Dating a rolex by serial number

Anyone fortunate enough to receive a rolex with a history will undoubtedly want to find out a little more about it.One way of doing this is by using the model number.It can tell you the type of watch, type of bezel and the material from which it was made.

While there is no “Official” Rolex Serial numbers database list from the Rolex Factory that shows dates of production, this chart below lists all the serial numbers gathered by proven authorities over the years.A unique Rolex serial number is recorded on each watch, giving it a unique set of numerals for the purpose of identification and record keeping, much like any other product.Older models consist of only numbers but around 1987, Rolex placed a letter at the beginning of the number that would change about once a year until late 2010, which is now a random set of numbers and letters. Each letter at the beginning of the serial number denotes a general production year — but actually I’m not even sure that Rolex has officially stated this anywhere.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...are random at some level. Rolex does produce cases specifically to re-case movements where the case has become damaged or unusable.

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