Fake Apple Watch VS Real: Expert Guide (All Series)

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Ch Alex
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Last Updated on June 2, 2024 by Ch David


Trying to check if your Apple Watch is original? We’ll help you with:

This guide works for any Apple Watch series and color.

How to Spot a FAKE Apple Watch

The answer: You can spot a fake Apple Watch by running its Serial Number in Apple’s Check Coverage website (it’s free). Fakes never get through.

Apple is known for not sharing their operating systems, so it’s impossible for fakes to get the serial code right.

1. Serial number

The steps to check your Apple watch’s serial code:

  1. Find your Apple watch’s serial code (Settings > About > Scroll down)
  2. Go to Apple’s website: checkcoverage.apple.com
  3. Type in your watch’s serial code
  4. Complete the Captcha check
  5. Get the results for your watch:
    • Authentic: Green tick saying “Valid Purchase Date” and other checked services
    • Fake: “We’re sorry, but we are unable to complete your request at this time.”
    • Fake: No valid purchase date and other checks for Apple services
An Apple Watch sitting upside down so you can see  its serial number
  1. Go to Apple’s website here: checkcoverage.apple.com.
  2. Type in your watch’s code and complete a Captcha

Next up, you will see the result of your product’s serial number, and if your item is authentic, it’ll look just like in the image below.

Authentic: Serial code matches

Check Coverage Service - showing an authentic serial number
  • The only thing you’d have to care about when thinking is the first green check: the Valid Purchase Date.
  • The Valid Purchase Date can give you at least 90% assurance that your Apple watch is authentic.

Fake: Serial code gives no results

If your serial code doesn’t give any results, including the green tick saying “Valid Purchase Date”, we’re sorry to say that you’re looking at a fake Apple watch.

There can be bad news when checking the serial number, and that is pretty much the red flag which commonly tells that an Apple watch is fake.

Check Coverage Service - showing a fake serial number

This image was used from the test of an Apple iPhone 11, but the fake results are always the same for every Apple product that’s scanned on the Check Coverage website.

As you can see in the image above, the replica item’s serial code was scanned on the website, and the website basically told us that they couldn’t find that specific serial code in their system, which leads us to the bottom line of a fake product.


Finding it too hard? Reach out to our Apple experts:

2. Box

Authentic Apple Watch Box:

  1. Made with high-quality materials, ensuring durability.
  2. Prints are vibrant and scratch-free.
  3. Text remains intact over time, resistant to peeling or fading.
  4. Peeling letters are rare in genuine boxes.
  5. Research original packaging for your specific Apple Watch model for reference.

Replica Apple Watch Box:

  1. May use lower-quality materials, lacking premium feel.
  2. Prints may lack clarity and show scratches.
  3. Text prone to peeling or fading, common flaw.
  4. Peeling letters are a frequent issue.
  5. Compare with online references to identify differences and ensure authenticity.

3. Graphical user interface

Also known as the GUI – the graphical user interface.

What it is: Assembly of all the app icons, the menu, and actually — the general software available on your Apple watch.

Comparison of a real and fake Apple Watch's GUI (Interface)

Authentic Apple Watches:

  1. Icons are accurately designed with correct shades, shapes, and symbols.
  2. GUI reflects Apple’s ecosystem, ensuring consistency.
  3. Uses proprietary software for compatibility.

Replica Apple Watches:

  1. Icons often differ, lacking accuracy in shades and shapes.
  2. GUI may not replicate genuine Apple Watch layout.
  3. Replicas may use Android-based software, leading to inconsistencies.
  4. Comparing with genuine Apple Watch GUI can reveal differences.

Other relevant real vs fake guides: AirPods Pro, Casio G-Shock.

4. Serial number appearance

The fourth step is also about the serial number, but this time, we are going to talk about where else you can find the serial number, and more precisely, where you should actually see it.

Apple Watch's serial number appearance in the connected iPhone's Settings

Authentic Apple Watch Serial Code:

  1. Found in the “About” section of the settings on your Apple Watch.
  2. Also accessible in the settings of your other Apple products (e.g., iPad, iPhone, Mac).

Looking at both the Apple iPhone and the Apple Watch, you can see how the serial number is mentioned and how it matches on both of the devices — this is what you should see for an authentic Apple Watch.

Here is the case of a fake Apple Watch:

Fake Apple Watch Case
  • The serial code is missing on the back of this Apple Watch Series 6.
  • An authentic watch should have the serial code written there.

The genuine Apple watches must have their serial code listed on the rear side of the case, so keep in mind that this is something you’d have to look out for as well.

Here it is: An authentic Apple Watch, with its serial code engraved on the left side.

As a side detail, this is the genuine serial code that we’ve used for the first step of the guide on how to spot fake Apple watches.

A quick mention:

  • The steps we’ve written so far are the BEST ways to authenticate this item
  • The next few steps are still reliable methods…
  • … but they apply to non-top-versions of replicas available for this item

If in doubt, we recommend double-checking the steps we’ve explained above this line.

5. Buttons

Comparison of a real and fake Apple Watch's buttons

Fake Apple Watch Design Flaws:

  1. Side button and crown have a different design on fake watches.
  2. Buttons on replicas may not function at all.
  3. Replicas are prone to breaking easily, affecting their functionality.
  4. It’s advisable to thoroughly test the functions of a suspected replica to ensure proper operation.

6. Screen

Let’s see how glossy and shiny fake watches are:

Comparison of a real and fake Apple Watch's screens
  1. Fake watch screens appear excessively glossy and shiny compared to authentic ones.
  2. Fake screens reflect an excessive amount of light, indicating lower quality.
  3. Overall quality of fake watches is noticeably inferior to authentic counterparts, often lacking in build and display quality.

Looking at the genuine Apple watch, you can see how its screen presents higher quality since it almost doesn’t reflect any light at all, and how it isn’t as glossy as the replica screen.

7. Ability to change bands

As for the seventh method on how to spot fake Apple watches, we are going to discuss a fairly simple spot to check, and that is the band of the watch.

  • In some cases, replica Apple Watches don’t have the ability to change their band.
  • For some fake watches, it’s impossible to remove the band it comes attached with.
  • All authentic Apple watches are supposed to allow you to change their band.

Just as a point of reference, we’ve highlighted an authentic Apple watch in the image above where you could see its band, together with the two buttons that help you interchange it.

8. Rear details

Comparison of a real and fake Apple Watch's interior side
  • The fake Apple Watch has a different layout from the authentic layout.
  • This also has to do with the different sensors equipped on the fake item.

While the authentic Apple watches evolve and get better with each new series, they still have the same layout and pattern that’s been followed in the previous series as well.

Shortlist: Know if your Apple Watch is Original

  1. Check the serial number of your watch on Apple’s website. The authentic items should be registered and their serial numbers should show specific results in Apple’s database.
  2. Inspect the packaging of your watch, and make sure that nothing is missing or that the text is peeled.
  3. Verify the GUI of your watch, since the replica watches always have Android icons and not always the correct Apple interface.
  4. Brief the serial number that’s linked to your watch. The authentic watches should have their serial number present on your Apple device’s “About” section in the settings, as well as on the rear side of the case of the watches.
  5. Examine the controls/buttons on your watch, since the authentic watches must have their buttons working properly and doing their job without any issues.
  6. Look at the screen of your Apple watch, because the replica Apple watches are usually too glossy and too shiny.
  7. Verify if your Apple watch has the ability to change its band, as some replica Apple watches don’t have this function available.
  8. Check the back panel of your watch, because the fake Apple watches tend to have a different layout from the genuine watches on the rear side.

This is a compact list of the steps you need to take to spot and identify a fake Apple Watch.

You may not always be able to go through the fully-detailed Apple Watch legit check guide. This list may come in handy when you’re rushed.

Expert Apple Watch Authentication Service

If you have read this guide and are still uncertain about whether your Apple watch is real or fake, the Legit Check App offers an authentication service to put your mind at ease.

Should you either not be confident in your ability to follow this guide or are simply lacking time, all you have to do is send us high-quality pictures of your Apple watch and we will get back to you with the results within 24 to 48 hours.

The results will also come with a report on why we believe your Apple watch is fake or authentic.


Need our opinion in regards to the authenticity of your watch? It’s a service we provide.

Have your watch authenticated

Alternatively, we have free authentication resources for watches: written guides and video tutorials.

Thank you for reading this,

Ch Alex

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About the Author

Ch Alex is the co-founder and COO of Legit Check By Ch. Ch Alex is in charge of the "Watch Guides" section of our Legit Check By Ch Library. Alex is also the main host of our YouTube channel where our guides have helped people save millions of dollars in scams. Make sure you subscribe to our channel and check out the videos hosted by Alex!
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