watch matches the material. If the model number says the watch should be 18kt white gold, but the watch is stainless steel, then it’s a fake.
  • The model and serial numbers can be found by removing the bracelet from the case back and looking in the middle of each of the lugs.



  • Rolex Daytona watches do not have any engravings or a transparent caseback. If you find a Daytona with an engraving or transparent caseback, that is a dead giveaway that it is a replica.

rolex daytona caseback



  • There is a myth going around that says all Rolex Daytonas and Rolex watches in general have a sweeping hand. However, that is not always the case. There are many Rolex Daytona watches that have a second hand that ticks. Also, there are many replicas that can have a sweeping hand. So this is not a good way to tell if a Rolex Daytona is authentic or a replica.
  • Put the Rolex Daytona watch case up to your ear. Can you hear the ticking? If so, it’s most likely a replica Daytona. Rolex watches are extremely high-quality and the ticking should be almost inaudible.



  • Rolex Daytona watches are crafted from high quality materials. When holding the Daytona in your hand, the watch should have some weight to it. If it is really light, it is most likely of a cheaper material and is a replica Rolex Daytona.


Triplock System

  • Because the Rolex Daytona is meant to withstand depth underwater depths, the Daytona has a triplock system. Many of the replica Rolex Daytona watches do not have this system, so it is an easy way to differentiate between an authentic and replica Rolex Daytona. This triplock system prevents water from entering the case. To determine whether or not a Rolex Daytona has this system, pull out the crown. If there is a black rubber gasket at the end of the crown, that is a triplock system.



  • All Rolex Daytona watches have a chronograph function. If you are trying to decide if the Daytona is authentic or a replica, test out the pushers. If they do not function properly, there is a good chance the watch is a replica.

rolex daytona chronograph



  • The average Rolex Daytona is around $10,000 USD. If the price of a “brand-new” watch is significantly less, you can bet it’s a replica.



  • This might be one of the most obvious. If you are planning to purchase a brand new Rolex Daytona, you must buy it from an authorized Rolex dealer. These are the only places that are legally allowed to sell brand new Rolex watches.
  • If you are planning to buy a pre-owned Rolex Daytona, you can buy from anyone, which makes it a little more difficult. Crown & Caliber only sells genuine, authentic Rolex watches. Other places may try to convince you it’s authentic, when it’s actually a replica. It is important that you buy from someone you can trust!

While these are great tips that will definitely help while purchasing a Rolex Daytona, the best way to ensure you are not purchasing a replica is to take it to a professional watchmaker and have them examine the movement of the watch. However, chances are that the owner of the watch will not allow you to take the watch until you purchase it (which is understandable). In cases such as that, use these tips for guidance.

The Rolex Daytona is one of Rolex’s most popular and identifiable brands. A lot of thought, time, and money goes into purchasing a Rolex Daytona. The worst possible thing that can happen would be to buy a watch that you thought was real, only to find out years later that you paid thousands of dollars for a fake Daytona. Use these tips to make sure this doesn’t happen to you!


To check out other information on spotting fakes, visit our Real vs. Fake Watch Roundup.

Are you the owner of an authentic Rolex Daytona watch? You can actually submit your information to Crown & Caliber and receive a free quote for your Rolex Daytona watch if you’re interested in its re-selling value!

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