Rolex Markings and Engravings – Unique Touch!

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Rolex Markings and Engravings – Unique Touch!

Rolex markings and engravings are the game’s name for the brand’s unique touch.

The laser-etched crown is a minute feature of modern Rolex watches that few are aware of. As the name implies, it is a minor laser engraving within the crystal at the 6 o’clock setting, just above the hour indicator.

As you might expect, this laser-etched crown is yet another way for the manufacturer to combat counterfeit watches. Rolex, for example, launched engraved rehauts of its watches, but counterfeiters quickly made it standard, and this laser-etched engraving is an even more technologically sophisticated anti-replicating measure.

So, what function does the laser-etched crown have, and when did it first appear? This article will teach you everything about these peculiar markings and engravings.

Rolex Markings and Engravings


When Did Rolex Start Their Laser-Etched Engravings:

Rolex pioneered the laser-etched crystal in 2001 and was incorporated into the entire brand lineup selection, including the Cellini models, in early 2004. The Milgauss with green glass is the only Rolex watch that does not include the laser-etched crystal.

The laser-etched crown was introduced gradually, beginning with the Submariner no-date, Air King, Daytona, and Explorer models.

The laser-etched crown is difficult to observe with the naked eye, which is why many people are unaware of its existence. But how can you tell?

The crown in the crystal is not technically etched or engraved on the crystal. Instead, the engraving is inside the glass, and the coronet is created by small dots (bubbles) inside the crystal. The beads are spaced at different heights to avoid causing a weakness in the crystal.


If Your Watch Lacks a Laser-Etched Crystal:

There could be several reasons why your watch lacks crown engraving.

The most common reason given by those who inquire is that their watch does have it, but it’s so tiny and difficult to see that they overlook it.

Another reason is that your model doesn’t come with it. Not all models received it simultaneously, and your timepiece may have been manufactured earlier.

Another possibility is that the crystal was replaced, and the “wrong” crystal was used.


Do Counterfeit Watches Have the Rolex Crown Engraving?

Avoid assuming a watch is authentic simply because it has a laser-etched crown. Since counterfeiters have already discovered the laser-etched crystal, it’s easy to be replicated.

Some counterfeit watches have a laser-etched coronet, but most of these coronets are very poorly designed and will be visible at a glimpse. The crowns will almost appear acid-etched, and the best way to determine this is that they are visible with the naked eye.


Rolex Crown Markings: A Complete Guide:

To avoid confusion, the Rolex symbol (emblem) is referred to as a coronet.

Even vintage Rolex watches have engravings on the corner of the crown. A Rolex coronet (crown) and a cross (+) can be found on pre-vintage 1960 Rolexes.

So, if you see newer Rolex watches with the cross sign or Rolex watches older than the 1960s, it indicates that the crown is incorrect for the watch and has probably been changed over its lifetime.

Rolex Crown


What Do Rolex Crown Markings Indicate?

You may have discovered that various Rolex watches have distinct symbols on their crowns as time passes. Some have lines, others have a single dot, while others sport multiple dots.

To begin, every modern Rolex watch has a coronet on the crown. This coronet is universal for all models, but the symbol beneath it is fascinating because it contains information about the watch.

A popular misconception about crown symbols is that three dots represent a Triplock crown, two dots represent a Twinlock crown, and one dot represents a single lock crown. This would seem to make sense, but it is not quite simple. Furthermore, Rolex does not employ single lock crowns.

Simply put, the Rolex crown markings indicate the watch’s material. Furthermore, the symbol denotes the type of screw-down crown used on the watch.

This appears to be quite simple, but when you zoom in on the various materials, the detail is put into it.

As you may be aware, Rolex employs two different crown systems/structures in its watches. They use the following crown structures:

  • Twin Lock
  • Triplock

Observing three dots on a Rolex winding crown represents the trip lock crown, as you might expect. And if there are two dots on the Rolex winding crown, it is a twin lock crown.

However, Rolex also utilizes a straight line on some of their watches. A straight line on the crown represents the twin lock.

However, as previously stated, the symbol also represents the material used.

Each crown marking is assigned a unique reference number, and the last component of the reference number indicates the material of the watch.

The digits below indicate the following:

0: 904L Stainless steel

1: Two-tone rose gold

2: Platinum and steel

3: Yellow gold and steel

4: White gold and steel

5: Rose gold

6: Platinum

8: Yellow gold

9: White gold

Now that you understand what the last digit represents, you can examine Rolex charts and crowns relevant to your specific model.


Crown Markings on Common Rolex Models:

  • Rolex Daytona 1165XX:
    Triplock crown marked with three dots.
  • Rolex Submariner:
    Triplock crown, marked with three dots.
  • Rolex GMT-Master II 11671x:
    Triplock crown, marked with three dots.
  • Rolex Explorer II:
    Twinlock crown, marked with a straight line.
  • Rolex Explorer I:
    Twinlock crown, marked with a straight line.



Rolex markings and engravings play an essential role in determining the authenticity of the brand’s lineup. Genuine watches feature these key details with superior craftsmanship and spare no detail.

These markings also come in hand when determining the model and material of your timepiece, which comes in handy when determining the age of your watch.

The market leader always amazes us with great attention to detail, precision, quality, and high-end manufacturing standards that go above and beyond any other competitor in the industry.

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