One of the most important details for Rolex collectors is the age of a given watch. The age of a Rolex has a lot to do with its value, and knowing when the watch was made allows the owner to preform proper maintenance and repair.
Dating A Rolex By Serial Number
As a company, Rolex has been in business for over a century. During which time they have produced countless watches, with only subtle changes taking place between the different references over the years. This also includes the Rolex Serial Numbers which can get very confusing. The nature of Rolex manufacturing and the constant revolution in styles makes it difficult to date the watches just by looking at them.
For all watches made before 2006, the serial number is along the edge of the watch case between the bottom lugs. To view the number, the watch band must be removed. Watches made from 2006 through 2010 might have a serial number between the lugs or on the inner bezel. After 2010, Rolex positioned all serial numbers on the inner bezel; it can be viewed by looking through the crystal along the edge at approximately the six o'clock position.
Rolex From 1926-2009
With a few exceptions, owners can approximate the year a Rolex was manufactured with a glance at the serial number because the watchmaker used consecutive numbers. Numerous online tables present Rolex serial number data for dating purposes. Rolex enthusiasts can look up a serial number around 4,539,000, for example, and see that the watch was made around 1976.
Rolex After 2009
After 2009, Rolex stopped using sequential serial numbers, so it's harder to approximate a date. Any legitimate Rolex piece with a serial number can be looked up in an online database to get more definitive information about its value.
Valuing A Rolex
Valuing a Rolex requires more than knowing its origin date. The watch's model, provenance, and condition are important too. Collectors and Rolex enthusiasts should understand as much as possible about a piece's value before bidding on or selling it at auction.