This article is tagged with reference numbers, Rolex, serial numbers, and Watch Education. Discover valuable information about reference numbers, serial numbers, and Rolex watches in this educational article!

If you've ever delved into the world of Rolex watches, you may have come across long strings of numbers and letters like Submariner 114060, GMT-Master II 126710BLRO, Daytona 6263, W5642301, and D246135. What do these numbers mean? How do Rolex serial numbers and reference numbers differ? How can you determine the production year of your Rolex? Find answers to these questions and more in our comprehensive guide to Rolex serial numbers and reference numbers. Discover the fascinating details behind these alphanumeric codes and unravel the mysteries of your Rolex timepiece.

Deciphering Rolex serial and reference numbers, expert guidance by TSJNY, Huntington Village, NY.

What is a Rolex Serial Number?

Every Rolex watch that comes out of the factory is assigned a unique serial number. This serial number can provide an approximate indication of the year the watch was manufactured, although there have been some exceptions and irregularities over the years. For instance, in 1954, Rolex reset the serial numbers after reaching #999,999. As a result, watches from the 1960s may have the same reference number as those from the 1950s. However, Rolex also included date codes on the interior of the casebacks, which can help differentiate between pre-1954 and post-1954 serial numbers.

Remove the bracelet to view the serial and reference numbers[/caption] When it comes to Rolex serial numbers, there have been several changes over the years. Initially, after reaching #9,999,999 in mid-1987, Rolex started incorporating a letter followed by six digits. However, instead of starting with the letter "A," they used "R," then "L," then "E," and subsequently other non-sequential letters.

The most significant modification occurred by the end of 2010, when Rolex implemented random serial numbers. Consequently, determining the manufacturing year of a Rolex produced after 2010 became impossible. There are various theories surrounding this change. Some speculate that Rolex intends to keep their annual production figures private, while others believe it serves as a measure to combat counterfeiting.

Therefore, to identify the production year of a Rolex watch accurately, it is crucial to consider these historical changes in serial numbering.

Rolex serial and reference numbers, insights from  TSJNY, Huntington Village, NY

Rolex Serial Number Look Up Chart

With the help of this Rolex Serial Number Look Up chart, you can estimate the production year of a Rolex watch (pre-2011). It's worth mentioning that Rolex has never officially released serial number information, so the numbers provided here are approximations based on the records and classifications made by collectors. While it's not an exact science, it can still be a valuable resource for enthusiasts and buyers. Find out more about Rolex watch dating and production history.

Manufacturing Date Rolex Serial Number
2010 - Present Random
2010 G
2009 V
2008 M or V
2007 M or Z
2006 D or Z
2005 D
2005 F
2004 F
2003 F
2002 Y
2001 K or Y
2000 K,000,001
2000 P,000,001
1999 A,000,001
1998 U,932,144
1997 U,000,001
1996 T,000,001
1995 W,001,000
1994 S,860,880
1993 S,000,001
1992 C,000,001
1991 N,000,001
1991 X,000,001
1990 E,000,001
Manufacturing Date Rolex Serial Number
1989 L,980,000
1988 R,598,200
1987 R,000,001
1987 9,860,000 - 9,900,000
1986 9,155,000 - 9,860,000
1985 8,785,000 - 9,155,000
1984 8,375,000 - 8,785,000
1983 7,600,000 - 8,375,000
1982 7,130,000 - 7,600,000
1981 6,560,000 - 7,130,000
1980 6,205,000 - 6,560,000
1979 5,865,000 - 6,205,000
1978 5,430,000 - 5,865,000
1977 5,085,000 - 5,430,000
1976 4,115,000 - 4,260,000
1976 4,115,000 - 4,260,000
1975 3,865,000 - 4,115,000
1974 3,570,000 - 3,865,000
1973 3,200,000 - 3,570,000
1972 2,890,000 - 3,200,000
1971 2,590,000 - 2,890,000
1970 2,240,000 - 2,590,000
1969 1,945,000 - 2,240,00
1968 1,710,000 - 1,945,000
1967 1,485,000 - 1,710,000
Manufacturing Date Rolex Serial Number
1966 1,275,000 - 1,485,00
1965 1,105,000 - 1,275,000
1964 1,105,000 - 1,275,000
1963 865,00 - 1,000,000
1962 755,000 - 865,000
1961 650,000 - 755,000
1960 550,000 - 650,000
1959 450,000 - 550,000
1958 350,000 - 450,000
1957 250,000 - 350,000
1956 150,000 - 200,000
1955 50,000 - 150,000
1954 0 - 50,000
1953 888,000 - 999,000
1952 725,000 - 880,000
1951 700,000 - 725,000
1948 - 1950 620,000 - 700,000
1947 - 1950 620,000 - 700,000
1945 - 1946 300,000 - 500,000
1941 - 1944 200,000 - 300,000
1938 - 1942 40,000 - 200,000
1927 - 1937 20,000 - 40,000
1926 0 - 20,000

Where Can I Find the Rolex Serial Number?

To find the serial number of your watch, check the papers that came with it or look directly on the Rolex watch itself. For Rolex watches made before 2007, the serial number is engraved on the case between the lugs at 6 o'clock. Please note that you may need to remove the bracelet to see it. Keep in mind that having the watch's papers can be helpful in locating the serial number.

The Rolex serial number, which can be found between the lugs at 6 o'clock, has seen some changes over the years. In late 2006, Rolex began laser engraving the serial number on the rehaut, visible through the sapphire crystal, in addition to the case stamping. Then, in late 2008, Rolex phased out the case engraving completely and now exclusively displays the serial number on the rehaut. These updates have made it easier to identify and authenticate Rolex watches. Explore the fascinating world of Rolex serial numbers and their evolution over time.

Deciphering Rolex serial and reference numbers, expert guidance by TSJNY, Huntington Village, NY.

What is a Rolex Reference Number?

When it comes to Rolex watches, the reference numbers, also known as model numbers, are not unique like serial numbers. These numbers are shared across different watches and provide valuable information about the specific collection that a Rolex watch belongs to. Understanding the first few numbers of a Rolex reference number can help identify the collection it belongs to.

In addition, a reference number also incorporates codes for the material and bezel type. This information helps in identifying and categorizing the product with ease.

In some cases, Rolex reference numbers may include letters that provide additional information and insights. Discover more about the intricate details of Rolex watches through their reference numbers.

When looking at these charts, let's take the 116613LB reference number as an example. This reference number, 1166, corresponds to the Submariner model with a rotating bezel. Additionally, it features a two-tone stainless steel and yellow gold construction, with a blue bezel. This information provides valuable insights for those interested in this particular Rolex model.

Deciphering Rolex serial and reference numbers, expert guidance
Model Reference Number Start
Air-King 55, 140, 116
Date 15, 150, 115
Datejust 16, 162, 1162
Datejust II 1163
Datejust 40 1263
Day-Date 65, 18, 180, 182, 183, 1182
Day-Date II 2182
Day-Date 40 2282
Daytona 62, 165, 1165
Eplorer 142, 10, 1142, 2142
Eplorer II 16, 165, 2165
Oyster Perpetual 10, 140, 142, 114
Milgauss 65, 10, 1164
Sea-Dweller 16, 166, 1166, 1266
Submariner 55, 140, 1140
Submariner No Date 16, 166, 1166, 1266
GMT-Master GMT-Master II
Oysterquartz 170, 190
Yacht-Master 166, 686, 696, 1686, 1696, 1166
Yacht-Master II 1166
Sky-Dweller 326

In addition, a reference number also includes codes for the type of material and bezel used. This helps in identifying and categorizing different variations of products.

Rolex Bezel Codes Bezel Type
0 Smooth/Domed
1 Rotating
2 Engraved
3 Fluted
4 Bark
6 Turn-O-Graph
7 Various
Rolex Material Code
0 Stainless Steel
22 Stainless Steel & Platinum
3 Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold
4 Stainless Steel & White Gold
5 Everose Gold
6 Platinum
7 14k Yellow Gold
8 18k Yellow Gold
9 18k Yellow Gold

Sometimes, Rolex reference numbers may include letters that provide additional details. Discover more about Rolex reference numbers and their significance here.

Reference Letters Meaning
BLRO Bleu/Rouge – Blue and Red Bezel
BLNR Bleu/Noir – Blue and Black Bezel
LN Lunette Noir – Black Bezel
LV Lunette Bleu – Green Bezel
LB Luntette Bleu – Blue Bezel
GV Glace Verte – Green Sapphire Crystal
RNBW Rainbow – Multicolored Sapphire-Set Bezel

Where Can I Find the Rolex Reference Number?

If you possess the official papers of the watch, locating the official Rolex reference (model) number becomes a breeze. However, in the absence of those papers, you can still find the reference number directly on the watch itself.

The Rolex reference number is engraved between the lugs at the 12 o'clock position. Additionally, it is also engraved on the watch, albeit on the opposite side from the serial number. To view the reference number, you will need to remove the bracelet from the 12 o'clock side of the case.

How to Use Rolex Serial Numbers and Reference Numbers

Understanding Rolex reference numbers is crucial for making an informed purchase. These reference numbers not only identify the specific type of Rolex watch you have or desire, but they also play a significant role in ensuring that your purchase aligns with your expectations. Whether you are sourcing your Rolex from the secondary market or considering a new one, comprehending Rolex identification is vital. Stay well-informed and confident in your Rolex journey by delving into the world of reference numbers.

Similarly, a Rolex serial number plays a crucial role in determining the exact date of a specific watch, providing valuable insights into its era. This knowledge not only helps in determining the authenticity of the vintage piece but also allows for scrutiny of other watch details such as the dial, bezel, and bracelet for any potential replacements or service parts. When considering the purchase of a pre-owned Rolex watch, the more you comprehend about its history, the more informed decisions you can make in choosing the perfect addition to your collection. For further insights into luxury watches, feel free to reach out to Time Source Jewelers. Located in Huntington Village, NY, our store awaits your visit.

Expert advice on Rolex serial and reference numbers, provided by TSJNY, Huntington Village, NY