Rolex Production Year Serial NumbersRolex
Since 1927, Rolex has given every watch model a unique serial number that indicates the year of production of the watch. This serial number helps in distinguishing one watch from the other. Rolex generates this serial number in such a way that only Rolex's representatives can decipher the exact year of production of the watch by looking at its serial number. It is engraved at the 6 o'clock position between the lugs. However, in the case of the Rolex Oysterquartz models, it is engraved on the back side of the case lugs.
People are always interested in knowing the exact date of production of the Rolex watch that they intend to buy. There is often a time gap between the production of a model and the final sale and delivery of a particular watch. In addition, as opposed to the stainless steel models, gold models and precious stone-embedded Rolex watches may take longer to find their place on a wrist worthy of such a prime acquisition.
Changes in Rolex Serial Numbers Over Time
Over the years, Rolex introduced several series of numbers to indicate a watch's year of production. The changes brought about in the serial numbers can be explained as follows:
- Started in 1927, Rolex serial numbers reached the 999,999 mark around 1953.
- Once the 999,999 mark was reached, it started from 100,001 all over again.
- Again, in the early 1960s, the 999,999 mark was reached leading to a new series by adding a 7th digit, thus continuing into the millions.
- Once the 9,999,999 mark was reached around 1987, Rolex introduced a new series of numbers, where each serial number started with a letter prefix. The letters used so far are "R", "L", "E", "X", "N", "C", "S", "W", "T", "U", "A", "P", "K, "Y", "F" and "D." The order of letters was assigned chronologically.
Around 1952, another Rolex serial number in the form of a code appeared inside the case backs of all Rolex watches. This continued until around 1970. The code consisted of a Roman numeral and two Arabic numerals. The Roman numeral was any one of the following:
- I represented the first quarter of the year
- II represented the second quarter of the year
- III represented the third quarter of the year
- IV represented the fourth quarter of the year
The two Arabic numerals represented the two digits of the year of production in the 20th Century.
Chart Containing Rolex Serial Numbers and Corresponding Years of Production of Rolex Watch
|ROLEX SERIAL NUMBER||PRODUCTION YEAR OF ROLEX|
|930879||1953 (1st Quarter)|
|931080||1953 (2nd Quarter)|
|973930||1953 (3rd Quarter)|
|929426||1953 (4th Quarter)|
|1259699||1954 (1st Quarter)|
|282632||1955 (3rd Quarter)|
|2689700||1956 (1st Quarter)|
|3741300||1957 (2nd Quarter)|
|391528||1958 (3rd Quarter)|
|869868||1962 (4th Quarter)|
|L999999||1990 (2nd Quarter)|
|CLASP CODE: LT||2010|
|CLASP CODE: E6R, R5||2011|