[Source: Rolex Forums]

How often should I service my Rolex?

NOTE: this is just the typical guideline that Rolex recommends in their literature, it is not engraved in stone, many have gone decades without servicing and have perfectly running timepieces.

The main thing is to have it pressure tested annually by a Rolex certified watchmaker, especially if it is a divers watch. The main reason for a annual check is to make sure that the case is waterproof. The test is free, if your watchmaker wants to charge you for it go to one that doesn’t.

A full service should be done every 5-7 years depending on use. Note it is not uncommon for oils inside the movement to dry out if the watch is exposed to harsh climates. Also gaskets in the case could dry out quicker with extreme exposure to hot and cold.

Who should I get to do the servicing?

ROLEX Servicing centres can be found around the world and they do top notch work, however there are many great watch makers other there than can properly service Rolexes. Note though that in some parts of the world only Rolex certified watchmakers may order parts.
ALWAYS make sure that the watch maker you go to uses ORIGINAL ROLEX PARTS, there is nothing else that comes close to them, you will end up hurting your watch in the long run, there are many horror stories out there about cheap dials that flake off paint into the movement and what not.

Cleaning your Rolex

This has been a topic of debate lately, and I think it is rather simple to keep your watches clean. Simple soap and water is what I have been using for over 15 years on all my watches with bracelets. I will say that using a dish-washing detergent is not advised as ppl have stated that the grease cutting properties will dry out the gaskets prematurely. If you wash your bracelet regularly there is no reason why a mild hand soap and your fingers wont wash your wash effectively. If you use a moisturising soap for your hands and that doesn’t dry out your bracelet and watch will not be harmed. I rinse my watch on a weekly basis and have never had any issues of build up on them.
Now this is just a guide and is not the only way to wash your watch. Some Pol like to use a soft brush, but I have never had the need to do so.

Watch Winding Setting Etc.

Let’s take the example that you want to set you watch at PRECISELY 11 o’clock AM on the 27th. of May 2007.

Take the following steps: (important things are underlined and in red):

1) Unscrew the winding crown counterclockwise. Two or three turns, and then the winding crown should “pop out” in the “winding position”. If not, make SURE that the winding crown is free of the threads before winding the watch. Reason: if you turn the winding crown clockwise while it is still on the threads and if you are NOT pushing the winding crown inward whilst turning it, you might damage the threads. So again: Make sure that the winding crown is free of the threads before winding the watch!

2) Now you give your watch at LEAST 30-40 FULL windings by the crown. Wind the watch by turning the crown CLOCKWISE and NOT “back and forth” as some do! The reason to wind the watch manually when it has stopped: That way you make sure that the watch is FULLY wound and will have its full power reserve. By just “shaking it to get it going” you will NOT get the full power reserve. Do not be afraid of “over-winding” the watch (there is a safety catch to prevent over winding), but about 30 full windings should be enough.

3) IMPORTANT STEP! Remember that our example states that you want to get your watch going at 11 AM (in the “morning”)??

What you do BEFORE MOVING THE HANDS is to pull out the winding crown FULLY (time setting position) and then you turn the hands to make SURE that both the hour hand and minute hand stand at FIVE OR SIX o’clock!
Reason: the date change mechanism (date-wheel) could be harmed if you change the date MANUALLY during the period from 21 to 01 o’clock. So by setting the hour and minute hand well off that period is strongly advised.

4) (now back to the date): Push the winding crown back to the SECOND notch (date change notch) and then advance the date MANUALLY via the winding crown until you reach the date of YESTERDAY (in our example: the 26th. of May).

5) Then you – once again – pull out the winding crown to the LAST notch (time setting position) and stop the seconds hand (that is now running since you have wound the watch manually!) at EXACTLY 12 o’clock (easier now to synchronise with another watch!).

6) Then you advance the hands by turning the winding crown clockwise. Keep a close eye on the date window as you advance the hands!. IF the date changes at midnight to the date of our example then you will have to advance the hands another 11 hours so that the date will change correctly at next midnight. If the date does NOT change, you have to advance the hands accordingly.

7) If you want to make the minute hand points EXACTLY on the given minute when the seconds hand has reached “12” (or “60” seconds), then you must know that there is some “play” in the hands.
So if you just set the minute hand according to our example (EXACTLY 11 AM so that the minute hand will point exactly on the 12) then you will notice that by “one minute past 11 AM” the minute hand will NOT (or probably not!) point EXACTLY and spot on on the minute but rather somewhat (like 15 seconds) PAST it due to the “play” in the hands!

Solution: Following the example, turn the minute hand approximately TEN minutes PAST “11 AM” and then turn the minute hand BACK again to the EXACT time (hour hand point at “11” and minute and seconds hand pointing – exactly – on “12”). Then – EVER SO GENTLY – turn the winding crown clockwise so that the minute hand actually points a bit (like “15 seconds” PAST the full minute marker). That way you adjusted to the “play” of the minute hand, and the minute hand will point EXACTLY on the minute next time the seconds hand reaches “twelve”.

8) When you have wound the watch, set the time and date, screw the winding crown back so that the watch is once again waterproof. By the way: You do not have to screw it very hard onto the case. As soon as you feel some resistance, stop using more force on the crown.”


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