It’s one thing to memorize strings of digits when it comes to Rolex reference numbers. But then, add in a few letters, and now things just got a little bit more complicated. Have you ever come across a watch (like the ref. 116710BLNR Rolex GMT-Master II), looked at letters in its reference number, and wondered what they mean? Lucky for you, we’ve come up with a super handy guide to decoding those letters.
The “BLNR” part of the reference number of the Rolex “Batman” GMT-Master II signifies that it is the black and blue version.
The Letters in Rolex References Are Abbreviations For French Words
As a Geneva-based company, French is the official language of Rolex. Therefore, if you know a few French words – namely colors, gems, and watch components – the letters in Rolex reference numbers will be quite a bit more easy to understand.
- Bleu: Blue
- Brillants: Faceted diamonds
- Chocolat: Chocolate (aka brown)
- Emeraude: Emerald
- Glace: Window (aka crystal)
- Jaune: Yellow
- Lunette: Bezel
- Noir: Black
- Rouge: Red
- Rubis: Ruby
- Saphirs: Sapphire
- Vert: Green
Ever wonder how Rolex keeps track of which stainless steel Submariner watches are black, and which ones are green? It’s that “LN” or “LV” at the end of their reference numbers.
Popular Rolex Reference Letters
- BLRO (Bleu/Rouge): Blue and red bezels found on GMT-Master I/II watches
- BLNR (Bleu/Noir): Blue and black bezel found on GMT-Master II 116710BLNR
- CHNR (Chocolat/Noir): Brown and black bezel found on GMT-Master II watches
- GV (Glace Verte): Green sapphire crystal found on Milgauss 116400GV
- LB (Lunette Bleu): Blue bezels found on Submariner watches
- LN (Lunette Noir): Black bezels found on Submariner and GMT-Master watches
- LV (Lunette Verte): Green bezels found on Submariner watches
- TBR (Tessellate Brillants): Watch set with diamonds, such as Daytona 116576TBR
- TEM (Tessellate Emeraude): Watch set with emeralds, such as Day-Date 40 228396TEM
- SABLV (Saphirs Bleu Vert): Watch set with blue and green sapphires, such as Pearlmaster 39 86348SABLV
- SABR (Saphirs, Brillants): Watch set with sapphires and diamonds, such as Submariner 116659SABR
- SACO (Saphirs Cognac): Watch set with cognac colored sapphires, such as Daytona 116598SACO
- SAFUBL (Saphirs Fuchsia Bleu): Watch set with fuchsia and blue sapphires, such as Pearlmaster 39 86349SAFUBL
- SAJOR (Saphirs Jaune Orange): Watch set with yellow and orange sapphires, such as Pearlmaster 39 86348SAJOR
- SANR (Saphirs Noir): Watch set with black sapphires, such as GMT-Master II 116759SANR
- SARU (Saphirs, Rubis): Watch set with sapphires and rubies, such as GMT-Master II 116759SARU
Now it’s your turn to list all these Rolex Submariner referenece numbers – letters included.