Rolex is a watch brand that pays attention to each and every single detail of their products. From the clasp to the protective stickers that are on the watch. Everything that Rolex does and a Rolex watch have, is there for a reason. A reason that has been thoroughly thought through until it has been implemented.
A detail of a Rolex watch that may be completely irrelevant for most people, but an interesting detail for us Rolex-nerds, is the Rolex holographic sticker.
In this article, we’ll go into detail about this very small detail of a Rolex watch; the holographic Rolex caseback sticker.
Rolex Holographic sticker
Now, most people may consider the holographic sticker completely uninteresting, but knowing about it, what it is and what it means actually has benefits. We are not just discussing it because we are watch-nerds. But before we go into detail of that, let’s look at the background of this Rolex caseback sticker.
First off, many people have an idea that unless a Rolex watch has a green holographic sticker on the caseback, it is not authentic.
However, that is not the case (pun intended).
This idea is not completely wrong, because the original idea of the holographic sticker was to make it easy to deter counterfeiters, but this proved to be ineffective. The reason was of course that the counterfeiters replicated this sticker and implemented them on their watches. This may not come as a surprise.
If they can replicate a whole watch, replicating a sticker shouldn’t be a problem. Of course, some fake watches that feature the sticker may only have the sticker, but it does not have a hologram. What is especially interesting is that you can see that a lot of counterfeit watches still implement the holographic caseback sticker, despite the fact that it was removed more than a decade ago. So if you see a modern Rolex watch with a green caseback sticker, you will be able to tell it is fake instantly.
When we go further back in the Rolex history, you will find that these watches do not have the green caseback sticker. Instead, you will see that they either have no sticker, or some other type of sticker, such as this:
What you should know is that there have been a large number of different caseback stickers used over the years, but these stickers have never been intended to stay on the watch. Just like a Rolex watch is covered by protective plastic when buying it, one of those elements is a caseback sticker.
And this is meant to be removed. The reason why you can see green holographic stickers, or any other sticker for that matter, is that the original owner did not want to remove it, or simply didn’t consider it. The green sticker contained apart from a ”hologram” the Rolex logo and the model number of the watch.
When did Rolex stop with the green holographic caseback sticker?
Rolex used the green holographic sticker for decades but stopped with them in late 2007. Now, the green holographic Rolex caseback stickers were replaced by a transparent sticker. Therefore, Rolex watches that are dated after 2007 should not have the green sticker on the caseback. The crown logo was not put on the stickers until after 2002 and the reference number also looked different.
The transparent sticker is meant to protect the caseback of the watch. This avoids scratching and other wear marks from degrading the look and value.
Why is there a red line on the back of a new watch?
As mentioned Rolex now features a transparent caseback sticker. Normally, the side of a transparent protective sticker has some kind of colored edge so that you know where to pull in order to remove it.
But what is interesting is that while new Rolex watches have a transparent sticker, the edge is actually green, not red.
However, when a Rolex is serviced at a Rolex service center and receives a polish, it will get ”service stickers” on it. And one sticker that is applied is a caseback sticker – which has a red edge, not green.
Rolex caseback stickers today
So today, Rolex watches have transparent caseback stickers when they arrive new from the Rolex factory to a dealership.
But today, there is a new Rolex policy which says that the authorized dealer needs to remove all the factory stickers before delivery of your watch. This means that you will see very few modern Rolex watches out in the wild that still have their caseback sticker on.