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ROLEX BLOG

4 Tips For Taking Care of Your Rolex

March 21, 2022

BY Paul Altieri

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When you own a Rolex, it’s undoubtedly one of your most prized possessions. As such, taking care of your Rolex should be a priority. However, these luxury timepieces are mechanically sophisticated and need to be serviced carefully. With that in mind, what many owners of Rolex watches don’t know is that you can do a lot of light maintenance on your Rolex yourself. Here’s what you can do at home to help keep your Rolex clean and protected to help maintain its value.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on Rolex watches.

Rolex Watches

Rolex Day-Date President Platinum

Wear Your Rolex Often To Keep It Running

A Rolex watch is too beautiful to just sit in a drawer, and it should be something that you wear frequently and enjoy. However, in addition to looking great on your wrist, wearing a Rolex helps keep it running. Rolex’s self-winding Perpetual movement captures the subtle movements of your arm as you move it throughout the day, but if you leave it off your wrist too long, it will eventually come to a stop and require resetting.

Most Rolex models need to be worn every day (or some every other day) in order to stay running. Letting your watch stop will not damage its movement, but it can sometimes be inconvenient to have to reset the time and date before you can use it again. If you only wear your Rolex watch on special occasions, you can help keep your watch from stopping by using a watch winder, which will keep it running no matter how long it spends off your wrist.

Rolex Daytona Everose Gold

You Should Occasionally Clean Your Rolex

First things first, this only applies to Rolex watches with Oyster cases – if your Rolex isn’t specifically water resistant, do not try this at home.

Like any other piece of jewelry, your Rolex needs to be occasionally cleaned. Daily wear and tear can leave dirt and oil in crevices which can build up over time and make it appear dull. Besides that, dirt and grime can trap particles and act as an abrasive, wearing down the metal components of your case and bracelet.

With that in mind, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your Rolex remains clean.

  • First, check the crown and make sure it is tightly screwed down to the case before you begin. If you forget this step, it could run the risk of moisture getting into your watch, which will cost you down the line in repairs.
  • Grab a medium sized bowl and mix in ammonia-free soap with lukewarm water.
  • Dip your hands in the soapy water and rub or gently scrub your watch; if you need a little extra help, you can use a soft-bristle brush. We then suggest dipping the watch into water in short intervals to wash away the soap residue and any remaining dirt.
  • To dry your watch, just pat it down with a cotton cloth. If you notice there are some crevices that just aren’t drying, you can use a blow dryer set on low to dry these spots or simply wait for the water to evaporate on its own.

Rolex Submariner Two-Tone Steel Gold

Don’t Ever Polish Your Watch Yourself

Polishing is something that you should always leave for the professionals (if you ever choose to have it done at all). If you think your watch is looking a bit dull or scratched after years of wear and use, you can take it into a certified repair center to have blemishes removed and its surfaces polished up to their original luster.

If you’re worried about the scratches that appear with daily wear, the vast majority of these can be removed with routine polishing and refinishing; however, we highly suggest having this work only be done by a professional. What many people don’t realize is that polishing actually removes a fine layer of metal, and over-polishing a watch can destroy the shape of its components or prevent them from functioning properly.

Additionally, in order to properly polish a Rolex watch, its movement needs to be removed from its case, and its various external components need to be disassembled. This requires the use of specialized tools, and even your local jeweler may not be able to properly polish a Rolex watch simply because they do not have all of the necessary equipment to take it apart and put it back together again.

Rolex Sky-Dweller Yellow Gold

Don’t Be Afraid To Wind Your Rolex

It’s not always necessary (unless you have an older model with a hand-wind movement), but if you do find yourself needing to manually wind your watch, you can simply do this through the winding crown just like any other mechanical timepiece. Additionally, like most automatic watches, Rolex models have a built-in mechanism that prevents you from overwinding your watch, so you don’t need to worry about potentially damaging your watch by winding it.

To manually wind your Rolex watch, just follow these three easy steps:

  • First, unscrew the winding crown until it is completely free from the threads that secure it to the side of the case.
  • Next, rotate the winding crown in the clockwise direction approximately 40 times. You will not reach a natural stopping point, but once the mainspring is fully wound, no more tension will be supplied to it.
  • Once you have finished winding your watch, screw the crown back down to the case to restore its water resistance and protect it against moisture and dirt.

Lastly, it’s important to note that winding your Rolex may not always cause it to start right up automatically. If after manually winding your watch it is still not running, gently rock it back and forth to start its movement. If after doing this your watch still isn’t running, it is always best to have it examined by a certified watchmaker or authorized retailer who will be able to diagnose the issue and tell you if any maintenance or repairs are required.

Rolex watches are some of the finest timepieces available and when properly maintained, they can last multiple lifetimes. By following a few easy tips, you can take care of your Rolex and make sure that it retains its value and stays in excellent condition for the next generation.

Rolex GMT-Master II Coke Stainless Steel

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4 Responses to “4 Tips For Taking Care of Your Rolex”

  1. Larry Weaver says:

    Thanks for the advice to wear a watch often to keep it from being damaged. I have a clock that I inherited from my grandfather that needs to be repaired. After I get a professional to repair my watch, I’ll make sure to wear it regularly.

    • Paul Altieri says:

      Additional wear will ultimately lead to slightly more wear and tear, but letting your watch sit stagnant for too long does have the potential to diminish the life of the lubricants in its movement, so it becomes about finding a good balance (which can depend a lot on the type of watch in question).

  2. Marc Cohen says:

    What Amount of time is considered to be too long not to wear the watch whereas the lubricants would be affected

    • Paul Altieri says:

      Modern synthetic lubricants have a significantly longer life, but it is still recommended to have your watch run every couple months or so to keep the parts and lubricants moving. You can leave a watch sitting still for much longer than that without any ill effects because today’s synthetic lubricants do not gum up like the old animal/plant derived ones; however, just like anything else mechanical, it is good to get it moving every now and then to make sure it’s all running properly – plus, it gives you an excuse to wear your watches!

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