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How To Date Your Rolex

November 18, 2014

BY Paul Altieri

How To Date Your Rolex Watch

How To Date Your Rolex Watch

Since 1927, Rolex has issued unique serial numbers for each watch that was produced and shipped from their manufacturing studios. These serial numbers can be used to give an approximate year of production for an individual watch. However, it is important to note that all numbers are approximate as number series did not begin and end in correlation with the beginning and end of each dated year.

On each watch, Rolex has engraved a unique five to eight digit serial number and style number. Your watch’s unique serial number can even give you an estimate of when your watch was made. For example, if your watch had a serial number reading “28000” you would be able to approximate its creation date to 1926. Likewise, if your serial number read “L000001” you could approximate your watch’s manufacture date to 1989.

Rolex Watch Serial Number

Rolex Watch Serial Number

The Rolex serial number can be located in two different places. Rolex watches produced before 2005 offer machine inscribed seven digit serial numbers on the watch case between the lugs at the 6 o’clock mark. To view the serial number, the watch’s bracelet must be detached from the 6 ‘clock side of the case. The watch’s style number is located between the lugs at the 12 o’clock mark, so do not get them confused.

Serial Numbers on Rim Rolex Milgauss

Serial Numbers on Rim Rolex Milgauss

In 2005, Rolex began engraving serial numbers on the inner rim of the watch. This area is known as the rehaut, after the French word for flange. The decision to move the location of the serial number was due to stylistic and aesthetic reasons. The style number, however, remains at its traditional spot between the lugs at the 12 o’clock mark.

Serial Numbers on Rolex Watch

Serial Numbers on Rolex Watch

By 2010, Rolex ceased following any sequential numbering system. Rather, they now engrave each watch with a random and unique identification number. Unlike the previous seven digit serial numbers, the new serial numbers are comprised of eight random letters and numbers. Before, it was fairly easy to approximate a date for a Rolex watch because Rolex followed a sequential number system. Now, watches produced after 2010 will be very difficult to date because they only offer random and mixed serial numbers.

skydweller luxury wristwatch

Today, ardent Rolex enthusiasts and collectors will specifically request certain dated Rolex reference numbers when they are looking for the perfect addition to their collections. Those who possess Rolex watches with special serial numbers can sell their watches for more money because they are worth more. Since age is an important aspect in this valuing process, Bob’s Watches can offer you detailed and useful information to assist you in dating and valuing your Rolex watch.





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