Understanding Rolex Datejust Reference numbers

The Rolex Datejust, or as I’d like to call it ‘ The Watch’. Perhaps the most iconic idea of a watch.


First made in 1945 and still present today. Thanks to it being present for so many years the watch has had plenty of technological changes and in the watch world we like to refer to them by reference numbers. But how do they work?


Well here is a quick scheme to understand them by asking yourself a few questions. Along these questions we will fill in the X’s to help you understand the watches.


Note: This scheme is applicable for watches from the 1960’s up to the early 2000’s


First question: Does the watch have a plexiglass or a scratch free sapphire crystal? 


If she has plexiglass you know it will be a 16XX of 160xx watch. If she had a sapphire crystal you know the watch will be a 162xx watch. 


The second question: what type of bezel ( aka the ring around the glass) does the watch have? 

Is it a fluted one? Then you have either a 1601, 1601X or 1623X in your hands! 

But I what about the white or a yellow gold bezel? Change the X to 4 for white and to 3 for yellow gold!

Is it smooth? Then you have either a 1600,1600 or 16200 in your hands!

Is it a bit odd edge? Or as we call it engine turned? Then you have either a 1603, 16030 or a 16220 in your hands! 


The last question. What about the ones that are fully made out of gold? 

Well you would be still talking about a 1601 in the first generation. But after that it would be a 16018 or 16238.


It looks like a lot at first sight but I am sure you will quickly see the logical sense of it once you give it a read!


Do not forget to save this for later use!


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