The Rolex Watch Owner’s Servicing Guide

Let me start off by asking you a question…If you spent $75,000 – $100,000 on a brand new car, how often would you change the oil?

My guess is that most of you said something along the lines of “Every 3,000 miles or so”. Now, why is that?

Because we know that a car needs new oil fairly frequently to keep it running under optimal conditions, thereby extending the life of the car, and making sure it always runs smoothly.

Now let me ask you another question…How often should you service your Rolex watch?

My guess is that most of you don’t really know with absolute certainty exactly how often you should service your Rolex, and I’m guessing that even fewer of you know exactly WHY you need to service your Rolex. You’d be surprised at how many people think that because Rolex’s are such nice watches that they don’t need service until they break, but this is NOT true.

In this article I’m going to tell you why you should regularly service your Rolex, how you should do it, and what it’ll cost you to do.

Rolex Sea Dweller Watch

The Rolex Sea Dweller

How Often Should I Service My Rolex?

Well, as it happens, Rolex themselves recommend that you have your watch serviced every 3ish years, and never go more than 5 without an overhaul. This is actually true of any high end automatic movement. Keep in mind that this 3 – 5 year figure is speaking specifically about servicing your Rolex…It’s still very highly recommended to have your watch pressure tested once a year to ensure that it maintains the proper level of water resistance.

Why Should I Service My Rolex Watch?

With literally hundreds of moving parts all critical to the smooth running of the watch, you can imagine that optimal running conditions are fairly important to maintaining a nice healthy time piece. Let’s talk about what could go wrong…Here are 3 reasons you should service your Rolex regularly:

1. Water Test – Failing to water test your watch every year will likely result in a water damaged movement, since even if you don’t ever go underwater with your Rolex, moisture can still work its way in through dried or damaged gaskets. In the event that water gets into the watch and the movement is damaged you’ll be out at least $1,000, and probably closer to $1,500 most of the time.

Rolex 3135 Automatic Movement

Rolex 3135 Automatic Movement


2. Lubrication – If the lubrication inside the watch dries out then you’ll likely slowly begin to lose time as the friction between ruby and metal, or metal and metal becomes more and more prominent inside the movement. An un-lubricated movement will at it’s best run slow, and at it’s worse will totally ruin the movement as the normal wear-and-tear is accelerated.


3. Broken or Loose Parts – If anything at all inside the watch becomes loose for any reason, then again you’re likely to get a slow running watch, and without service there will likely be quite a bit of internal damage.

If you notice moisture inside the watch, immediately put it inside of a zip-lock bag and take it in for service ASAP. If you try and wait for the watch to air out, you’re likely to allow rust into the watch, which would be devastating.

If you notice your watch running slowly, you’re best bet is to go ahead and stop the watch (either by hacking it or just letting it run out of power) until you can get it opened up by an authorized professional.

How Much Will it Cost Me?

Honestly, a lot of that depends on your area and what your local jewelers decide to charge. On average I would say that a total servicing (movement repair, water testing, accuracy testing, refinishing) will cost between $300 and $450, depending on where you go.

The only thing you really need to watch out for is making sure that whoever you choose to do work for you uses 100% Rolex parts for their repairs. You should only allow certified dealers to do this kind of work for you.

Rolex Crown LogoConclusion

In the end, when and where you have your Rolex serviced is up to you, but I urge you to consider the benefits of proper maintenance. Yes, I know that $400 is a lot to pay for maintenance work, but $10,000 is a lot to pay for a watch, and if you don’t maintain it you’ll end up paying a helluva lot more than $400. The choice is yours.

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