The Counterfeit Rolex Industry

The Counterfeit Rolex Industry

Since Rolex has been considered the very top of the line in both quality and performance in the field of luxury watches for almost a century, the company and the brand have continuously faced the crime of counterfeiting. It is unfortunately all too common to find faux or duplicate Rolex watches sold all over the world, at a broad range of prices. In an official report published by Rolex itself, it was claimed that the counterfeit Rolex industry is growing at an enormous pace. In fact, the total number of faux Rolex watches produced every year is 10 times what Rolex actually produces in its own facilities.

Known as “Folex” or “Trolex” or “Fauxlex”, faux Rolex watches are available on the street as well as over the Internet. The business of faux Rolex watches over the Internet via e-mail has grown rapidly in recent years. It is worth noting that while the majority of these counterfeits are of low quality, some counterfeits are actually so good that even trained jewelers can occasionally be fooled.

Mass-Produced Counterfeit Rolex Watches

The mass-produced Counterfeit Rolex watches are available in the market at a price as low as $25. This category includes a wide range of counterfeit watches starting from low-quality replicas to higher-quality replicas.

Cheap Low-Quality Replicas: These watches primarily are produced in China and Taiwan and serve the fantasies of people who wish to flaunt a purchase engraved with the name “Rolex”. They wear such cheap counterfeits irrespective of their poor functioning or appearance so they can be associated falsely with the very best. Some of the prominent features that may help you identify them as faux include the following:

  • Incorrect stamps, model number engravings, or hallmarks on the caseback--sometimes even featuring clear casebacks.
  • Lightweight and even flimsy construction.
  • Quartz movements requiring a battery. This becomes evident if the second hand ticks instead of the standard sweep movement.
  • The movement and the inside caseback contain no Rolex markings.
  • The dial has poor markings (often incorrect), wrong sized hands, or poor quality Cyclops with no magnifying effect.
  • Brassy finish in the case of gold versions; such a finish usually wears off in a few months.
  • Bracelets featuring “push pins” instead of the screws used in authentic Rolex watches.
  • Loose crowns and bezels.
  • Non-functional registers in special Rolex models such as the Daytona.

Improved Versions of Low-Quality Replicas: As low-quality replicas are easily identifiable, some counterfeit Rolex manufacturers have started improving certain features. Moreover, to increase the demand of such watches from higher-end customers, they have started offering their watches over the Internet, charging comparatively higher prices ($200 and sometimes more). These watches are on the heavier side, but not as heavy as a genuine Rolex. Although these watches have a brassy finish, the quality of the gold plating is better than the low-quality replicas. But do not expect high performance from these watches. Their overall performance will be comparable to any low-end watch. Areas where such watches score higher when compared to lower-end replicas include the following:

  • They feature a sweep second hand, although it always appears less convincing when compared to a real Rolex watch.
  • The cases are equipped with screw-in case backs that you find in an authentic Rolex. The markings on the movement, however,
    or inside of the case back may be absent. If present, such markings invariably are incorrect.
  • Bracelets may have solid links with screws, but such links are of poor quality when compared to an authentic model.
  • Such counterfeits may be water resistant, but not waterproof.

Higher-quality Replicas Available in Large Numbers: Known as “Italian” or “Swiss” made, these watches are more expensive to make than watches classified in the previous two categories. Nevertheless, they are nowhere near as precise or of the same level of artistry as a genuine Rolex watch. Higher-level replicas command a higher price in the market. In particular, replicas of gold Rolex watches and other popular models can be quite expensive. Some of the features of these watches include the following:

  • Convincing sweep movement of the second hand
  • 17 or 21-jeweled movement.
  • Effective water resistance, but still can not to be worn while diving to greater depths.
  • Screw-in case back that can be opened only with Rolex-style tools.
  • Good quality illumination markers which tend to fade after a few years of use.
  • Proper markings on the dial, at least to the naked eye.
  • Bracelet featuring solid links with screws, but the quality may not be very fine.
  • The serial or model numbers engraved on the lugs or other parts may look convincing and would require a close inspection by a trained
  • An effective Cyclops lens.
  • Stainless steel models may look like authentic Rolex models, while gold versions feature thicker gold plating that may last for years.

Still, what is essential for any customer to understand, no matter how high the quality of the counterfeit may be, is that it is still nothing but a faux—illegally made and unauthentic.