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Where a Rolex branding is found outside, Rolex is also found inside

A journey through the development of the boxes used by Rolex 

In the first part of our four-part series, we have already presented the Breitling boxes, and the Omega boxes and TAG Heuer boxes will follow. In the second part, we will now take you on a journey through the development of Rolex speakers.

Who decides to buy a used Rolex, usually takes, next to the watch, also great care about the corresponding warranty certificates. Most of us want to buy the legendary „Full Set“, that means the watch in its matching box, including the original papers.

Similar to the checkbook when purchasing a used car, the service book provides information on Maintenance and repairs. Any replacement of individual elements in or on the luxury watch is written down here. Therefore, it is also understandable that a timepiece including the associating papers promises a higher profit on resale than the mere watch. Another piece in the puzzle is the right box. A „full set“ achieves on average up to 10% higher prices compared to the solitary Rolex.


Rolex Boxes wood with brass sign

Some buyers are only interested in the watch itself. After all, it is what is worn on the wrist and not the box. With this idea, bargain hunters then go hunting – but you easily enter the cleverly laid traps of dodgy cheaters. Of course you can also buy a Rolex without box and / or papers in a safe way, for example, at certified dealers such as Watchmaster – here you even get a guarantee on the authenticity of the timepiece.

Below, we would like to shed some light on the development of the famous Rolex boxes.


Rolex Boxes leather special box detail


Elegant universal

Until 1990

The first boxes in which the company Rolex sold its watches were made of green leather-covered wood. Inside was wooden panel covered in green velvet. It was set diagonally in the box and provided with two slots to present the watch to its owner. The Rolex logo, the crown, and the word „ROLEX“ were printed on the inside of the lid in rich green. These boxes were used until the beginning of the 1980s, followed by a small change.


Rolex Boxes leather special box key


The exterior of the new boxes remained unchanged – a wooden box covered with green leather. But inside the color changed – the hitherto green velvet plate was now held in a beige-brown tone. This made the interior of the box very harmonious, because the velvet was almost the same color as the bare wood inside of the box. The slots which held the watch in place gave way to a retaining clip. The clip itself was firmly attached to the plate, the bracelet of the watch was now perfectly stretched and presented.

 

Gender specific

1990 – 2005

From the 1990s till 2005, Rolex watches for men came in the typical green box with velvet inner cushioning and wooden outer shell. The brand logo is prominent, but still discreet. After 2005, the use of the wooden box was completely discontinued.

During the same period, Rolex used a different wooden box with red cushions and lining for women’s models. This box was also discontinued in 2005.


Rolex Boxes wood with leather

Change: From wood to the green wave

2005 – 2013

In 2005 Rolex introduced today well-known „Green Wave Box“-Design, which is in use still today. It was developed for the more modern Rolex watches of both genders and is available in three different sizes. On the lid of the box the emblazoned, golden logo, the five-pointed crown found its place. If you open it, the inside of the box is held in pistachio-colored velvet, the rest of the interior of the box is also kept in this color. On the inside of the lid, which can be opened only up to 90°, emblazoned again the Rolex crown, directly below the word „ROLEX“.

The intention behind the three different sizes:

The smallest variant of the box is used for Rolex models made out of stainless steel.

In the mid-sized box are reserved for two-tone models such as steel-gold.

The largest box is used for solid, all-gold Rolex watches, such as Rolex Deep Sea.

More exotic models like the Rolex Sky Dweller get their own, deep green leather on the inside of the box.


Rolex Boxes current watch box

A small beauty surgery

2013 – today

In 2013, the company made a few minor cosmetic changes to the design of the boxes. The different sizes and their uses remained the same.

The green box looks in the direct comparison to older models a little brighter, the interior is now beige. Also, the logo on the inside of the lid has changed. The crown remains golden, the „ROLEX“ writing now picks up the green of the box exterior and forms a nice contrast to the beige velvet.

The compartment dedicated to store the warranty card and other papers is now integrated in the lid. So when you open the box the watch is getting presented to you as a solitary. A measure to make the interior of the box look even tidier.

 

To summarize: this was an aesthetically pleasing and subtle update to the Rolex box. It has further enhanced the functionality. Although Rolex has never been known for elaborate boxes, unlike Audemars Piguet or Patek Philippe with voluminous wooden caskets – but at the end it is the watch you wear, not the box. And it comes to watches, Rolex is definitely in the lead.


Rolex Boxes crown on a current watch box

Precaution is advised

There are unscrupulous sellers which are missing the matching box for their watch. To be able to sell the timepiece as a „full set“, they therefore combine the authentic watch with a fake Rolex box and thus achieve higher prices. Most people would not even come up with the idea to check the box for authenticity.

But having a fake box for a used watch is useless. Your Rolex is anyway stored in the watch winder. It just happens that the associated box or even papers get lost.
People are moving, children are painting the box or an ignorant partner is disposing the box during spring cleaning – in short, there are many reasons. Especially when the watch has been around for many years, you can not expect the same life span from a cardboard box, as a luxury watch.

Nevertheless it is common to try to sell someone a wrong packaging with a watch, in order to increase their own profit. Especially when it comes to second hand Rolex watches this is an often lived practice. 

 

So pay attention to simple rules such as 

 

  • Execution – The box is even slightly inferior to you? Keep away from it. Rolex will not sell a box that is not 100% perfect.
  • Logo and lettering – compare it to the Rolex website. Is the font exactly the same or are the spaces between the letters perhaps not right? The angle of the five points in the crown, do they fit? 
  • Color – Granted, the right color can not be matched by images. But if your guts tell you something is wrong, get professional help.
Reference of the watch Date Reference of the box
Rolex Cellini

4112

October 1983 49.00.08
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
16520
1993 68.00.01
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
16523
June 1993 69.00.09
Rolex Datejust
1603
1979 10.00.01
Rolex Datejust
16014
16014
January 1980
July 1986
10.00.1
68.00.02
Rolex Datejust
1603
1603
June 1982
October 1984
11.00.71
10.00.01
Rolex Datejust
16200
November 2005 30.00.01
Rolex Datejust
16220
16220
16220
October 1996
June 1999
August 2006
11.00.01
68.00.71
30.00.01
Rolex Datejust
16234
April 2005 68.00.08
Rolex Datejust
17000
July 1983 68.00.2
Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph
116261
September 2005 69.00.09
Rolex Day-Date
18038
August 1982 71.00.04
Rolex Day-Date
118208
2001 81.00.09
Rolex Daytona
6263
August 1982 06.00.06
Rolex Daytona
116520
116520
116520
116520
116520
116520
March 2002
July 2002
August 2002
November 2004
July 2006
December 2006
64.00.01
68.00.71
64.00.02
31.00.64
30.00.04
30.00.71
Rolex Explorer I
14270
June 1999 68.00.71
Rolex Explorer I
114270
114270
114270
114270
114270
2001
March 2002
September 2005
March 2006
September 2006
68.00.01
68.00.71
30.00.08
30.00.71
30.00.01
Rolex Explorer II
1655
July 1979 06.00.06
Rolex Explorer II
16570
16570
June 2001
January 2004
68.00.55
64.00.01
Rolex GMT Master
16700
16700
April 1998
July 1998
68.00.71
68.00.08
Rolex GMT Master
116710
October 2007 31.00.64
Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi
16710
16710
16710
16710
16710
16710
16710
October 2001
July 2003
October 2003
January 2004
December 2005
June 2006
December 2006
68.00.01
68.00.01
64.00.01
64.00.02
30.00.02
30.00.71
30.00.01
Rolex Lady Datejust
69174
July 2004 14.00.71
Rolex Oysterdate Precision
6694
6694
1971
March 1987
06.00.06
10.00.01
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
77080
May 2006 30.00.71
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date
15210
September 2001 68.00.55
Rolex Sea Dweller
16600
16600
16600
16600
16600
16600
August 1996
July 1999
September 2004
March 2005
February 2006
68.00.01
68.00.71
64.00.02
31.00.04
31.00.64
Rolex Submariner
14060M
14060M
14060M
14060M
July 2003
September 2005
December 2005
November 2006
68.00.01
30.00.71
30.00.04
30.00.01
Rolex Submariner
168000
July 1988 67.00.03
Rolex Submariner
16610
16610
16610
16610
December 1989
September 2004
October 1990
December 2005
67.00.08
64.00.01
11.00.01
30.00.71
Rolex Submariner Date
16613
16613
16613
October 1991
1992
May 2003
68.00.55
11.00.01
64.00.01
Rolex Submariner Kermit
16610LV
16610LV
16610LV
April 2004
November 2006
May 2007
64.00.02
30.00.71
30.00.01