Rolex Serial Number Between Lugs 770x578

All About Rolex Serial Numbers

One way to find out the approximate age of your Rolex watch is via the serial number etched on the case. Age plays a role in valuation, so it’s also a great place to start when estimating the value of your pre-owned Rolex watches. The series or first letter of the serial number on a Rolex timepiece can correspond to a certain year or period in which your watch was manufactured. Almost every watch site feels the need to post a Rolex serial number list. We’re not sure why, but in a copy and paste industry (homage is the fancy term used in the watch community), we’re certain that most of the sites copy and paste the information they find online. More than just a list of production dates, we put together this guide to give a better understanding Rolex serial numbers, accompanied by a quick access chart to figuring out the year of your watch. If there’s anything we missed, please add it to the comments below.

In this Rolex serial number guide, we will talk about:

  • How to find the serial number
  • Are random/scattered serial numbers bad?
  • Crowd-sourced data
  • When was my watch sold?
  • What if the serial number on the watch doesn’t match the paperwork?
  • Can the serial number tell me if my Rolex is fake?
  • Serial number chart/list

How to Find the Serial Number?

Rolex Serial Number Diagram

Older Rolex watches have the serial number engraved between the 6:00 lugs. In the past, you would have to remove the bracelet to get the serial number from the watch. On some watches, the endlinks can put scratch marks into the case, cutting into the engraving. The model number can be found between the 12:00 lugs.

Modern day Rolexes do not require the bracelet to be removed. You can find the serial number at the 6:00 position along the inner bezel under the crystal. This style is often referred to as the “inner engraving” or “rehaut engraving”. Watches with this serial number location have the Rolex Rolex Rolex engravings as well.

Rolex Serial Number Engraved Rehaut

Rolex may have made this change to make it more difficult for gray market sellers to hide the serial numbers of the watches they’re selling. If the execs at Rolex can see the serial number, they are able to track it back to the original AD and it can help them catch dealers that are selling Rolex watches to other sellers at less than their minimum advertised price.

Are Random/Scattered Serial numbers Bad?

Starting about mid-way through 2010, Rolex started to “scramble” the serial numbers. These are also known as “random serials” or “scattered serials” and are not as bad as they sound. It just means it’s a watch from after 2010 that Rolex began implementing this new serial number system with. Although Rolex claims they made this change to reduce the ability to create counterfeits, many collectors suspect that Rolex did this as a way to maintain balance of the market value and give less power to secondhand Rolex dealers to create value scales based on age of the watch. Also, it helps dealers to be able to hold inventory longer without savvy customers using the aforementioned new-watch-buying tips.

Crowdsourced Data:

It’s important and interesting to note that any of the serial number information you may stumble upon online is not official data provided by Rolex. All of the serial number information the watch community has is crowd-sourced by enthusiasts and dealers. Also, keep in mind that not every model follows the same serial number cutoff, or model changes. It really comes down to what Rolex decides to do with the model and when they cutoff the production.

Tools on the Rolex Forum said it best:

You can’t take any serial number list as absolutely factual… Rolex simply does not provide that information and all lists are compiled by word of mouth….and they are all actually based on when a particular serial number was sold…. consider it an estimate of the date manufactured, until you find evidence otherwise..

When Was My Watch Sold?

Using the Rolex serial number chart is not necessarily a good way to figure out when the Rolex watch was originally sold by the AD. For that specific information, you will need the original signed/dated warranty card or sales receipt. Although Rolex and dealers do not want watches to sit in the display case for long, it’s not unusual, especially for less popular or solid gold models, to sit in a jewelry store case for years after the manufacture date. You should also know that just because a case has a serial number dated from 2008, doesn’t mean the watch was fully assembled in 2008. As far as we know, Rolex will continue to use each case series until they are used up. If you are about to purchase a Rolex watch at an authorized dealer, it’s a good idea to check the chart below to get an idea of how long the watch might have been in the dealer’s inventory. This could potentially be used as a negotiation point for getting a lower price on the watch. The dealer will desperately want to move older pieces from their case.

What if the serial number on the watch doesn’t match the paperwork?

If you bought the watch based on it having box and papers, then it is likely that you paid a premium. You should always check the serial number on your papers and hangtang immediately to make sure they match the number on the watch. If your paperwork or warranty card has a different serial number, then chances are it got mixed up with another watch. Remember, the papers only add value to your watch if the model and serial numbers match up.

Can the serial number tell me if my Rolex is fake?

Although not a dependable way to determine the authenticity of a Rolex watch, Googling the serial number doesn’t hurt. Most reputable watch dealers will not disclose the serial number of a watch publicly, and there are good reasons for that. So don’t be alarmed if nothing shows up in the search results for your serial number, it’s probably a good thing. However, if your serial number does have some Google action, then pay attention. In the case of a genuine piece, this information could give insight into previous owners and sellers of the watch. More importantly, fake watches have been known to use the same serial number throughout their production runs. These numbers are often reported in forums or can be seen in images from fake watch sellers. Note that modern sophisticated and higher priced super-clones may have unique serial numbers engraved in the case like a genuine piece. Again, this is not a telltale sign of a watch’s authenticity, but an fast and easy first step. Read: Fake Luxury Watch Myths

Serial Number List:

Now that you learned how to find your Rolex serial number, use can use the chart below to approximate the age of your watch by series. This Rolex serial number database is made available for information purposes only. It may not provide 100% accurate info for dating your Rolex Watch. Use this list for estimations only. To make this information better for the community, please report known errors in the comments below.

DATE/YEAR

SERIAL NUMBER/SERIES

2010 1/2 – Present Scrambled/Scattered/Random
12/2008 – 2010 (2008 3/4) V 000,001
1/2008 – 11/2008 (2007 1/2) M 000,001
7/2006 – 12/2007 (2006 1/2) Z 000,001
1/2005 – 7/2006 (2005 1/2) D 000,001
1/2004 (2003 3/4) F 000,001
9/2002 (2002 3/4) Y 000,001
8/2001 (2001 1/2) K 000,001
4/2000 (2000 1/2) P 000,001
1998-1999 A 000,001
1997-1998 U 000,001
1996-1998 T 000,001
1995-1998 W 000,001
1993 3/4 S 000,001
1992 1/4 C 000,001
1991 3/4 N 000,001
1991 1/2 X 000,001
1991 1/4 E 999,999
1990 1/2 E 000,001
1990 L 999,999
1989 L 000,001
1988 R 999,999
1987 1/2 R 000,000
1987 1/2 9,999,999
1987 9,760,000
via keepthetime.com
1986 9,300,000
1985 8,814,000
1984 8,388,000
1983 7,860,000
1982 7,366,000
1981 6,910,000
1980 6,430,000
1979 5,959,000
1978 5,481,000
1977 5,005,000
1976 4,535,000
1975 4,265,000
1974 4,000,000
1973 3,741,000
1972 3,478,000
1971 3,215,000
1970 2,952,000
1969 2,689,000
1968 2,426,000
1967 2,164,000
1966 1,870,000
1965 1,791,000
1964 1,713,000
1963 1,635,000
1962 1,557,000
1961 1,485,000
1960 1,401,000
1959 1,323,000
1958 1,245,000
1957 1,167,000
1956 1,095,000
1955 1,010,000
1954 935,000
1953 869,000
1952 804,000
1951 738,700
1950 673,600
1949 608,500
1948 543,400
1947 478,300
1946 413,200
1945 348,000
1944 283,000
1943 253,000
1942 224,000
1941 194,000
1940 164,600
1939 135,000
1938 117,000
via keepthetime.com
1937 99,000
1936 81,000
1935 63,000
1934 45,000
1933 49,000
1932 42,680
1931 40,250
1930 37,820
1929 35,390
1928 32,960
1927 30,430
1926 28,000
1925 25,000

The watches featured above are a Rolex Serti Sub and Rolex Datejust. We hope this serial number guide was useful. Please consider linking to this page and check out the pre-owned Rolex watches in our watch store.

  • Rolex Plastic Service Boxes
    Rolex Plastic Service Boxes
    $34.50 USD
  • Rolex COSC Tag
    Rolex COSC Tag
    $25 USD
  • 1989 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Booklet
    1989 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Booklet
    Unavailable
  • Rolex 300m Anchor
    Rolex 300m Anchor
    Unavailable
Watch Movement Database
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Acker
Acker
7 years ago

I gotta favorite this page for future Rolex buying haha

trackback
Rolex Day-Date President 118238 Hands-On Watch Review | KeepTheTime Video Reviews
3 years ago

[…] Model number 118238 with a Swiss made automatic movement. Rolex caliber 3155 wrapped in a solid 18k gold case. Measuring 36mm in diameter (38mm including crown) with a thickness of 12mm. White dial with Roman markers featuring a day indicator at 12:00 and date at 3:00, hence the name Day-Date. The bezel is fluted 18k gold. The band is a heavy 18K solid gold President bracelet with solid links and heavy updated clasp (ref:… Read more »

trackback
Rolex Caliber 1570 Watch Movement | CaliberCorner.com
3 years ago

[…] Rolex serial number chart […]

trackback
Rolex Day-Date President 118238 Hands-On Watch Review – KeepTheTime Videos
3 years ago

[…] Model number 118238 with a Swiss made automatic movement. Rolex caliber 3155 wrapped in a solid 18k gold case. Measuring 36mm in diameter (38mm including crown) with a thickness of 12mm. White dial with Roman markers featuring a day indicator at 12:00 and date at 3:00, hence the name Day-Date. The bezel is fluted 18k gold. The band is a heavy 18K solid gold President bracelet with solid links and heavy updated clasp (ref:… Read more »

Steve Mojacar
Steve Mojacar
4 months ago

I bought my seadweller in the early 70s.i changed the bracelet to one that went under the pins so while surfing ,skiing or diving if one pin snapped i wouldnt lose the watch. It looks like the band may have worn away the zerial number Is there a serial number on the original bracelet that has been in the box since new ? If so would the number correspond to the watch ? Is there… Read more »

My Cart Close (×)

Your cart is empty
Browse Shop
Join Waitlist Do you want to know if a similar item becomes available? Sign up to be alerted.