Rolex AAA Replica Vs Real: How To Tell A Real Watch (2023)

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Ch Alex
how to spot fake rolex watches
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Last Updated on November 10, 2023 by Ch David

You might be here because:

  • You have a Rolex watch
  • And you’re not sure if it’s a replica
  • So you need to check its authenticity

Fear not, this guide will teach you how to tell if a Rolex is real.

Let’s not waste your time and jump into the guide.

how to tell fake rolex watches
Check out the written Rolex guides and video Rolex tutorials, where we deeply explain how to spot fakes.

In this guide, we’ll cover the following models:

  • Submariner (116610LN)
  • Submariner (122610)
  • Hulk (116610LV)
  • Datejust
  • Daytona
  • GMT-Master II
  • Day-Date

How to spot a fake Rolex

The serial number, weight, and inscriptions on a Rolex watch are your best indicators of authenticity.

Replicas are often too light and have poorly weighted inscriptions.

1. Datejust

Read the 11 ways to spot a fake Rolex Datejust.

  • Authentic:
    • Date characters are clear and perfectly centered.
  • Fake:
    • Characters, like the “3”, are off-center in the date window.
    • The print is too bold compared to the genuine watch.

Video guide over here:

2. Submariner

We’re going to cover the following Submariners:

  1. Rolex Submariner (116610LN);
  2. Rolex Submariner Hulk (116610LV);
  3. Rolex Submariner (126610).

Let’s take them one by one.

2.1. Older (11610LN)

The 11610LN Submariner was made from 2010 to 2021.

See the full guide to spot a fake Submariner 116610LN in 11 steps.

  • Authentic: The date number, such as “1”, is centered in the box.
  • Fake: The “1” is positioned too high, leaving an uneven gap at the bottom.

Always compare date numbers when authenticating a Rolex Submariner.

Let’s take a look at another comparison:

  • Authentic: The number “5” is perfectly centered in its box.
  • Fake: The “5” is misplaced, leaning too close to the right edge of the box.

Genuine Rolex Submariner watches, given their Swiss craftsmanship and premium pricing, are always precise and detailed.

Below is the video version of this guide:

We’ve also had some fun with the Submariner:

Destroying the fake Rolex Submariner by shooting it with a sniper rifle

We shot a fake Submariner with a sniper rifle.

This was to test the building quality of the fake.

Click the link above for a little bit of entertainment.

2.2. Hulk (116610LV)

Find the detailed Rolex Hulk authentication guide with 10 steps.

  • Authentic: The Rolex Hulk displays a sunburst effect on its dial when viewed under certain light and angles.
  • Fake: Many replicas fail to replicate the sunburst effect due to the materials used.

In the light, this difference becomes apparent.

Below is the video version:

Watch the detailed video guide as well.

Train and Mercedes-Benz CLS vs FAKE Rolex Hulk – Destroying a fake watch

Here’s more fun:

We took a Mercedes-Benz CLS, then a train, and got them to drive on top of the fake.

2.3. Newer (122610)

Read the entire Submariner 126610 guide.

  • Authentic: Minute hand points accurately without overlapping minute markers.
  • Fake: Minute hand is too long and overlaps the markers.

Check the alignment of the minute hand; it should never overlap the markers on an authentic Rolex Submariner 2020.

Below is the video guide:

3. GMT-Master II

Visit our detailed GMT-Master II guide (11 steps).

The GMT-Master II must have a specific order for its hands:

  • Authentic Rolex GMT-Master II:
    1. Hour hand (closest to the dial)
    2. GMT hand
    3. Minutes hand
    4. Seconds hand (farthest from the dial)
  • Common Counterfeit Pattern:
    1. GMT hand
    2. Hour hand
    3. Minutes hand
    4. Seconds hand

It’s crucial to remember that while this hand stacking order is a critical indicator, it’s not the sole determiner of authenticity.

Some counterfeit watches might get this detail right but falter elsewhere.

Find the video guide over here:

Let’s go to the next model.

4. Daytona

Check out the full Rolex Daytona authentication guide (9 steps).

  • Authentic Rolex Daytona:
    • Sub-dials are thin and subtle.
    • Display a more matte finish, with less shininess.
  • Common Counterfeit Pattern:
    • Sub-dials appear too thick and wide.
    • Often produced with a shinier finish compared to genuine pieces.

Check out the video guide for more:

5. Day-Date

Find the entire Day-Date guide (click) with 8 steps.

  • Authentic Rolex Day-Date:
    1. “MONDAY” text is of appropriate size, ensuring it’s centered and has ample space from the edges of the arched rectangle.
    2. Text font-weight is balanced, neither too thin nor too thick.
    3. Consistent spacing between letters. For instance, the letter “A” has clear and well-defined edges.
  • Common Counterfeit Pattern:
    1. “MONDAY” text often appears too big, coming too close to the left and right edges of the rectangle.
    2. Font-weight tends to be incorrect, often appearing too thick.
    3. Inconsistencies in letter spacing are common. For instance, the letter “A” in some fakes can appear disproportionately thick, especially at the top-right corner.
    4. Lower quality replicas might show varying distances between the characters.

6. Tudor

Tudor isn’t the same as Rolex, however it’s their smaller brand.

As a bonus, let’s look at how to spot a fake Tudor.

Check out the entire Tudor authentication guide (9 steps).

  • Authentic:
    • “TUDOR” and “GENEVE” are slim.
    • The text at the bottom, especially “CHRONOMETER,” is thicker.
  • Fake:
    • “TUDOR” and “GENEVE” are overly thick.
    • The bottom text lines are too thin.

Shortlist: Tell if your Rolex is real

Let’s have a quick recap of the best ways how to tell fake Rolex watches of the most popular models.

  1. Rolex Datejust: Check the date window;
  2. Rolex Submariner (116610LN): Inspect the date window;
  3. Rolex Hulk 116610LV: Look at the colour of the dial when the sun hits it;
  4. Rolex Submariner 126610: Verify the minute hand’s length;
  5. Rolex GMT-Master II: Inspect the length of the watch’s hands;
  6. Rolex Daytona: Check the placement of the sub-dials;
  7. Rolex Day-Date: Look at the text indicating the day’s week;
  8. Tudor watches: Have a look at the text on the dial.

This guide is for those of you who are in a hurry, as you might need a 10-second Rolex watch authentication guide.

If you want to see the full ways how to tell popular watch brands and their products, have a look at our detailed library where we have thousands of words telling you how to verify the authenticity of a watch yourself.

Expert Rolex authentication

  • Our Promise: Our Rolex authenticity guide is detailed and free forever.
  • Clarity: Designed for easy understanding.
  • Need Help? If uncertain after using the guide, contact us!
  • Our Offer: We’re here to help confirm your Rolex’s authenticity.
  • Process: Send us a picture of your watch.

Expect a response within 24 to 48 hours, sometimes even sooner.


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

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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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