Rolex Serti Dials: What Are They?

Rolex Serti Dials: What Are They?

Over the years, Rolex fans and collectors have developed their own jargon – with terms often given by the watch community itself.

‘Rolexicon’, so to speak, has evolved into many terms that are specific to the brand. These run the gamut from nicknames of watches, patented names for materials, and even pop-culture references.

Among words like Cerachrom (proprietary ceramic alloy), Everose (patented rose gold alloy), and Rolesor (combination gold and steel models), is the Serti.


What is a Serti dial, and how is it used in Rolex jargon? Let’s find out:


Serti comes from “Sertir”

The word serti was taken from the French word “sertir”, meaning “to set”, specifically in the context of gem-setting. The term serti is used by Rolex to refer to watches whose dials are set with precious gems — specifically diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies.


Datejust Midsize MOP Dial
Rolex Datejust Midsize Steel Yellow Gold MOP Diamond Ladies Watch
Inside Rolex, the term is used across all watches with gems on the dials, including Day-Date, Datejust and Pearlmaster watches. In watch circles however, Serti is used to refer to Rolex sport watches: models of the Submariner, GMT-Master and Yacht-Master with gem-set dials.



Rolex and Gem-Setting

While watchmaking is Rolex’s expertise, they also take gem-setting seriously. The brand has its own in-house gemmologists and gem-setters.

The gemmologists excruciatingly source, examine and select the most striking gemstones, while the gem-setters place and fix each stone to reveal its beauty, and complement the watch.


Rootbeer Serti
Rolex GMT Master II Mens Rootbeer Serti Yellow Gold Steel Watch

When buying a gem-set Rolex, it is important to know whether the watch is set with a Rolex factory diamond or if it’s a Rolex watch customized with aftermarket diamonds. A watch with an original Rolex factory diamond has much more demand and fetches more value than an aftermarket one.

Let’s explore the different Serti dials of the Submariner, GMT-Master and Yacht-Master.



Rolex Submariner Serti

Vintage Rolex Submariner Serti dials are very popular in the pre-owned market. They are most often found in Rolesor or two-tone steel and gold models, but there are also vintage yellow gold Submariner watches.

Rolex Submariner Serti dials are paired with blue or black bezels, and champagne or slate dials.


Submariner Serti
Rolex Submariner Steel Gold Diamond Sapphire Serti Watches with Slate and Champagne Dials

Below are references of Rolex Submariner Serti dials:

16803 (diamond and sapphire)
16613 (diamond and sapphire)
16713 (diamond and ruby)

Yellow Gold
16618 (diamond and sapphire)

For all three watch families, diamonds are used for eight hour markers, while sapphires or rubies are used for the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock hour markers. The 3 o’clock marker is left for the date window.



GMT-Master Serti

Rolex GMT-Master Serti watches follow the same arrangement for the gems as the Submariner, the only difference is that the GMT-Master is fitted with rubies only instead of sapphires.

Moreover, GMT-Master Serti dials are paired with either black bezels or bronze ‘Rootbeer’ bezels and slate or champagne dials.


GMT Master Serti
left and right: Rolex GMT-Master II Yellow Gold Steel Diamond Ruby Serti Dial Watch
center: Rolex GMT Master Vintage Yellow Gold Serti Diamond Ruby Watch

Below are references of Rolex GMT-Master Serti dials:

GMT Master
16758 (yellow gold)
16753 (two-tone)

GMT Master II
16718 (yellow gold)
16713 (two-tone)



Yacht-Master Serti

For the Yacht-Master, the Serti dials are typically fitted with mother of pearl dials too, making them more opulent.

Like the Submariner and GMT-Master, the Yacht-Master also mixes diamonds and sapphires on their dial. What’s interesting is that the Yacht-Master has a Serti dial that features all rubies for the hour markers.

Since the Yacht-Master has many sizes, it’s important to note that you’ll only find the Serti on the men’s 40mm Yacht-Master and the ladies’ 29mm Yacht-Master.


Yachtmaster MOP
left and right: Rolex Yacht-Master 29 Mother of Pearl Ruby Ladies Watches
center: Rolex Yacht-Master Yellow Gold MOP Diamond Sapphire Serti Watch

Below are references of Rolex Yacht-Master Serti dials:

40mm Mens
16628 (yellow gold)
16623 (two-tone)

29mm Ladies
69628 / 169628 (yellow gold)
69623 / 169623 (two-tone)

Rolex watches are definitely luxurious on their own, but the Serti dial ups the ante. They’re definitely great options for those who want to add even more charm and luster to their Rolex.




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