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Fake Rolex Daytona vs. Real Rolex

Time for another one our favorite posts: Putting a fake Rolex on blast! Today we’re showing off a very fake Rolex Daytona.

Isn’t it incredible? This isn’t even so much a fake Rolex Daytona, it’s more of an idea of a fake Rolex Daytona. Like someone, somewhere in China has a vague knowledge that the interconnected “Rolex” and “Daytona” concepts exist and decided to run with their interpretation of it. It’s like molecular gastronomy, but for watches. Except instead of a bowl full of whiskey vapor, you get wrist garbage!

Comparing a real Daytona to this fake Rolex Daytona is like comparing the feeling of watching a sunrise while warm ocean waves kiss your toes to the color brown. Our web servers cannot contain the myriad ways they differ.

In this article, we will select our favorite, most offensive discrepancies to highlight.

First of all, where’d this unapologetically fake Rolex Daytona come from?

Obviously, where all the best treasures come from – Lee’s secret stash of things he buys not because of any inherent monetary value whatsoever, but because they endlessly amuse him. If a watch makes you laugh for at least 10 minutes upon seeing it, that’s a sound investment in his opinion and ours.

So someone came in with this watch, either oblivious to its fakeness or more nefariously trying to hoodwink our watch buyers, but either way we’re pleasantly surprised by RLJ actually purchasing it (we do buy luxury watches, but typically real ones.) You can rest assured that we keep the two separate and have an ironclad policy of selling only authentic pre-owned watches (with your money back as a guarantee.)

Ariel Adams (ABlogToWatch) explains in one of our favorite Forbes pieces, the big difference between dealers selling authentic watches for hundreds of dollars less than retail vs. dealers selling fake watches for hundreds of dollars.

“People sometimes misunderstand the “gray market” to involve fake watches. This is wrong. Gray market watches are authentic watches sold outside of an authorized dealer. They can be used watches, or watches sold from an authorized dealer to a different dealer. Gray market watches may not always be in “brand new condition” (though most are), and you won’t get a factory warranty, but they aren’t fake. The reason it is called the gray market is because it sits between the white (authorized) market and the black (fake) market. Like I said, in virtually all instances, gray market retailers are not involved with the purchase or selling of counterfeit watches.”

Where do fake Rolex watches come from?

So this fake Daytona was obviously not a good fit for our market. But if it didn’t come from Rolex, did it spring, fully formed (albeit badly) into existence like Athena? No. This watch came first from a local customer, someone in South Florida, USA, Earth, Sol system, Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha. Despite its ridiculousness, we don’t believe it came from another dimension or parallel universe, but more likely from Shenzhen as so many many fakes do.

Needless to say, we’ve had a lot of experience dealing with fake Rolexes:

How to Spot a Fake Rolex Milgauss

Rolex VS Replica: How to Identify the Real from the Fake

How to Spot Fakes: Cartier, Hublot and Rolex

Top 10 Ways to Spot a Fake Watch

All of the fakes in those examples came from China, some more similar to their “inspiration” timepieces than others – remember, Superfakes are a superproblem.

This watch isn’t a Superfake (which you can read more about here), it’s not even a convincing fake. However we will take this moment to remind you why fake watches are a problem, besides their obvious physical flaws & offense to watch lovers everywhere.

Designers & Diamonds outlined, once upon a time, 5 reasons why fake Cartier Love Bangles are a bad idea – this is one of them:

“Counterfeit rings are illegal. People who choose to run illegal operations are almost always involved in other illegal activities. Namely, terrorism and organized crime. Your fake Cartier Love Bracelet isn’t as innocent as you think. The money you pay for it likely profits the bad guys and funds some seriously bad activities.”
Counterfeits: Made by CRIMINALS

The biggest issue with illegal counterfeits is that criminal goods are usually made by criminals. Where counterfeit goods used to be a relatively small industry relegated to places like Temple Street in Hong Kong & Canal Street in NYC, the explosion of online retail has created a new, fast moving outlet for counterfeiters to peddle their wares, and they make beaucoup bucks doing it. This naturally attracts the attention of unsavory types eager to get in on the easy-to-make and hard-to-trace profits.

The counterfeit industry is now inextricably linked with money laundering for major criminal activity (human trafficking, class A drug trade, terrorism, to name a few.) Add to this the abhorrent and inhumane working conditions of the people making these awful replicas and you’ve got genuine reasons to feel bad about buying a fake Rolex Daytona. This isn’t about having sympathy for the poor Swiss luxury watchmakers in Geneva missing out on their cut of a $30,000 watch.

Rolex 1992 Daytona Winner Watch Price – Real vs Fake

“$30k you say?! Humbug to your humanitarian concerns, I’m looking out for me and my bank account, and I need to floss on Instagram!” Thinks our example fake Rolex Daytona watch buyer, let’s call him…Steve.

Steve, you are going to end up still paying hundreds of dollars for a watch that looks and operates far worse than one that actually retails for the same price. You’d be better off wearing a genuine watch you can afford and saving your money until you can buy the real thing secondhand. A $200 Fauxlex still costs $200 and it won’t last you more than a year. It also won’t fool anyone who actually knows what its “inspiration” is supposed to look like.

So, to recap. Fake watches are badly made, bad for mankind, bad for your wallet. This one is exceptionally bad. Let’s check out why, with some shots of a few of our authentic Rolex Daytonas as reference.

FAKE ROLEX DAYTONA vs REAL

Stamping

Look at the stamping on the inside of the clasp. It is marked 750 which means 18 karat gold. This is an admirable stab at authenticity but for the fact that this watch never existed in 18kt gold with this particular dial configuration. Also check out the crispness and heft of the laser engraving on the real Rolex compared to the Play-Doh stamp style on the fake.

Weight

Speaking of gold, this watch is pretty light in the hand, and on the wrist (all the better for gesticulating wildly when arguing that your fake watch is real.) Gold is heavy! That’s why Mr. T is so jacked! This watch is way too light to be gold, even if it (the watch) were metaphysically possible (which it’s not.)

Reference Number & Green Sticker

Adding to its identity crisis, the case back sticker boasts the reference number of a real Rolex. The only problem? It refers to a Rolex Explorer II in stainless steel. Rolex ref. no 16570 we hardly knew ye!

Oh, and the sticker is maybe a vintage touch? But it doesn’t belong with the Explorer II because by the time this model hit the market Rolex no longer used the green case back stickers. They switched to clear stickers around 2007. It’s possible that a green holo sticker would’ve come with an authentic Daytona, even as recent as a Z serial, but that’s not what’s going on here, obviously.

Bezel

Onto the bezels.

First, the font is incorrect on the fake Rolex Daytona’s tachymeter. The authentic Daytona’s font is a thin, sharp shadow of the metal it’s stamped into. The fake Daytona’s appears to be crudely etched into the mystery metal (not 18kt gold!) with perhaps a chisel from the paleolithic era, then painted(??) for emphasis.

We’re still not ready to talk about the 3 at the 300 mark. We don’t know what happened there, and we never will.

On the watches’ inner bezels (their rehauts) you’ll also notice some discrepancies. One of the first things we did in compiling this post was consult with our bestie Seth at BRP, a watch expert of ‘#AskBRP‘ fame who pointed out that the fake Rolex Daytona’s looked like the engraving was “done by a three year old.” It’s also imprecise and faint, which is a dead giveaway for a fake Rolex.

Dial

Any authentic Rolex introduced after late 2007 – early 2008 (late Z serials and M onward) should have a clean, sharply engraved rehaut that you don’t have to zoom 100000% in on to see. You’ll see “ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX ” with the serial number at 6 o’clock laser engraved on the real deal, no loupe necessary. But we don’t encourage using a loupe to inspect the fake Rolex Daytona dial because it may induce nausea.

The font on the dial, besides its creative departure from the entire family of fonts Rolex actually uses, isn’t clean enough to mimic the real Daytona, which is obviously flawless. We’ll say it again: messiness and Rolex are mortal enemies. Sloppiness should always be your first hint of a Fauxlex because counterfeiters just can’t mimic the same precision that Rolex churns out. And Rolex would never use Arial on one of its dials, just sayin’.

Subdials

The dial has other issues, obviously. Most humans would agree that it makes sense for the subdials to be equally spaced from the 2 o’clock and 11 o’clock markers; considering they’re parallel. But to the chagrin of OCD survivors and general fans of symmetry everywhere, this fake Rolex Daytona ventures boldly into infuriatingly unaligned subdials, bless it.

Lest you have to visually exert yourself to notice the uneven placement, the watch does you a favor and crowds the upper subdials uncomfortably close to the markers. This way every time you look at it you feel like you’re entering a cruise ship elevator (the only one in operation). And that’s after a day of all-you-can-eat hot dogs on the ship’s private island, along with 16 of your fellow sweaty passengers. Bon voyage!

The authentic Daytona reins in its subdials, gives a bit of breathing room to the poor, innocent markers, and scales down the red “Daytona”. So it confidently and quietly announces itself, rather than glaring at you like a No Vacancy sign.

Crown and Pushers

The crown and pushers are also oversized, roughly hewn, and generally not cute on the fake Rolex Daytona. Note how gorgeous, flawless, smooth and seamless they are on the authentic (also check out the misplacement of the tachymeter in relation to the pushers.) Likewise, the lugs on the real deal are infinitely smoother.

Movement

And this is just the first impression of the watch! We aren’t even discussing the movement – we needn’t open this watch up to realize it’s fake. However the inside would reveal something akin to popping the hood of a Rolls Royce only to find an unrestored engine from a 1978 Gremlin. If you ever get your hands on a more convincing fake without so many Frankenwatch giveaways, opening the case back to inspect the movement is a surefire way to spot a fake.

To review, here are a few more of our fake Rolex red flags:

Use the “Fast Five” criteria to look for red flags:

1. Face and Logo – The face details and logo on a fake watch are usually either absent, poorly reproduced or incorrect.

2. Features – Many counterfeit watches will have the features of the authentic watches, but they won’t work. The stopwatch and subdials may not work. One big telltale sign for Rolexes is the back. Many fake luxury watches have a clear back. Rolex only made two models with clear (skeleton) backs. Both were production models from the 30’s and were never mass produced.

3. Details – Many times the counterfeit watches will include parts from totally different watches. They may confuse the names or the hand style may be wrong. We call these Frankenwatches.

4. Color and Texture – Examine the color and texture of the watch carefully. How does it compare to the authentic watch you held in your hands and examined? Funky colored metals, weird bezels and…interesting dials are red flags.

5. Clasp – Look closely at the clasp and bracelet of the watch. On a fake, they will be very simple, even cheap looking.

Have any questions about a potentially Fake Rolex Daytona? Wanna know more about Rolex Daytona Real vs Fake? Shoot us an e-mail or give us a call. Better yet, leave us a comment with the red flags you noticed about the fake Rolex Daytona featured in this article!

3 replies on “Fake Rolex Daytona vs. Real Rolex”

Can u please help me I got passed down this watch but not sure if it’s fake it’s not in the best condition but wanted to see if it was real thanks

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