If you wish to sell a used Rolex watch, it’s important to know that every genuine Rolex has two sets of identification numbers that indicate the watch’s model and approximate date of manufacture.
Model numbers, also called case or reference numbers, indicate the particular model or variation of your Rolex, and the serial number is the unique identification number engraved on your particular watch. In addition to verifying that your watch is a genuine Rolex (with the corresponding paperwork), the serial number can provide information about the watch’s approximate date of manufacture.
In this article, the watch buyers at Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers will outline the steps that you need to take to find these important identification numbers.
How to Find the Serial Number on a Pre-Owned Rolex Watch
The serial numbers on a Rolex can be found in one of two places. If the watch was produced in 2005 or later, the serial number will be engraved on the inner rim of the watch face at the 6 o’clock position. For older Rolex watches, the serial number is located the side of the watch case at the 6 o’clock position, between the lugs where the bracelet is attached. In order to reveal the serial number, the bracelet must be removed.
Removing the bracelet from your Rolex isn’t complicated, but if you have never done it you might consider having a jeweler show you how–you certainly don’t want to damage your watch. To remove the bracelet from your Rolex, you’ll need either a jeweler’s screwdriver or a push pin, depending on whether your Rolex has exposed lugs or not.
For a watch without exposed lugs, find the notch in the lug and depress the lugs, one a time, and apply downward pressure on the end of the bracelet. For models with exposed lugs, use a pushpin or similarly shaped object to depress the lugs, one at a time, while applying downward pressure on the end of the bracelet.
Once the bracelet is removed, the serial number is visible on the side of the case at the 6 o’clock position. Since Rolex doesn’t publish official information about the age of their watches, the age of any given watch can only be estimated by using the serial number. That said, an approximate date of manufacture can be made by using the serial number chart we have posted below.
Keep in mind that watches produced from 1926 to 1986 featured sequential serial numbers, with a notable exception in the middle 1950s when Rolex reached serial number 999,999. In a hasty and perhaps shortsighted decision, Rolex began numbering watches again at 100,000, leading to serial numbers from 100,000 to 999,999 appearing on watches in two time periods.
For example, a a serial number from an early 1950s Rolex watch could appear on a model that was manufactured much later. Cross checking serial and model numbers is one way to avoid potential confusion.
ROLEX SERIAL NUMBER CHART
28,000 1926 868,900 1953 6,434,000 1980
30,440 1927 934,000 1954 6,910,000 1981
32,960 1928 1,012,000 1955 7,386,000 1882
33,000 1929 1,090,000 1956 7,862,000 1983
37,820 1930 1,168,000 1957 8,338,000 1984
40,250 1931 1,246,000 1958 8,814,000 1985
42,700 1932 1,324,000 1959 9,290,000 1986
45,000 1934 1,402,000 1960 9,766,000 1987
63,000 1935 1,480,000 1961 R000,000 1987
81,000 1936 1,558,000 1962 L000,001 1989
99,000 1937 1,636,000 1963 E000,001 1990
117,000 1938 1,714,000 1964 X000,001 1991
135,000 1939 1,792,000 1965 N000,001 1991
164,600 1940 1,871,000 1966 C000,001 1992
194,200 1941 2,163,900 1967 S000,001 1993
223,800 1942 2,426,800 1968 W000,001 1994/5
253,400 1943 2,689,700 1969 T000,001 1995
283,000 1944 2,952,600 1970 U000,001 1997
348,200 1945 3,215,500 1971 A000,001 1999
413,200 1946 3,478,400 1972 P000,001 2000
478,300 1947 3,741,300 1973 K000,001 2001
543,400 1948 4,004,200 1974 Y000,001 2002
608,500 1949 4,267,100 1975 F000,001 2003
650,000 1950 4,539,000 1976 D000,001 2005
738,700 1951 5,006,000 1977 Z000,001 2006
803,800 1952 5,482,000 1978 M000,001 2008
5,958,000 1979 V000,001 2009
G000,001 * 2009 (Fall) to Present — Mixed Serials 2009 (Fall) to Present
How to Find the Model Number on a Used Rolex Watch
The model, or reference, number of your Rolex is engraved on the side of the watch case at the 12 o’clock position, between the lugs. Again, you’ll have to remove the bracelet to reveal the model number.
As expected, model numbers indicate the particular model Rolex you own, but they also provide information about the bezel, and what material the watch is made of. Reference numbers can be four, five, or six digits long.
The first two or three digits indicate what type of watch it is. If the reference number is 5 digits long, the fourth number tells the type of bezel:
0–Polished; 1–Finely Engine Turned; 2–Engine Turned; 3–Fluted; 4–Hand-Crafted; 5–Pyramid; 6–Rotating Bezel
The final digit in the reference number indicates the material the watch is made of:
0–Stainless; 1–Yellow Gold Filled; 2–White Gold Filled; 3–Stainless and Yellow Gold; 4–Stainless with 18k White Gold; 5–Gold Shell; 6–Platinum; 7–14k Yellow Gold; 8–18k Yellow Gold.
If you are interested in selling your Rolex watch to Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers, we will be happy to provide you with a completely free verbal appraisal & cash offer, sharing with you all the knowledge we have about your particular timepiece.