Rolex Swing Tags

Published on Wednesday 1st of September 2021
Watch History Rolex

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Rolex Swing Tags

If you have recently been looking to buy a Rolex watch, (or you are already the owner of one) you may have noticed that the swing tags (also known as hang tags) that come with Rolex watches have changed colour over the past few years. Up until 2015, Rolex swing tags were red in colour. Since 2015 these tags have changed colour and are now green.

What do these tags actually mean? Why have they changed colour?

These swing tags are the certificate from Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) which translates in English to the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. The COSC are the Governing Body that determines official watch accuracy.


Rolex Swing Tags on Rolex Box
Red and Green Rolex Swing tags


(Click here to find out more about the testing and quality control requirements to achieve these seals)

 If you buy a Rolex watch manufactured before 2015, it may come with what looks like a red wax seal, hanging on a gold and green-coloured thread. Rolex watches that have been issued with a red seal are certified to be accurate to -4/+6 seconds per day, so this is the accuracy you should expect the watch to have. Should you ever have the watch serviced, this is the standard the watchmaker will be aiming for.

The red seal will also indicate that the watch was originally sold with a 2-year guarantee on its timekeeping.

On all new Rolex watches purchased since 2015, the red wax seal will have been changed for a green one. This colour-change indicates the improvements and advances that Rolex had made in the standard of its watch movements. With the fitting of the new parachrom hairspring becoming standard in many calibres of Rolex watches, accuracy had been improved to a tolerance of –2/+2 seconds per day. This increased accuracy was reflected in an even higher certification from the COSC.

The green seal also indicates a longer guarantee period length offered by Rolex, going from the previous two years to a greatly improved five years. 

Along with the COSC wax seal swing (hang) tag, all Rolex watches have an additional tag but these tags are not always given with the watch. Up until 2016 this additional tag was a green rectangle and after 2016 it has become a white rectangular tag.

On one side of this rectangular swing tag there is the Rolex crown and text and on the other side there is some information about the watch such as the model and serial number and a barcode. On the earlier green tags this information was on a sticker that was stuck to it but on the more recent white tags, this information is printed directly to the tag.

Many Rolex collectors and buyers want watches to include these swing tags along with the box and papers. So if you have a Rolex and it is considered to be a full set (the watch itself, box, papers, booklets and swing tags), keep all of the set safely together. This will help maintain the value of your watch and perhaps one day you will have what turns out to be a very desirable and valuable watch.

Author J Edwards


Looking for a pre-owned Gents watch?

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(Updated 24 January 2022)

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