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Fake, Fraud, or Genuine Rolex?

Featured Artifact

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner was the world’s first waterproof wristwatch. It set the benchmark for diving watches, though Rolex notes that it has also been treasured by “explorers, athletes, film-makers, artists, and others across all walks of life”—not to mention one very notable fictional spy, James Bond! A new Submariner Date watch costs upwards of $10,000.

Unfortunately, this example isn’t one of them. Even though on the surface it looks genuine, there is nothing real about it. It’s missing a presentation box and shares #16233 on a sticker on the back with a second “Rolex” in our possession. It is here because it was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as a fake.

One of CBP’s responsibilities is to protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), including trademarks, copyrights and patents. IPR violators cost legitimate businesses, fund criminal activities and organizations, and threaten public health and safety. CBP’s Office of Trade has made IPR enforcement a priority trade issue. Targeting potential illegal shipments in transit and seizure of identified counterfeits by officers in CBP’s Office of Field Operations are key to combating this theft-by-fakes.

Photograph of the face of a counterfeit RolexPhotograph of the back of a counterfeit Rolex

COUNTERFEIT ROLEX
Object ID# 2018.8.31.1
Manufacturer unknown.
Metal watch and band, with glass face cover, and "Officially Certified" tag on string. The watch band is covered with a cling film to prevent scratches. With a red cardboard insert and small plastic bag package.

Last modified: 
December 11, 2019
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