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Four Ways to Authenticate Preowned Rolex® Watches

Rolex Serial Numbers on Bezel

It's human nature to be suspicious of a good deal. However, not all incredible deals are phony.

It gets drilled into our heads at an early age that when things seem to be too good to be true, they're fakes. This is especially the case when it comes to pre-owned watches. There are a lot of genuine, head-turning deals out there. Knowing how to authenticate a watch is the key to choosing the best, reliable ones. The methods used to authenticate watches vary based on the brand. So today, we're going to share some insight on separating the fakes from authentic,pre-owned, Rolex® watches.

1.) Start With Serial Numbers

Each authentic, Rolex® watch is assigned a serial and case reference number. They are typically listed on the papers that originally came with the watch as well as noted on the timepiece itself (see images). If the pre-owned watch that you're interested in buying is missing the original paperwork, there's an easy fix. Examine the watch case with a magnifying glass in the area between the lugs. The numbers you need may be found deeply engraved into that particular part of the case. Sometimes the model and serial numbers are also engraved into other areas of the watch, depending on the year it was made. Once you have the numbers, they may be verified by checking with Rolex®.

The serial number is a between a 6 and a 7 digit set of numbers usually with a letter first. The letter indicates what year the watch made. The photo above shows this watch is a D Serial which means it was produced in 2005. This letter system stated in the late 80's where before this it was a 6 or 7 digit set of numbers. After 2010 Rolex started to randomize the order of the serial numbers and letter. The serial number is now engraved in the inner bezel at 6:00 on the dial (see image). This is with all models produced after 2005

2.) Check the Logos

It's also a good idea to look for the company's tiny logo. It often appears at the 6 o'clock position on the watch's face. Compare what you see to authentic Rolex® watches and make sure that they match in size, location and design. Sometimes you can find pictures of vintage Rolex® watches on the company's website, which can be magnified to highlight the fine detailing.

3.) Examine All of the Parts

Next, check every inch of the Rolex® for poor workmanship and inferior parts. They are two things that you'll never find on authentic, pre-owned models. Elements that tend to be indicative of fakes are translucent and engraved or otherwise rough backings. Tarnishes pins, cracked rubber seals, shoddy clasps, missing o-rings and mismatched colors should also be looked at with a skeptical eye.

4.) Listen and Watch

Finally, watch and listen to the pre-owned, Rolex® watch while it's in operation. It should run quietly and the hands' movements should appear almost effortless. In addition, the hands and hour markers should be identical in color and material to the watch's case. To learn more about authenticating Rolex® watches and buy pre-owned models that you can trust, please contact us today.

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