Most watches feature a reference number. In the case of Rolex watches, this number describes the watch. The model, the type of bracelet, the material, complications and other features that define the watch. Below, you find a visual explanation, of which codes the reference number of the Rolex watches exist.
This explanation is based on Rolex watches, that were manufactured after the year 2000. Before 2000, the watches carried reference numbers with four or five digits.
Where can you find the reference number on a Rolex watch?
The reference number is engraved at 12 0'clock between the lugs. You can see it when you remove your bracelet or strap.
Reference Numbers on Movements
Most movements also have a unique reference number. Movements can be used in several watch models. Usually, you find the movement's reference number engraved on the movement or calibre itself.
Reference numbers on other watches
The reference- and serial numbers on other watch brand's watches, such as Hublot, Panerai, Chopard, to name a few, can be found on different locations on the watch. For instance, it can be engraved on the back of the watch, or on the movement.
Rolex watches also have a serial number. This is not the same as the reference number. A serial number is a unique number, that identifies the unique watch. From the serial number, you can for instance track down the year it was manufactured..
Until 2010, this unique serial number was engraved upon 6 o'clock side of the case, between the lugs. After 2010, Rolex engraved the serial number on the rehaut. That is the inner ring below the crystal.