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ROLEX BLOG

How To Set The Date and Time On a Rolex Datejust

October 31, 2019

BY Paul Altieri

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Part of the brand’s collection since 1945, the Rolex Datejust is the ultimate everyday luxury watch. While the model comes in a vast assortment of styles including different sizes, metals, bracelets, bezels, and dial designs, what remains constant across all Datejust watches is its time and date functionality. The hour, minute, and seconds hands are always placed at the center while the date window is always found at the 3 o’clock position. In true Rolex fashion, the Datejust watch is easy to use and operate but there are a few things to keep in mind when setting the time and date. Read on for our quick guide on how to set the date and time on a Rolex Datejust.

How To Set The Date and Time On a Rolex Datejust II 116334

Quickset vs Non-Quickset Datejust

Earlier models of the Rolex Datejust did not yet have the quickset date feature. A quickset date feature means that the date can be set independently from the timekeeping hands. Conversely, on a non-quickset Datejust, the minute and hour hands have to be advanced past midnight to change the numeral in the date window.

Rolex introduced the quickset date function to the Datejust lineup in 1977 with the introduction of Caliber 3035 movement. So if your Datejust was made in 1977 or later and is powered by Caliber 3035 or subsequent movements (Cal. 3135, 3136, or 3235) then it has the quickset feature.

Regardless of when a Datejust was produced, they all come equipped with a screw-down winding crown to ensure the watch’s water resistance. Therefore, a Rolex winding crown must be unscrewed first before any adjustments can be made.

How To Set The Date and Time On a Rolex Datejust 1601 non-quickset movement gold

Setting the Date and Time on a Non-Quickset Rolex Datejust

If you have a vintage Rolex Datejust manufactured prior to the introduction of Caliber 3035, then your particular model is a non-quickset Datejust. To set the date and time on a Non-Quickset Rolex Datejust, follow these steps:

  1. Unscrew the winding crown by turning it counterclockwise until it releases from the case.
  2. Turn the crown clockwise around 25 times to manually wind the watch (it’s always a good idea to hand-wind the watch while setting it even if it is an automatic movement).
  3. Pull the crown out to the last notch.
  4. Rotate the crown to advance the timekeeping hands. Keep turning until the correct date appears in the date window. When the correct date appears, you are now in AM hours; now set the time accordingly taking into consideration if it is currently AM or PM.
  5. Push the crown all the way back in and screw it down to the case.

How To Set The Date and Time On a Rolex two-tone Datejust quickset movement 116233

Setting the Date and Time on a Quickset Rolex Datejust

To set the date and time on a Quickset Rolex Datejust, follow these steps:

  1. Unscrew the winding crown by turning it counterclockwise until it releases from the case
  2. Turn the crown clockwise around 25 times to manually wind the watch (it’s always a good idea to hand-wind the watch while setting it even if it is an automatic)
  3. Pull the crown out one notch to set the date (the timekeeping hands will continue to run in this position).
  4. Rotate the crown to adjust the date. We recommend setting the date to the day before today.
  5. Pull the crown out to the last notch to set the time. Rotate the crown to move the hands past midnight so that today’s date appears in the window. You are now in AM hours; now set the time accordingly taking into consideration if it is currently AM or PM
  6. Push the crown all the way back in and screw it down to the case.

Always remember to keep the winding crown on your Rolex watch screwed down onto the case if you not adjusting the time and date to protect the watch from moisture and dust. Also, never unscrew the crown if you are in or around.

How To Set The Date and Time On a Rolex Datejust 126300

 

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9 Responses to “How To Set The Date and Time On a Rolex Datejust”

  1. Akash says:

    Hi Paul,
    I have a Rolex date just which i purchased a few months and I noticed the date doesn’t change at exactly midnight but has a delay of about 5-6 minutes delay. Would like to understand why this delay and get your expert advise on how to have this adjusted.
    Also, I haven’t been wearing the watch daily so I did wind it, is there a possibility that this delay in date change gets adjusted/calibrated automatically with usage? When I wind the watch the date was changing at 12:02 but when I wear it it changes between 12:05 or 12:06!
    Thanks in advance.
    Best,
    Akash

    • Gina says:

      Im curious as well. Coz it is doing in mine. How do we resolve this issue?

      • Paul Altieri says:

        There will always be a slight amount of variance, but if it is 5-6 minutes or more, that is something that can likely be corrected. If you purchased the watch from us, feel free to reach out to our service department and we should be able to help you out.

    • Paul Altieri says:

      As long as it is a watch you purchased from us and it is within warranty, feel free to reach out to our service department and we should be able to help you out. While there will always be a slight amount of variance in the timing of when the date change engages, 5-6 minutes is outside of that.

      • Robert Randolph says:

        Paul:
        Please see my recent comment on this procedure. My “3035” Datejust (made about Dec 1985) the booklet notes to turn crown counterclockwise to advance the Date — but to NOT turn it the other way because “damage could occur on certain models” (The newer 3135 ones — you turn Crown the other way (!) and turning it the “wrong” way “has no effect” according to my 1990 Submariner (W/ 3135) instructions.
        This is an important point – as perhaps is the idea to just Not Fool with this adjustment when hands are near Midnight (Like 4.5 hours before to 2.5 hours after – approx?)

  2. Robert Randolph says:

    NOTE (!!!) the previous models of Datejusts with the “3035” (quickset) movement (made approx 1978-1988) A Note From Rolex booklet . . .”turn the crown anti-clockwise (towards you) to set the date – this advances the date. Note That Turning crown the other way (!) may cause damage on certain models”

    (I own a late 1985/early 1986 classic “Datefjust” — and this is what the included booklet (from Rolex) says.)
    So use caution.

    (The newer models (about 1989 on) with the “3135” MVMT (as in my 1990 Submariner) – with those you turn the crown “clockwise” (away from you) to advance the Date — and turning it the other way “has no effect” according to Rolex instructions.

    i also tell people to set Date for date before day you want — AND to not set the Date when “time hands” are anywhere near midnight – so nothing is “happening” in there! (I always advance hands to about 8:20 AM before doing this adjustment – it’s safe that way. (I am a cautious person with these precision things).

  3. Robert Randolph says:

    Toi be clear – (see above) once you set Date to “day before you want” you would (of course) then just advance the hands to see date switch to correct day (at midnight) then continued advancing hands until you are at correct time of day at that moment (from Internet or whatever) Then (as Paul notes) screw down Crown again to resume water-resist protection Rolex Oysters are noted for!

  4. Ray says:

    need cleaning on my date just jubliee. Do you do it or do you know someone . Can’t handle the store prices>>>

    • Paul Altieri says:

      If you just need you bracelet cleaned (rather than the watch itself), and you don’t also need it polished, most local jewelry stores should be able to toss it into an ultrasonic cleaner for you to remove any grime/debris that might be stuck in between the links.

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