However, I believe the main reason this was done (as well as a lot of other watch experts and gurus) is because the pressure put upon what serial letter it has is unwarranted, thinking it will give an exact year of manufacture to the purchaser when it doesn’t necessarily matter.
Much like jewelry, the condition of a Rolex is much more important in value than the year it is thought to be manufactured, with exceptions of course.
To see this number, you must detach the bracelet from the case.
For instructions on how to remove the case simply watch the video above.
The public’s only clue is the date listed on the papers or card on the day it is purchased from an authorized dealer, but even then that is only the date sold new and not the date of manufacture. Rolex subsequently change the serial number system to what are called “Randoms”, or sometimes “Scrambled”.
Like anything Rolex does, I believe it was introduced without formal explanation to the public.
A term that would better serve instead of “year” would be “period”.
Rolex, the company, will engrave a totally unique serial number on each watch they make.
A unique Rolex serial number is recorded on each watch, giving it a unique set of numerals for the purpose of identification and record keeping, much like any other product.
Older models consist of only numbers but around 1987, Rolex placed a letter at the beginning of the number that would change about once a year until late 2010, which is now a random set of numbers and letters. Each letter at the beginning of the serial number denotes a general production year — but actually I’m not even sure that Rolex has officially stated this anywhere.
At the beginning of 2010 Rolex changed the system to individualize their watches.
By now the Serial Number will be composed of a random generated 8-digit mix of lettersand numbers which means that from now on only Rolex can tell you when the watch wasproduced.