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100% Certified Authentic

Bob's Watches
100% Certified Authentic

At Bob's Watches, your trust is very important to us. We believe that buying a pre-owned Rolex watch online should be simple, honest, and straightforward. To that end, we guarantee that every Rolex watch on our site is 100% authentic, comprised entirely of Rolex parts. Our mission is to be the leading trusted online source for selling and buying authentic pre-owned Rolex watches. We stand behind this authenticity guarantee with a full money back refund on any watch not found to be completely genuine.

BOB’S WATCHES

ROLEX BLOG

Birth Year Watches – How to Find a Rolex by Year

July 1, 2019

BY Paul Altieri

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For some, wearing a Rolex watch made in the same year that they were born is a special thing. Think of it as the horology equivalent of “This Year in History.” Treating oneself to (or buying a loved one) a birth year Rolex on a milestone birthday – such as turning 21, 30, 40, 50, etc. – can be a particularly meaningful gift. 

So, how exactly do you find a birth year Rolex? Since Rolex does not divulge official production numbers, it can be a little bit tricky; however, it’s certainly not impossible. Here are some of our favorite strategies to find the correct birth year Rolex.  

Birth Year Rolex

Step #1: Decide On What Model You Want for Your Birth Year Rolex

First things first, you have to decide which Rolex model you want. A classic Datejust? A lavish Rolex Day-Date President? A sporty Daytona chronograph? A Rolex Submariner or Sea-Dweller dive watch? A GMT-Master pilot watch? First decide on which specific model fits your personal taste, lifestyle, and budget best, and then you can continue hunting down that perfect birth year Rolex. 

Birth Year Rolex

But remember, you first have to make sure that the Rolex model you have in mind was already in production by the year that you were born.

  • Datejust: 1945

  • Explorer: 1953

  • Submariner: 1953

  • GMT-Master: 1955

  • Day-Date: 1956

  • Milgauss: 1956

  • Daytona (Manual): 1963

  • Sea-Dweller: 1967

  • Submariner Date: 1968

  • Explorer II: 1971

  • Oysterquartz: 1977

  • GMT-Master II: 1983

  • Daytona (Automatic): 1988

  • Pearlmaster: 1992

  • Yacht-Master: 1992

  • Yacht-Master II: 2007

  • Deepsea: 2008

  • Sky-Dweller: 2012

Birth Year Rolex

Step #2: Research Rolex Reference Production Years 

Now that you’ve decided on the specific Rolex model (and verified that it was in fact in production the year you were born), it’s time to figure out the correct Rolex reference number that corresponds to your birth year.

 We can break down the reference number where the first digits indicate the approximate time frame of production and the last digits tell us the material and bezel style of the watch. For instance, the Datejust ref. 162xx family of watches made its debut in 1988 and the specific 16200 reference number tells us it’s a steel model with a smooth bezel. 

Birth Year Rolex

Here are some quick reference tables to help you find your birth year Rolex.

Datejust

  • Ref. 162xx = 1988 – 2005
  • Ref. 160xx = 1977 – 1988
  • Ref. 16xx = 1960 – 1977
  • Ref. 66xx = 1955 – 1960
  • Ref. 63xx/ Ref. 61xx/ Ref. 60xx/ Ref. 50xx/ Ref. 44xx = Pre 1955

Birth Year Rolex

Explorer & Explorer II

  • Ref. 114270 = 2000 – 2010
  • Ref. 16570 = 1989 – 2011
  • Ref. 14270 = 1989 – 2000
  • Ref. 16550 = 1985 – 1989
  • Ref. 1016 = 1963 – 1989
  • Ref. 1655 = 1971– 1985
  • Ref. 6610 = 1956 – 1963
  • Ref. 6150 = 1954 – 1959
  • Ref. 6350 = 1953 – 1954

Birth Year Rolex

Submariner & Submariner Date

  • Ref. 1661x = 1988 – 2010
  • Ref. 14060/14060M = 1990 – 1998/1998 – 2012
  • Ref. 168000 = 1988 – 1989
  • Ref. 1680x = 1979 – 1988
  • Ref. 1680/x = 1967 – 1979
  • Ref. 5514 = 1972 – 1978
  • Ref. 5513 = 1962 – 1989
  • Ref. 5512 = 1959 – 1978
  • Ref. 5510 = 1958 – 1959
  • Ref. 5508 = 1958 – 1962
  • Ref. 6536/1 = 1955 – 1959 
  • Ref. 6536 = 1955
  • Ref. 6538 = 1954 – 1959 
  • Ref. 6200 = 1954
  • Ref. 6205 = 1954 – 1955
  • Ref. 6204 = 1953

Birth Year Rolex

GMT-Master & GMT-Master II 

  • Ref. 1671x = 1989 – 2007
  • Ref. 16760 = 1983 – 1988
  • Ref. 16700 = 1988 – 1999
  • Ref. 1675x = 1981 – 1988
  • Ref. 1675/x = 1959 – 1980
  • Ref. 6542 = 1955 – 1959

Birth Year Rolex

Day-Date

  • Ref. 118xxx = 2000 – 2019
  • Ref. 182xx = 1988 – 2000
  • Ref. 180xx = 1977 – 1988
  • Ref. 18xx = 1959 – 1977
  • Ref. 661x = 1957 – 1959
  • Ref. 651x = 1956 – 1957

Birth Year Rolex

Milgauss

  • Ref. 1019 = 1960 – 1988
  • Ref. 6541 = 1956 – 1960
  • Ref. 6543 (prototype) = 1954 – 1956

Birth Year Rolex

Cosmograph Daytona

  • Ref. 11652x = 2000 – present
  • Ref. 1652x = 1988 – 2000
  • Ref. 6265 = 1971 – 1988
  • Ref. 6263 = 1971 – 1988
  • Ref. 6264 = 1969 – 1972 
  • Ref. 6262 = 1969 – 1970
  • Ref. 6240 = 1965 – 1969
  • Ref. 6241 = 1965 – 1969
  • Ref. 6239 = 1963 – 1969

Birth Year Rolex

Sea-Dweller

  • Ref. 16600 = 1989 – 2009
  • Ref. 16660 = 1978 – 1989
  • Ref. 1665 “Great White” = 1977 – 1983
  • Ref. 1665 “Double Red” = 1967 – 1977

Birth Year Rolex

Oysterquartz

  • Ref. 190xx (Day-Date) = 1977 – 2003
  • Ref. 170xx (Datejust) = 1977 – 2003

Birth Year Rolex

Yacht-Master

  • Ref. 16622 = 1999 – 2012
  • Ref. 16628 = 1999 – 2012

Birth Year Rolex

 Step #3: Look Into Rolex Serial Numbers To Zero In On Specific Production Year

Once you’ve decided on which Rolex model reference family you’d like to get, you’ll have to dig deep into serial numbers to figure the exact year of production. Again, because Rolex does not publish manufacture numbers and/or serial numbers, comparing serial numbers with crowd-sourced production date charts is not an exact science by any means. 

Birth Year Rolex

However, we do have a handy Rolex Serial Number Lookup Tool here at Bob’s Watches that can help you in your search. In case you forgot, (prior to the mid-2000s) serial numbers on Rolex watches can be found between the lugs on the 6 o’clock side of the case. 

Lastly, it’s important to note that starting around 2010/2011, Rolex began using random serial numbers so it’s impossible to date those ones to an exact year. But since we’re assuming you’re older than nine years old, this shouldn’t impact your search for the perfect birth year Rolex!

Birth Year Rolex

WATCHES YOU MIGHT LIKE

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19 Responses to “Birth Year Watches – How to Find a Rolex by Year”

  1. Steve Hargett says:

    very much interested in birthdate Rolex-1957 submariner. Can you assist?
    Thank you
    Steve Hargett

  2. Jon Carter says:

    Hi
    Been admiring submariners for awhile. Cute idea the year of birth.1957. I’m concerned about the condition-so may be better served with a newer model. But let me know what you have.

    Any in stock? Excellent condition and reasonably priced?

    Submariner
    6536/1

  3. Richard B Moore says:

    I would be interested in learning more about a GMT master from 1955??

  4. Fz says:

    Sad to see that the Air king was not considered a Rolex in your list. Turn off.

    • Paul Altieri says:

      The Rolex Air-King is a bit more complicated than the others. Rolex considers 1958 the official start of the Air-King collection, marked by the launch of the ref. 5500; however the ‘Air-King’ name was actually used as early as the 1940s on Rolex’s various air-themed watches. At this point in time, the Air-King collection as we know it today did not exist, but there are still technically Rolex Air-King watches out there that pre-date 1958. Hope this helps!

  5. Lawson Devery says:

    I would be obliged if you could date this watch :-

    Model Gents Rolex Submariner Date Chrono
    Case No. 8572828
    Model 16800
    Bracelet 93150

    Many thanks

    Lawson

  6. Darlene says:

    Thank you. I hesitated to get an older watch. This article made me excited again.

  7. stuart ward says:

    Paul, I have a 1972 Rolex Oyster Cosmograph series 6263, with a black face, and white dials. I am the original owner, and the watch is in good shape.
    I can not find anyone who has the series, or an give me a decent idea of the value as the more popular model is the Daytona series watches which have outstanding values.
    do you have an approximate value of the series watch.
    Thank you
    Stuart

  8. Fred says:

    1954
    What is available?

    • Paul Altieri says:

      That year will exclude many of Rolex’s sports watches, but Datejust and Oyster Perpetual collections will have a number of different options. Take a look at our website for our most up to date availability. We will list the estimated year of production for every Rolex watch we sell, so it will be relatively easy to find the one you’re looking for (assuming there is one available).

  9. Chris Sas says:

    Please find me a 1967 Rolex Oyster Precision, with rivet bracelet. This is the 3rd time I have contacted you, with no communication from you. To difficult ? Maybe, but at least respond with no, yes or get lost !
    Chris Sas, I will not tell you how many Rolex watches I own. Toronto, Canada, and no, not the USA.

  10. MIchael Turner says:

    Looking for 1970

  11. Francis Cox says:

    Will you publish your Rolex serial Number Look Up tool?

  12. rob etabrook says:

    Hello,

    I am looking for a birth year (1980) GMT master 1675 to commemorate my 40th and wasnt sure if i could try and source through your company. I have purchased a rolex from you before and was very satisfied with the service. Please let me know and apologies if this isn’t the right method of contact.

  13. jeff church says:

    hi there,

    im interested in buying a used 1998 Rolex submariner with a black bezel. its for my son who was born on 10/21/98. would want it reconditioned or what ever you do to it. if you still had new ones of those years that would be fine too.

    • Paul Altieri says:

      Check our site for the most up to date pricing and availability. We will list the production years for all Rolex watches, so it should be relatively easy to find the one you’re looking for, assuming that we have one available at that time.

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    Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, or any other brand listed. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster, etc are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation. All brands including Brequet, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Breitling and Omega, etc are trademarks of their respective owners.