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Vintage Rolex Booklets - Spotting the fakes

 
 By: Bill : January 10th, 2020-13:33
Vintage Rolex booklets are great part of a full set.  It adds another dimension to how the watch was intended to be used.  The booklets are half owners manual and half advertising presentations.  Sometimes we are lucky to find full sets from original owners and those are the standards that we go by.  But as we all know the perils of vintage Rolex collecting booklets unfortunately are a target for fakers.  Also don't worry this expose will not really help the fakers because the tools they use can easily be detected as fake brochures vs the cost to actually print fake brochures is way to costly.  These booklets appear often on action sites and can fetch from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars.  So for any collectors that are missing that allusive booklet read this carefully and it will save you money and embarrassment.

As always the Rolex collecting community is about sharing passion and knowledge.  This is my little contribution to Rolex brochure genuine vs fake.

The most important thing to remember these brochure are printed on a printing press with ink.  All the fakes are done with photo copiers and the two process are very clearly visible with the help of a loop.  Once you establish you have a printed item you can be sure a faker did not go through the expense of printing thousands of brochures as it is not financially feasible.  One photocopy is way cheaper so that is what you must learn to detect.


An original and genuine Rolex GMT 1675
An original and genuine Rolex GMT 1675



The left brochure is not genuine in addition to color there are other signs
The left brochure is not genuine in addition to color there are other signs

Compression once again is clear look at Australia and you will see a lot less of in the fake copy.  These things selling at crazy prices to the unsuspecting collectors.


Left again not guine. How can you tell. easy Look at the strings.
Left again not genuine. How can you tell. easy Look at the strings.

You will see the issue of compression with copies.  You can a lot less of the string in the compressed fake copier version over the original ink printed version.  No missing it if you know where to look.



Not genuine again. To the naked eye it looks ok. But under a loop you see the pixalation from a copier
Not genuine again. To the naked eye it looks ok. But under a loop you see the pixelation from a copier



Top one is genuine and the botton full of pixalation from the copy machine
Top one is genuine and the bottom full of pixelation from the copy machine

The top image has rows of small dots printed which is very different to pixels appearing random fashion to give a similar illusion.  But the the crown speaks volume printed ink on top with sharp edges and pixels and jagged edges on the fake copy.



Top with clean prited edges - bottom pixels
Top with clean printed edges - bottom pixels





Pretty obvious which was printed with ink and which is a copy
Pretty obvious which was printed with ink and which is a copy



Left full of pixels and multiple colors. On the right green and white ink only
Left full of pixels and multiple colors. On the right green and white ink only

When you have the look in hand and look closely at the printed surface you can very quickly see that the one on the left not printed from green ink but made of pixels of a copier that use the four major colors to create the color green.



Rolex 5513 brochure Genuine original
Rolex 5513 brochure Genuine original

The color is a key element to evaluate with Rolex brochures.


Magnification is a dead giveaway in many istances. This one has be baffled.
Magnification is a dead giveaway in many instances. This one has me baffled.


The left image shows slightly more of the railing under his arm.  But the one on the right from what appears to be genuine from the print analysis.  The difference is one brochure is for the 5513 and the other is the 5512.  So in this instance I will say they are both good just Rolex as always recycling various images in the marketing material. 



Non genuine pixalated logo and type face small dots obvious everywhere
Non genuine pixelated logo and type face small dots obvious everywhere



Clean and sharp printing the genuine item
Clean and sharp printing the genuine item



Top clean line original and the botton fake easy to spot.
Top clean line original and the bottom fake easy to spot.



The left one is clean printing and the right rubbish
The left one is clean printing and the right rubbish



And a final look at magnification and reduction caused by copier compression.
And a final look at magnification and reduction caused by copier compression.


Here we can see the image on the left above the hand the beam extends much further that the fake copy on the left.  This is the result of the compression that is required to copy the image and still keep some of the fidelity of the image and trick the eye into seeing something a kin to the original.




This a great hobby but you always have to be on your toes to make sure you don't fall into the traps that are easily avoided with just a little experience.

Happy Rolex hunting.

Bill

Thank you for this great education, Bill!

 
 By: blomman Mr Blue : May 25th, 2015-14:49
Haven't really got that deep into Rolex documents (yet), but would be very upset if I paid top dollars for a fake!

Best
Blomman

Armed with a little knowledge you can be safe. [nt]

 
 By: Bill : May 25th, 2015-14:53
No message body

Once I start I will consult you! :) [nt]

 
 By: blomman Mr Blue : May 25th, 2015-15:06
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Most helpful!

 
 By: Le Monde Edmond : May 25th, 2015-15:15
I am clueless when it comes to Paper. Really appreciate this 101 on paper Rolex. Thank you for taking the time!
Best Edmond

When you know what to look for it is super easy. [nt]

 
 By: Bill : May 25th, 2015-15:24
No message body

Very educating

 
 By: Alex83 : May 25th, 2015-15:25
thanks for this post Bill! I am sure more than one will go to their boxes to scrutinize their booklets, me included!

I don't think you need worry. This is more for lose Rolex Brochures.

 
 By: Bill : May 25th, 2015-15:37
Box sets have other interesting ways to evaluate. Like the folds and how they interlock. Then you are looking at the born together box sets which can vary. Some people stuff everything in the box other keep them separate and even more do keep the papers and use the box for storage. OUCH!

Ouch?

 
 By: Jurry : January 12th, 2020-00:12

Quick question, what’s wrong with using the box for storage?

28 years ago we bought two Rolex Datejust bi-color. Kept all documents etc and the boxes are in the safe. If we travel, the watches go in the original box back in the safe.

This requires that for instance the cushion inside the box must be taken out, and squeezed etc. I always thought that using it occasionally is bette for the material on the inside. I’ve seen boxes that haven’t been opened for 20 years and the inside was dried out and more or less gone whilst ours are still prestige.

Can’t show a picture as these boxes are back home in Europe not here in Dubai

Wonderful insight. Thanks for the education. [nt]

 
 By: Edz : May 25th, 2015-17:27
No message body

It is always a pleasure share. Thanks [nt]

 
 By: Bill : May 26th, 2015-11:22
No message body

Excellent article, Bill. Which will be very helpful for those of us who are on the hunt!

 
 By: amanico : May 25th, 2015-22:36

Pixelisation... I didn't think about that criteria, but it is an easy one to get!

Thank you!

Best,

Nicolas

bravissimo !!

 
 By: marcello pisani : May 25th, 2015-23:29
excellent analysis !!

A few tools to help

 
 By: Bill : May 26th, 2015-08:16
But even as we speak there are things on the bay for a lot of money that will be paid by unsuspecting collectors.

I hope this helps a little but we can't always know from pictures.

Bill

What a helpful write-up !.. Very valuable set of hints, thx kindly.

 
 By: hs111 : May 25th, 2015-23:41
Until yet, I only have 1 booklet only, & that looks ok,
also under your tips for scrutiny..

Thx again & Best !
hs

Once you know it is easy to spot. [nt]

 
 By: Bill : May 26th, 2015-08:17
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Great info. Thanks [nt]

 
 By: descartes1 : May 26th, 2015-04:11
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Great post, very helpful ! [nt]

 
 By: DrStrong : May 26th, 2015-06:28
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Very interesting..

 
 By: Chrisparet : May 26th, 2015-08:59
but I am afraid regarding the fakers capacities : the vintage world is dangerous

Thanks a lot

Best

Christian

Yes, but there is a bunch of good guys here, with a great expertise and willing to help. [nt]

 
 By: amanico : May 26th, 2015-09:01
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Yes .. sure I will ask for help if I decide to enter this dangerous world.. [nt]

 
 By: Chrisparet : May 26th, 2015-09:07
No message body

Always buy the seller

 
 By: Bill : May 26th, 2015-10:46
The waters are still safe if you buy the seller with any watch transaction.
Bill

And you're definitely one of them beside Bill !

 
 By: shou.biao.kuang : May 27th, 2015-04:19
cheers smile 

Excellent thread Bill !!

 
 By: shou.biao.kuang : May 27th, 2015-04:17
such info are valuable resources that's hard to come by. I've only seen one thread in another forum before yours and I must say, both are great resources ! Not sure if I'm allow to post the link here... 

Thanks Bill for sharing your knowledge, you're never one to keep these great stuffs to yourself. Always willing to share freely smile 

SBK. 

This is the nature of a good and vibrant Rolex community.

 
 By: Bill : May 27th, 2015-07:17
Interesting information to share with great people around the world.
A pure pleasure.
Bill
PS fee free to Pm me and extra info.

Thanks Bill that’s great information. [nt]

 
 By: BeckyJax1 : January 10th, 2020-13:52
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Excellent education!!

 
 By: jcroberts1972 : January 10th, 2020-15:17
Thanks so much for the information.  I love this part of collecting, it's really fun when you know what you are looking at!!

Excellent idea to resurface this post! [nt]

 
 By: amanico : January 10th, 2020-15:24
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A great read. Good to see it here again for new members like me. [nt]

 
 By: Reuven Malter : January 10th, 2020-16:38
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Thank you for your effort in posting this information, very helpful. [nt]

 
 By: Ron_W : January 11th, 2020-09:45
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