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How Much to Service a Rolex

Paul Altieri

Rolex luxury watches are renowned for their exquisite craftsmanship, precision, and durability. These timepieces are built to last a lifetime, but like any finely tuned machine, they require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Learning how much to service a Rolex is essential not only for keeping it in top working condition but also for preserving its value as a treasured heirloom or investment piece.

Many Rolex owners are unsure about how often their watch needs servicing and how much they should expect to pay for this crucial maintenance. The cost of servicing a Rolex can vary depending on several factors, such as the specific Rolex model, age, and condition of the watch, as well as the complexity of the required repairs or adjustments.

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of Rolex servicing, exploring the recommended service intervals, factors that influence service frequency, and the signs that indicate your watch may need attention. We will also break down the costs associated with servicing various Rolex models and discuss the differences between using an official Rolex Service Center and an independent watch repair shop. By the end of this guide, you will have a clearer understanding of how much to service a Rolex and how much to budget for in order to maintain your prized Rolex and ensure it continues to tick flawlessly for generations to come.

Understanding Rolex Service Intervals

Rolex Daytona watch service

Rolex recommends servicing your watch every 5 to 10 years, depending on the model and your individual wearing habits. This service interval is designed to keep your timepiece functioning at its best and to prevent any potential issues from escalating into more serious problems.

However, several factors can influence how often your Rolex will need servicing. One of the most significant factors is usage. If you wear your Rolex daily and subject it to more strenuous activities, such as sports or manual labor, it may require more frequent servicing than a watch that is only worn occasionally or in less demanding environments.

The specific Rolex model you own can also affect its service frequency. Some models, like the Rolex Submariner watch or the Rolex Daytona watch, are designed for more active lifestyles and may need servicing more often than dressier models like the Rolex Datejust watch or the Rolex Day-Date watch.

It’s essential to pay attention to any signs that your Rolex may need servicing, even if it hasn’t reached the recommended service interval.

Some indications that your watch may require attention include:

  1. Losing or gaining time more than usual.
  2. Changes in the smoothness of the second hand’s movement.
  3. Condensation or moisture under the crystal.
  4. Difficulty winding or setting the watch.
  5. Unusual sounds coming from the movement.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to have your Rolex examined by a qualified watchmaker to determine if it needs servicing. By addressing potential issues promptly, you can help prevent more extensive and costly repairs down the line.

Rolex Service Costs

Rolex GMT-Master II watch service

In terms of how much it costs to service a Rolex, the price can vary significantly depending on several factors. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $1,500 for a standard overhaul, which includes disassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and reassembly of the watch. However, this price range is just a general guideline and can fluctuate based on the specific needs of your timepiece.

One of the primary factors influencing service costs is the model of your Rolex. As one of the best Swiss watch brands, Rolex offers a wide range of models with varying levels of complexity. Some models, like the Rolex Sky-Dweller watch or the Rolex Yacht-Master II watch, have more complex movements that require specialized knowledge and tools to service properly. As a result, servicing these models may be more expensive than servicing a simpler model like the Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch.

Another factor that can impact service costs is the age and condition of your watch. If you own a vintage Rolex watch or a Rolex that has not been serviced regularly, it may require more extensive repairs or replacements of worn components, which can drive up the cost of servicing. Similarly, if your watch has been exposed to water damage, it may need additional attention to ensure its water resistance is restored.

The cost of replacement parts can also vary widely depending on the specific component needed. For example, replacing a damaged or scratched sapphire crystal may cost a few hundred dollars, while replacing a faulty movement or a damaged bezel can be significantly more expensive.

To give you a better idea of the potential service costs for different Rolex models, here are some rough estimates:

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual: $800 to $1,000
  • Rolex Datejust: $1,000 to $1,200
  • Rolex Submariner: $1,200 to $1,500
  • Rolex GMT-Master II: $1,200 to $1,500
  • Rolex Daytona: $1,500 to $2,000

Keep in mind that these are just estimates and that the actual cost of servicing your Rolex may be higher or lower depending on its individual needs. When budgeting for Rolex maintenance, it’s always a good idea to set aside a little extra to account for any unexpected repairs or replacements that may arise during the servicing process.

Servicing Options

Rolex Datejust watch service

When it comes to servicing your Rolex, you have two main options: using an official Rolex Service Center or opting for an independent watch repair shop. Each choice has its own set of advantages and considerations, so it’s essential to weigh your options carefully before deciding on a servicing provider.

Official Rolex Service Centers

Official Rolex Service Centers are facilities authorized and trained by Rolex to service their watches. These centers use genuine Rolex parts and follow the brand’s strict servicing guidelines to ensure your timepiece receives the highest level of care.

Benefits of using an official Rolex Service Center:

  • Guaranteed use of genuine Rolex parts
  • Watchmakers trained directly by Rolex
  • Access to the latest Rolex servicing tools and techniques
  • Rolex warranty on all repairs and replacements

Process of servicing through Rolex:

When you send your watch to an official Rolex Service Center, it undergoes a thorough evaluation to determine its servicing needs. The watchmakers then disassemble, clean, and inspect each component, replacing any worn or damaged parts with genuine Rolex components. The watch is then reassembled, lubricated, and tested for accuracy and water resistance before being returned to you.

Independent Watch Repair Shops

Independent watch repair shops are businesses that specialize in servicing various watch brands, including Rolex. These shops are not directly affiliated with Rolex but may have watchmakers experienced in working with the brand’s timepieces.

Pros and cons of using independent repair shops:


  • Often less expensive than official Rolex Service Centers
  • May offer faster turnaround times
  • Can provide personalized service and build a relationship with a local watchmaker


  • May not always use genuine Rolex parts
  • Watchmakers may not have access to the latest Rolex training and tools
  • Repairs may not be covered by a Rolex warranty

How to find a reputable independent watchmaker:

If you choose to use an independent repair shop, it’s crucial to find a reputable watchmaker with experience servicing Rolex watches. Look for shops with certified watchmakers, positive reviews, and a proven track record of working with luxury timepieces. You can also ask for recommendations from fellow Rolex enthusiasts or consult online forums dedicated to watch repair and maintenance.

Ultimately, the decision between using an official Rolex Service Center or an independent repair shop comes down to your personal preferences, budget, and the level of assurance you require when it comes to maintaining your valuable Rolex watch.

Bob’s Watches

At Bob’s Watches, all watches listed on our site have been serviced by a Rolex service provider who holds a Rolex parts account, prior to listing for sale utilizing only Rolex replacement parts used, if needed. If a watch has a crystal scratch or bezel scratch, we will replace them with Rolex crystals and inserts.

What Does a Rolex Service Include?

Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch service

When you send your Rolex in for servicing, whether to an official Rolex Service Center or a reputable independent watchmaker, you can expect a comprehensive overhaul of your timepiece. The exact steps may vary slightly depending on the provider, but a typical Rolex service includes the following:

Disassembly, cleaning, and inspection of the watch:

The watchmaker will carefully disassemble your Rolex, separating each component for thorough cleaning and inspection. This process allows the watchmaker to identify any worn, damaged, or contaminated parts that may need replacement.

Replacement of worn or damaged parts:

Any components that show signs of wear, damage, or corrosion will be replaced with genuine Rolex parts to ensure your watch’s optimal performance and longevity. This may include gears, springs, gaskets, or other internal components.

Lubrication and reassembly:

After cleaning and replacing any necessary parts, the watchmaker will lubricate each component with the appropriate lubricants to minimize friction and wear. The watch is then meticulously reassembled, ensuring that each part is correctly positioned and functioning properly.

Testing and adjustments for accuracy and water resistance:

Once reassembled, your Rolex will undergo a series of tests to ensure its accuracy and water resistance. The watchmaker will make any necessary adjustments to the movement to optimize its performance and will test the watch’s water resistance to ensure it meets Rolex’s strict standards.

Polishing and refinishing (if requested):

If desired, you can also request that your Rolex undergo cosmetic restoration as part of the servicing process. This may include polishing the case and bracelet to remove scratches and restore its original luster or refinishing components like the bezel or dial to address any signs of wear or damage. Keep in mind that these cosmetic treatments may incur additional costs beyond the standard servicing fees.

It’s important to note that a full Rolex service is a time-consuming process that requires skill, expertise, and precision. Depending on the complexity of your watch and the extent of the required repairs, servicing can take several weeks to complete. However, this thorough approach is essential to ensuring that your Rolex continues to perform at its best and maintains its value as a timeless investment.

Maintaining Your Rolex Between Services

Rolex Submariner watch service

While regular professional servicing is essential for keeping your Rolex in top condition, there are several steps you can take to maintain your watch between services. By following these simple guidelines, you can help extend the life of your timepiece and minimize the need for extensive repairs.

Daily Care and Storage Tips

  • Always handle your Rolex with clean, dry hands to avoid transferring dirt, oils, or chemicals to the watch.
  • Wipe your Rolex down with a soft, lint-free cloth after each wear to remove any sweat, dirt, or debris.
  • Store your Rolex in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
  • Use a watch box, soft pouch, or original Rolex box for storage to protect your watch from scratches and impacts.
  • If you don’t wear your Rolex every day, make sure to wind your Rolex properly when wearing.

Changing the Date on Your Rolex

If your Rolex has a date function, you may need to adjust the date periodically, especially if the watch hasn’t been worn for an extended period. To change the date on your Rolex:

  1. Pull the crown out to the first position (one click).
  2. Turn the crown clockwise until the correct date is displayed.
  3. Push the crown back in to the normal position.

Note that it’s best to avoid changing the date when the watch is displaying a time between 9 PM and 3 AM, as this is when the date mechanism is engaged, and changing the date during this period could damage the movement.

Avoiding Magnetic Fields and Extreme Temperatures

Exposure to strong magnetic fields or extreme temperatures can affect your Rolex’s accuracy and cause damage to its delicate components.

  • Keep your Rolex away from devices that generate strong magnetic fields, such as speakers, refrigerators, or MRI machines.
  • Avoid exposing your watch to extreme heat or cold, such as saunas, hot tubs, or freezing conditions.
  • If your Rolex is exposed to a significant temperature change, allow it to return to room temperature gradually to prevent condensation from forming inside the case.

When to Consider a Partial Service or Maintenance

In between full servicing, there may be times when your Rolex requires a partial service or maintenance to address specific issues or concerns.

  • If your Rolex experiences a sudden change in accuracy, consider having it inspected by a professional watchmaker to identify any potential problems.
  • If your watch has been exposed to water, particularly saltwater, rinse it with fresh water and have its water resistance checked to ensure its seals are still functioning properly.
  • If you notice any visible damage to your watch, such as a cracked crystal or loose bracelet links, have these issues addressed promptly to prevent further damage.

By taking these proactive steps to maintain your luxury watch between professional servicing, you can help ensure that your timepiece remains in excellent condition and continues to provide reliable performance for years to come. Remember, a well-maintained Rolex is not only a functional tool but also a cherished heirloom that can be passed down through generations.

How Much to Service a Rolex: Conclusion

Investing in regular professional servicing is essential for maintaining your Rolex’s performance, longevity, and value. By understanding the recommended service intervals, factors influencing service costs, and the options available for servicing your timepiece, you can make informed decisions about caring for your cherished Rolex.

Whether you choose an official Rolex Service Center or a reputable independent repair shop, a comprehensive service will ensure that your watch is restored to its optimal condition. Between services, you can help maintain your Rolex by following daily care tips and addressing any specific issues promptly.

By prioritizing the maintenance of your Rolex, you not only ensure its reliable performance but also preserve its value as a timeless heirloom that can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Paul Altieri
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