You have purchased a Rolex watch, & while relishing its beauty you come across the 18K & 750 stamps on the back of your Rolex watch. Now, you might be wondering what 18k means on Rolex watches? And, what does 750 mean on Rolex? Do these numbers share any correlation?
I have answered all your questions regarding these two numbers in this article.
- What Does 18K Stamp Mean On Back Of Rolex Watches
- What Does 750 Mean In A Rolex?
- Does My Rolex Have Fake Gold In It?
- Different Types Of Gold Used By Rolex In Its Watches
- Some Common Places Where Rolex Uses 18k Gold On Its Watches
- Swiss Hallmark System
What Does 18K Stamp Mean On Back Of Rolex Watches
To understand what an 18k stamp on your Rolex watch means we need to understand what material the watch is made 0f.
To explain, let’s take Rolex Datejust into consideration.
This is a classic Rolex watch that also showcases the innovation of the Rolex brand. It was launched in 1945 and holds the title of being the first automatic watch with a date window. Since then the watch has gone through various changes.
First, a cyclops lens was added to make the date reading easier. Later on, more refinement on the date-changing mechanism & movement was introduced. Likewise, today this watch is available in various color combinations. You can find the Datejust watch in yellow, white, & Everose gold color options.
The fluted bezels along with the links on the watch are made of 18k gold. Yes, 18k signifies that the material used is 18k gold. If you are someone who doesn’t know what an 18k gold means then let’s discuss it first before we proceed.
What Does 18k Gold Means?
Inherently, gold is a very malleable material. If it’s used to make links on bracelets of watches or bezels they will be susceptible to damage. As they don’t have much tensile strength.
To add more strength to the metal, other materials are also added to the gold. Usually, the metals that are added are copper, zinc, silver, or some other alloy. It gives the gold alloy perfect tensile strength for jewelry, watches, or any other purpose.
Besides 18k, there are other kinds of gold standards as well. The most popular ones are 14k gold, 22k gold, & 24k gold.
14k gold= This gold alloy comprises 59% of pure gold & that’s why they are affordable as well as tough enough for making fine jewelry.
18k gold= It consists of 75% of gold material which is the perfect balance for making jewelry to keep precious stones like diamonds. 18k gold has a good glow, finish, & still highly tensile.
22k gold= This gold alloy is the most popular grade of gold used to make jewelry as it consists of 91.67% of gold in it. It is also very expensive & mostly used for making jewelry.
24k gold= Gold with a 24k rating consists of 99% of gold in the gold alloy. It is mostly used in electrical appliances, gold bars, or gold coins where durability isn’t a factor.
What Does 750 Mean In A Rolex?
750 has the same meaning as an 18k hallmark on a Rolex watch. It’s just the European Marking Fineness standard for 18k gold.
US & UK have adopted the karat or carat (in the UK) system to authenticate & show the purity of gold. In Europe, the Millesimal fineness system was adopted which shows the number in decimal.
So an 18k gold with 75% purity is rated to be 750. Similarly,
14k gold= 585 for 58.5% gold
18k gold= 750 for 75% gold
22k gold= 916 for 91.6% gold
24k gold= 999 for 99.9% gold
Does My Rolex Have Fake Gold In It?
If you have your Rolex papers & have purchased the watch from an authorized dealer then don’t do any test on your Rolex to check the gold authenticity. However, if that’s not the case & you have purchased the watch from a sketchy seller then follow this guide.
Check Our Guide
I will recommend reading our how-to spot a fake Rolex oyster perpetual article. It is applicable to all the Rolex models and will tell you some sure telltale signs of whether or not your Rolex is fake.
Get It Checked
You can also reach out to a good horologist to get your watch checked to ascertain whether or not it’s fake. If it’s an old used watch consider getting it serviced, it will be killing 2 birds with one stone.
Don’t Do Vinegar Method
Another way of checking whether the watch you have is made of gold or gold plated is by dropping a few drops of vinegar on it. A fake would get discolored whereas gold would remain unscathed. However, I would not recommend resorting to deliberately dropping vinegar on a thousand-plus dollar watch.
Is Gold Color Getting Chipped!
If the watch is old then look if the gold surface is getting chipped away as it is a sure sign of fake gold. A genuine Rolex watch with gold on it won’t lose the golden surface even if it is rubbed against the surface.
Is Gold Used In Rolex Watches Of Good Quality?
Yes, all Rolex watches come with an 18K gold hallmark which means they are of good quality. Not only that, Rolex even has its own foundry and has been making gold for their watches themselves since the early 2000s. Without a doubt, gold used in Rolex watches is one of the best 18k gold.
Different Types Of Gold Used By Rolex In Its Watches
Contrary to the popular belief there are various types of gold colors available out there. And, Rolex t0o have incorporated them into their watches. Let’s discuss the three types of gold used by them.
18 Carat White Gold
18 Carat white gold is made by adding white color metals like zinc & nickel. Even if the color of the gold isn’t white that still means gold contains 75% gold.
18 Carat EverRose Gold
Rolex also uses 18 carats of rose gold to exemplify the beauty of its watches. Similar to white gold, rose gold also contains 75% gold along with 25% copper which gives it a rose gold finish. However, Rolex uses a custom patented alloy to make their EverRose Gold watches but I doubt it differs much from traditional rose gold alloys.
18 Carat Gold
I don’t think this one needs any introduction as this is one of the most common yellow gold used to make Rolex watches. They are nothing new from Rolex as you can find Oyster Perpetual Day & Date in the gold variant since 1956.
Some Common Places Where Rolex Uses 18k Gold On Its Watches
Rolex watches made with gold have 750 & 18k stamps on the back of the buckle & clasp. It signifies that the gold used is 18k gold.
Rolex watch’s cases made of gold also have an 18k gold rating/Hallmark rating.
Hour Markers On The Dial
Some Rolex watches also come with 18 karats gold hour markers on the dial. It can be gold, rose & white gold depending on the watch and model.
Swiss Hallmark System
Each country has its own system in place that ensures that the end consumer isn’t taken for a ride. Switzerland too have such standards in place for more than a century now. I will give you a short overview instead of a deep dive into each & every hallmark.
Let’s first talk about, what are these hallmarks & how they work. Before 1st August 1995, the following symbols as seen below were used as the hallmark to certify that the watch is made of pure metal.
You will find the Gold 750 Helvetia symbol being used in pre-1995 Rolex watches. However, instead of X, you will find G written on the symbol. It is because G represents the Geneva Assay office where the gold has been tested. We all know that owner of the Rolex moved the company operation to Geneva in 1919.
There are a total of 7 official Assay Offices in Switzerland. Depending on where the watch has been hallmarked, it will sport a different alphabet.
So if a brand sends its watch for hallmarking to the Zurich assay office, you will find the Z alphabet instead of X along with the symbol.
Post-1995 Hallmark Adopted By Swiss Authorities
As you can see there were a lot of different symbols for hallmarking in the Swiss hallmarking system. However, all the symbols were replaced by, “head of St. Bernhard dog” after 1st August 1995. In modern Rolex watches, you will find the same dog with the letter G representing Geneva on it. This is the 18K hallmark for Rolex watches & if your Rolex has one then you don’t have to worry about its authenticity.
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Why Does Rolex Use 18K Gold?
Gold on its own is a very soft material so to make it harder another material like copper is added to it. 18k gold is considered to be a sweet spot as it is shiny enough for good looks & durable enough to be used in a watch.
Do Rolex Gets It 18K Watches Stamped?
Yes, Rolex watches made of gold are stamped by Swiss Assay Office.
What Gold Does Rolex Use?
Rolex use 18k yellow gold, white gold, or ever rose gold to make its watches.