Rolex Crowns History And Design



The History and Construction of the Rolex Crown Technical Aspects can be found at the bottom of this page.


The Rolex crown is very interesting.  It is not actually known at this time who designed the crown emblem, but what we do know, is that the basic design has been changed many times over the years.  The crown on the early version has longer arms that support smaller style balls on the tips of the crown. 

The original version of the Rolex crown design was probably copied from the Beretta firearms company.  An identical version is seen on all of the early firearms produced by Beretta.

The above picture was taken on a recent watch tour from locations around the world.  This is actually a very comical picture to imagine that Rolex
is now in the cafe and bar business.  Could it be?  However, what we were actually interested in was the Rolex crown at the top of the sign.
Also interesting is how the word Rolex is curved and not in the usual straight line.


Later versions of the Rolex crown took on a more stubby look.  The arms of the crown were much shorter and the balls on the end of the arms became much larger.

This version of the Rolex crown is what has become the standard style.  This version can also be found on the screw down crown on the Rolex watch as well as tools that are used to repair Rolex watches.

There were many in-store displays that were also used that showed this same version of the Rolex crown.  Also there have been several clocks on buildings and the outside of stores that featured the crown as backgrounds.  The image to the left is from a paper weight which we sold on eBay a few years ago.  You can see the eBay photo services watermark on the lower right hand corner of this picture.


For more information about Rolex watches and the Rolex crown design be sure to visit our message board.


Here are some new pictures that we took of some store displays used in the Asian markets.


These displays were not typically used in American markets.  These metal store displays sell for about $150.00 each.
Collectors of Rolex items find these very desirable.


This clock is one of our favorites.  This clock stands above a jewelry store located in Palm Springs, California.  This store is right on a corner and for many years correctly displayed the time.  This store has since gone out of business and several other retail jewelers have occupied the building, none of them sold Rolex watches however.



      The Rolex crown is also featured on many Rolex tools.  These pictures show an early version of the Rolex case opening tool.  Those that own Rolex watches may think that the knurled tooling on the back of a Rolex watch is for decoration.  In fact, these knurled designs serve a very useful purpose.  Using the above tool along with the matching die, the watchmaker selects the correct size of die that matches the knurled design on the back of the Rolex watch.  When the die is in position on the case back, the knob is turned and the case is then opened, exposing the movement for removal and service.  These original old Rolex tools have become very valuable both to collectors and watchmakers.




This picture shows the typical back of the Rolex watch case.  Notice the knurled design on the watch.  This is where the watchmaker will use the case opening tool to remove the case back.

You will also see another use of the Rolex crown.  The hologram on the back of the watch has an image of the Rolex crown.  The clasp will also have the Rolex stylized emblem that shows the crown above the design.  New watches will also have a large plastic tag that is attached to the watch with the Rolex colors of green and gold.  This plastic tag will also have an image of the Rolex crown.


  This is a detailed picture of the Rolex emblem that is on the clasp of the Rolex watch band above.  This is also a good way of determining if your Rolex watch band is genuine.  Most fake Rolex bracelets will not have this design on them.


Many older Rolex watches can still be found that have the original green hologram on the back of the watch case.

This example shows the Rolex registered design of the watch case.  This particular watch is the 15200 design which is all stainless steel in construction.

This model is very basic and does not come with the fluted or machines bezel.  The bezel on this watch is smooth and very plain looking.

It is interesting that on this watch, the original hologram label has a Rolex crown that is a cross between the older Rolex crown design and the newer versions.  The balls are larger as in the newer designs,  but the length of the crown spires are still shorter than the older versions.





This is an older version of the Rolex Crown sticker that was applied to the back of the Rolex watch cases.  These stickers were usually removed by the dealer when the watch was sold.



Almost a beautiful as the Rolex itself, was the certificate that came with the watch when it was sold.  The borders featured the Rolex Crown as did the red seal at the bottom of the certificate.  These certificates were always printed in the language of the country where they were being shipped to and where they were originally going to be sold.  It is not uncommon to find new Rolex watches being sold in the United States or other countries with certificates printed in foreign languages.  The global economy and the ability of one to travel makes this possible, not to mention sales over the internet.









When a Rolex has been serviced you will usually get one of these little reminders attached to your watch telling you to wind it about 40 times in order to activate the movement of the watch.  It also reminds the owner to make sure that the crown is fully screwed down before wearing the watch.




Technical Aspects of the Rolex Crown.

   The Rolex crown is actually very amazing in its construction and design.  It is the one element of the watch that the owner has complete control over.

Using the crown the owner of the watch has the ability to set the time on the watch as well as the date.  In the first position, the owner of the watch also has the ability to manually wind the watch.  It is during this operation that the Rolex can fall victim to external elements entering the watch.  These elements can be dirt as well as water.

There are safeguards that can protect the interior of the watch, provided that they are still in good working condition.  These safeguards consist of small rubber gaskets.  Some of these gaskets are located within the crown itself and others are located inside of the case tube that fits into the side of the Rolex watch case.  These gaskets are very small and don't cost much to keep in good condition.  To help them perform better, most are lubricated with a silicone lubricant.  This lubrication also allows the crown to operate more freely as the owner makes adjustments to the watch.

Some Rolex case tubes and crowns will only have one gasket each.  These are usually found in the dress style watches.  Other Rolex watches that are used for diving will have more gaskets located in the case tube.  The picture shows a typical Rolex diver watch.  The crown has only one gasket deep within the crown.  The case tube has two internal gaskets, one external gasket and one that fits between the case tube and the outside wall of the machined case.  The typical gasket arraignment is indicated in red.

Below are some detailed diagrams showing the different Rolex crowns and the gasket placement.  Also shown on the left side of each picture is the Rolex case tube.  The case tube is very important and is what the crown screws onto.  The base of the Rolex case tube is threaded to match the threads which enter the side of the Rolex watch case.  The case tube needs to be very secure in it fitting to the watch case.  The case tube really takes a beating, and as is often the case, will need to be replaced when the watch is serviced.

The word Ranuras in Spanish means Grooves.


Acero is Spanish for Steel
Oro amarillo means Yellow Gold
Oro blanco means White Gold
Platino means Platinum
Coronas means Crowns

Most later model Rolex crowns show the newer version of the crown emblem.  What is important to note are the markings located under the crown.  These markings will tell you if the crown on your watch is either a Twinlock or a Triplock crown.  In addition to the type of crown will be a series of dots or as shown, a single line dash.  These dots and dashes will tell you the metal content of the crown on your Rolex.  The chart above explains these markings.  The English to Spanish translation is shown above the chart.

The Rolex crown to the owner of the watch only appears to be a single unit.  Not including the crown gasket, the crown is actually made using four parts.  There is the large crown that is used to set the time, change the date, or wind the watch.  Attached to this are three more parts.  There is a spring, the tube that goes into the case of the watch, and the part that the stem screws into.  This part engages the small spring inside the tube of the crown.  The entire crown can be taken apart.  The part that attaches to the stem has two small flats that are machined into it.  This part is the one that engages the spring.

When the crown is unscrewed from the case tube, the spring forces the crown out so that it engages two slots on the crown sleeve or tube.  This makes it possible to use the crown to set the time, wind the watch or change the date.  When the crown is pushed back into the watch, these parts disengage which then allows the crown to be screwed down upon the case tube.  This secures the case, and if all the gaskets are working properly, water and dirt will stay out of the case.