Mark 1

Serial Number Range: 16xxxxx-29xxxxx

Notes: The Mark 1 or ‘long E’ dial was the erstwhile earliest matte dial variation before the Mark 0 was recognized. As the nickname suggests, the middle horizontal bar of the E in ROLEX is longer than on other variations and is the same length as the top and bottom bars.

The Mark 1 dial has a complicated number of differences to note. First, early Mark 1 dials with serials 1.6-1.8 million can be seen with the flat hour hand and occasionally with have the gilt era 24-hour hand (see hands variations here) and can be referred to as the Mark 0.5. Two types of lume were used on this dial. The early Mark 1, serials 1.6-1.9 million, display a slightly puffy and even mixture of lume that maintains it’s phosphorescence when exposed to UV light. The 1.9-2.9 million serials have a different waffle like character (see pictures) that is more flat and does not have any reaction to UV light. The hands maintain UV consistency with the dials in both cases.

Of note, the early Mark 1 can be seen with the so-called thin case, which was used until around 1967.


Pictures Credit: Michael Morgan (5 & 7), Lee Fowler (1-3 & 8), Rolstaff of TRF (4)