Rolex promotes the Day-Date watch as the “embodiment of prestige,” and at around $30,000 it certainly is prestigious!
Each version of the Day-Date is made of precious metals, including the hour markers on the watch face. They are a beautiful arm accessory as well as time-keeper, with the day display available in different languages.
It is considered a privilege and a luxury to own one of these, but not all of us can afford it. The temptation would be to purchase a fake, but you will always know that it’s not the real deal!
A better option would be to pick a similar item on the market that is within your price range.
In this article, we advise you on how to spot a fake Rolex and look at similar legitimate watches available on the market that are in your price range.
How to spot a fake?
Nobody likes to be sold replica goods under the guise of them being genuine.
Also, it is always better to say “I own a [brand name] rather than “I own a fake Rolex”. Rolex is known for their quality so spotting a fake can actually be quite easy if you know what to look for.
Their watches are unique to any others on the market. Below we outline what distinct features to check for before someone tries to sell you a replica Rolex.
The Quartz Hand
A genuine Rolex has a smooth and seamless second-hand movement. The second hand on a replica watch will tend to stutter.
Spot the fake: Carefully watch the hands uninterrupted and see if the hands temporarily stall.
The Ticking Noise
A real Rolex does not make ticking sounds. With the watch to your ear, in a quiet environment, listen out for any ticks.
Spot the fake: If you hear it ticking away, it cannot be a Rolex.
Fake Rolex watches are usually lighter than a real Rolex.
Remember, Rolex uses heavier metals to make their products such as 18 ct gold, silver, and platinum. For example, they don’t just gold plate their watches, they use gold throughout the watch construction.
Spot the fake: If the watch feels light, it ain’t right.
Rolex engraves their winders on the side with their logo. This is an exquisite and unique feature.
Spot the fake: Fakes have basic winders with no engraving!
The Cyclops Lens
Just above the date at the 3pm marker, Rolex adds a magnifier lens.
This is difficult to replicate for most counterfeits as it is not cheap to do, so usually, their lenses will appear uniform throughout. It doesn’t take long to check the lens, and spotting the discrepancy, you can turn away that counterfeit watch!
Spot the fake: If it doesn’t have a magnifier lens at 3pm, it’s not real.
Best Affordable Alternatives to Day-Date – Reviewed
There are lots of great alternatives to the Rolex Day-Date out there, in different price ranges. I’ve collected my favorites below:
Best Overall Rolex Day-Date Alternative: Charles Hubert, Paris – Classic
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Charles Hubert has been a big player in the US watch industry. They offer retro and contemporary designs and have a loyal and large customer base. This Charles Hubert, Paris - Classic is not made of gold but rather is gold-plated.
Water-resistant to 30M, this watch has day and date display, Japanese quartz movement, and lifetime movement warranty.
The day displays at 12 pm, and the date is where the 3 pm hour marking would usually reside. The dial window is made of mineral, and the band is brass. It’s 36mm and suitable as a dress watch.
There are another 3 models available in this range – 2 gold plated and 1 dual-tone with a blue dial. This is an affordable watch that offers a classy look.
Want to know more? Check out more info about it over on Amazon!
Premium Day-Date Alternative: the Orient President Classic
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This is a pricier alternative but looks very much like the Day-Date.
At 36mm, it has a cyclops lens for the date, the same fluted bezel, metal band, and fold-over clasp. It looks very similar to the Rolex.
This Orient President Classic is available in many dial colors. It is water-resistant to 100m. The dial window is made of synthetic sapphire. The hand movement is a Swiss automatic one.
This is a durable homage watch which will attract a lot of attention. We don’t think our review can do it justice, to be frank. This item exceeds expectations.
Want to get one for yourself? Click over to Amazon for more info!
Budget Day-Date Alternative: Bulova Classic 96C125
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Bulova Classic 96C125 manufacture affordable watches that are worthy of sitting on your wrist. The classic collection features a ream of different watches, but this one is quite close to the Rolex Day-Date.
In four different colors and with a two-tone or leather band, you get quite a lot of choice.
There are similarities with the baton hands, rectangular hour markers, and full weekday display at the top. This is small at 39mm, but this means it will fit nicely under the sleeve of your shirt.
It doesn’t have a fluted bezel, where the Day-Date does. The watch is 30m of water resistance.
Another excellent-looking dress watch!
Stylish Day-Date Alternative: BINLUN Automatic Luxury Wrist Watch
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This baby is bound to draw attention! Because it is 18 ct gold plated, it will sparkle on your wrist just as the Rolex would. The design allows you to watch the cogs turn under your hands.
This does not have a day or date display, but the beautifully embossed jewels at the hour markers more than make up for that.
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, this 50M water-resistant watch can be worn underwater.
BINLUN Automatic Luxury Wrist Watch is a fashion watch brand and takes advantage of both oriental and western art. The item is powered by 21 jewels. This is very stylish and would suit any occasion.Click here to jump over on Amazon to get the best price!
These are just a few options of Rolex alternatives out there.
Our favorite is the Orient President Classic, as from a distance it could be mistaken for the Rolex.
With so many good watches available, why buy a fake that may not even last a week?
Have a look at the ones we have reviewed here and think about the color, the shine, and the functionality you want from your watch. There are some stunning products for you to choose from.
We have demonstrated that homage watches can have the same characteristics as the Rolex Day-Date, but at a fraction of the price.
We hope this guide helps you pick the perfect affordable alternative to the Rolex Day-date for you.
Looking for a more affordable, casual watch? Check out my post on the best watches for men here. Or, if you’re in the mood for a watch with exposed gears, I’ve collected my favorite Skeleton Watches in this post!