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Pros and Cons Rolex Case Back Stamps Used Inside Vintage Rolex Watches One of the things that are so rewarding about this website is the ability to compile data over a long time period and present it in a way that has so far not being available to collectors, either in book form or online. Here, it should be possible to identify a subject and create a pool of knowledge relating to it, forming a lasting record that enthusiasts can keep returning back to whenever they wish.

As far as we are aware, nobody has ever tried to put these into strict chronological sequence before, so this exercise is venturing into uncharted territory.

Hopefully, it should be useful as an aid to weeding out those watches that have wildly different case back markings to others from the same year, this suggesting that they merit further scrutiny to confirm their originality.

What happened?

It seems most logical to structure this section so that the chart itself is accessible with a minimum number of clicks in order that returning browsers can refer back to it in the most direct fashion. However, it is the first form of case back marking used by the company that would go on to become Rolex, hence it makes a logical point at which to begin this research. The next era of vintage Rolex case back stamping is the most relevant to the project being undertaken here. In the early s, Rolex introduced a new case back signature on which the number of world records set by the company in accuracy competitions was stated below the Rolex brand name.

In our business, we have long believed that if this rising number was accurately charted by year, it would be a useful dating aid that could be of assistance to the collector in instances when other means of identifying a specific year of production, i.

Rolex – MENS DATEJUST 16233

Similarly with early Rolex Oyster cases, there should be a pattern of increasing patent numbers mentioned as the years go on. Later, the mention of patents by number and individual country would be dropped but even so, Rolex gradually evolved its case back stamps and it should be possible to pick out some sort of trends. In the early s, a system of date stamping was introduced for Oyster cases, with the quarter of the year in which the watch was produced indicated by a Roman numeral, after which the last two digits of the year were given in Arabic numerals.

So, for instance, II. Again, hopefully the process of recording case back stamps in this way should allow us to spot any other variations that exist from this period. The reason for this is that in order to create a meaningful table that is entirely accurate with no percentage of error, we decided to include as source material only those watches on which the date of either assay or retail sale could be identified categorically, either from, in the first instance, a clear British hallmark date letter or, in the second, original receipt or guarantee paperwork that was supplied with the watch when new.

By being extremely strict in the criteria required to gain inclusion, we should hopefully produce the definitive visual guide to vintage Rolex case back stamps from the pre-World War I era right through to the s.

Vintage 4399 in Yellow Gold with Diamond Bezel

As time allows and indeed, as new watches are sourced for stock, we will photograph their case back markings and add them to the table here. Wire lugs, hinged back and enamel dial. No mention of Rolex. Late use of this early stamp on its own. Rolex 7 World’s Records. Early use of World’s Records stamp..

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