We received a high-quality replica (fake) DEEPSEA today. We will be shipping it back to the person who tried to sell it to us. Below, you will find some of our observations on differences between the genuine 116660 and the fake.
In the above photo, the only thing that really stands out is the clasp extension on the fake doesn’t lay flush inside the clasp.
The print on any real Rolex is going to be extremely sharp. These photos don’t do the real one justice, or the fake injustice. When you take a loupe to a fake, the text will be thinner, less white, and inconsistent. You’ll notice build up of the paint in certain areas. Under a loupe, you will likely see some letters that are slightly thinner or thicker than letters next to it. On the hands, the luminous filling is not consistent on the fake. On the real, it’s flawless.
On the real Rolex, you will find the rehaut engraving to be sharp and deep, allowing you to see it clearly, on the fake the engraving is much fainter and hard to see through the thick crystal.
The last thing to note is the luminous hour markers: On the fake, the luminous appears to dome over the steel ring setting. On the real Rolex, the luminous appears to be filled in perfectly. It is as if Rolex polished off the extra luminous to make it flush with the marker setting.
The bezel’s luminous dot on the fake is darker and more green than the real. It also bubbles up higher over the setting. The genuine bezel dot does raise over the setting, but nearly as much as the fake.
The inside of the clasp is a big tell. The genuine Rolex has a frosty finish. When you run your finger on the genuine clasp where it reads Rolex – Geneva – Swiss Made, you will feel the lightest of course grains. The lettering is etched in. On the fake, the buckle is a brushed finish (not frosty at all) and smooth to touch. The lettering appears to be printed on and will likely wear off in time.
The diver extension on the fake is clearly thinner. Also the pins and screws are smaller. Otherwise, the glide-lock part of the fake is done extremely well.
Most Rolex watches have about the simplest backs in the Swiss industry, but not the DEEPSEA with its hallmark titanium alloy caseback and engraved lettering. It is obvious that the lettering is poorly painted on the fake and has already started to wear out. When you tilt the watch and look at the back from different angles (at least under office fluorescent lighting) the titanium alloy caseback on the genuine keeps its darkish hue consistently when you rotate it. The fake on the other hand was either anodized or thinly coated steel; the color changed much more dramatically as it picked up shadows and lighting differences. We also found poor machining on the central area of the caseback, you could feel with your thumb that it wasn’t flush.
When we opened the fake, we found about what we expected. A Chinese ETA knock-off with no Rolex lettering anywhere. The back was not easy for us to remove and we even have the right tools, so most people will not be able to check the movement, but it’s a clear-cut way to confirm it’s not genuine.
We hope you have enjoyed this comparison. Stay alert out there and if you are not expert enough to determine if the Rolex you are buying is real or not, make sure you buy from a reputable dealer.