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What Do the Rolex Red & Green Hang Tags Mean?

You don’t have to be involved in the Rolex community very long to see what look like wax seals hanging from watches. If you buy a watch made before 2015 and it has all of the original accoutrements, you’ve got a red tag. If you’ve bought a watch made after 2015, you’ve got a green tag, assuming you bought the watch new or with the same accoutrements included when the watch was first sold.

Is there a difference between the tags? Yes.

The red tag is a Rolex warranty seal that indicates certification by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the COSC, which is the governing body for Swiss movements and accuracy. In English, the organization is called the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. Watches with the red Rolex seal are certified accurate in a ten second range per day from between 4 seconds slow to 6 seconds fast. The red seal was also part of the indication of a two-year factory warranty. (Since all red seal watches were made in 2015 or before, all of those warranties have expired).

In 2015, Rolex innovated some of their movement technology and began switching red tags for green. These Superlative Chronometer tags also indicated the guarantee for the watch was now set at five years. Many people believe the change had nothing to do with the more durable movements and more from pressure from competitors, like Omega, who offered five-year guarantees.

These tags have no practical purpose. The warranty is documented electronically. However, collectors want the tags and many display them along with their watches when not wearing them. Do you? Who has red tags? Who has green tags?

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