How Can You Get Your Rolex Watch Authenticated?

How to Get Your Rolex Watch Authenticated - Rolex GMT Master II Steel and Yellow Gold 126713

As one of the most popular and valued brands in the world, Rolex is a prime target of counterfeiters. As counterfeiters become more sophisticated in their techniques, it is now becoming more and more difficult to tell whether or not your watch is real just by simply looking at it. It takes skill, training, and experience to recognize an authentic Rolex watch.

If you’ve had your Rolex for years and have always worn it, but are not too sure about its authenticity, you can still have your watch checked.

We’re going to give you some tips on how to get your Rolex watch authenticated, and where the best place is for getting an expert opinion on your watch.

Why is it important to get your Rolex authenticated?

Rolex President Day-Date 40 Ice Blue Dial Platinum Men's Watch 228236
Rolex President Day-Date 40 Ice Blue Dial Platinum Men’s Watch 228236

Purchasing your watch pre-owned offers several benefits, such as being able to save off the retail price and finding a discontinued model. While it will never be a problem when you shop at SwissWatchExpo with our authenticity guarantee, in some cases, it can be a challenge to know whether your pre-owned Rolex is authentic, especially if your pre-owned purchase isn’t accompanied by its original paperwork and characteristic green box.

Authentication is the process of confirming the genuine nature of an item. It includes inspecting the item itself, verifying its history, and researching any documents related to its production and use. This process made much easier with serial and reference numbers assigned by watchmakers to properly document the manufacture and sale of their models.

Aside from ensuring that you get your money’s worth by owning a genuine timepiece, having your watch authenticated is important for several reasons. For one, authenticating a Rolex watch may help retain its value or even appreciate over time. Having proof of authentication means you can confidently prove its authenticity to potential buyers, maximizing its value in the market.

Rolex Datejust Steel Everose Gold and Datejust President in Everose Gold
Rolex Datejust Steel Everose Gold and Datejust President in Everose Gold

Another good reason to authenticate your Rolex watch is for insurance purposes. Rolex watches are a significant investment, and having your watch authenticated by a reputable service can help you properly insure it for its true value.


If I bought a pre-owned Rolex, where should I bring it for authentication?

Rolex Submariner Kermit and Hulk
Rolex Submariner Kermit and Hulk

If you have purchased a pre-owned Rolex watch, it is always best to get your timepiece authenticated by professionals. This ensures that the piece has been properly handled and documented, as well as being eligible for any warranty services or repairs you may need in the future.

There are three ways to go about it.

1. Official Rolex Service Centers

Rolex Service Center

An Official Rolex Service Center (photo: Rolex)

Retail stores cannot authenticate your watch for you, but an Official Rolex Service Center can. These service centers are located in major cities around the world and are conveniently close to many people who own high-end watches.

Getting your watch authenticated at a Rolex Service Center holds the most credibility but also costs, on average, about $150.

You can walk into the service center, pay the fee and a professional will authenticate right there. After their inspection process is finished, they will mail your Service Authentication Papers/Card to you within 7 to 10 days.

However, this option only works for you if you live conveniently near a Rolex Service Center.


2. Authorized Rolex Dealer (AD)

A Rolex Authorized Dealer

A Rolex Authorized Dealer (photo: Rolex)

Authorized Rolex Dealer (AD): A person or company that is authorized to service, repair, and sell new and pre-owned Rolex watches. ADs are also authorized to provide warranty service for Rolex watches.

These are the professionals that know the ins and outs of timepieces and are specifically trained to know whether a watch is authentic or not. Rolex is the largest luxury watch brand, and these dealers make it their business to know everything about them. On average, they will authenticate your Rolex watch for around $100.

Rolex Certified Pre-Owned Programme

Rolex Certified Pre-Owned Seal

Rolex Certified Pre-Owned Seal (photo: Rolex)

With the intense market demand for pre-owned Rolex watches, Rolex recently launched a program where these authorized dealers can receive a certificate of authenticity for pre-owned watches without papers.

Being a market worth an estimated $20 billion US, Rolex wished to bring added value to these watches despite their previous stance of providing no replacement paperwork. This paperwork will be distributed to authorized dealers for second-hand watches that are at least three years old.

Rolex Certified Pre-Owned Guarantee Card

Rolex Certified Pre-Owned Guarantee Card (photo: Rolex)

These watches will be given a Certified Pre-Owned guarantee card starting in December of 2022 in 6 countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK) first, followed by other official dealers in Spring 2023. The Certified Pre-Owned card serves three purposes:

An official certificate of authenticity

Certification that the pre-owned watch is authentic

Certification that the watch is in perfect working condition

To know if your watch dealer is authorized for this program, look for the special Rolex Certified Pre-Owned plaque in store.


3. Professional watch authentication service

Servicing a Rolex watch Assessment

Assessment of a Rolex watch (photo: Rolex)

The next best thing to the Rolex Service Center is paying for authentication from a professional watch authentication service. These are specialized companies or organizations that offer their expertise in verifying the legitimacy of luxury watches.

You can get an authentication service from an authorized dealer or from a professional authentication service. The procedure for this authentication often includes:

Opening up the watch case

Verifying the movement is genuine

Verifying the case and bracelet are genuine

Matching up serial and reference numbers engraved in the case

Checking the condition and making any service recommendations

Resealing the watch and then testing for correct waterproofness

Waterproof testing a Rolex watch servicing

Waterproof testing a Rolex watch (photo: Rolex)

The one downside is that despite this being around a 15-minute process you pay first only for verbal authentication at $100 in many cases. To get actual paperwork reflecting this authentication, you’re going to pay more.

Despite the similar cost to a Rolex Service Center, finding a nearby watch authentication service might be far more convenient. Their authentication is worth just as much as the one you’d receive from Rolex itself, however, one should remember to research and choose a reputable and trusted provider.

5 ways to check a Rolex watch for authenticity

Authenticating a Rolex watch is crucial fora any collector or buyer. While having your Rolex watch authenticated by a professional is always recommended, there are key indicators you can examine to determine if a Rolex is genuine. Here are five elements to look at in checking a Rolex watch for authenticity:

Rolex Submariner 18k Yellow Gold Black Dial Bezel Mens Watch 126618 rehaut
Rolex Submariner 18k Yellow Gold Black Dial Bezel Mens Watch 126618

1. Engraved Rolex Serial Number

Location & Clarity: Genuine Rolex watches feature a serial number engraved on the watch. The location of this engraving has changed over the years: it was found between the lugs on older models before 2005; then between the lugs and on the rehaut (inner bezel) since 2005. By 2008, Rolex began to engrave the numbers only on the rehaut. The engraving should be precise, with each character sharply defined.

Verification: Cross-reference the serial number with Rolex records or databases to verify its authenticity. Rolex serial numbers are unique and can provide information about the watch’s production year.

Rolex Submariner 18k Yellow Gold Black Dial Bezel Mens Watch 126618 bezel
Rolex Submariner 18k Yellow Gold Black Dial Bezel Mens Watch 126618

2. Logo and Text on the Face

Crispness & Alignment: The Rolex logo, also known as the coronet, should be perfectly detailed and symmetrical. Similarly, all text, including the model and branding information, should be printed with exceptional clarity and precision. Any smudging, uneven spacing, or poor alignment is a red flag.

Magnification: On many Rolex models, the date feature is magnified by a ‘Cyclops’ lens on the crystal. This magnification should be around 2.5 times and perfectly align with the date.

Rolex Datejust 41 and Rolex Datejust 28 Steel and Rose Gold Watches
Rolex Datejust 41 and Rolex Datejust 28 Steel and Rose Gold Watches

3. Check the Weight

Heft & Balance: Rolex watches are made with high-quality metals, which contribute to their weight. A genuine Rolex will feel solid and well-balanced on the wrist. If the watch feels unusually light or flimsy, it may be a counterfeit.

Material Consistency: The distribution of weight should be consistent with the model’s specific design and materials. For example, a full gold Rolex will be heavier than one with a stainless steel bracelet.


Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel White Gold Mens Watch 326934
Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel White Gold Mens Watch 326934

4. Listen to the Watch

Movement Sound: Rolex watches are renowned for their smooth and precise movement. The ticking sound should be almost imperceptible. Loud or erratic ticking is often a sign of a lower-quality movement.

Consistency: The second hand’s movement in a genuine Rolex is typically smooth and sweeping, rather than the more common tick-tock of many other watches.


Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold and Everose Gold Oysterflex Models
Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold and Everose Gold Oysterflex Models

5. Examine the “Feel” of the Watch

Craftsmanship: A genuine Rolex will exhibit superior craftsmanship. This includes the finish on the case, the quality of the bracelet, and the smoothness of the crown’s movement.

Bracelet Inspection: Check for any irregularities in the bracelet and clasp. A genuine Rolex bracelet will have a seamless finish and a sturdy, well-constructed clasp.

In addition to these methods, consider the source of the watch. Purchasing only from reputable dealers adds an extra layer of assurance. At SwissWatchExpo, we stand behind every watch we sell with an authenticity guarantee and a leading 18-month warranty, assuring you complete peace of mind about your purchase.

Always be cautious and conduct thorough checks, as counterfeiters are constantly improving their methods. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is.

Authentic Rolex watches are not only an investment in terms of money but also in heritage and craftsmanship, making their authentication of utmost importance.

Qualities of authentic Rolex watches

Rolex watches are not just timepieces; they are iconic symbols of craftsmanship and prestige. Understanding the qualities that set authentic Rolex watches apart from imitations is essential for any watch enthusiast or collector. Here, we delve into the distinctive qualities that define genuine Rolex timepieces.

Rolex Yacht-Master Watches in Gold, Rolesium, and Rolesor Metals
Rolex Yacht-Master Watches in Gold, Rolesium, and Rolesor Metals

The Metals of Authentic Rolex Watches

Rolex meticulously selects and crafts the metals used in their watches, ensuring both durability and elegance. The following metals are commonly found in authentic Rolex watches:

Stainless Steel: In 1985, Rolex became the first watchmaker to use stainless steel known as 904L. This steel is exceptionally resistant to corrosion and maintains its luster even in the harshest conditions. The smooth, polished surfaces of stainless steel Rolex watches exude a timeless appeal.

18K Gold: Rolex offers various shades of gold, including yellow, white, and Everose (a proprietary rose gold alloy). Each type of gold is meticulously crafted to achieve the desired hue and sheen. The use of 18K gold ensures a rich, lasting color that won’t fade over time. Since 2005, Rolex has been creating its own formulas for gold in their very own foundry.

Platinum: Some Rolex models feature platinum, one of the rarest and heaviest metals. Rolex uses 950 platinum, which contains 950 parts per thousand of pure platinum. The result is a stunning, silvery-white metal with a unique luster.

Rolesor: Rolex coined the term “Rolesor” to describe watches that combine stainless steel and gold. These watches seamlessly integrate the durability of stainless steel with the opulence of gold, resulting in a distinctive two-tone appearance.

Rolesium: Rolesium is a term used by Rolex to refer to the combination of stainless steel and platinum in some of their watches, particularly Rolex Yacht-Master models.


Rolex Daytona White Gold Silver Racing Dial Mens Watch 116509
Rolex Daytona White Gold Silver Racing Dial Mens Watch 116509

The Oyster Cases of Authentic Rolex Watches

Rolex is renowned for inventing the Oyster case, a breakthrough in watchmaking that revolutionized waterproofness. The Oyster case boasts the following qualities:

Water Resistance: Authentic Rolex watches are built to withstand various depths underwater, depending on the model. The Oyster case, with its robust construction and screw-down crown, ensures that Rolex watches are water-resistant, making certain models suitable for diving and aquatic adventures.

Hermetic Seal: The Oyster case is hermetically sealed, meaning it is airtight and impervious to dust, moisture, and pressure. This seal not only protects the movement but also contributes to the longevity of the watch.

Monobloc Middle Case: Rolex Oyster cases are crafted from a single block of metal, ensuring structural integrity and resistance to external forces. The caseback, bezel, and winding crown are all integral components of this monobloc design.


Rolex GMT Master II Sprite Bezel Oyster Steel Mens Watch 126720
Rolex GMT Master II Sprite Bezel Oyster Steel Mens Watch 126720

The Sapphire Glass of Authentic Rolex Watches

Since the late 1970s, Rolex has been using synthetic sapphire crystal for the watch face, a material known for its exceptional clarity and scratch resistance. The sapphire crystal offers the following advantages:

Scratch Resistance: Sapphire crystal is one of the hardest materials, second only to diamond. This means that the watch face remains free from unsightly scratches, maintaining its pristine appearance.

Anti-Reflective Coating: Many Rolex watches feature an anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal. This coating minimizes glare, ensuring optimal readability even in bright sunlight.

Cyclops Lens: Rolex’s signature Cyclops lens, magnifying the date display by 2.5 times, is made from sapphire crystal. This lens enhances date visibility and is a distinctive feature of Rolex watches.


Rolex Yacht-Master with Yacht-Master II
Rolex Yacht-Master with Yacht-Master II

The Bracelets and Straps of Authentic Rolex Watches

Rolex pays meticulous attention to the design and construction of watch bracelets and straps, ensuring both comfort and durability:

Oyster Bracelet: The Oyster bracelet is an iconic feature of Rolex watches, known for its strength and comfort. It consists of flat three-piece links, each meticulously crafted and polished to perfection, and a folding Oysterclasp.

Jubilee Bracelet: The Jubilee bracelet, characterized by its five-piece links, offers a more elegant and dressy appearance. Together with its concealed Crownclasp, it provides a comfortable fit and adds a touch of sophistication to Rolex watches.

Presidential Bracelet: The Presidential bracelet appears exclusively with the Rolex Day-Date (and some Lady-Datejust models). Created especially for the collection, it is composed of three-piece semi-circular links and a concealed Crownclasp. It is always made of precious metals (gold and platinum).

Pearlmaster Bracelet: Exclusive to the Rolex Pearlmaster range, the Pearlmaster bracelet features rounded five-piece links. Like the President, it is always made of precious metals.

Oysterflex Bracelet: The Oysterflex Bracelet offers the durability of a metal bracelet with the flexibility of a rubber strap. It is made of a flexible titanium-nickel alloy blade covered in high-performance elastomer, which makes it comfortable yet highly durable and resistant to environmental impacts.

Leather Straps: Some Rolex models, particularly the Daytona, Datejust, Sky-Dweller, and Cellini, come with leather straps, often made from high-quality materials like alligator or calfskin. These straps are meticulously crafted for both style and comfort.


Getting Your Rolex Watch Authenticated: Final Thoughts

Having your Rolex watch authenticated not only offers peace of mind, it also provides several benefits when it comes to selling, insuring, and servicing your watch. If you are thinking of having your Rolex watch authenticated, it’s always best to have it checked by an official Rolex service center or a reputable provider.

Better yet – buy only from a trusted and reputable retailer like Each and every timepiece we sell is carefully inspected by Swiss-trained, expert watchmakers, and guaranteed to be 100% authentic before being available for sale. This is why we stand behind all our watches with a leading 18-month warranty, and are proud of our track record dating back many years and thousands of watches.

Explore our selection of authentic, pre-owned luxury watches from Rolex and nearly 40 of the world’s best brands at

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