Rolex Papers, what are they and how do I tell if they are real?

Published on Saturday 8th of January 2022
Watch History Rolex

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When a new Rolex watch is purchased from an Official Rolex Dealer, the watch will come with what is called Rolex Papers, even though in recent years this is a card. These Rolex papers are used initially to hold warranty information, but once the watch is out of that warranty period, why are the papers still considered to be important?

The papers of a watch are considered to be important by many because it helps to authenticate the watch and prove that it is a genuine Rolex watch, made and cared for by Rolex. This in turn then helps to maintain the resale value of the watch. Throughout the years Rolex papers or warranty information has come in a few different forms, so how do you know what to look for when buying a preowned Rolex watch?

Before 2006 Rolex papers were actually papers, looking like a warranty certificate. Although these may look slightly different they had some things in common that you can look for.

  • Had a water mark in the paper, that could be seen when held up to a bright light.
  • The serial number of the watch is displayed in perforated numbers.
  • Dealer details, that the watch was originally bought from is displayed.
  • Date of the original sale
  • Land code, or country code that the watch was originally purchased in.


Rolex Papers

Rolex Papers from before 2006


Rolex Papers watermark

Rolex Papers from before 2006 showing the watermark



Between 2006 and 2020, Rolex introduced their first warranty card and although this was a card, it still held the name of ‘papers’ and covered the watch for 2 years, up until 2015 where Rolex introduced their 5 year warranty. This was mainly white in colour with green on it and depending where it was bought will again look slightly different. The warranty card also had a hologram that could only be seen under a UV light, put in as an additional security measure. Although cards look different they should contain the following.

  • Original Dealer Details, from where the watch was first purchased.
  • Date of Original Purchase
  • Land Code, or Country code of where the watch was originally purchased from.
  • Area for Original Buyers name (Not always but often filled in)
  • Watch’s Model Number
  • Watch’s Serial Number

Rolex Warranty CardRolex Warranty Card front and the UV hologram 

Rolex Warranty Card Back
Rolex Warranty Card Back 

Then from 2020, Rolex released their most recent warranty card, that is mainly green in colour, this maintained the Rolex 5 year warranty that was first introduced in 2015. Many of the details of the watch and warranty information was removed from this card as it was kept electronically, such as the country purchase code, and in a more secure manner. Although the country of purchase code was never confirmed it was speculated that Rolex did this as watches from some countries were becoming more desirable than others, even though all watches are made in the same Rolex factory to the same high standard. That being said there are still some details shown on the watch that can be looked for and checked:

  • Watch’s Model Number
  • Watch’s Serial Number
  • Date of original purchase.

Then if inspected closer there is a holographic strip that can only be seen under a UV light and a chip placed inside each card, that when held close to a phone reader takes you to a secure part of the Rolex website with more details on it. These additional features made copying more difficult as these are expensive to recreate, especially to the high standard we come to expect from Rolex.

Rolex Warranty Card Front
Rolex Warranty Card front
Rolex Warranty Card back including hologram strip
Rolex Warranty Card Back and Hologram Strip

It is important to remember when buying your watch that although cards were changed at an approximate time period, there would still be a cross over of warranty cards and information. Therefore the change from paper to card and then from card to updated card would not have happened over night and some watches bought at certain times could have one or the other.

Looking for a pre-owned Rolex?


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