The second scam we at Beckertime want to address is that of fake watches. As you probably know, Rolex watches are among the most counterfeited items on Earth. Just walk down any street in a Mexican tourist town and you can step into a shop and buy a fake Rolex.
These fakes used to be pretty cheesy and VERY easy to identify. Jumping second hands, totally wrong design/ styling, cheap lightweight construction, spelling errors on the dial – all were dead giveaways.
But in recent years, the counterfeiters have been getting better and better. The quality, frankly, is getting quite good. Dial printing technology has gotten very good (we’ll cover dials separately in a future post), metals have gotten better so weights are closer to genuine, and counterfeiters are paying closer attention to design points and machining techniques.
These situations add up to you, the consumer, needing to know the fine points of the watch you think you’re buying. Are the hands correct? Is the dial printing correct? The lume? Drilled vs. non-drilled lugs? Does the watch have the correct bracelet and clasp? Are the case edges correctly sharp or beveled? (I saw a fake Submariner once which had a case with dramatically rounded edges, a misspelling in the dial printing, fully polished surfaces, and a color Rolex never made. All screamed FAKE!)
Get to know the exact traits of the reference you’re looking for, use a loupe to inspect ever square millimeter of the watch, and you’ll be well on your way to ensuring you’re buying a genuine Rolex.