Rolex Serial Number Production Dates
The serial number has traditionally been located at 6 o'clock between the lugs and under the bracelet. In 2005, Rolex began engraving the serial number on the rehaut (French for 'flange') between the dial and the crystal as well as the 6' o'clock location. For a few years, Rolexes had two serial numbers engraved on them. Starting in 2008, Rolex stopped engraving the serial # at the case 6 o'clock location, using only the rehaut location. By 2010 this practice had gradually transitioned to all models.
In 2009, Rolex started to discontinue their conventional numbering sequence in favor for a mixed (aka random aka scrambled) serial. They will be 8 digits, opposed to 7 in the past. Random examples of these indecipherable numbers are "OT23Q257", "52335J78", and "345X29VN". On occasion, some of these random serials will start with letters like F which could confuse an unsuspecting appraiser of thinking the watch is older than it actually is.
After you get the number from your watch, you can use the chart below to determine the age.
- Mixed Serials 2010 (Summer) to Present
- G000,001 2009 (Fall)
- V000,001 2008 (Fall)
- M000,001 2007 (Fall)
- Z000,001 2006 (Summer)
- D000,001 2005 (Summer)
- F000,001 2003 (Fall)
- Y000,001 2002 (Fall)
- K000,001 2001 (Fall)
- P000,001 2000 (Winter)
- A000,001 1999
- U000,001 1997 (Summer)
- T000,001 1995 (Summer)
- W000,001 1995
- S000,001 1993 (Fall)
- C000,001 1992 (Winter)
- N000,001 1991 (Fall)
- X000,001 1991 (Fall)
- E000,001 1990 (Summer)
- L000,001 1989
- R000,000 1987 (Summer) **
Rolex never started a series with B, I, J, O, or Q. (These serials appear to have been reserved for use in Tudor cases)
There are some scrambled models that can begin with J, O, or Q.
** In 1987, rather than begin an 8 digit production serial, Rolex instead began their serials with a letter prefix
such as R, then L, E & X. (ROLEX without the O) N, C, & S came out during the early to mid 1990's, W, T & U a little later. The latest letter prefixes are all running concurrently...as Rolex
wishes! Only Rolex knows the exact date that any watch was actually produced. Confused...contact Rolex with the exact serial number of your watch...don't expect a reply with
*** When Rolex reached the 999,999 production serial in the early 1954s...they restarted the production serial at 100,000 rather than begin a 7 digit number at 1,000,000. During this period Rolex was also putting the date code on the inside of the case backs...so confusing production serials can sometimes have their production date determined. Look for the Roman number I, II, III or IV for the quarter & two arabic digits for the year.
In the late 1950's, Rolex again reached the 999,999 production serial & they started their 7 digit numeric numbering system at 1,000,000 for production serials, this continued until the 1990's until production serials reached 9,999,999.