Have you ever noticed that each Rolex watch comes with its unique letter code? Typically found at the end of the watch’s reference number, these letters usually consist of two to four characters.

But what do these codes signify? For those who consider themselves true Rolex enthusiasts, understanding these codes is essential. Let’s delve deeper into their meanings!

Understanding Rolex Reference Number

rolex letter codes

A reference number serves as a unique identifier for each Rolex watch model. These numbers allow you to discern the specific model of your Rolex watch, the materials utilized, and even the production time frame.

Within Rolex’s reference numbers lie concealed hints regarding the watch’s characteristics. Beyond mere digits, these references often incorporate accompanying alphabets, representing French abbreviations for various watch types.

The final letters of a Rolex reference number frequently disclose the color scheme of the bezel. Here are a few examples:

1. Rolex GMT-Master II Reference Number

In Rolex GMT-Master II reference numbers, the letters often denote specific characteristics or variations of the watch. Here are some examples:

  • “BLRO” indicates a blue and red, or often called the “Pepsi” bezel.
  • “BLNR” suggests a blue and black color, known as the “Batman” model.
  • “CHNR” signifies a chocolate brown and black bezel, referred to as the “Root Beer” bezel.

2. Rolex Submariner Reference Number

The same coding system is employed in the Rolex Submariner reference numbers. However, in this instance, the alphabet abbreviations used to denote the Submariner’s color are typically condensed to just two letters. Here are a few examples:

  • “LN” signifies “Lunette Noir,” which translates to “Black Bezel”. This abbreviation is commonly used to denote models with a black bezel.
  • “LV” stands for “Lunette Verte,” indicating a green bezel. The green bezel is an iconic feature of select Rolex Submariner models. 
  • “LB” represents “Lunette Bleu,” which translates to “Blue Bezel.” Blue bezels are another popular choice among Rolex Submariner models.

Interpreting Other Digits in Rolex Reference Numbers

While the final letters indicate the watch’s color, the other digits in the reference number can signify various aspects. 

The initial digits denote the model or collection to which the Rolex belongs. Each collection is assigned specific digits, a detail known only to dedicated Rolex enthusiasts.

For instance, the prestigious Day-Date models typically commence with the number 182. However, navigating these rules can become complicated. 

Some models may have multiple numbers associated with them. For instance, newer Day-Date watches may feature 282 instead of 182.

Unfortunately, there’s no official guide available, making it challenging to memorize all the digits and their corresponding collections.

Read more: Detecting Fakes: How to Check Your Watch’s Serial Number

Numbers to Explain Bezel Type and Watch’s Material

After the initial digits, the Rolex reference number typically continues with details about the bezel type and the materials used in the watch. 

Rolex’s bezel types are distinguished by eight different digits, ranging from 0 to denote a polished bezel to 7, indicating various bezel types, such as those used in the Explorer II.

rolex letter codes

Furthermore, numbers are also used to describe the watch’s material. Ten different numbers represent various materials, starting from 0 to describe stainless steel and extending to 9 for 18k white gold.

For a comprehensive list of bezel types and materials, you can seek guidance from Luxehouze’s Client Advisors.

Read more: Authentic vs Fake: How to Check if a Watch is Original

How to Find Rolex Reference Number

The reference number consistently resides on the uppermost side of the watch case, typically positioned at the 12 o’clock mark.

This information is also readily available in the watch’s manual or on the product page when making an online purchase.

However, the location of the serial number, which is the key component for authentication and tracking, varies depending on the era in which the watch was manufactured.

rolex letter codes

For watches produced before 2006, serial numbers were conventionally engraved on the opposite side of the watch case, mirroring the reference number’s placement, specifically on the 6 o’clock side. 

Meanwhile, between 2006 and 2008, serial numbers were visible both on the watch case’s exterior and on the rehaut, which is the inner circumference of the case beneath the glass.

Lastly, From 2010 onwards, Rolex streamlined its serial number placement strategy, opting for a singular location on the rehaut.

Get Authentic Rolex Watches at Luxehouze

If you’re considering adding Rolex watches to your collection, look no further than Luxehouze. Our extensive selection features various timepieces from renowned brands, including Rolex. 

Rest assured, all items at Luxehouze are guaranteed to be 100% authentic, and you can shop confidently, knowing you’ll get the best price available. 

Explore Luxehouze’s collection today and elevate your watch collection with timeless elegance and precision craftsmanship.