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Introduction

The Rolleiflex TLRs had serial numbers from the start of production in 1928. The numbers were sequential although several models received numbers from the same block between 1928 and 1932. The Rolleicords had no body numbers between 1936 and 1938. The official number was the lens number. From 1966 until 1982 the SL 66 cameras had sequential numbers. In 1982 Rollei began to use coded serial numbers. The exact week of production can be read from the number.

Rolleiflex SL 66, Rollei 35 TE, Rollei 35 SE, Rolleiflex 6000

The coded serial number has 9 digits, 004230028 for instance. The first digit plus "5" (the key) represents the year of manufacture, in this example 0 + 5 = 5. One has to guess the decade and the century! Knowing that this number belongs to an SL 66 E manufactured between 1982 and 1986, the year of production is 1985.

The digits placed in the second and third place, (in our example "0" and "4") are for factory internal use and represent the engineering level. They are called the Index.

The digits in 4th and 5th place minus "20" give the calendar week in the year of production. In our example the digits 4 and 5 are "23". 23 minus 20 is 3, so the camera was manufactured in the third week of 1985.

The digits 6 to 9 stand for the sequential number of a camera built in that week. In our example "0028" means the camera has the number 28 manufactured in the third week of 1985 with an engineering level of 04.

Rolleiflex GX and later TLRs

The coded serial number has 7 digits, 6036942 for instance. The first digit plus 5 (the key) represents the year of manufacture, in this example 6 + 5 = 11. When the sum is over 10, distract 10. The result is "1". One has to guess the decade and the century! Knowing this number belongs to a black 2.8 GX, the year would be 1991.

The digits placed in the second and third position, (in our example "03")are for factory internal use. They are called the Index.

The digits in 4th and 5th position minus 20 give the calendar week in the year of production. In our example the digits 4 and 5 are “69”. 69 - 20 = 49 so the camera was manufactured in the 49th week of 1991.

The digits 6 and 7 stand for the sequential number of the camera. In our example “42” means the camera was the number 42 manufactured in the 49th week of 1991 with an index of 03. For those who are interested: № 6036942 was seen in auction. It is a 2.8 GX of the ‘Helmut Newton Edition’.