You might be wondering what our obsession is with Rolex….good question. In all our years of being a watch buyer, we have yet to see a more well-made fine-tuned instrument that can be dressed up or down, worn in the most extreme sports, maintains value over the years, and looks fantastic no matter what. And we want you to appreciate all there is to know about Rolex as well, so when you do visit our showroom, you are well-versed in all things Rolex. Today we are going to be writing about Rolex Serial numbers, which is an important piece of info to have, especially if you are selling a Rolex.
Rolex Serial Numbers
Every watch that Rolex produces is engraved with Rolex serial numbers. Here are some facts to know about Rolex serial numbers:
- Each serial number is completely unique to each watch (with some exceptions)
- The serial number gives each watch a classification and distinction
- They are used to determine the estimated production year of each watch (in theory)
We say in theory because there are some irregularities over the years. In 1954, Rolex reset the seral numbers because they had reached 999,999. This means that a watch from the 1960s can have the same serial number as one from the 1950s.
In mid 1987, Rolex had reached 9,999,999 (hard to imagine, right?) so they added a letter followed by six numbers. They didn’t start with the beginning of the alphabet, but with R, L, E, X (get it…RLEX) and then other non-sequential letters.
In 2010, Rolex started to use random serial numbers. This means that if a Rolex was manufactured after 2010, the year can’t be determined. Download our chart that has all the serial numbers with corresponding years here (please note that Rolex does not publish this info, this has been compiled for years by experts and watch enthusiasts, so the data might not be 100% accurate, but it’s close).
- They can help to determine value
Rolex serial number structure by date and changes:
- 1926 – First introduced serial numbers
- 1954 – Serial numbers were reset from 999,999 to 0
- 1987 – Rolex added one letter to six-digit numbers
- 2010 to Present – Random serial numbers
Finding the Serial Number
The easiest way to find the Rolex serial number is on the sales receipt, warranty card, or any proof of purchase. However, if you bought your watch from someone other than a reputable reseller or authorized retail Rolex location, still check the watch, because papers can be forged. Depending on the age of your watch, depends on where you will find the Rolex serial numbers. If the watch is an older model, the serial numbers will be etched into the case under the bracelet below the 6’oclock position. If your watch was made around 2005, the serial number can be found on the rehaut, which is the inside of the watch case around the dial at the 6’oclock position. If your watch was made around 2008, Rolex began to only put the serial numbers engraved on the inner bezel.
Rolex Serial Number Location:
- Until 2005 – Engraved in between lugs (6 o’clock side) only
- 2005 – 2008 – Engraved In between lugs and etched on rehaut (both 6 o’clock side)
- 2008 onwards – Etched on rehaut only (6 o’clock side)
Does A Rolex Serial Number Guarantee Authenticity?
The short answer is no. It doesn’t. With so many good fake Rolex’s coming out of China, they are continually improving their ‘authenticity’. Use the serial number as a guide. Remember, Rolex doesn’t publicize serial numbers, so if in doubt, take your watch to an expert who can authenticate it by looking at other things.
When in doubt….contact Jonathan’s Watch Buyer and we can authenticate your Rolex for free. We authenticate every Rolex we purchase or sell. To see the current Rolex watches we have for sale, you can call us (our number is at the top of our website), visit our eBay store, come to our showroom, follow us on Instagram, where we post watches with prices every day!