Vintage Rolex Booklets - Spotting the fakes
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
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 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 pixelation from a copier
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 printed edges - bottom pixels
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
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
The color is a key element to evaluate with Rolex brochures.
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 pixelated logo and type face small dots obvious everywhere
Clean and sharp printing the genuine item
Top clean line original and the bottom fake easy to spot.
The left one is clean printing and the right rubbish
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.