As much as we all love Rolex, historically they’ve offered us owners very little support identify the history of their vintage pieces. While brand such Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piguet and Omega issue archival extracts, detailing manufacture dates, original attribute and the country of delivery Rolex has chosen to leave their collectors guessing. While this can be a bit frustrating, trying to piece together the history of our watches is part of the fun. While there is no way of determining production dates with 100% certainty, there are generally accepted ballparks, which we’ve detailed below.
To get started you can find Rolex’s serial numbers between the lugs at the 6 o’clock position, behind the bracelet. Beginning in 2005, some models may also have their serial numbers engraved on the inside flange (or “rehaut” as it’s called in French) between the dial and crystal. Starting in 2008, Rolex had completely switched over to only engraving serial numbers on the rehaut. By 2010 all serials were randomized and warranty paperwork would be required to determine more precise production dates.
ROLEX SERIAL NUMBER LOOK UP CHART