What Its a Rolex Serti dial?
The Rolex watch space is full of terms and names. If you’re just dipping your toe in Rolex watches, there is a risk that you will be overwhelmed by all the terms. One of those terms that you may have never heard before is Serti dial.
But like with all Rolex terms, it actually means something, and exactly that is what we are going to go into detail about in this article.
What is a Rolex Serti dial?
The term actually comes from Rolex themselves. It’s nothing new that Rolex ”invents” new terms to describe its watches, including terms such as Oystersteel, Everose gold, Rolesor, and many more terms. Creating new terms partly creates a sense of Rolex exclusivity, but also helps describe something that there may not be an existing appropriate and descriptive term.
The wort Serti is taken from the French word ”sertissage”, which means gem-setting. With that said, so far we can understand that it has something to do with gems and Rolex watches. In the Rolex context, this doesn’t just include diamonds, but also all other types of gems as well. Now that we know this, a Serti dial is naturally a gem-set Rolex dial.
But what is interesting is this: when you hear the term Serti dial, what people most often refer to isn’t just any Rolex dial with diamonds. In fact, it is quite rare to hear people use the term Serti dial for just any Rolex dial.
Instead, the term is used to describe vintage Submariners, Yacht-Masters, and GMT-Masters, which, during a time in its production were made with gemstones inside the hour markers. To achieve this, Rolex has removed the luminous material inside the hour markers and replaced it with gemstones. This enhances their exclusivity, but also their collectability because the watches from the three mentioned Rolex ranges that feature Serti dials are generally more collectible than standard versions due to their limited production numbers.
When talking about Serti dials in the context of these three models, specific gemstones have been used depending on the model, as seen below:
- The Rolex Submariner Serti dial consists of diamonds and sapphires as its hour markers
- The Rolex Yacht-Master Serti dial consists of either diamonds and sapphires or only rubies
- The Rolex GMT-Master Serti dial consists of diamonds and rubies
What you will see is that the round hour markers have diamonds, and the rectangular (and triangle) hour markers have contrasting-colored gemstones. This is with the exception of the full-ruby Yacht-Master of course.
Rolex GMT-Master Serti dial
The Rolex GMT-Master has been made with a Serti dial. This watch has diamond hour markers, and contrasting rubies placed at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock markers. You can find Serti dials on two-tone and full golf vintage GMT-master watches, but keep in mind that you can remove Rolex dials and place them in different cases.
Worth remembering is that the GMT-Master watches that feature a Serti dial will have either the brown root beer bezel or a full black bezel.
Rolex Submariner Serti Dial
Vintage Submariners have also been made with Serti dials. The Submariners have diamonds on their hour markers, and then sapphires placed at 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. Interestingly enough is that not only vintage Submariners can be found with Serti dials, as Rolex has made modern ceramic Submariners with a Serti dial.
Rolex Yacht-Master Serti dial
Lastly, another model that Rolex has made the Serti dial for is the Yacht-Master. You will primarily find that the Serti dial Yacht-Masters also have mother-of-pearl dials as well. As mentioned above, the Yacht-Master is available both with a Serti dial that has diamond and sapphire indices, and a dial where all markers have rubies.
Note that due to the nature of vintage Rolex watches, Rolex has made additional Serti dials for the above models which have not been mentioned. Do, however, keep in mind that there is a huge difference between factory dials, and non-factory, aftermarket dials.
As a factory dial has been made exclusively by Rolex, the production numbers for these will be limited, but it will also
Aftermarket Rolex Serti dials, on the other hand, can be made by anyone, and therefore, they are nowhere near as attractive for collectors.
As mentioned, according to the definition and meaning of the term, any Rolex dial that features gemstones can be called a Serti dial, but in the context of vintage watch collecting, the therm Serti dial is used to describe the dials which have gemstones placed on the hour markers.
2 thoughts on “What is a Rolex Serti Dial? Complete Guide”
Thanks for the explanation. Some confuse the other diamond dials, presidents, etc. with Serti dials.
I see in catalogues and advertisements, they are called just: “Diamond Dial”. Makes sense.
Glad you found it helpful! And eys, you are absolutely right, there is some confusion out there about this.