Rolex Serti Dials

Cory BerryWatch Knowledge8 Comments

When people refer to a Rolex with a Serti dial, most often they are referring to a Submariner 16613 with a champagne or slate dial set with 8 round diamonds and 3 sapphire markers.

Serti is French for “setting”.  If you visit rolex.com and do a search for serti you will be presented with a nearly endless listing of diamond set watches, so the term is not ultimately reserved for the 8 diamond & 3 sapphire setting.

Rolex 69068 Ladies President with Serti Dial and W serial from 1995-1996.

Rolex 69068 Ladies President with Serti Dial and W serial from 1995-1996.

The earliest “Serti” dial (with 8/3 combo) that has come through our office was an 18k gold Submariner from 1981.  Rolex often introduces new features on solid 18k pieces (or more recently, in Platinum).

Rolex 16808 from 1981 with Serti dial

Rolex 16808 from 1981 with champagne Serti dial

Speaking of doing things first on their precious metal watches, take a look at the end pieces on this 1981 Submariner..  They appear to be Solid End Links (aka SEL).   The steel 16610 Submariner didn’t get this look until 1999!  Granted, the perceived SEL end pieces on this 1981 Sub are not actually solid as today’s are, but the plated metal is considerably thicker than you would find on the steel or two-tone models, and it had the look you see on all Oyster bands today.

If you browse through the Rolex catalog today, you will find the 8 diamond / 3 sapphire combo absent.  Instead you will see them with 8 diamonds, but 3 Luminova markers instead.  Below is a V serial from about 2008, the most recent Serti dial we’ve seen, which makes sense because that was the same year the ceramic bezeled 116613 was introduced.

Rolex Submariner 16613 with slate Serti dial.  V serial, ca. 2008-09.

Rolex Submariner 16613 with slate Serti dial. V serial, ca. 2008-09.  This piece was unworn with factory plastic in tact.

We recently received a rare GMT-Master II 16718 in 18k from 1991 with a ruby Serti dial.

Rolex GMT-Master II with Ruby Serti dial. Ref. 16718, E serial, ca. 1991.

Rolex GMT-Master II with Ruby Serti dial. Ref. 16718, E serial, ca. 1991.

This particular watch with a Serti dial came in without papers, which is not uncommon for a watch over 15 years old.  When someone offers us a watch to sell and we don’t receive papers, we are extra vigilant in checking its authenticity.  Below are some photographs of genuine Serti dials made in different periods.

Back of ruby/diamond set Serti dial from 16718 from 1991.

Back of ruby/diamond set Serti dial from 16718 from 1991.

Back of Serti dial of 16613 Submariner from around 2005.

Back of Serti dial of 16613 Submariner from around 2005.

And to finish off this little photo essay:

Rolex 16613 with Serti dial and black bezel.  D serial, ca. 2005.

Rolex 16613 with Serti dial and black bezel. D serial, ca. 2005.

8 Comments on “Rolex Serti Dials”

  1. Wow, great collection of Rolex watches, especially Rolex 16613 with Serti dial and black bezel is stunning one.

  2. I have a 16613 with slate dial as pictured that I purchased in 2005. What is luminova though? I always thought they were sapphires at the 6,9 and 12.

  3. Hi there,
    I am considering to buy a used Rolex submariner and would appreciate your advice of which model is most attractive from a re-sell stand point of view. I am interested in a SS/18 Kt gold Submariner and wonder which color combo is most in demand, which production year of number of years, serti or not? Also what stand the letters “P”, “T” and “Z” for behind model16613? In theory I want to spent as little as possible but you might point out reasons that might justify a higher purchase price for grounds you would kindly point out to me? Thank you for your assistance.
    Rgds.,
    Joerg C. Gromoll

    1. The blue is the most popular. That blue has the biggest supply and biggest demand. Black is less popular, but more unique. The Serti dials are unique. If you are drawn to a Serti dial, go for it. Otherwise, stick to blue. The Serti obviously pushes the price up.

      We have a blue 16613, P-serial from 2001 currently on our site. We try to always have 16613 Subs in stock, but they move pretty well and don’t stick around long.

      The letters indicate the age and are part of the Rolex serial number. Check this link for details on that.

      Age, condition, and box/papers are the 3 big things that affect the value.

  4. Hello there,
    I have submariner 16613 black bezel and i am considering to buy only the serti dials
    Would you recommend to replace such parts for upgrade ? Or if such an action will harm the originality of the watch ?
    How much it could cost ?

    appreciate your advise

    Thanks in advance
    Elior

    1. We recommend finding a model that was originally sold as a serti dial (as indicated on papers). Upgrading or replacing the original dial will definitely harm the originality of the watch.

  5. I have just bought a 16613 serti dial 2010 believed to be one of the very last produced and has the engraved rehaut. its pretty cool. nice blog on sertis!

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