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Rolex watch serial number

Serial Numbers on Rolex watches - All you need to know

All Rolex watches are assigned a unique serial number from the factory. It plays one of the most important roles in these watches, as it can be used to authenticate the watch. The serial number can also be used to derive the year of production of the watch. Now that you have understood the importance of serial numbers on a Rolex watch, here’s everything you need to know about it.

Where can you find the serial number on Rolex watches?

Since serial numbers are extremely important, Rolex places them on as many places as possible to make sure it is always there when you need them. From the watch itself to its warranty card, here are all the places where you can find the serial numbers:

  • 6:00 Lug
  • 6:00 along the rehaut
  • Warranty card & Invoice

6:00 Lug

Since the 1920s, Rolex has been engraving the serial numbers on their watches. All the Rolex watches, including old and newer models, have the serial numbers engraved in between the lugs on the 6 o’clock side. In order to see it, you have to detach the bracelet. Rolex has engraved the serial number on this location only on watches produced till 2008. After that, they stopped engraving it on the exterior of the watch.

6:00 along the rehaut

Making it easier for watch aficionados to see, Rolex started engraving the serial number on the inside metal ring in 2005. The metal ring between the dial and the crystal, also called the rehaut, has the serial number engraved near the 6 o’clock numeral.

Any Rolex watch that was produced in the year 2005 or later, should have the serial number mentioned on the rehaut.

Warranty card & Invoice

The serial number is the identity of the watch you buy, and that is why you will find it on the invoice as well as the warranty card. While buying pre-owned luxury watches in Dubai, you can always confirm if the box and papers are original and belong to that particular watch. You can just match the serial number written on the invoice and the warranty card with the one engraved on the watch itself.

Also, the warranty card and the invoice are the two most approachable places when it comes to reading the serial number. This is why you should always keep them with you. They also play a major role in getting good value for your watch when you decide to sell it.

How can we tell the production year of a Rolex watch by looking at its serial number?

Serial numbers are unique to every Rolex watch, and they also give us a hint at the year of production of the watch. Narrowing down to the exact year is not easy with these serial numbers, but they can at least give you an idea.

Serial numbers on Rolex

Also, Rolex stopped following a particular order on these serial numbers in 2010. Instead, the company started placing random numbers on these watches. Some sources claim that Rolex did this to help stop forgery.

Nevertheless, here’s a quick look at the serial numbers and production years corresponding to them.

Year 2010-Present

Watches from this era will have a random serial number, so it would be difficult to determine the exact year for these Rolex timepieces.

2001-2010

Here’s a table showing the serial numbers used in this era:

Year of Production Serial Number
2001 K or Y
2002 Y
2003 F
2004 F
2005 F
2005 D
2006 D or Z
2007 M or Z
2008 M or V
2009 V
2010 G

1991-2000

The following serial numbers were used in the time period 1991 to 2000:

Year of Production Serial Number
1991 X,000,001
1991 N,000,001
1992 C,000,001
1993 S,000,001
1994 S,860,880
1995 W,000,001
1996 T,000,001
1997 U,000,001
1998 U,932,144
1999 A,000,001
2000 P,000,001
2000 K,000,001

1981-1990

This table shows the serial numbers engraved on watches that were produced in the time frame 1981 to 1990.

Year of production Serial Number
1981 6,520,870
1982 7,100,000
1983 7,400,000
1984 8,070,022
1985 8,614,000
1986 8,900,000
1987 9,400,000
1987 R,000,001
1988 R,598,200
1989 L,980,000
1990 E,000,001

1971-1980

Here’s a list of serial numbers that were used between 1971 and 1980:

Year of production Serial number
1971 2,589,295
1972 2,890,459
1973 3,200,268
1974 3,567,927
1975 3,862,196
1976 4,115,299
1977 5,008,000
1978 5,000,000
1979 5,737,030
1980 6,434,000

Rolex watches older than 1970

Year of production Serial number
1926 00,001
1927 20,190
1928 23,969
1930 23,186
1932 29,132
1933 29,562
1934 30,823
1935 34,336
1936 36,856
1937 40,920
1938 43,739
1939 71,224
1940 99,775
1941 106,047
1942 143,509
1943 230,878
1944 269,561
1945 302,459
1946 367,946
1947 529,163
1948 628,840
1951 709,249
1952 726,639
1953 855,726
1954 23,000
1955 97,000
1956 133,061
1957 224,000
1958 328,000
1959 399,453
1960 516,000
1961 643,153
1962 744,000
1963 824,000
1964 1,008,889
1965 1,100,000
1966 1,200,000
1967 1,538,435
1968 1,752,000
1969 1,900,000
1970 2,241,882

Due to the serial numbers being in such a way, it is not always possible to get the exact year of production. But with this, you can at least have an idea about the same. In order to get the specific information about the watch, you will always need the warranty card or the purchase invoice.

How you can use the above information to authenticate your Rolex?

Over the years, we have seen many fakes that share a close resemblance to the original ones. To the naked eye or to the uneducated, these watches will look just like the original. While there are many ways to find out if a Rolex is original or not, one of them could be verifying the serial number.

To check if the watch is authentic, you can just compare the serial number with the above-mentioned information. For instance, you have a GMT-Master, which first came out in 1954, with a serial number that corresponds to a Rolex from the 1940s, then you could be holding a fake.

Also, counterfeit watches are usually furnished well but the serial number area is not typically well finished. If it is a original Rolex watch, the serial number engravings on the case will be deep and sharp. If it is a newer model, the laser etching on the rehaut will be precise.

Written By

Ewan Cole

Ewan Cole is a watch journalist and consultant who has worked in the industry for over a decade. He splits his time between his hometown of London and the United Arab Emirates, writing about luxury watches for a dozen or so websites. He also speaks at numerous events on a regular basis.

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