Official Guide: REAL vs FAKE Rolex Submariner (2024)

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Ch Alex
Rolex Submariner Fake Vs Real LCA Guide
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Last Updated on June 2, 2024 by Ch David


  • This is the ultimate Rolex Submariner authentication guide.
  • We’ll use the Submariner 116610LN reference number (made from 2010 to 2020).

Relevant Guides: Hulk and Submariner 126610 (2020+).

How to tell if a Rolex Submariner is real

1. Weight

Authentic Rolex Submariner on a weight, indicating that it weights 153 grams

Genuine Submariner watches have the following specifications:

  • 40 millimetres (= 1.57 inches) case diameter, excluding crown and crown guard.
  • 155 grams, ±15% (case and original bracelet).

If your watch is out of this range of specifications, you are most likely looking at a counterfeit Rolex watch.


Want the expert's opinion? Let our Rolex authenticators check your watch:

2. SWISS MADE

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Rolex Submariner's

By improperly font-weighted, we mean that the fake Rolex Submariner watch has the letters in the “SWISS MADE” text looking too thick and a bit washed-out, compared to the letters met on the genuine Submariner watch.

Fake manufacturers must save up on costs with the production and the machines that they use, so they will often skip some details, or make them present on the watch, but not perfectly displayed/installed/engraved/written etc.

So, if you take a quick look at the real vs fake Rolex Submariner image again, you can see how the genuine Rolex watch has all of its letters at the same font weight, unlike the fake watch.

With this being said, let’s have a look at a zoomed-in fake vs real Rolex Submariner image in order to spot the flaws with the placement on the fake Submariner easier, with a little help of the hand-emoji pointers.

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Rolex Submariner's
  • The fake Submariner Rolex watch has its “SWISS MADE” printings improperly aligned.
  • The “SWISS” text is placed too close to the tick which indicates the 30-minute time.
  • The “MADE” text on the fake Rolex is placed too far away from the 30-minute tick.
  • The letter “A” on the fake Submariner is too boxy and thick.
  • Note how the “D” on the fake watch is too rounded.

3. Date window

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Rolex Submariner's date window
  • On the authentic Submariner, the number “1” is placed evenly, in the middle of the window.
  • The fake “1” is placed higher, leaving too much blank space at the bottom.

Let’s look at another comparison:

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Rolex Submariner's date window
  • The number “5” found on the genuine Submariner watch is perfectly centred in the middle of the box.
  • The “5” is misplaced, as it is placed too close to the right edge of the box.

4. Rehaut

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Rolex Submariner's rehaut
  • The fake Submariner watch has its “R O L E X” text on the rehaut, along with the Rolex Crown logo, looking too bold.
  • The logos are engraved too deep and they’re improperly centred.
  • The fake “R O L E X” and crown logos are too close to the top, and farther from the bottom.

5. Bracelet (Strap)

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Rolex Submariner's bracelet
  • The genuine Rolex Submariner watch’s strap material is made out of oyster steel.
  • On the replica Rolex Submariner, the strap looks like it is made out of poorer-quality material.

Older, second-hand but authentic Rolex Submariners might be scratched and worn-out

Also, keep in mind that the authentic Rolex Submariner watches are not bulletproof, but since they use oyster steel for the bracelet, it is really hard to scratch it.

A fake Rolex Submariner watch can be spotted if it has a lot of easy scratches.

Speaking of bulletproofness, have you seen our video where we shot a fake Rolex Submariner with a sniper rifle?

It is the same Submariner 166610LN model that we’re authenticating in this guide!

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.

6. Profile

In order to see those engravings, you would need to remove the bracelet.

Highlighting the serial number on the side of a Rolex Submariner
  • Looking at the 6 o’clock area, on the side of the watch between the lugs, the authentic Rolex Submariner watches always need to have engraved the material and the serial number of that specific watch.
  • Fake Rolex watches usually miss these little details, or they are just replaced with other inscriptions.

Let’s have a look at another example of an authentic Rolex Submariner:

Highlighting the serial number on the side of a Rolex Submariner
  • This is the engraving at the 12 o’clock area, between the lugs.
  • Here, you will find engraved the “ROLEX” text, together with the reference/model number.

Let’s look at another replica example:

Highlighting a very thin
  • The watch’s text is too thin and improperly positioned.
  • Furthermore, the model number is completely missing.

7. Pearl

Authentic vs fake comparison of the pearls on the Rolex Submariner
  • The fake Rolex watch has its pearl improperly fit into the “case” in which it stands.
  • The fake pearl is placed too deep, as the metal material “case” is higher and bigger than the pearl.

As for the authentic pearl:

  • The genuine pearl is placed correctly, as well as it has the same height as the “case” in which it stands.
  • The material is also high quality and does not have any imperfections.

8. Interior

Authentic vs fake comparison of the mechanism of the Rolex Submariner
  • The fake watch’s inscription is missing.
  • AN authentic watch should say “ROLEX GENEVA SWISS”.
  • The fake watch has poorer material → Seethe stains below the case on the bottom side.

Please note: A Rolex Submariner is not automatically authentic if this detail is present.

We expect fake manufacturers to pick up on this flaw eventually. This specific step is only added so that you can instantly call a watch fake if this flaw is present, but not the other way around.

9. Dial window

Authentic vs fake comparison of the date window on the Rolex Submariner
  • The fake Rolex Submariner watch has its window scratched.
  • The scratches are many and they’re deep into the window.
  • Genuine Rolexes wouldn’t allow this to happen.

Authentic Rolex watches are not bulletproof, but they are hard to destroy, thanks to the high quality of the materials used to craft the watches.

An authentic Rolex Submariner watch can only be destroyed using high-damage tools such as a screwdriver.

However, a watch that is a few years old, but not older than 2010, might have superficial scratches on its window.

11. Cyclops lens

Authentic vs fake comparison of the cyclops lens on the Rolex Submariner
  • The fake Submariner watches’ cyclops glass is improperly placed.
  • It is not centred in the middle of the box that displays the date number (magnification).

On the other hand, the authentic Rolex Submariner watch has its cyclopes crystal glass placed correctly, as it is centred in the middle, above the magnified number.

12. Other models

There are some other Rolex Submariner reference numbers for which the above steps apply. A great example is the beautiful Rolex Smurf, reference number 116619.

The same goes for the Rolex Submariner Hulk.

  • When inspecting such a Rolex, you can be aware of and check the steps mentioned above.
  • Don’t forget to check your Smurf’s date window, rehaut engravings, pearl and the rest of its elements.

Another example is the nicknamed Rolex Bluesy, reference number 116613LB, pictured below.

  • The Bluesy is a bit more special, mainly because it is crafted using 18K yellow gold too.
  • The gold can be checked with a watch-smith using different chemicals.
  • However, almost all of the other elements on the Rolex Bluesy can be authenticated by yourself.

So, don’t forget to closely inspect your Rolex Bluesy’s:

  • Crystal.
  • Clasp.
  • Dial.
  • Weight: In particular, the Bluesy weighs 172 grams, so watch out for this.

Shortlist: Verify your Submariner

  1. Check the weight of your Rolex Submariner. The authentic Rolex Submariner watches must have a 40-millimetre case diameter and weight of 155 grams +/- 15% (case and original bracelet).
  2. Inspect the lettering on your Rolex Submariner. Usually, the fake Rolex watches have their text improperly font-weighted and positioned.
  3. Analyze the magnification on your Rolex watch. Most of the time, the counterfeit Rolex Submariner watches have their date number improperly font-weighted and positioned on the box.
  4. Check the dial’s text on your Rolex Submariner. Usually, the counterfeit Rolex Submariner watches have their text poorly engraved on the dial.
  5. Look at the bracelet (strap). Mostly, the fake Rolex watches use other materials than the unique authentic oyster steel, and the poor quality of the fake watches is commonly visible on the strap.
  6. Verify the details on the side of your watch. The authentic Submariner Rolex watches must have inscriptions about the Rolex manufacturing and product ID number at 6 o’clock, and the fake watches commonly miss these inscriptions.
  7. Examine the pearl of your Rolex Submariner. Usually, the fake Rolex Submariner watches have their pearl improperly heightened, as it is too small for the metal case, and the authentic watches always have their pearl as tall as the metal case.
  8. Authenticate the watch watch on the interior side (by opening it). The fake watches are commonly missing the inscriptions on the interior side of the watch.
  9. Check the quality of the window. Mostly, the fake Rolex Submariner watches have their window quality as poor as to scratch easily, and the authentic Rolex watches are always hard to scratch.
  10. Inspect the cyclops lens. Mostly, the counterfeit Rolex Submariner watches have their cyclops improperly positioned, as they are off-centred from the middle of the magnification.

While our in-depth 10-step guide for distinguishing genuine from counterfeit Rolex Submariner watches is comprehensive, it might not be convenient if you’re short on time or making an online purchase.

Recognizing this, we’ve crafted a rapid 60-second checklist for validating your Rolex Submariner. Above you can find the top 10 tell-tale signs to ascertain the authenticity of your timepiece.


FAQs: The 16610 Submariner

1. Does Rolex Submariner have serial number?

Yes, Rolex Submariner watches have serial numbers.

Prior to 2008, the serial number was located on the side of the case between the lugs, but since then, it’s engraved on the rehaut, visible through the crystal.

2. What year is Submariner 16610?

The Rolex Submariner 16610 was produced from the late 1980s until 2010.

3. Is the Rolex Submariner 116610LN discontinued?

Yes — as of late 2020, the Rolex Submariner 116610LN has been discontinued. It has been replaced with the 126610 Submariner.

Expert Rolex 116610 Authentication

Should you require assistance in verifying the authenticity of your Rolex Submariner, you’re in the right place.

Simply forward us clear photographs of your Rolex Submariner, and expect a response within 48 hours. Our feedback will include a detailed analysis explaining our rationale for categorizing your timepiece as genuine or imitation.

This concludes our guide on discerning genuine Rolex Submariner watches from counterfeits.

Stay connected, as we aim to frequently refine and enhance this resource with up-to-date comparisons.


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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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