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How To Tell If A Rolex Is Stolen

When it comes to buying a luxury watch, such as a Rolex, you want to make sure that you are getting an authentic piece. Unfortunately, there is a thriving market for stolen and fake Rolex watches.

In order to protect yourself from these unscrupulous sellers, it is important to know how to tell if a Rolex is stolen. Here are some tips on how you can do this before making your purchase.

1. Check the Serial Number

One of the most reliable ways to determine if a Rolex is stolen is to check its serial number. The serial number on a genuine Rolex should be located between the lugs of the watch at 12 o’clock. It should consist of 3-6 digits and, depending on the age of the watch, may also contain letters. Additionally, all Rolex watches are laser etched with a unique serial number and an accompanying Rolex hologram sticker should be applied to the case back which can be checked against manufacturer records.

When comparing your watch’s serial number against Rolex records, you must use care to avoid counterfeiting products – for example using only official records from authorised retailers or official Rolexes websites such as rolex.com. If you’re unsure about something or have any doubts, it’s always best to consult an expert before making any decisions.

If the serial number of your watch matches that in factory records but doesn’t come with a certificate or other paperwork then this could indicate that it has been stolen or lost in some way. In these cases it can often be difficult to establish who truly owns the watch so, ultimately, it’s best not to purchase these items unless you have absolute certainty about their provenance.

Is it Possible to Check the Serial Number of a Rolex Online to Find Out if it is Stolen?

The answer is yes, you can check the serial number of a Rolex online to find out if it is stolen. There is an official Rolex database of all authentic watches they have manufactured, and this can be searched by serial number. If your watch is not found in the database, then chances are it could be a stolen one. You should also check for any engravings or markings on the side or back of the case that would indicate that the watch was stolen. 

2. Look for Signs of Tampering

When buying a second-hand Rolex, it’s important to look for any signs of tampering or repair work that may have been done without authorization from an official dealer. Carefully inspect all parts of the watch including screws, crowns and crystal glass faces as these can give away evidence that someone has tried to tamper with it in some way.

3. Verify Its Authenticity With An Official Dealer

If you still have doubts about whether a used Rolex is authentic or not then it’s always worth verifying its authenticity through an official retailer such as an authorised service centre or retailer certified by Rolex itself. By doing so, you can ensure that your watch is genuine and that it hasn’t been stolen or tampered with in any way.

4. Get It Appraised

Finally, if you are unsure about the authenticity of your Rolex then it’s worth getting it professionally appraised by our expert watch inspectors. An appraisal will not only confirm whether your watch is genuine but also provide an estimate of its value as well. This can be extremely useful when negotiating the sale price with a potential buyer.

Can Rolex Watches Be Traced?

Yes, Rolex watches can be traced. Each Rolex watch has a unique serial number, which allows it to be registered and identified. If a Rolex is registered with the company or reported stolen, its serial number can be used to trace its ownership history or flag it in databases checked by watch dealers and law enforcement.

How Common are Stolen Rolexes?

It is difficult to know the exact number of stolen Rolexes, as many thefts go unreported or are never traced back to the original owners. However, according to reports from Interpol’s Illicit Goods and Global Security (IGGS) unit, stolen Rolex watches are generally among the top five most commonly stolen luxury goods items worldwide.

By following the tips above on how to tell if a Rolex is stolen, you can give yourself peace of mind when buying a luxury watch and ensure you don’t fall victim to unscrupulous sellers. Always remember to do your research and verify its authenticity with an official dealer before making any major purchases.

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