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BOB’S WATCHES

ROLEX BLOG

A Discussion of Rolex Movements Going Back to 1950

April 10, 2014

BY Ed Estlow

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rolex daytona 6265 fab movement - Bob's Watches

Rolex Daytona 6265 FAB Movement

There’ve been at least 61 Rolex calibres manufactured since 1950. And they’ve been installed in many times that many references. In fact some have been installed in dozens of references. The 2235, for instance, was introduced in 1999 and has seen service in no less than 108 different Rolex references, all of them versions of the Oyster Perpetual, Datejust and Lady Yacht-Master midsize. (For the record, calibre means movement, and reference is the model number of the watch.)

Rolex actually first presented a date display well before 1950. The year was 1945, and the calibre was the 740.

A day-date display – actually a day-date-moon phase – first appeared with Rolex’s calibre 780 in 1952. Rolex installed the 780 in their ref. 6062 chronograph.

The Day-Date ref. 6511 (or “President” as the model came to be popularly known) debuted in 1956 with calibre 1055 beneath the dial. The President is the watch made famous by Lyndon Johnson (ref. unknown). There are also reports of Dwight Eisenhower wearing one. However, there is no evidence of this. Instead, he wore a Datejust, Rolex’s 150,000th certified chronometer, which the company awarded him in 1951 for his distinguished service and leadership in WW II.

The “quick set” feature on the Day-Date, allowing rapid setting of the date, debuted with calibre 3055 in ref. 18026 in the late 1970s. The “double quick set” calibre 3155 was introduced in 1988. The 3155 allowed rapid setting of both the day and the date by turning the crown clock-wise or counter-clockwise while in position 2.

Besides the flagship President and its history-making calibres, other notable calibres included the 1030, 1530, 1036, 1565, 1575, and 2030.

movement 5513 rolex submariner - Bob's Watches

Movement 5513 Submariner

The Oyster Perpetual began life with the calibre 1030, in 1950. This calibre was also used in several Submariner and Explorer references, 65xx and 66xx.

Calibre 1530 appeared in 1957, succeeding calibre A.260 in the Submariner and was used in Sub references 5512, 5513, 5516, and 5518. A Submariner with a date came on the scene in 1967 with a calibre 1570 beating away inside.

vintage rolex 1675 movement - Bob's Watches

Rolex 1675 Movement

The GMT is the watch originally developed jointly with Pan American World Airways. It came to life in 1954, ref. 6542 with calibre 1036. In that calibre, the GMT hand was directly connected to the hour hand. The wearer set the second time zone by rotating the bezel. Ref. 1675, which used calibres 1565 and 1575, was the first with a GMT hand able to be set independently.

The smaller calibre 2030 and its derivatives have been used in the Lady Oyster Perpetual, Lady Datejust, Lady Midsize, and Lady Yacht-Master. The 2030 first appeared in 1970.

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Automatic Movements Quick Reference Guide

*Table courtesy of Oysterworld

Caliber BPH Year Specials Used in Reference Model
9001 28000 2012 Date, Annual Calendar, 24h 326138, 326139, 326935, 326938, 326939 Sky-Dweller
4161 28800 2013 Chrono 116680, 116681, 116688, 116689 Yacht-Master II
4160 28800 2007 Chrono 116680, 116681, 116688, 116689 Yacht-Master II
4130 28800 2000 Chrono 116505, 116506, 116509, 116515, 116518, 116519, 116520, 116523, 116528, 116576, 116589, 116599, 116598, 116599 Daytona
4030 28800 1989 Chrono 16518, 16519, 16520, 16523, 16528, 16568, 16589 Daytona
3187 28800 2011 Date, 24h 216570 Explorer II
3186 28800 2005 Date. 24h 16570, 16710, 116710, 116713, 116718, 116719, 116759 Explorer II, GMT-Master II
3185 28800 1988 Date, 24h 16570, 16710, 16713, 16718 Explorer II, GMT-Master II
3175 28800 1988 Date, 24h 16700 GMT
3156 28800 2008 Date, Day 218206, 218235, 218238, 218239, 2182348, 218398, 218399 Day-Date II
3155 28800 1988 Date, Day 18206, 18208, 18238, 18239, 18248, 18249, 18296, 18308, 18338, 18346, 18348, 18349, 18946, 18948, 18956, 18958, 118205, 118206, 118208, 118209, 118138, 118139, 118235, 118238, 118239, 118296, 118338, 118339, 118346, 118348, 118366, 118395, 118398, 118399
3135 28800 1988 Date 15200, 15210, 15223, 15238, 16200, 16220, 16203, 16233, 16234, 16238, 16248, 16250, 16263, 16364, 16600, 16610, 16610 LV, 16613, 16618, 16622, 16623, 16628, 116138, 116139, 116185, 116188, 116189, 116199, 116200, 116201, 116203, 116208, 116231, 116233, 116234, 116238, 116243, 116244, 116261, 116263, 116264, 116610, 116613, 116618, 116619, 116600, 116660 OP Date, Datejust, Submariner, Sea-Dweller, Yacht-Master, Sea-Dweller Deepsea
3132 28800 2010 214270 Explorer
3131 28800 2007 Antimagnetic 116400 Milgauss
3130 28800 2001 14000M, 14010M, 14060M, 14203M, 14208M, 114270F, 116000 Air-King, Submariner, Explorer
3085 28800 1985 Date, 24h 16550, 16760 Explorer II, GMT II
3075 28800 1979 Date, 24h 16750, 16753, 16758 GMT
3055 28800 1977 Date, Day 18026, 18028, 18029, 18038, 18039, 18046, 18048, 18049, 18078, 18079 Day-Date
3035 28800 1977 Date 15000, 15010, 15505, 16000, 16003, 16008, 16009, 16013, 16014, 16018, 16019, 16030, 16078, 16250, 16253, 16258, 16600, 16660, 16800, 16803, 16808 Datejust, Submariner, Sea-Dweller
3000 28000 1990 14000, 14010, 14060, 14270 Air-King, Submariner, Explorer
2236 28000 2014 Date 81285, 81348, 81349 Datejust
2235 28000 1999 Date 76188, 76198, 76243, 77080, 77014, 77483, 77518, 78158, 78159, 78238, 78240, 78248, 78266, 78268, 78273, 78274, 78278, 78279, 78286, 78288, 79068, 79078, 79079, 79089, 79126, 79136, 79138, 79158, 79159, 79160, 79163, 79166, 79173, 79174, 79178, 79179, 79190, 79238, 79240, 79288, 80285, 80298, 80299, 80309, 80315, 80318, 80319, 80328, 80329, 80359, 81158, 81159, 81208, 81209, 81298, 81299, 81308, 81318, 81319, 81338, 81339, 168622, 168623, 168628, 169622, 169623, 169628, 178159, 178238, 178239, 178240, 178241, 178243, 178245, OP Date, Datejust, Yacht-Master (Lady/Midsize)
2231 28800 2014 177200 OP (Lady/MIdsize)
2230 28800 1999 176200, 176210, 176234, 177200, 177210, 177234 OP (Lady/Midsize)
2135 28800 1983 Date 68240, 68623, 68628, 69160, 69173, 69174, 69623 OP Date, Datejust, Yacht-Master (Lady/Midsize)
2130 28800 1983 67180, 67480, 76030, 76080, 76094, 77014, 77080 OP (Lady/Midsize)
2035 28800 1970 Date 6824, 6825, 6827, 6828, 6829, 6830, 6831, 6832, 6833, 6835, 6838, 6839, 6900, 6901, 6902, 6903, 6904, 6905, 6906, 6907, 6913, 6914, 6916, 6917, 6919, 6920, 6921, 6924, 6927, 6929, 6933 Datejust (Lady/Midsize)
2030 28800 1970 6706, 6707, 6710, 6711, 6712, 6713, 6715, 6717, 6718, 6719, 6720, 6721, 6723, 6724, 6744, 6745, 6747, 6748, 6749, 6751, 6753, 6754, 6757, 6771 OP (Lady)
1580 19800 1963 Antimagnetic 1019 Milgauss
1575 19800 1965 Date, 24h 1500, 1501, 1502, 1503, 1504, 1505, 1506, 1507, 1508, 1509, 1510, 1511, 1512, 1513, 1514, 1530, 1550, 1600, 1601, 1602, 1603, 1604, 1607, 1610, 1611, 1625, 1630, 1655, 1665, 1675, 1680 OP Date, Datejust, Sea-Dweller, GMT, Explorer II, Submariner
1570 19800 1965 1002, 1003, 1005, 1007, 1008, 1009, 1010, 1011, 1012, 1013, 1016, 1018, 1022, 1023, 1024, 1025, 1027, 1029, 1030, 1031, 1035, 1036, 1038, 1039,1500, 5512 OP, Submariner, Explorer
1565 18000 1959 Date 1500, 1501, 1502, 1503, 1504, 1505, 1506, 1507, 1508, 1509, 1510, 1600, 1601, 1602, 1603, 1604, 1605, 1607, 1610, 1611, 1625, 1675 OP Date, GMT
1560 18000 1959 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005, 1006, 1007, 1008, 1009, 1010, 1011, 1012, 1013, 1014, 1016, 1018, 1022, 1023, 1024, 1025, 1026, 1027, 1028, 1029, 1030, 1035, 1036, 1039, 5512 OP, Explorer, Submariner
1556 19800 1965 Date, Day 1802, 1803, 1804, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1814, 1815, 1831, 6611 Day–Date
1555 18000 1959 Date, Day 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812 Day-Date
1535 18000 1957 Date 5700, 5701 Air-King-Date, Explorer Date
1530 18000 1957 5500, 5501, 5502, 5504, 5505, 5506, 5508, 5510, 5512, 5513, 5516, 5518, 5552, 5590 Air-King, Submariner
1525 19800 1965 Date 5700, 5701 Air-King-Date, Explorer Date
1520 19800 1963 5500, 5501, 5504, 5513, 5520, 5552, 5590 Air-King, Submariner
1166 19800 1967 Date 6516, 6517, 6519, 6520, 6521, 6524, 6527, 6529, 6531, 6533, 6624, 6625, 6627, 6629, 6660, 6631, 6632, 6633, 6635, 6639, 6701, 6702, 6703, 6704, 6705 OP Date
1165 19800 1965 Date 6513, 6514, 6638, 6700, 6703 OP Date
1161 19800 1964 6544, 6545, 6548, 6549, 6551, 6553, 6554, 6571, 6615, 6617, 6618, 6619, 6620, 6621, 6623, 6802, 6803, 6804, 6806, 6807 OP
1160 19800 1964 6547, 6555, 6557, 6559, 6571, 6616, 6622, 6800, 6801, 6803 OP
1135 19800 1955 Date 6513, 6514, 6516, 6517, 6519, 6520, 6521, 6527, 6529, 6531, 6533, 6624, 6625, 6626, 6627, 6628, 6629, 6630, 6631, 6636, 6638, 6639, 6701, 6702 OP Date
1130 19800 1955 6508, 6528, 6547, 6548, 6549, 6551, 6553, 6554, 6555, 6557, 6559, 6615, 6616, 6617, 6618, 6619, 6620, 6621, 6622, 6623, 6800, 6801, 6802 OP
1120 19800 1953 6503, 6504, 6505, 6506, 6507, 6509, 6515, 6526, 6546 OP
1080 18000 1955 Antimagnetic 6541, 6543 Milgauss
1065 18000 1965 Date 6602, 6604, 6605, 6609 OP Date
1055 18000 1954 Date 6510, 6511, 6611, 6612, 6613 OP Date
1040 18000 1954 1020, 6556, 6558 Tru-Beat
1036 18000 1957 Date, 24h 6534, 6535, 6537, 6542, 6646 OP Date, GMT
1035 18000 1957 Date 6518, 6530, 6534 OP Date
1030 18000 1950 6500, 6502, 6532, 6536, 6538, 6540, 6552, 6564, 6565, 6566, 6567, 6569, 6580, 6581, 6582, 6583, 6584, 6585, 6586, 6587, 6590, 6592, 6593, 6594, 6598, 6599, 6610, 6614, 6634 OP, Submariner, Explorer
1000 18000 Deep Sea Special
780 18000 1952 Day, Date, Moon 6062 Chronograph
775 18000 1950
765 18000 1950 Date
745 18000 1952 Date 6039
740 18000 1945 Date
730 18000 1945
720 18000 1940 4134
645 18000 1950 6085 OP
635 18000 1950
630 18000 1937 2764, 2940, 3065, 3131, 3133, 3372, 3599, 3772, 5050 Bubble Back
620 18000 1931 2764, 2768, 2940, 3065, 3130, 3131, 3134, 3435, 3348, 3353, 3372, 3539, 3548, 3716, 5006, 5015, Bubble Back
530 18000 1936 5006 Bubble Back
520 18000 1936
420 18000 1941

Obviously, this is far from an exhaustive discussion of Rolex calibres. That is the subject for a future extended article and cross-referenced tabulation.

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