How To Buy Your First UK High Quality Rolex Fake Watches: Everything You Need To Know

Rolex is among the most daunting watch brands to jump into. There are millions upon millions of them out there, and Rolex hasn’t been entirely obviously and clear about what changes from iteration to iteration. As such, the quest for your first Rolex can be a bit overwhelming, but we’ve got you covered.

Below is a method for making the key decisions that will unlock the perfect Swiss Rolex replica watches for the new collector. The trick is to make one decision at a time, and there are going to be five steps that, once completed, will land you on the perfect first Rolex.

Let’s get started.

Pick Your Rolex Model

If you can figure out which Rolex model you want, you will have significantly narrowed your search. Do you want 1:1 UK fake Rolex Submariner dive watches, a GMT-Master of Sky-Dweller for travel, a Day-Date or a DateJust for daily life, an Oyster Perpetual or Air-King as an easy everyday watch? You may already know which Rolex model you want, but if you don’t we have suggestions in our related article on seven must-own Rolex models. Below are a few facts to help guide you to making this important first decision:

  1. Rolex has made a surprisingly small number of models over the years, despite reportedly making over 1 million watches per year.
  2. Rolex divides its catalog between “Professional” and “Classic” models. Professional Rolexes were created for specific use cases, like SCUBA Diving (Submariner), world travel (GMT-Master) and even cave exploration (Explorer II). Classic Rolexes, such as the famous DateJust and Day-Date, are all-around great watches, and usually a little dressier.
  3. Most current Rolex models have been around for many decades, so as you peruse the current Rolex website you’re getting a decent (if somewhat incomplete) overview of models available on the pre-owned and vintage markets as well.
  4. Rolex models that aren’t currently in production tend to be more rare, thus harder to get and more expensive.

    Spend some time getting to know the different Rolex models, then make your choice. We have already recommended seven great models for first-time Rolex buyers, so use our guide as needed. It may not seem like it, but choosing a specific Rolex model will be the easiest part of this journey.

    Choose Between New, Pre-Owned, Neo-Vintage, and Vintage

    Here’s the basic breakdown of the four main Rolex markets:


    A brand-new Rolex watch from an authorized dealer.

    Not all that long ago, anyone could walk into a Rolex dealership and buy just about any Rolex. Today, as a first-time buyer, you’re going to be excluded from getting most new Rolexes at retail. Rolex allocates to preferred customers, which means these VIPs have already spent a lot of money on Rolexes—and sometimes other items like jewelry at local authorized dealers—just to get a higher spot on the waiting list so they can finally get “the call” for luxury replica Rolex watches they want. If you’re not ready to play that game but must get a recent Rolex model, then consider the pre-owned market.


    With Rolex, this category can most certainly include the current model year and runs to around 20-year-old watches.

    The Rolex pre-owned market is enormous, complicated, confusing and sometimes aggravating. There are countless pre-owned Rolex dealers and countless best Rolex copy watches for sale. In 2023, Rolex started its own Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program, which takes some of the mystery out of buying a pre-owned Rollie. With Rolex, pre-owned does not always mean less expensive, however. For recent and hard-to-get Rolex models, you’ll pay well over retail—even through Rolex’s CPO program—but at least these sellers won’t exclude you from getting the watch you want.


    A relatively new category that indicates watches roughly 20 to 40 years old.

    I like to think of neo-vintage as cheap Rolex replica watches that are transitioning from pre-owned to vintage. This is a very fun category, because there are so many Rolexes that fly under the radar, such as the discontinued Turn-o-Graph or Milgauss. But if you want a common model like a Submariner or GMT Master, there are excellent references that fall into that 20- to 40-year-old range, often at relatively decent prices.


    Generally speaking, Rolexes that are at least 40-years-old.

    Vintage Rolex is an incredible world to explore, but it is full of pitfalls that even the most experienced collectors fall into from time to time. Everything from outright counterfeits to what are known as “Frankenwatches” made from a few different individual Swiss made fake Rolex watches can trip up those seeking a sweet old Rollie. As for prices, vintage Rolexes tend to be more expensive than neo-vintage, and sometimes incredibly so.

    Once you’ve made up your mind about which model (Step 1) and whether you want New, Pre-Owned, Neo-Vintage and Vintage (Step 2), you are ready to get into the nerdy world of Rolex reference numbers.

    Pick a 4-, 5-, or 6-Digit Rolex Reference

    We can parse the millions of AAA 2024 Rolex super clone watches out there in the world into three simple categories: four-, five- and six-digit references. Most Rolex aficionados speak in terms of digits, saying things like, “I’m looking into some four-digit Subs,” or, “She looked sick rocking a six-digit GMT.” Let’s get acquainted with the digits!

    These reference numbers mark eras of Rolex production. When Rolex adds a digit to the refence numbers, designs, materials, sizes and movements are changed across the product line. There is an obvious (yet always shifting) overlap between new, pre-owned, neo-vintage and vintage categories and the four-, five- and six-digit eras, so keep this in mind.

    4-Digit Rolex References: 1940s to Around 1980

    Four-digit Rolexes are all vintage now, and whenever you hear someone talk about a four-digit Rolex assume they’re interested in Rolexes from the middle of the 20th century.

    The Downside of 4-Digit Rolexes

    Four-digit Rolexes with date complications use movements that do not offer a quickset date function. Many owners—including myself—prefer a watch with a quickset date, so you don’t have to wind it around and around to set the date.

    The movements in four-digit references are often more expensive to service, as Rolex no longer produces parts for four-digit models.

    Four-digit dials produced before 1963 will use radium luminescent paint, which some fear due to radioactivity. After that, four-digit Rolex dials use tritium luminescent paint, which typically loses its functionality after about 20 years. Tritium dial can be discerned because they almost always have a “T” at the bottom of the dial by “SWISS.”

    The Upside of 4-Digit Rolexes

    As vintage watches, four-digit Rolexes often have a charm and character you won’t find in later models. That tritium paint, for example, turns a lovely shade of vanilla that collectors love (“creamy lume,” they’ll call it). Dials fade, or even turn brown (known as “going tropical”), and sometimes the aluminum bezel inserts fade to interesting colors people find desirable. Sometimes top replica Rolex watches age in wild ways that drive the price skyward.

    There are far fewer four-digit Rolexes than from any other era, making them rare and increasingly collectible.

    Notes & Opinions on 4-Digit Rolexes

    Rolex switched from radium to tritium in 1963. You’ll likely garner some cred among a certain set of watch folks for owning a four-digit Rolex. Some people believe that fake Rolex watches wholesale with designs dating to before 1960 are the most authentic because these models would have been approved by Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf (who passed in 1960).

    5-Digit Rolex References: 1980 to Around 2004

    The shift to five-digit reference numbers saw a number of movement upgrades, case size increases, and a slew of other upgrades to bracelets, waterproofness, and so on. Not all upgrades happened at once, but the five-digit era was significantly more modern.

    As of this writing, five-digit Rolexes neatly fall into the neo-vintage category, as most are between 20- and 40-years-old. Obviously, as each year goes by, five-digit Rolexes slowly become proper vintage Rolex replica watches shop.

    The Downside of 5-Digit Rolexes

    There was a great deal of polishing of watch cases during this era, and for many Rolex collectors a polished case is no good as it distorts the original shape and degrades the value. Mild polishing is generally acceptable. No polishing is very desirable.

    Five-digit Professional Rolexes, like many four-digit models, used aluminum bezel inserts, which tend to become scratched or faded (but note that a faded bezel can also be seen as possessing “a cool patina” once the watch is vintage).

    The Upside of 5-Digit Rolexes

    As of this writing, five-digit Rolexes offer the best value going. For practical purposes, movements in five-digit Rolex fake watches site are very precise, durable and a-magnetic. Five-digit Rolex movements are still supported by Rolex, so parts are not hard to source, and service is less expensive than it is for four-digit references. Five-digit Rolexes will go up in value as they age into the vintage category.

    Notes & Opinions on 5-Digit Rolexes

    Rolex moved from Tritium luminescent paint (which fades and loses functionality) to the more durable SuperLuminova around 1997-8, right in the middle of the five-digit era. Some collectors—myself included—like tritium for the vintage vibes on certain models, while others prefer the better performance of Super-LumiNova.

    Some people feel the five-digit Professional models are more like “tool watches” whereas six-digit references are more like luxury products. For DateJusts, the five-digit dials were flattened out to the edges, and some prefer the older “pie-pan” dials of the four-digit era that slope downward at the outer edge.

    6-Digit Rolex References: 2005 to Present

    The modern six-digit era came on strong when Rolex introduced several upgrades across their whole catalog in the mid 2000s. But it was the use of highly polished Cerachrom—Rolex’s proprietary scratchproof material—on the bezels of Professional models that truly changed the look, feel and performance of modern Rolex. Movements include more non-metallic parts that increase precision and a-magnetism. Many models were enlarged in the six-digit era (though some six-digit updates have more recently been reduced in size).

    Downside of the 6-Digit Rolexes

    Generally, more expensive than five-digit Swiss movements Rolex replica watches. Many six-digit references will cost well above retail prices on the pre-owned market.

    Upside of 6-Digit Rolexes

    Cerachrom bezels are virtually scratchproof. The movements are more precise (now within -2/+2 seconds per day) and a-magnetic. The bracelets on the modern Rolex models are exceptional.

    Opinions and Notes on 6-Digit Rolexes

    Many feel that the six-digit era was the beginning of Rolex as a dedicated luxury brand, rather than as simply the world’s best industrial watchmaker. Some believe polished Cerachrom is too shiny for a “tool watch.” It is more common these days for Rolex to release watches that are produced in small numbers, though Rolex never states ‘limited edition’ overtly. These limited runs are exceptionally hard to get and very expensive.

    Choose Your Exact Rolex

    Within each of the digit eras, there are multiple references for each watch model. Sometimes these references indicate different co-existing models. For example, reference 1680 was a Submariner with a date, while reference 5513 was best quality Rolex Submariner replica watches without a date. Sometimes a reference number changes when a model is upgraded. For example, a reference 16803 is a two-tone Submariner that ran from 1984 to around 1990, at which point Rolex upgraded the movement slightly and added gold plating to the bracelet’s folding clasp, which was enough to change the reference number from 16803 to 16813. Now we are off in the weeds.

    Feeling overwhelmed? That’s ok. Choosing your exact reference requires you to study Rolex quite closely. However, if you have narrowed down what model you want (Step 1), whether you’re going for new, vintage or in-between (Step 2), and then decided on whether you want a four-, five- or six-digit Rolex (Step 3), then you have significantly narrowed the field of study. You’ve got this.

    Vet a Trusted Seller

    Choosing the right seller will depend greatly on which model and era you’re going for. If you must have one new at retail, obviously you’re headed to an authorized Rolex dealer. Beyond that, some sellers are known for vintage Subs, some are known for flipping impossible-to-get models from the current model year, and so on. However, many Rolex sellers are not experts in one area and carry everything they can.

    The sheer number of sellers—as well as the changes in ownership and mergers we’re seeing more of lately—makes it nearly impossible for us to legitimately recommend specific sellers. With that said, the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned program is going to offer the same benefits that one would get buying from, say, the Mercedes Certified Pre-Owned Program: original parts will be used for repairs, warranties will be included with your purchase, service can be regularized, and Rolex fake watches paypal will be well vetted. With the Rolex CPO program, most pitfalls should—we sincerely hope—be eliminated.

    However, you don’t need to limit yourself to Rolex’s CPO program, and some of the best deals on excellent Rolexes happen between individuals on platforms like Chrono24, eBay, Reddit, watch collecting forums and—believe it or not—Instagram, where many reputable sellers now operate exclusively. The best way to learn about a seller is to read available reviews, ask fellow collectors who have worked with the seller, and—should you venture into the world of private sellers on forums and so on—ask those sellers for references that you can check out.

    Clearly, buying a Rolex is not simple. Tracking down your first Rolex is a rite of passage for any watch collector. Hopefully your experience will be a rewarding introduction into the fascinating—and, I warn you, addictive—adventure of buying Rolexes. We will sign off by recommending that you follow the due diligence outlined above, while also having good fun along the way.

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