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What Can You Learn From Your Rolex Serial Number?


Have you ever wondered why serial numbers are either printed on or engraved in expensive watches? If you're unfamiliar with the reasons that this information is stored on your watch you're in the right place to find out. There are several Important affirmations that are found in Rolex watch serial numbers. Read on to discover what you can learn from your Rolex serial numbers.

The serial number reveals the age of your watch

If you purchased your Rolex watch in used condition, or if it was inherited, or a gift, you may wonder about the model or the age of the watch. These are important things to know because some Rolex watches are more valuable than others. You may be sitting on a small fortune if the timepiece is in mint or good condition. It's good to know as much about a luxury high-end timepiece as possible so you will understand its inherent value as well as whether or not it is a collectible edition.

Do all Rolex watches have serial numbers?

The answer to this question is yes. All authentic Rolex watches come with a serial number. If you have a Rolex that looks like a genuine and authentic example, but it is missing the serial number, then it is an imitation.

Where to find the serial number on your Rolex

The placement of the serial number on Rolex watches depends upon the age of the watch. Those that were manufactured before the year 2005 have the serial number engraved in between the lugs on the 6:00 side of the watch. If your watch was made between 2005 and the present, you will find the serial number on the inner bezel. You may need to remove the strap or bracelet in order to see the serial number. If this is something that you're not comfortable with you can go to any jewelry store for assistance in doing this.

Outsmarting counterfeiters

The luxury watch market has been compromised by counterfeiters who pass off fake copies of expensive watches and they sell them for discounted, yet high prices to unsuspecting victims of their crimes. Rolex addressed the problem in 2008 by changing up the way that they do things. They started laser engraving the serial number on the inside of the bezel and in between the lugs in 2005, but just 3 years later they switched it up to engraving only on the inner bezel to make it more difficult to counterfeit. Another indication to look for when assessing authenticity is the word "Rolex" which will be engraved around the inner bezel of all watches made from 2005 to the present. The logo of the brand will be placed at the 12:00 position with the serial number at 6:00.

Assessing the value of your Rolex watch

The serial number that is engraved on your Rolex watch will provide you with information about its current value. You can look up the serial number to find out the date and year that your Rolex was first sold. This is extremely helpful if your warranty card is missing.

How do I look up my Rolex serial number?

Rolex does not distribute information about serial numbers randomly. This would give counterfeiters a greater advantage for passing off fake copies. Instead, the serial numbers are provided by the watch community through crowdsourcing. Although this method is not always 100% accurate an some of the numbers are off, in general, it is a useful resource to determine useful information about your Rolex. The most accurate way of assessing the age of your Rolex and its value is to refer to the warranty card that was originally issued with the watch.

Rolex uses random serial numbers

Rolex has gone a step further to weed out the counterfeit watches from authentic and genuine examples. The serial numbers have been generated with random number assignments. This makes it even more difficult for forgers to engrave accurate numbers on fake editions. Although it makes it more difficult to look up specific numbers, it is not impossible.

When assessing the value of a Rolex by the serial number, it's important to have the warranty card and to double check the serial number on the card against the serial number that is engraved on the watch. if it doesn't match then the value is not going to be as high, and its authenticity may come into question. This doesn't mean that the watch is not authentic, but without hard proof of its authenticity, the resale value will be much lower.

How to determine if serial numbers are fake?

Most fake Rolex watches do not have serial numbers, but some scammers have become savvy and actually apply them to the watch. It can be tricky to tell a fake from the genuine item unless you have a trained eye. Since it is so difficult to forge serial numbers and make them look real, the faked serial numbers will look different. Most fraudsters use an acid etching method versus engraving. Look at the quality of the engraving. If it is poor quality or if it is faint, instead of bold, it is likely to be a forgery. If you have any doubts about the authenticity you can take it to a jeweler who is trained in assessing authenticity.


The serial numbers that are engraved on every Rolex watch ever produced serve a very important purpose. The number is a means of identifying the watch along with the year that it was manufactured. It also serves as proof of authenticity and it is one of the best means of proving that the watch is genuine and for assessing its current market value. Rolex joins other high-end watch manufacturers in taking every possible precaution to protect its clientele from becoming the victims of a scam. It's best to make sure that any Rolex watch you purchase has a warranty card that contains the matching serial number found on the watch. You can save yourself from becoming the victim of a scam by understanding the importance of the Rolex serial number.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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