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How to authenticate a Rolex Daytona 116520

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    Introduction to how to authenticate a Rolex Daytona

    Our Rolex watchmakers authenticate luxury watches (including Rolex Daytona Cosmograph watches) for our customers. All watches sold on the marketplace are authenticated by our watchmakers before it is shipped to their new owner. We verify if a watch is authentic and correct with our Rolex Authentication service. We also help watch enthusiasts buy luxury watches safe online by offering our independent authentication service to customers who want to buy a watch on Chrono24 or eBay.

    In order to educate on the difficulties and risks of authenticating a Rolex Daytona, we will explain step by step how we authenticate a Rolex Daytona in this blog. It is however important to take into account that different brands, models, (limited/anniversary) editions etcetera might warrant some extra checks and verifications - but below should nonetheless give you a good overview of what steps we take when authenticating a Rolex Daytona 116520.

    The Rolex Daytona 116520

    This watch carries the following specifics:

    • Reference number 116520
    • Case size 40mm
    • Time and Chronograph function
    • Oystercase
    • Black dial
    • Steel bezel
    • Stainless steel case and bracelet
    • Full set (box and papers included)
    • Issued in 2015
    • Movement: 4130

    In this blog we will explain in 5 steps how we authenticated a Rolex Daytona with reference number 116520.

    Rolex Daytona 116520 price

    The Rolex Daytona 116520 is not available anymore at retail as it was discontinued in 2016 by Rolex. The current market value for a likewise model with black dial is pre-owned between €17,000 and €21,000. In new old stock ("NOS") condition it will go for around €24,000 and up. 

    Step 1: check the box and papers

    The first step in our Rolex authentication for the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116520 starts with the correct box and papers. We don't rush this step as there is a big mark-up for full set Rolex Daytona's and they are easily faked. 

    The box and cards

    Rolex Daytona watches issued after c.2007 come in the green outer box and carry cards instead of papers. We always start our Rolex authentication service checking if we have a full-set (if sold as a full set) and if we have the right boxes and papers by performing the following steps:

    • Check if we have the correct outer green box, which is the box that carries the watch (in this example for a 2015 Rolex Daytona Cosmograph the outer green box that carries a cream-white fabric on the inside)
    • Validate if the authentic Rolex card pouch is present (a wallet that carries the cards)
    • Validate if the authentic Rolex international guarantee card is present (most important card that also carries the serial number)
    • Validate if the authentic Rolex instructions booklet is present 
    • How to authenticate a Rolex box: Our Rolex watchmakers have more than 15 years of experience in working with Rolex (at authorized dealers) and know how the material on the outside and inside of a box feel and even smell! In addition they know which type of case is issued in a specific year. 
    • How to authenticate a Rolex warranty card: our Rolex watchmakers know how the material of a Rolex card feels, the looks (the gloss) and even the fonts used on a card. In addition the Rolex logo has a sort of print in the card that shines when you look at it from a specific angle. To fight counterfeit cards, Rolex changed their warranty cards over the years. So knowing the year of issuance and which Rolex cards were being used is crucial to fulfil the authentication for the Rolex Daytona accordingly. Newer cards also light up in a very specific way when exposed to UV light, which is a check we perform in case of these newer cards. 

    Rolex Daytona Cosmograph 116520 in it's outer green Rolex box.

    Rolex authentication: Rolex Daytona Cosmograph 116520 in it's outer green Rolex box.

    Step 2: How to authenticate a Rolex Daytona serial number

    Serial numbers are used for every Rolex watch and are unique numbers used by Rolex to track all individual watches, including this Rolex Daytona 116520 with black dial and steel bezel. At the end of this blog we will include a link on how to check a Rolex serial number in detail. 

    In case of a full set we perform the following checks:

    • Observe the serial number on the case (in this case at 6 o 'clock in the rehaut)
    • Check if the correct serial number is also included on the International guarantee Rolex card 
    • During our Rolex authentication service, details matter the most. We make sure that the quality of the inscription of the serial number is done in accordance with the quality and finishing that is applied by Rolex tools. This is basically shown by the quality of the engraving that can only be concluded by an experienced Rolex watchmaker or by comparing to a real Rolex.

    Rolex Serial Number position on rehaut of Rolex Daytona

    Rolex authentication: Serial number on the rehaut of the Rolex Daytona.

    Check out our blog about the Rolex Serial number check for more information and why it is not providing a 100% certainty over authenticity. 

    Step 3: How to authenticate a Rolex 4130 movement

    When a Rolex is authenticated by a Rolex watchmaker in service of Relleb, we provide assurance there are no fake, unauthentic or incorrect parts in the Rolex movement. We only accept real Rolex parts and therefore we closely observe the details when we authenticate the Rolex Daytona movement.

    Our experienced Rolex watchmakers observe the following during step 3 of our Rolex authentication service:

    • Verify if all components are Rolex parts (by observing quality of finishing, Rolex branding, use of Rolex fonts, use of correct materials)
    • Make sure the complications and build up of the movement are correct (e.g. in this case time and chronograph function)
    • We also authenticate if the watch carries the correct movement by validating the movement number 4130 is engraved on the movement
    • Observe if the lubrication of parts is up to standards (and lubricate if needed)
    • No dirt or damage to movement parts
    • We also verify if the watch is serviced or if it needs service. We advise our clients if and when a watch should be serviced again. In this case we saw this watch was serviced in London in 2018 (see image below) and was in good condition.

    Rolex Daytona Movement 116520 up close

    Up close the reference number 4130 of the movement engraved on the movement itself.

    Rolex caseback Daytona 116520

    Rolex caseback Daytona 116520 up close

    Up close the case back with an engraved service signature by Rolex Londen dated June 2018 ("Lon 6/18")


    Step 4: Making sure the case and bracelet are correct and in good quality

    When performing a Rolex authentication service, we also closely observe the case, glass and bracelet. As said, we only accept real Rolex parts and we have strict guidelines for our watchmakers on how to authenticate a Rolex Daytona properly. In a quest on How to authenticate a Rolex, authenticating the Rolex parts and the quality in detail is key. As such during our authentication process we make sure to take the time and patience to observe the details.

    During step 4 of the Rolex authentication service, our experienced Rolex watchmakers observe the following:

    • Observing quality of case finishing including brushing, materials used (Rolex Oystersteel), the sharpness of the edges, crown with the Rolex logo
    • Observing the quality and finishing through a loupe including marks and text on the dial, material on the hands and plots and the depth of the text applied on the dial
    • Observing the quality and finishing of the bracelet including quality of the bracelet pins, material used, finishing applied to the bracelet and text on the inside of the bracelet
    • Our watchmakers check if the steel bezel and finishing of the dial is correct and in accordance with Rolex standards, and if the materials have been applied conform Rolex standards. 
    • Observe the engravings on the case (reference number and letters such as "STAINLESS STEEL" and "ORIG. ROLEX DESIGN"). These carry a specific finish that has to be observed with the eye up close.

    Rolex Daytona 116520 up close: Rolex authentication

    Rolex authentication: Observing details of the dial.

    The reference number and text engraved on the case of the Rolex Daytona.

    Rolex authentication: The reference number and text engraved on the case of the Rolex Daytona.

    Rolex engraving on the bracelet. Rolex Daytona 116520

    Rolex authentication: Rolex engraving on the bracelet. Rolex Daytona 116520

    Rolex Daytona 116520 bracelet reference numbers engraved.

    Rolex authentication: Rolex Daytona bracelet reference numbers engraved (#78590).

    Step 5: Verifying waterproofness and timekeeping

    This last part on how to authenticate a Rolex is focussed on assuring quality. During step 5 of this Rolex authentication service, our Rolex watchmakers execute the following procedures.

    • Verifying timekeeping is within certificated (COSC* in this case) with a Timegrapher machine, this machine detects the beats per second and daily deviation in 1/10 of a second.
    • In addition there are multiple tools that can help with waterproofness testing (making sure a watch is waterproof) 

    *COSC stands for Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (which is an institute that certifies timekeeping measurements)

    The conclusion on authenticity and quality

    We have briefly explained what we do in this blog about How to authenticate a Rolex Daytona Cosmograph. Since the watch was sold as in "good condition" it passed out strict assessment for authenticity and quality. With our Rolex authentication service the client (from the Netherlands) could enjoy peace of mind about the authenticity and quality of this watch which was bought online from a seller in the UK.

    After the authentication and quality report was issued to the buyer, the watch was sent fully insured and with signature delivery to our customer. Leaving us happily with a 5 star rating on Trustpilot.

    Rolex Daytona 116520 with black dial on the wrist

    Rolex Daytona 116520 with black dial on the wrist. 

    Can you authenticate a Rolex watch on your own?

    That depends really, if you are a seasoned expert and/or Rolex watchmaker you could possibly authenticate a Rolex on your own. If you are not, you will not be able to perform certain steps. At first you need to be able to open the case back and dismantle the bracelet. In addition you need the experience to conclude if the materials used are correct, if Rolex finishing is applied correctly, if the cards gloss and stickers are correct, verify the correct finishing of the dial, check the lubrication quality, verify the correct complications and build up of the movement, assess quality of the pins used etc.

    So our advise would always be to have it authenticated by an experienced Rolex watchmaker.

    Rolex Daytona 116520

    The Rolex Daytona 116520

    Where to buy an authentic Rolex Daytona Cosmograph 116520

    If you are looking to buy an authentic Rolex Daytona Cosmograph 116520 there are multiple options you can go with. For the best find we do advise to use marketplaces like our Relleb marketplace for private sellers, eBay or Chrono24 with our Relleb authentication & buying service.

    Many certified pre-owned sellers like Chronext or Watchfinder&Co are most of the times far more expensive. They have more overhead costs and service every watch (in our opinion sometimes overservice watches) which adds up to the cost price of a Rolex Daytona Cosmograph. But, buying from private sellers bears risks and therefore we always advise to have a Rolex expert or watchmaker help you authenticate a watch. 


    More about Relleb and the founders

    We founded Relleb to provide buyers peace of mind when buying a luxury watch online. We hated to see beloved colleagues and friends being scammed on the internet and we experiences first hand how difficult it can be to only buy a watch online and also authenticate a watch by yourself. 

    We stand for the ultimate customer experience when buying a watch and bring the following trades.

    • Customer focused process and facilitating customs import duty policies and risks
    • Authentication by hand by an experienced brand watchmaker
    • Quality certainty over movement, timekeeping and condition of the watch
    • Authentication report including  photos/videos documenting the authentication of the watch
    • Insured shipment with a priority carrier to your doorstep
    • Free returns and refund if a watch is fake or incorrect

    Video: How our Rolex authentication service works

    Video: Fake versus Real Rolex Daytona 116500LN

    A fake versus real Rolex comparison presented by Eric Rivera.

    Written by

    Kenny Vaes, watch enthusiast, co-owner of Relleb

    Last updated June 26, 2022

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