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Rolex FAQ

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1. Is this Rolex watch is a fake on eBay?

We should be cautious when want to buy Rolex on eBay. The positive reviews from other Rolex transactions are just references; we still need to ask questions and know everything well of the watch. Please note that the referential pictures on the auction maybe not the actual pics of the watch. If you are not sure about the watch, post the auction’s information to the forum to ask other people’s opinion, lots of forum members like this kind of discussion.

2. How to judge your Rolex is authentic or not?

Many members on forum are well known rolex and other brand watches, and most of they are able to identify fakes simply according the pics (clear pics), so you can try to post some photos to ask others’ opinion.

But the only reliable way to distinguish the authority is to send your watch to the Rolex Service Center and let them make official identification or you can also send your watch to an authorized Rolex dealer and let them check it thoroughly.

Some experienced watchsmiths can instantly know the authority by opening the caseback. If you simply inspect the watch from outlook, some refined fake watches sometimes can fool people, but the lower price of a fake, it easier to identify. So if you want to buy Rolex with any risk of buying a fake watch, the safest way is to buy it from the authorized dealers.

3. What is the Laser hologram label? What does it look like?

The laser hologram label is a circular anti-counterfeit label, stickered on the caseback. Its function is to prove a brand new genuine Rolex. It is printed with “Rolex” logo on, it’s the laser hologram, so able to display 3d image under the irradiation of point light source, reference number of the watch is printed on the center and the surface is covered by a piece of transparent plastic with red lines.

The function of the red lines is to protect the label that tends to be abraded when we wear the watch, so we can roughly estimate how long have this watch been worn through the degree of wear. Rolex was using a piece of green paper printed with reference number before the use of laser holographic label.

4. Should i tear off the laser holographic label?

The answer is just as you wish. If you want to tear it off then do it, but if you want to keep it then don’t. However, this question is no longer a question because Rolex replaced the laser holographic label by a piece of green transparent sticker since July, 2007.

5. How can i get rid of the label?

You can tear it off directly and rub it a while to remove the glue, the label so will be damaged and leave some traces on the caseback, this is also to ensure the label can not be reused.

It was also said that if you tear it off carefully with a knife, it can be removed completely. But now, the green transparent plastic is very easy to tear.

6.The label has been taken off, how should i deal with it?
You can stick it on your paper or throw it away. It depends on your own intentions.

7. Will the label influence the resale of the watch?

If the watch is NIB (New in Box) or NM (Near Mint) and you will sell it in short term or you just buy it for investment purpose, keeping the label can increase the price actually. But if you will wear it even will pass down the watch to your children, then you don’t need to considerate the secondhand price, just wear it and leave it alone. Tear it will affect the second price but keep it will cause corrosion on the caseback, so this decision is totally depending on your own intentions.

8. where on the watch are engraved with the reference No. and the Serial No.?

The reference number and the serial number are engraved on the 12 and 6 o’clock position between the lug, but you need to remove the bracelet to see that. The number between the bracelet and the joint is component number not the reference number.

9.The comparison between the Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster

We can not draw a conclusion curtly. Only you can make a conclusion when you have both of the two watches on hand. But these two watches are both superb anyway.

10.What are the Rolex watches appeared in the movies or on TV?

This is a common question on Rolex forum. Here is the brief answer: what James Bond and Sean Connery wore is Rolex Submariner 5508 with gray NATO bracelet, called James Bond Submariner now; in <Live and Let Die>, what Bond equipped is the 5513 with a hacksaw bezel. In 2003, the Omega was the supporting role in the movie, they also published the 007 commemorative edition watch. The watch in <24 Hours> is also the Submariner.

12. Which Rolex watch should i buy?

I have no instructional advice on this question. But most members in the forum will give advice like: 1) a watch can make you “smile” when you wear it 2) the prototype watch that the advertising spokesperson wears.

13. Is there any defect of Rolex bracelet?

Rolex is always using the metal bracelet on the men’s watch, and changed very little since the middle 20th century. They replaced the hollow bracelet by solid bracelet, added the Jubilee commemorative bracelet and recently introduced a solid end-links, SEL bracelet.

Common criticism is that other watches have adopted the more fashionable Deployant Style Clasps and using the integral machine parts, but Rolex bracelet are still stamping molded. But Rolex buckle is very strong, at least as strong as most other buckles. Compared with deployant style clasps, one advantage is that it is very convenient for Rolex buckles to adjust and change the length of the bracelet.

Most folding clasp can only increase or decrease the entire length of the bracelet, while Rolex can move the connection core on the buckle to change the length of the bracelet. Personally i think Rolex bracelet are very lovely and comfortable. The latest bracelet are much more better and all watches are equipped with the solid bracelet now.

14. My Rolex always has clatter sound

It is maybe from the bracelet, move the strap and see if it has clatter sound, because all the non-SEL straps have this nasty clatter sound. Some members of the Rolex forum bend the “wings” a little bit at the bottom of the bracelet to narrow the gap between the bracelet heads.

15. What is the SEL?

The full title of SEL is the Solid End-Links, meaning a part of the bracelet that connect with the lug. They are folding metal sheet with little wings under it before the 1990s, but SEL is a whole piece of metal after milling machine processing.

16. How often should i maintain my Rolex?

There are two answers to this question. Maintenance of modern watches should be done every five years, but for antique watches, the time better be shorter. On the other hand, some WIS think it is unnecessary to maintain the watch regularly, just repair it when it is damaged.

17. What’s the relationship between Tudor and Rolex? What is California Dials?

A) the trademark

You may have noticed at the Rolex official agents where often can see the logo of Tudor in its entrance, Tudor is also owned by Rolex and the position of Tudor in Rolex company is second-tier brands. In the past, the design of Tudor was always imitated from Rolex watches, from Submariner to Day-Date and the Oyster Prince DateJust and a lot of other watches. But Tudor also has some exceptional unique watches owned by themselves, such as Mini-Sub etc. Recently, they began to break this tradition and started to produce some watches differentiated with traditional Rolex watches, such as Tiger Chronograph.
B ) the watchcase

Tudor are using the Rolex Oyster watchcase, engraved with Rolex, which has not this sculpture used by Rolex watch (the SeaDweller is an exception). But Tudor use 316L steel while Rolex use more solid 904 steel. Moreover, a lot of crown guards of many Tudor watches also have Rolex crown logo.
C) the movement

Tudor is using the ETA movement not the Rolex movement.

D) the collection value

As a family member of Rolex, Tudor watches are more expensive than other brand watches that use the ETA movement. Some Tudor watches for military purpose are more collectible, the old Tudor with rose logo is more collectible than modern Tudor with crown logo and the hands of army watches are more collectible than mercedes hands.

F) can i know the production year of my Tudor through the reference number ?

it is obvious that the Rolex factory did not deal with the reference number of Tudor watch as the way of rolex. The only way to know the production year is to open the caseback and find out the date stamp. They are like: I/78,II/88,III/79 and IV/71. The Roman numbers stand for the quarter of the year and the Arabic numbers is the year of production.

18. What’s the meaning of T Swiss Made T, Swiss Made T-25 and Tritium?

T means the watch uses the tritium as the luminescent material.Tritium is a little radioactive and can continue light for many years. It’s half-life is 12.5 years. Only the watch is broken, tritium would be harmful and it will only hurt people that frequently contact with it, such as watch maker and dial makers. The T maker means the tritium is sealed in box. T Swiss Made T is the earliest tritium mark that appeared on the dial. If the radioactive material is less than 25mm Curie, the watch will be marked with Swiss Made T-25. Watches marked with Swiss Made uses the no radioactive material, Luminova which can glow for hours after the light irradiation. Rolex only marked T-25 on the Luminova dial.

19.     How old is my watch? (according to the reference number)

Here is the answer:
R000001 ---1987 1/2
R999999 ---1988
L000001 ---1989
L999999 ---1990 1/2
E000001 ---1990 1/2
E999999 ---1991 1/2
X000001 ---1991 1/2
N000001 ---Nov 1991
C000001 ---1992
S000001 ---1993
W000001 ---1994/5
T000001 ---1996
U000001 ---Aug 1997
A000001 ---Nov/Dec 1998
P000001 ---Jan 2000
K000001 ---Mid 2001
Y000001 ---Mid 2002
F000001 ---Mid 2003
D000001 ---Early 2005
Z000001 ---Early 2006
M000001 ---Late 2007
V000001 ---Late 2008
The english number inside the bracelet:
1982 G
1984 N
1985 J
1987 L
1988 M
1990 O
1991 1992 P
1993 R
1994 S
1995 T
1996 V
1997 1998 Z
1999 X
2000 AB
2001 DE
2002 DT
2003 AD
2004 CL
2005 MA
2006 OP
2007 EO
2008 PJ
2009 LT
The numbers after the english characters represent the month. Such as PJ3 means March, 2008.

20. Is this watch too large or too small for me?

I have no instructional advice on this question. But the watch diameter of present men’s sport watch is 44mm, such as SUB and that of the formal watch is about 35-38mm, such as DateJust. The style of women’s watch is more changeable.

21. Why the Rolex is so expensive?

Rolex can ensure that every Rolex watch can be sold out at this price and customers are acceptable about the price, so they don’t need to reduce the price. No customer is forced to buy Rolex. It’s also suggested that Rolex is more valuable than other brands.

22. Why the introduction of the Rolex watch is so vague in the Rolex Website? Why my watch can not be found in the Rolex Website?

There are two explanations: one is that Rolex hope buyers go to the agent stores to feel the watches in the flesh, so the few introduced details on the website is deliberate, on the other hand, every Rolex watch can be sold out, so there is no need to maintain the website.

23. What’s the difference between DateJust and Date?

The size
If not including the crown, the DateJust diameter is 36mm and the Date diameter is 34mm. And the Date is using the Oyster bracelet while the DateJust is using Oyster or Jubilee bracelet. The price of DateJust is higher but they are using the same movement. The diameter of New DateJust II in 2009 is 41mm.

24. What will come with a New Rolex?

Oyster series
The outer carton box; the inside box; a small pillow or clip to support watch; COSC painted brand; Swimpruf hang tag; certificate or COSC certificate; instruction book; Oyster manual.

Submariner has an anchor besides above attachments and Sea-Dweller has an anchor and a strap tool besides above attachments.

What’s the strap of the Sea-Dweller used for? Why only Sea-Dweller has it?

This tool is used for adding or removing the extended buckles to make the watch suitable for wearing it on diving suit. This tool has two instrument heads and an aka fibre pin of the diver's extension links.
The anchor was no longer attached since D series. The Sea-Dweller ref.16600 also stopped producing since V series and have been replaced by ref. 116660.

25. What kind of SS Rolex is using?

Most watches are using 1.4435 or 316L SS while Rolex is using 1.4439 or 904L SS, a little different with 1.4435. The hardness of 904L and 316L is same but the nickel content of the steel of 904L is higher, it may cause the wearer which has sensitive skin to nickel allergies. But 904L is more resistant to corrosion. Considerate the price of the 904L is about 3 times higher than that of 316L, so there is no factory will use the 904L besides Rolex.

26. How many kind of the bracelet and the buckle have?

Basically there are: Jubilee, Oyster, Oysterlock, Oyster Fliplock and President etc.
Oyster: a basic folding clasp, snap on by pressure
Oyster Lock: similar with the above-mentioned Oyster, but there is a safety buckle attached to the buckle to prevent accidental loss. If you want to open it you have to pull the safety buckle to the left firstly and then you can open the buckle to the right.

Filp lock: similar with the Oyster Lock but added with diver’s extension. The buckle is also longer to cover the extension.

President: The president bracelet is famous for the American president Dwight D. Eisenhower, he wore one of this bracelet when it first appeared in 1956. To celebrate the victory of WWII, Rolex gave a 18k DateJust to president Eisenhower (British Prime Minister Winston Churchill Churchill also has one) and this watch was changed with a new bracelet when it was returned to the factory to be repaired and be maintained. And this is why this bracelet is called President. Day-date is called president but objective speaking, this name is inferred to the bracelet. And the watch that president Eisenhower owned is actually a DateJust not today’s Day-Date.

27. How can i open the diver’s extension?

The diver’s extension is an extended folding clasp on the Filplock bracelet. Expanding it can extend the length of the bracelet to meet the demand of wearing it on the outside of the diving suit. Submariner and Sea-Dweller are using the Flipclock bracelet. If you don’t know how to use it correctly , please turn to the Rolex dealer.
SEL bracelet: there is an “O” shape button beside the buckle. Depressing it can release the extend buckle. The extend buckle may be rigid, you can try to fiddle it carefully.

Non-SEL bracelet: open the buckle and pull the strap up until the extend buckle is full released.

28. What’s the He escape valve on the Sea-Dweller used for?

Divers is always under a tremendous pressure in saturation diving, so the divers can extend dive time and stay in deep water for a longer time without going through decompression process. Because the helium molecules are very small, high-pressure gas (usually mixed with helium) can penetrate into the watch through the unfastened crown. This watch is designed to withstand external pressure rather than internal pressure, so the high pressure gas will explode the crystal when decompressing. There is a resilient valve on the case of Sea-Dweller and it will automatically open when the internal pressure is too large. Omega Seamaster also has a helium escape valve on its 10 o’clock position, but it need to manually unscrew.

29. The date change lasted over five and a half minutes at midnight. Is it a problem?

It’s no problem. But if it takes more than one hour to convert date display, you should ask Rolex or other watchmaker to adjust it.

30. What is the re-dial?

When the scale coating of an old dial is cracked, we clean it, paint it and write it again. If your watch dial is damaged (such as broken by soakage), just fix it through re-dial. Experts are able to find the traces of renovation, because the font is different after all. If your dial is very old, i suggest you don’t renovate it, because the renovation will reduce the collection value of an antique watch, collectors prefer the original and antique watches rather than the renovated watches. Of cause, if you do not intend to sell your watch again, and hope the dial looks very new, you can renovate it. But my advice is don’t be too stingy, because cheap inferior renovation will be very bad.

31. Why the preservation value of Rolex is better than that of other watches?

One is that the brand acceptance is very high which resulted in a large secondhand watch market, on the other hand is Rolex design changes slowly, the old Rolex is not easy to be obsolete.

32. The fake Rolex

There many fake Rolex watches in the watch market, even some cannot operate, and there are some watches equipped with ETA movement and good watchcase (the cost of these watches is almost as much as the price of a Rolex watch). My advice is do not buy them.

Many members can identify the majority of the fake watch according to its quality or the differences between the true watch. The only way to confirm that the watch is a true Rolex is to ask a watchmaker to check its movement, the movement of Rolex watches is different with any other movements. There is no fake watches can fool a watchmaker that is very familiar with Rolex watch. There are also a lot of fake watches have box, certificates and other attachments.

33. What’s the polishing cloth used for? Where can i buy it?

Most Rolex WIS do not use the polishing cloth. But you can buy it in Sales Corner or post WTB on eBay on search it on the internet. These attachments are very common, but usually expensive than other watch tools.

34. What the warranty paper looks like? Is there any new version?

The background of the new warranty paper is diamond shape pattern.

35. Appearance problems

A) my watch crown is not on a straight line

Take it easy, it’s very normal.

 there are some scratches on my watchcase, how can i get rid of it?

1) Yes you can, but its unnecessary, many people will suggest that you should wait till it need to be repaired. The qualified technicians or Rolex factory technicians will polish it and making it looks like a new one, i mean looks like a new one.
2) Yes you can, there is an excellent guide on how to polish stainless steel Rolex written by Jocke.
3) Not recommended, if your watch is K gold watchcase, then don’t polish it because it will abrade it.

C) how should i polish the watchcase?

You can go to see these pictures that Jocke posted on the TimeZone Classics. He also has a great guid about how to make a mirror effect on the center link of the Oyster bracelet .

How can i polish the acrylic watchcase?

The Polywatch is particularly designed for polishing the acrylic watchcase. Some people also use the Brasso. I’ve tried on my Air-king, the effect is very good indeed.

36. Dose there any marks on the caseback of the Rolex?

The Rolex watches are not carved with patterns except the Sea-Dweller, some women’s watches and most Tudor watches. But some Rolex watches, such as COMEX Submariner has and ref. 116660 and ref. 116400 is also engraved with patterns on its caseback.

37. Is there any transparent caseback of Rolex watches? Can i order one?

Except the Prince watch, there are only two Rolex watches has transparent caseback, and James Dowling owns one of these two watches. If you see the other one, it is barely true. Of cause you can use the clock machine to make your own transparent caseback , but most people in our discussion area think its a bad idea, because it will not only destroy the precious waterproof performance, but also will let other people think its a fake watch. And frankly speaking, Rolex movement is famous for its performance, the decorative performance is not so well.

38. How can i clean my Rolex?

If your watch is a Oyster watch, you can use water to clean. Before you wash it you should confirm that the waterproof of the watch is perfect (means that the watch is been regularly maintained, the crown has been tightened up and so on). But if your watch is Cellini or other non-waterproof watch, please don’t do that. And avoid the use of solvents and detergents to protect the gasket from corrosion.

39. What is the use of the laser etching logo?

The sapphire crystal has been engraved with a small crown logo since 2002. This logo is on the 6 o’clock position, it’s needed a 10 times eyepiece or good eyesight to see. Its actually a security measure of Rolex, but not all the Rolex watches have this mark, the manufacturer use this measure on the production line gradually, just like all other Rolex changes. The logo with S on the caseback means the crystal has been replaced during the maintenance. Most of people think it’s very good-looking and it’s not important for collection value and secondhand price. The ref. 16622 in 1999 seems has used this logo, and most watches are using this logo now.

40. Serial number, reference number, certification and others

What is the meaning of these numbers before the serial number?
They are country code, which stands for which country or region this watch is shipped to.
010 - Switzerland   
012 - Switzerland   
013 - Switzerland   
014 - Switzerland   
015 - Switzerland  
021 - Switzerland   
022 - Switzerland   
023 - Switzerland  
025 - Switzerland   
026 - Switzerland   
033 - Switzerland   
044 - Switzerland   
045 - Switzerland   
061 - Switzerland   
100 - Germany      
110 - France          
112 - France          
113 - France          
120 - Austria          
121 - Austria          
123 - Austria          
126 - Austria          
128 - Austria          
130 - Belgium/Luxembourg   
133 - Netherlands  
134 - Netherlands  
135 - Netherlands  
136 - Netherlands  
137 - Netherlands  
138 - Netherlands  
150 - Spain             
160 - England         
170 - Italy              
200 - Greece          
201 - Malta            
202 - Turkey          
207 - Corfu            
208 - Greece          
213 - Portugal        
217 - Portugal        
218 - Portugal        
226 - Denmark        
228 - Denmark        
233 - Denmark        
237 - Iceland          
241 - Norway         
265 - Sweden         
267 - Sweden         
270 - Sweden         
271 - Sweden         
283 - Finland        
321 - Czech Republic  
325 - Serbia Montenegro
400 - Hong Kong    
413 - Korea            
430 - Singapore/Brunei  
431 - Malaysia        
440 - Taiwan          
500 - India             
505 - Pakistan        
527 - Middle East      
529 - Saudi Arabia
532 - Saudi Arabia
535 - Katar            
536 - Abu Dhabi    
537 - Dubai           
538 - Oman           
542 - Iran             
548 - Israel           
612 - Egypt           
634 - Congo          
666 - Singapore    
668 - Mombasa     
680 - South Africa  
700 - Canada         
710 - USA             
720 - Mexico         
722 - Mexico         
733 - Honduras    
741 - Bahamas     
742 - Bermuda      
752 - Jamaica       
757 - Antigua        
758 - Virgin Islands  
761 - Netherlands Antilles  
762 - Aruba             
765 - Antigua           
766 - Saint Martin    
767 - Cayman Islands  
768 - Panama             
770 - Venezuela      
780 - Brazil              
781 - Chile               
790 - Argentina         
810 - Australia/New Zealand  
818 - Philippines       
828 - Taiwan            
838 - China              
842 - New Zealand  
871 - Hawaii             
872 - Alaska            
874 - Hong Kong     
873 - Guam             
888 - Hong Kong    
900 - Japan             
902 - AAFES, Germany ---- The Army and Air Force Exchange Service
906 - Natex Retail, German NATO Airbase   ---- Natex Retails
907 - Rheindalen, German NATO Headquarter  ---- Rheindalen


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Guest mysrr

this's really a great wealth of info, guessing it must cost some time to write it down and gathering, thanks for the post, newbie must have a read

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