Rolex watches are world-famous for style, luxury, and durability. With 15 minutes of your time you can ensure that your wristwatch looks and feels new every time you wear it. And what better way to do that than with Bob’s official cleaning guide.
Rolex watches are not your average run-of-the-mill watch. Rather, they are pieces of mechanical wonder and craftsmanship. It is important to know how to maintain and get the most out of your investment. But how does one protect, clean, and maintain their investment? Below are several suggestions for getting the most out of your Rolex, while also maintaining its value.
While it is important to wear your Rolex, wearing a Rolex daily can quickly cause it to get dirty or dull looking. It is important to keep the watch clean, as dirt not only affects the look of the watch, but can also affect how it works. You can wash your Rolex, as Rolex Oyster technology offers water resistance up to 300 meters in most models. If a Rolex is not waterproof it is not recommended that the watch get wet. If washing a Rolex that is a waterproof model, the wearer doesn’t have to worry about water damage, thus you can wear the watch in the shower or pool. However, to maintain the polished look and avoid scratching, it is best to avoid water contact unless cleaning the watch.
There are important steps to take when cleaning the watch. Firstly, begin by washing your hands to remove any excess dirt and oil and then follow the below steps.
Finally, to ensure optimal performance it is important to get your Rolex serviced every 5 years from a certified Rolex dealer. Not only is the dealer trained to maintain the Rolex’s precision, but they are also excellent resources for questions about maintenance and use of the watch. They can also recommend acceptable cleaning products and tactics for the continued maintenance of the watch. Be sure to utilize this great resource to get the most out of your watch.
Why invest in something if you do not wish to use it? Wearing your Rolex not only brings enjoyment to you the owner, but also, in many cases, keeps the watch running. Rolex’s Perpetual motion movements, for example, are kept running by subtle movement, like that of the wrist when the watch is being worn. Thus, to keep from having to wind the watch it is important to wear or gently rock it at least once every 48 hours. If a watch is left to sit and “die,” lubricants within the watch can harden, causing friction or damage when the watch is again in motion. If the watch is only intended for special occasions, it is important to maintain it by gently moving it once every 48 hours or winding it at least once a week.
If you choose to, or find the need to, wind your watch, be sure to do so in the proper way. To wind your watch properly, place it on a soft, flat surface. Never wind your watch while wearing it. To begin winding, simply unscrew the crown to position 2 and wind it about 30 or 40 times. When you have finished winding, screw the crown back down. Rolex has a built in device to ensure the watch is not over-wound. Thus, do not skimp on the winding motions, as you want to fully wind the watch to ensure continued optimal performance.
Winding a Rolex does not always immediately start the watch. Never shake a watch that is not working. Rather, gently rock it (as you would if you were wearing it on your wrist), to begin the movement. If this does not work, lay the watch down and allow it time to begin on its own. If it continues to not work, take the watch to a certified Rolex dealer who can assess if the watch has been damaged. If it is damaged, they will return it to Rolex for repair.
If you watch has a perpetual movement it will wind itself simply by wearing it. Wearing your Rolex often will maintain the viscosity of the lubricants in your watches movement.
Wearing and general use of your Rolex watch will ultimately result in scratches. However, there are steps one can take to avoid some scratching. For example, lay your Rolex on a soft cloth or in its box at night, avoiding direct contact with the watch’s bracelet, another piece of metal, or wood.
Unfortunately, if one plans on wearing their Rolex, scratches are unavoidable. Prone to scratches, the bracelet of the Rolex is an area that may need extra attention. The bracelet can be easily polished once every few months, which will return the bracelet near to its original look. To remove scratches, use a quality polishing cloth specially designed for stainless steel and gold, to ensure to not add additional scratches. These quality cloths should come soaked in a special polishing liquid. When polishing or cleaning, do not use chemicals or cleaners that are not designed for jewelry. It is also important to only use these cloths on the watch’s polished surface, as ingredients in the polish can damage the alternative brushed finish. Only about a minute is needed for polishing, with only a moderate amount of pressure being used as the cloths easily remove scratches. Use the flow or “grain” of the metal to determine how to polish the watch. For example, rather than using circular strokes, focus on smooth straight strokes following the metal grain as a guide. If an area is scratch free, do not polish it. Polishing removes a fine layer of metal, bringing the layer to the level of the scratch, thus causing it to disappear.
I recently added two vintage watches to my collection, both from the 1970s, and both with acrylic crystals (plexiglass). I had always heard that one of the benefits of plexiglass crystals, over sapphire crystal, was that if they got scratched up, it was incredibly easy to buff the scratches out using a product called Polywatch.
Having lived in the world of sapphire crystal for a long time, scared a scratch would show up each time I examined my watches, I took a look at the slightly scuffed up crystals on my new-old watches and wanted to make them scratch free again on my own.
So I picked up a few tubes of Polywatch for about $8 on Amazon (at least it was that much at the time), they came in the mail today and I set to work googling how to use the stuff and figuring it out on my own. It was pretty straightforward.
First, I used a lens cleaner to make sure there were no oils or debris on the watch crystal from being handled. The presence of hand oils gets in the way of the process, and its best to start with as clean a crystal as you can.
Second, I placed a small amount of Polywatch directly on the crystal (you don't need as much as you see in the animated GIF below). I found it was better to apply small amounts and buff it until it is gone, and then repeat.
Third, I began to rub the Polywatch into the crystal. A Q-Tip (cotton swab) didn't work great so I quickly switched to a piece of t-shirt and a cotton cleaning cloth from Varaet, which made it much easier to apply even pressure. A cotton ball can also be used.
I spent about three minutes quickly rubbing the crystal and adding more Polywatch with very firm pressure, and felt it get warm to the touch after I was done. From what I understand, part of the process is that by rubbing the crystal fast, the friction and chemical compound melts a very thin layer of the plexiglass, redepositing it into the scratches on the crystal.
Finally, after both crystals were done, I took a microfiber cloth and wiped any excess compound off the crystals and cleaned them up.
The results were spectacular and lived up to the hype I've read about online. Such a cheap tool to keep in your watch maintenance arsenal, especially if you love vintage plexiglass watches (Moonwatch purists I'm looking at you). Both crystals were much clearer and all the visible scratches I examined before using Polywatch were just gone. Highly recommended!
See the scratches near the 4, 5 and 9 o'clock markers. That's on the crystal not the dial.
Clean and clear. Took off a layer of general fog as well exposing the dial's beauty.