Important Rolex Terms Part 1


Staff member
Here are some of the essential Rolex terms you need to know when collecting a Rolex.

Rolex 2 line​

A dial with only two lines of text above the 6 o’clock marker, such as certain Ref. 14060 Submariners without denoted Chronometer certification. Some prefer the uncluttered looks of these dials.

Rolex 4 line​

A dial with four lines of text. On a Ref. 14060M Submariner, for example, would add the chronometer certification to the model name and depth rating.

Feet first​

A dial in which the depth rating begins with feet rather than meters, i.e. “660ft=220m.” This may indicate that the watch in question—generally a Sub—was destined for the American market.

Bark finish​

A feature of certain President bracelets in that the gold material is etched to look like bark.

Helium escape valve​

The “helium escape valve,” which features on specific Rolex Professional models such as the Sea-Dweller. This one-way valve allows helium molecules to escape the watch during decompression, which prevents the crystal from flying off the watch.

Meters first​

A dial with a depth rating gives meters before feet, i.e. “200m=660ft.”


A watch crystal with a built-in magnifier for the date, first released in 1948 on a Datejust model and patented in 1952. Originally these were made of acrylic and were part of the crystal; later (and current) sapphire models feature Cyclops manufactured separately and affixed to the main crystal.

Ghost bezel​

An aluminum bezel in which the coloring has faded—especially from black to blue or grayish.

Spider Dial​

A type of glossy dial in which the lacquer coating has developed fine cracks, aka “crazing,” resulting in a spider web-like appearance. Though a definite defect, certain collectors are attracted to this look.


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