reference number guide

Rolex watches have meaning in the numbering of each item. This numbering is known as the reference number. As a Rolex collector, you should see this beginner's guide. This reference number guide may also be called the Rolex guide, the luxury watch guide.

Reference Number Guide on The Rolex Reference

The Rolex reference number is an information system that provides data in the form of a watch model, watch material, bezel model, and color.

At the beginning of the numbering was made by the Rolex brand, the number was only four digits. In the late 1970s, it began to change to 5 digits. And around the 2000s, it changed to 6 digits.

The numbers in the numbering have their respective meanings, which explain the detailed specifications of the watch. It makes it easier for you to identify the type of your dream Rolex.

The following explains the meaning of the sequence of numbers in the Rolex reference.

The First Digit Meaning

As a collector guide, you should know that the first digit in the Rolex reference numbering starts with one since the numbering became 6 digits in the 2000s. The number 1 refers to the identification number for 6-digit numbering.

Meaning of Second Digit - Fourth Digit

The second 3 digits starting from the second digit to the fourth digit contain the Rolex watch type information. Examples of some watch models and their numbering:

  • Air King : 55-, 114-, 140-, 116-
  • Datejust 31 : 782-, 68-
  • Date : 150-, 115-, 15-
  • Daytona : 165-, 62-, 1165-
  • Day-Date 40 : 2282-
  • Explorer : 10-, 142-, 1142-, 2142-
  • Milgauss : 10-, 65-, 1164-
  • Sea-Dweller : 16-, 166-, 1166-, 1266-
  • Submariner : 1140-, 140-, 55-
  • Submariner Date : 1166-, 168-, 166-, 16-

The Fifth Digit Meaning

The fifth digit of the Rolex numbering refers to the description of the Bezel section, i.e. the bezel model. However, the numbering only applies to the Datejust, Day-Date, Date and Oyster Perpetual models. And it does not apply to GMT-Master, Submariner, Daytona, Explorer, etc.

Example of the 5th digit code and its Bezel model:

  • 0 indicates Domed Bezel
  • 1 indicates Engined Bezel
  • 2 indicates Engraved Bezel
  • 3 indicates Fluted Bezel
  • 6 indicates Turn-O-Graph

The Sixth Digit Meaning

The sixth digit on the Rolex reference indicates the material the Rolex watch is made of. Here's a list of the numbers:

  • 0 : Stainless Steel
  • 1 : Yellow Gold/ Everose Gold
  • 2 : Platinum
  • 3 : Yellow Rolesor made of Steel and 18K Yellow Gold
  • 4 : White Rolesor made of Steel and 18K White Gold
  • 5 : 18K Everose gold
  • 6 : Platinum
  • 7 : 14k Yellow Gold
  • 8 : 18K Yellow Gold
  • 9 : 18K White Gold 

Last Letter Code Meaning

Some Rolex reference numbers have letters at the end. These letters have a meaning, namely the color of the bezel and what type of gems is in the bezel. Here are some examples of letter codes and their meanings on Code Number of Rolex ;

  • LN : Lunette Noire/Black Bezel
  • LB : Lunette Bleu/Blue Bezel
  • LV : Lunette Verte/Green Bezel
  • BLNR : Bleu-Noir/Blue-Black Bezel’
  • BLRO : Bleu-Rouge/Blue-Red Bezel
  • GV : Glace Verte/ Green Crystal
  • CHNR : Chocolate Noir/Brown-Black Bezel

From this numbering information, 3 things can be concluded, namely:

  1. A 4-digit reference number indicates that a Rolex item was manufactured in the late 1970s.
  2. The 5-digit Reference Number referring to Rolex watches was discontinued from the late 1970s to 1999.
  3. The 6-digit reference number indicates that it is a modern Rolex watch manufactured from 2000 to the present.

This Rolex reference is a luxury watch guide that is a reference number guide as a beginner's guide. This Rolex reference is a must-know guide for all novice collectors. Hope this helps you in choosing the Rolex of your dreams.

Beginner's guide