BELOW: A close-up view of the same watch, you can clearly see the Serial Number "F982176", engraved into the case at the 6 o'clock position, with "ROLEX" engraved repetitiously around the dial in a circular fashion.
In 1927, Rolex began issuing every Rolex Oyster case a unique serial number to distinguish them from one another.
The Roman numerals were I, II, III, IV, which represented which quarter of the year the watch was produced.
The numbers simply represented the two-digit year in which the watch was produced.
Therefore, the code "III 53" would represent the 3 quarter (i.e.July-September) of 1953--this code continued until around 1970.Rare & Fine Timepieces specializes in exceptional modern and vintage wristwatches.We offer a unique selection of watch accessories, watch winders, and horological books, as well as providing Expert Watch Repair and Restoration Services that are second to none.
While it was originally believed that this resequence started over at 100,000, or even 20,000, but evidence suggests that it actually restarted at 10,000 or possibly lower.
Around this same time, Rolex had initiated another dating system--They stamped the inside of the case back with a code consisting of a Roman numeral and two numbers.