It has directed the spotlight on issues such as value proposition, the economic state of both the industry and the luxury consumer, and has made us want to discover the "hidden driving forces behind it all." To answer as many mysteries as we can – and perhaps to ultimately raise new, previously unasked questions – we decided to scrutinize the pricing practices of one of the absolute benchmark brands of the luxury watch industry: Rolex.

To begin with, we used official retail prices dating back as far as 1957, based on data compiled by Minus4Plus6

The year was 1905 and the place was London, England.

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This magnificent price table contains authorized retailer prices in about 5-year steps for just about all important Rolex references that debuted in or after 1957.

We processed the raw data linked to two of the more popular models of the brand, namely the Submariner no-date and the Cosmograph Daytona, and we have also looked at the Submariner in 18k gold to see how this precious material has affected affordability. On the charts, we have marked in black the respective retail prices for each year, while in red we indicate how the price of each watch would have changed over the years had Rolex raised prices only to counter the effects of monetary inflation.

So for instance, from the table below, we can denote that a bracelet stamped F7 was manufactured in July 1981. The table below should help you date your rolex bracelet.

If a bracelet has an additional ‘S’ stamped along with the year and date then it is a service replacement. If you have a query please feel free to contact me and if I can help you I will certainly try.

Wilsdorf was said to want an easily recognizable name that could be pronounced in any language and would fit easily on the dial of a watch.

Some suggest that the name came from the French phrase In 1919, the company's headquarters was moved to Geneva, Switzerland, because taxes and export duties in the United Kingdom were driving up costs.

This method of date stamping bracelets continued, like the casebacks, until the early 70’s when it stopped.

From 1976 Rolex again started dating bracelets but this time with a letter to designate the year and number to designate the month of manufacture.

The reference model #114200 sells retail at about ,000 while the #114234 has a white gold bezel and has a retail price of about ,200.

Some folks like searching Rolex models by year, or "new Rolex model numbers", or even "Rolex Submariner models".

In an ideal world, no brand can go on for decades making the exact same product while gradually raising prices to several times of what it initially sold said product for.