Serial Number Range:
- Glossy: 16xxxxx-21xxxxx
- Matte Serif: 170xxxx-358xxxxx
- Matte Non-Serif: 212xxxx-42xxxxx
General Notes: The Mark 2 brown dial is the second-half of an evolution for Rolex. The Mark 1 brown dial set the standard and begin the hand and crown guard and transition for the 1675/8. The Mark 2 brown dial completes these shifts with changes from gloss to matte finishing, Concorde to Mercedes hands, and small to large GMT hands. It was the first dial introduced on the two-tone 1675/3. There are even two versions of the Mark 2 brown dial. Given this surfeit of transitions, below is a chart that outlines these various combinations in estimated chronological order. The order is based on the serial ranges of examples that have been verified and catalogued, but both these ranges may change as more examples are uncovered.
|Dial||Serif Font||Hour/Min Hands||GMT Hand||Serial Range|
|Mark 2 (Glossy)||Yes||Concorde||Small||16xxxxx-178xxxx|
|Mark 2 (Glossy)||Yes||Concorde||Large||170xxxx-21xxxxx|
|Mark 2 (Matte)||Yes||Concorde||Large||170xxxx-20xxxxx|
|Mark 2 (Matte)||Yes||Mercedes||Large||180xxxx-358xxxx|
|Mark 2 (Matte)||No||Mercedes||Large||212xxxx-42xxxxx|
While most other sections of this reference guide are only categorized by dial, I’ve also created this Concorde GMT page (coming soon) as it spans two dial variations, has a significant number of small evolutions, is thought of as its own subreference.
Subtypes: There are two parallel subtypes of the Mark 2 brown dial. First is the finish (glossy versus matte) and the second is the font (serif versus non-serif).
- Finish: Unlike the matted appearance of most dials from the 1970s, some early Mark 2 brown dials (and all Mark 1 brown dials) are smooth and reflective in appearance. These are seen on most Concorde GMTs and overlap with the early grainy/matte dials. Sometime in the early 2m serial range, the smooth dials stop being produced and the sandy textured dials are produced exclusively until the soliel Mark 5 dial is introduced in the late 1970s. Below you can see the difference between a smooth, early dial and a matte, later dial.
- Font: All smooth dials are serifed, and non-serifed fonts are seen on dials beginning around 21xxxxx. The names explain the differences, in that the font on the serifed dials is serifed, especially notable on the “M”s. Other than the presence of the exaggerated serifs, the fonts are the same.
Distinguishing Characteristics: As for the Mark 2 brown dial itself, it is easily distinguished from the Mark 1 by the lack of hyphen between “OYSTER” and “PERPETUAL” (only seen on the Mark 1 dial) and from the Mark 3-5 dials by retaining the horizontally stretched “R” in MASTER from the Mark 1.