Monday 25 April 2022

10 Ways To Tell If A Rolex Is Authentic


10 Ways To Tell If A Rolex Is Authentic

10 Ways To Tell If A Rolex Is Authentic

Rolex. The name itself is the quintessence of elegance and beauty in the watch industry. But this reputation comes with a downside. Ever since the company began manufacturing topnotch mechanical watches, fake Rolex watches have been sold here and there. This persists even though the quality of a real Rolex is unmatchable with fake Rolex watches. So how exactly can one determine when a Rolex watch is real?

Real Rolex, How To Tell, Rolex Watches, Fake Rolex

To help you whenever you purchase a Rolex watch, we’d like to share with you the following tips on determining its authenticity:

Is Your Rolex Real?

1. Place The Watch Near Your Ear

The first trick is to know a watch’s inner functioning. Before justifying anything, place the watch near your hear and listen for any ticking sound. Always remember that Rolex manufactured watches are powered by an automatic movement. A ticking sound from the watch would verify the presence of a quartz movement.

In other words, a Rolex watch with a ticking sound is a fake Rolex! This is because automatic movement in a real Rolex watch is absolutely soundless despite the 8 micro parts included in it.

Once you’ve done the first step in verifying the authenticity of a Rolex watch, you can move on to the second step.

2. Check Out The Watch’s Case Back

Rolex Datejust, Authenticity, Gold, Jewels, Case Back


If your watch seller claims he is selling you a real Rolex, you need to check the case back. Apart from the Rolex Sea-Dweller and some vintage Rolex watches manufactured in the ‘30s, all real Rolex watches feature a smooth metal case back.

If you see that the watch has a clear backside, you should know that this is a replica Rolex. Rolex believes in refinement and smooth polishing of the watch case back. As a result, they don’t make use of any see-through glass in that specific portion. In reality, a real Rolex watch contains a stunning smooth finishing.

3. A Poorly Crafted Crown Etching

Replicators do not possess the proper kind of craftsmanship that Rolex does. This is one of the bases in determining if a Rolex watch is real. Since 2002, the company has been including in every Rolex model a small crown-etching at the 6 o’ clock position. Along with the larger crown-etching, this is to create distinction and exclusiveness for the wearer.

In addition, the small etching is too tiny to spot in the first place. One would require a magnifying glass just to spot it.

4. Second Hand

Rolex never ever compromises precision and perfection. The second hand is used for indicating a secondary time-zone. If by any chance you see that the second hand is behaving in a somewhat jerky manner, you should know that this is a fake Rolex watch.

To ensure the smooth rotation of the second hand, Rolex guarantees the maximum inclusion of mechanical parts in the watch. A jerky movement of the second hand indicates a quartz-based mechanical movement. And as far as we’re concerned, Rolex has never made quartz watches.

5. Cyclops Quality

Rolex Day Date, Oyster, Perpetual, Authenticity, Gold


No, we’re not talking about the famed Greek mythological beast. This is just part of determining whether a Rolex watch is real. Most Rolex watches include a date display, and a little magnifying glass is often used to enlarge the display by 2.5X.

This little magnifying portion is called Cyclops. Rolex has always considered using the topmost quality material in every part of the watch. When you’re carrying a Rolex-made watch, you will notice that the Cyclops has a smooth and polished quality to it. If it seems otherwise, it is possibly a fake Rolex.

6. Engraved Rolex Serial Number

Every single watch produced in the Rolex production unit contains an authentic Rolex serial number. Even though a Rolex replica seller can copy the serial number itself, no charlatan can copy the way in which Rolex engraves it!

On its high-quality and smooth metal body, the Rolex serial numbers are engraved perfectly and precisely. In contrast, an “etched” serial number on the watch indicates a fake product. If you purchase anything featuring this, beware and return the watch as soon as possible.

7. Texts on the Face

The text written on the watch face should meet the highest of Rolex standards. A fake Rolex features an unsmooth, bubbling, and improperly spaced text. Examine closely every part of the text. This is how to tell if the watch you purchased is fake or not.

8. Surprising Price

Rolex is famous for its pure art in timepiece manufacturing. The Rolex watch price is not excluded from this tradition. If a seller sells you a watch with a surprisingly low price, you are at risk of losing money for a fake Rolex!

Additionally, if the watch’s quality doesn’t seem to justify a higher price, the seller is most likely deceiving you with a fake model. So its a good idea is to compare a watch’s price with a different source before making a purchase.

9. Weight

This is probably the easiest way to check the authenticity of a Rolex watch. To ensure that you are carrying an original Rolex, you need to weigh it. An original Rolex is made of metal. This explains why it seems pretty heavy.

Moreover, an original Rolex contains a well-crafted high-quality bracelet, and this adds some extra weight to the timepiece. Spotting a fake Rolex watch by weighing it only takes a few seconds. Remember, a fake Rolex is lightweight. The edgy finishing will prove its authenticity in a matter of seconds!

10. The Watch’s Inner Parts

Rolex, Inner Parts, Authenticity, Functioning, Machinery
Photo by Guy Sie from Flickr

For this test, you need an extra pair of hands. Opening a Rolex watch is always risky, but it’s worth it when you need to ensure its authenticity.

Rolex watches have complex-looking inner parts. This serves as an additional basis in determining whether a Rolex watch is real or not. But remember, don’t try to open the case back until you find someone trustworthy with this job.

How to Avoid Fake Rolex Purchasing

Shady Locations

If a seller provides you with a shady location to test the Rolex watch, it’s best to avoid purchasing. Purchase only from a certified Rolex seller. In regards to purchasing a vintage Rolex from a collector, you should check the previously-mentioned steps.

Experienced Jeweler or Watchmaker

Sometimes replica Rolex watches might look more dazzling. In this case, you need to rely on an experienced watchmaker or jeweller to justify its design.

Unreliable Auctions

Avoid any untrustworthy auction ceremony. Otherwise, you might not get a chance to verify the authenticity of a Rolex watch being sold.


Follow every guideline describe above in order to properly determine whether a so-called Rolex watch is real. Stay safe and save your money. And finally, purchase only authentic Rolex watches.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

A Collector’s Guide to Diecast Cars


A Collector’s Guide to Diecast Cars

Four diecast cars in shades of red, yellow, green and blueA group of repainted Dinky Toys Bedford and Guy Vans . Sold for £50 via Vectis Auctions Ltd (August 2019).

Diecast cars are built from zinc alloy — and offer a healthy dose of nostalgia. In the peak of their production, these small-scale cars — typically no larger than the palm of a hand — were carefully modeled after real-life designs produced by automobile manufacturers. For collectors in the market today, diecast cars perfectly marry two popular collecting categories: vintage toys and classic cars. Car enthusiasts may find they can fit a few more 1:43 scale diecast cars in their garage than full-scale Ford Pontiacs, for example, and toy collectors may find joy in the careful details offered by each of the four major manufacturers of diecast toys. And, just about everyone can find joy in rolling diecast cars down imaginary roads.

What is a Diecast Car?

A diecast toy (sometimes written as die cast or die-cast) is any toy produced through the die casting method of metal casting, and is typically made of a zinc alloy (or, in some cases, lead). Die casting is a process in which a molten metal alloy is forced under high pressure into a mold creating a product similar to injection mold plastic but made of metal. This relatively simple method was perfect for mass-producing toys of all kinds in the era before inexpensive plastics were developed. In addition to diecast model cars other vehicles such as planes, trains, motorcycles and even spaceships have also been produced. Japanese toy manufacturer Bandai first developed the ‘Chogokin’ (the Japanese word for “super alloy”) line of diecast giant robot toys that have been in production since the 1970s. The painstaking process for creating these toys is the same as in the production of classic car lines.

Yellow and red toy truck with Heinz 57 logo

Dinky Supertoys Guy Warrior ‘Heinz’ Van (920). Sold for £1100 via Wallis & Wallis (November 2017).

One major appeal of diecast cars is how brands have been able to authentically recreate full-size cars at a much smaller scale. This has been the case since the early days of die casting. One of the first diecast cars from iconic toy manufacturer Dinky Toys was a model of the 1930s race car ‘The Speed of the Wind,’ driven by British race car driver and engineer George Eyston when he broke the land speed record. Many famous car brands such as Chrysler, Ford, Rolls-Royce and Volkswagen have also been captured in miniature size. Trucks are also a popular style among collectors, and branded models like the Heinz truck from Dinky Toys are particularly sought-after.

Six toy race cars in shades of blue, yellow, green, red and white in a cardboard box

Dinky Pre-war 23e Trade Pack ‘Speed of the Wind’ Racing Car. Sold for £1200 via Vectis Auctions (November 2019).

A Brief History of Diecast Cars

The story of diecast car production begins in England: Of the major toy brands that competed for market share in the 1950s and ‘60s, two were British companies. Later, following the success of the original British makers, came an American diecast manufacturer called Hot Wheels — which eventually grew to dominate the market. But roughly forty years before those toys even crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a formidable company named Dinky Toys changed the toy market forever.

Dinky Toys

A true pioneer of the industry, Dinky Toys began producing diecast toys twenty years before any of the other major players even entered the market. As a result, for collectors seeking out a pre-war antique toy car, Dinky Toys is likely the relics’s manufacturer. Established by Frank Hornby in a factory in Liverpool in 1908, the company was originally named Meccano Ltd. and produced primarily model trains and construction sets. In 1934, the company began to sell miniature accessories to compliment their train line under the name Meccano Dinky Toys. By the following year, they dropped “Meccano” altogether and officially became Dinky Toys. That same year they produced their first diecast car.

A red and green vintage toy racing car

French Dinky No.23b Pre-war Streamlined Racing Car. Sold for £240 via Vectis Auctions Ltd (November 2015).

The first diecast toy cars were sold in a set of six cars together: a sports car, a delivery van, a tank, a sports coupe, a truck and a farm tractor. These six cars were cast in lead and were based on a generic version of the listed car. The cars proved popular, and soon Dinky Toys was producing dozens of new models including diecast planes, diecast tanks and diecast ships. For twenty years, Dinky Toys was the only name in diecast cars, until a little company named Corgi Toys introduced “the ones with windows”.

Corgi Toys

Corgi Toys was first introduced as a sub-brand of Mettoy Playcraft, and was named after the eponymous dog breed that also hailed from the company’s headquarters in Swansea, South Wales. Mettoy Playcraft specialized in metal toy production, but had primarily focused on tin plate toys, not diecast toys. Their products were initially popular, but in 1956 they shook the industry by developing glazed plastic windows, an invention so essential it’s hard to imagine a time before they existed. Corgi Toys was so confident in this new innovation, they sold the new toys with the simple slogan “the ones with windows”. Their initial 1956 line comprised of eight classic vehicles, including the Ford Consul, the Morris Cowley, the Austin-Healey 100 and the Triumph TR2.

A tan colored toy car with original box

Corgi No.200 rare factory Pre-production Ford. Sold for £1,300 via Vectis Auctions Ltd (October 2016).

Both Dinky Toys and Corgi Toys produced cars in O scale, harkening back to their origins in model trains. O scale refers to the zero gauge size of model trains, which are the smallest available. Dinky Toys was already working in this scale, so they sized their cars accordingly and Corgi Toys later followed suit. O scale for cars ranges from about 1:43 diecast cars to 1:48 diecast cars, depending on the model. 

Matchbox Cars

Soon after Corgi introduced transparent windows, another British company, Lesney Products, unveiled “Matchbox” cars — what would soon become a household name. These cars, named for the faux matchbox they came in, were significantly smaller in size, but very affordable. Lesney Products produced an array of models, quickly outpacing their competitors in volume if not in quality. It also helped that Matchbox cars were made in approximately 1:65 scale, though proportions were often modified to fit their pint-sized packaging. This did not affect their popularity.

Two vintage Matchbox cars; one blue and one yellow

Collection of vintage Matchbox Lesney Diecast Models, sold for £85 via East Bristol Auctions (April 2018).

The appeal of “the ones with windows” and the affordable Matchbox cars forced a sort of diecast arms race. Dinky Toys and Corgi Toys produced car after car, each trying to outdo the other with new features: jeweled headlights, detailed interiors, working suspensions, and licensing deals. For ten years, the three major companies were caught in a stalemate that seemed certain to last. That is, until Hot Wheels emerged.  

Hot Wheels

In 1968 Elliot Handler, toy industry legend and founder of Mattel Toys, created a new line of tiny toy cars: Hot Wheels. What made these cars so different from their competitors was that instead of being modeled after real-life cars, Hot Wheels were conceived as fantastical custom hot rods with exaggerated proportions and pull-back racing functionality. “The Original Sweet 16” cars alongside a racing track set (sold separately, of course) were released in America to outstanding success. In 1969, they took that success to Europe.

Silver Hot Wheels diecast car

No Paint 1968 Hot Wheels Redlines Custom Mustang. Sold for $2,250 via J. Levine Auction and Appraisal (August 2016).

Consolidation in the Market

The British companies simply could not compete with the American-made cars. For ten years they played catch up as Hot Wheels sold better each year, so well they actually made their slogan ‘Go with the Winner’. Dinky Toys was the first to fall to the success of Hot Wheels, and they closed their factory in 1979. The Dinky Toys brand, along with Matchbox and Corgi Toys, would later be purchased by Mattel. Mattel eventually sold Corgi Toys, which was reestablished as “Corgi Classics”. They still produce replicas of original Corgi toys today. Mattel currently produces toys under the Matchbox brand name, but they have allowed the Dinky Toys classic line to languish.

Diecast Car Values

Diecast cars, including exceptional examples from Dinky Toys, Corgi Toys, Matchbox and Hot Wheels, are commonly found at auction. For individual cars, Dinky cars tend to sell for a few hundred dollars, depending on condition, demand, and availability of original packaging. Due to scarcity, some pre-war Dinky cars can sell for a few thousand dollars. Corgi Toys licensed cars tend to be the most sought-after of their toys, with their “James Bond” and “Batman” cars selling in a range from several hundreds to several thousands of dollars, again depending on condition and packaging.

A gold James Bond Corgi car

A rare Corgi gold-plated presentation James Bond Lotus Esprit. Sold for £9,818 via Christie’s (June 2006).

True to their origins as a discount diecast toy line, Matchbox Cars items tend to sell for less, with individual cars typically selling for one hundred dollars or less. Meanwhile, Hot Wheels in unopened packaging can easily sell for thousands of dollars, and special sets can go even higher. The most expensive diecast car ever sold was a pre-production Volkswagen Read Loader Beach Bomb. The car was too top-heavy to go into production and the prototype reportedly sold at auction for around $70,000.

Condition Issues 

In collecting vintage diecast cars keep an eye out for zinc pest (also known as zinc rot). Zinc pest is caused by impurities in the zinc alloy and can be found in diecast object made before the 1960s. For diecast cars, that means zinc pest crops up in early Dinky Toys and Corgi Toys cars. Zinc pest causes a white corrosive to form on the surface of the metal and compromises the structural integrity of the toy. Also always remember that many of these car lines have been reproduced over the years, so make sure to do your research when purchasing a vintage toy.

Diecast race car

Light areas of zinc pest and oxidation visible on rims.

Diecast toys are fun for nostalgists and collectors of all ages. The sheer volume of cars produced over the years makes acquiring quality models accessible for any level of interest in the field of vintage toys. Whether you’re interested in a classic Dinky Toy diecast car, a revolutionary Corgi, the economical Matchbox, or the fantastical Hot Wheels, you’ll find plenty of examples to capture your imagination in the market today. 

Tuesday 5 April 2022

Collecting Studio Pottery: The Potters Marks & a little history

How valuable are you vintage Barbie dolls?

  The Guide to Vintage Barbie Dolls Blonde #1 Boxed Barbie. Sold for $6,600 via Morphy Auctions (April 2013). Estimated Reading Time:  11 mi...