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Old 13 October 2008, 09:12 AM   #1
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Rolex Serial Numbers By Year/Clasp Codes - Crown Markings

Reading this chart.

Rolex serial numbers are confusing at best. Rolex has not released their production numbers, or their serial numbers either for what ever reason. Lists have been compiled and are available at various places on the net, and these lists are compiled by noting serial numbers and their first time seen on the market, or by their sales invoices matched to specific serials, and by word of mouth..

This chart is compiled from several lists to give you an approximation of the earliest numbers seen for certain years. Use it to bracket the number you are looking up to give you a best approximation of the production date for that example.

Rolex reached 999,999 in mid-1950's and began over starting with 100,000. These reused numbers are shown in blue. You can verify your manufacture date if there is confusion because during that time they stamped the inside of the case-back with a manufacture date (example, II 55, for the second quarter of 1955)


Beginning in early 2010, Rolex serial numbers began showing up as completely random serials consisting of letters and numbers. Additionally, there are now 8 digits total ... In Mid 2010 (~June) G serials also began showing up concurrently with Random serials

There were no new serials seen released during 2009

.........Here is an example of a Random serial from a recently released Sub Date 16610
.2010 Serials.jpg

Rolex letter prefixed serial numbers can be even more confusing as Rolex has produced multiple letter prefixes concurrently during the same years.. They do not correspond to any "model year" for any particular reference watch. Additionally they have stated, and it is also mentioned in "The Best Of Time"by Dowling-Hess, that Rolex does not manufacture numbers sequentially....they are random at some level.

Exchange cases or re-cased movements.

Rolex does produce cases specifically to re-case movements where the case has become damaged or unusable. Up until recently the exchange cases started with 44xxxxx. It is believed that those numbers have been used and later re-case numbers begin with 47xxxxx.

The Serial Number can be found under the bracelet, stamped against the case at 6 o'clock.

Later models with the ROLEXROLEX etched rehaut have the serial number at 6 o'clock there. There were a few years carryover where reference numbers were in both locations.

The Code On The Clasp

This database of clasp codes is also an estimate because this information too, is not released by Rolex. This list was compiled from the information provided by different forums and members, asterisks show further assumptions based on invoices and word-of-mouth. Clasp codes and the bracelet part number can be found where the Clasp reads Steelinox and consists of letters and a number. The number corresponds to the month of the year. Asterisks show a probable sequence.
clasp codeR.jpg

1976 A* - possibly (VA)
1977 B - possibly (VB)
1978 C* - possibly (VC)
1979 D - possibly (VD)
1980 E - possibly (VE)
1981 F - possibly (VF)
1982 G
1983 H*
1984 I*
1985 J*
1986 K*
1987 L*
1988 M*
1989 N*
1990 O
1991 P
1992 Q*
1993 R
1994 S
1995 T or W
1996 V or U
1997 Z or U
1998 Z or W
1999 X
2000 AB
2001 DE
2002 DT
2003 AD
2004 CL
2005 MA
2006 OP
2007 EO
2008 PJ
2009 LT
2010 RS
2011 CP
Later years are random codes

Clasp codes can be used to further help refine when the watch or it's parts were actually manufactured. Actual shipping, storage, and purchase dates may vary considerably. A Service clasp will have an S such as this example DT 11S, (2002 Nov. Service)
Here is a 2007, May manufacture date, original issue.
Clasp code2R.jpg

Solid endlink bracelets (SEL) have both the part number, a date code, and a crown stamped into the ends. This bracelet half is manufactured separately from the clasp and the endlink code, and the clasp code may be different, but they should be close. This one shows a 2007 date (EO) but no month.

Breaking down the Rolex Model/Reference number.
Rolex paperwork and warranty information is a string of numbers, something like R1661030B9235. This breaks down into a known build code and as an example:
166=Diver (Sub Date in this case)
1= Rotating Bezel (Engine Turned in early dress watches)
0=Metal type, Stanless
30=Dial, 3-Black, 0-Stick
B9325= Bracelet style 93250

Oyster Perpetual : 10, 140, 142
Air-King : 55 & 140
Date : 15 & 150
Datejust : 16, 162 & 1162
Daytona Manual Wind : 62
Daytona Cosmograph : 165 & 1165
Explorer : 142, 10 & 1142
Explorer II : 16 & 165
Sea Dweller : 16 & 166
Submariner : 16, 166 & 168
Submariner (no date) : 55 & 140
GMT Master : 16, 65, 167
GMT Master II : 167
Oysterquartz Datejust : 170
Oysterquartz Day-Date : 190
Day-Date (President) : 65, 18, 180, 182, 183 & 1182
Yachtmaster : 166, 686, 696, 1686 & 1696
Midsize Oyster Perpetual DJ : 68, 682, 782 & 1782
Ladies Oyster Perpetual : 67, 671, 672, 760 & 761
Ladies Date : 65, 69, 691, 692, & 791
Ladies Datejust : 65, 69, 691 & 692, 791 & 1791

Bezel Codes:
0 = Smooth/Domed
1 = Rotating/Engine Turned (early)
2 = Engraved
3 = Fluted bi-metal, engine turned stainless
4 = Bark
5 = Pyramie (Not Used)
6 = Turn-O-Graph
7 = Various
8 = Special (Not Currently Used)
9 = Open (Not Currently Used)

Metal Type:
0 = Stainless Steel
1 = Yellow gold Placor (Tudor)
22 = Stainless steel and Platinum (Yachtmaster)
3 = Stainless Steel and 18k Yellow gold (Yellow Rolesor)
4 = Stainless Steel and 18k White gold (White Rolesor)
5 = Gold Shell (early models - Rose Gold on newer models)
6 = Platinum
7 = 14k Yellow gold (No Longer Used)
8 = 18k Yellow gold
9 = 18k White gold
BIC = Bi-Color 18k Yellow and White gold combo
TRIDOR = 18k Yellow, White and Rose gold

Dial Codes:
first digit:
1x = Silver
2x = Champagne
3x = Black
4x = Steel
5x = White
6x = Blue
7x = Bronze
8x = Pink
9x = Mother of Pearl

second digit:
x0 = Index (Stick)
x1 = Unknown/Unused
x2 = Sunbeam (Roman)
x3 = Roman
x4 = Bi Color Dial (Index)
x5 = Jubilee (Roman)
x6 = Maxi Arabic
x7 = Index (3,6,9 Arabic)
x8 = Waves (Arabic)
x9 =Sunbeam (Roman)

Modern crown markings..

Monobloc Crown Markings.jpg

Bracelet Code:

Too many to list, see our Bracelet thread here on the Reference Library
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SEL code.JPG (73.4 KB, 62930 views)
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Last edited by Tools; 1 March 2020 at 02:56 AM..
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