Your Rolex watch will last you a lifetime if you take good care of it. That includes caring for it daily, making sure you use it as it’s initially intended. But that also means servicing your Rolex when the time comes. Here is everything you need to know about servicing your Rolex.
How much does it cost to service a Rolex? It costs around $800 to service a Rolex. A normal Rolex overhaul ranges from $600 to $1000 and will vary depending on your model, its condition and the type of service needed.
Many factors come into play when it comes to the maintenance cost of a Rolex. So you can’t be sure of the exact price until you leave your watch with your local AD (authorized dealer).
The Main Factors Influencing A Rolex Service Cost
Movement, model, case type and condition all have an impact on a Rolex maintenance cost.
Related : Rolex Explorer I vs. Explorer II
Before every service, you should be able to know exactly how much it will cost you. After leaving your watch to a Rolex-certified watchmaker, they will evaluate the condition of your watch.
Afterward, they should give an estimate based on what needs to be done to take care of your timepiece. The reason why the price varies is that they may have to replace so parts, which is not part of the minimum fee. You’ll have to approve the cost before the service procedure is initiated.
Some independent watchmakers have a Rolex service price list readily available, that will give you right away the exact amount that you will have to pay for regular service. Notice that you should go this round only if you know the watchmaker and have a good reason not to go through an authorized RSC (Rolex Service Center).
The best thing to do is to contact your Rolex authorized dealer or Service Center to know exactly what you can expect for your watch.
Also don’t forget that if your watch needs to be sent in Switzerland (because your local Rolex Service Center cannot take care of it, for whatever reason), you’ll have to factor in shipping costs too.
Whereas some Rolexes have simple movements some have a lot more complex ones. Obviously, the more complex the movement, the higher the service price.
Rolex watches with the simplest movements include:
- The Oyster Perpetual
- The Explorer
- The Submariner
- The Air-King
- The Milgauss
- The Cellini Time
These are all three-handers: movements that take care only of the hour, minute and seconds hands.
Rolex watches with regular movements include:
- The Submariner Date
- The Sea-Dweller
- The Datejust
- The Cellini Date
Rolex watches with more complicated movements include:
- The GMT-Master II
- The Explorer II
- The Day-Date
- The Cellini Dual Time
The most complicated Rolex movements are found in:
- The Cosmograph Daytona
- The Cellini Moonphase
- The Sky-Dweller
- The Yacht-Master II
Model And Case Material
The model and case of the watch also can play a role in the servicing cost of your Rolex.
Even if they share the same kind of movement, a Submariner or an Air-King are likely to be more expensive to service than an Oyster Perpetual. In general, professional Rolex watches are more expensive to service than simpler classic watches.
Also, Rolex watches with cases made from precious metals will also be more expensive to service. Rolesor, Everose, ghostwriting and white gold cases will increase the price of maintenance, as the watchmakers will have to take even better care of your precious timepiece.
Don’t worry though: your Oystersteel watch will not come back to you scratched. Unless it was already, and you didn’t ask for a polish. Which leads us to the next point.
A relatively new Rolex watch (between 7 and 10 years old) will have a much better running movement than a vintage piece.
Also, even if professional Rolex watches are designed to take a beating and still keep running, the movement will age quicker than if it was sitting stopped in a safe.
As such, a watch that was worn extensively as a daily wearer (with the occasional bumps and exposure to water) can have higher servicing costs due to more work having to be done to the movement.
Your Rolex case will polished be too. Bear in mind that if you expect to sell your Rolex down the line, it might be a good idea not to polish your watch.
In fact, many watch enthusiasts prefer to see the real condition of the watch, with its scuffs, scratches, and marks. A polished case can always hide something suspicious. Remember to ask for the service center NOT to polish your watch as it is part of the official Rolex service procedure.
Also, if you have a vintage piece that needs a part to be replaced or recreated from scratch, this will also impact the overall amount as well. As usual, the final cost will depend on your specific watch and situation.
How Often Should You Service Your Rolex
Rolex recommends that your service your watch approximately every 10 years. Models that are 7 years old or less don’t need servicing unless they are damaged. For vintage models, it will mainly depend on how the movement performs.
The recommended service every 10 years that Rolex recommends is a minimum. If you like, you can send your watch more often Some watch enthusiasts like to have their watch serviced every 5 years.
Whereas shortening the servicing cycle is totally feasible, it is not specifically advised to do so. In fact, unless your watch is damaged or is running very poorly, you shouldn’t have to service it that often. You can safely stick to the recommended 10 years interval.
- If your Rolex is new, you’re good to go. Just make sure that your watch is in good condition. Also, it should operate within Rolex’s accuracy standards of -2/+2 sec/day. If it’s not the case (probably because you’ve worn your watch extensively), you might send it for service as soon as possible.
- If your Rolex is 7 years old (for older models) to 10 years old, you should consider to send it for a maintenance check, regardless of if it runs as expected or not.
- If you have a vintage Rolex (30 years or more), you should ask your local watchmaker or an authorized dealer. Unless you are the first owner and that you sent your watch for service at the recommended interval, the consensus is that you shouldn’t service a vintage timepiece that is running fine. The goal is to not damage anything, as you don’t know exactly what the watch went through. As soon as it begins to perform poorly (or stop without reason), then it’s time to send it for a service.
What Does A Rolex Service Consist Of
When you send your Rolex for a service, it goes through an extensive procedure intended to keep it running as if you just bought it. During the service procedure, a certified Rolex watchmaker will:
- detach the bracelet from the case. Then, open the case, remove the movement and completely disassemble the watch case
- completely disassemble the movement, taking each and every part and component apart. Then, ultrasonically clean each part in a batch with solutions created specifically for the task.
- inspect each part to identify those they need to replace. They will only use genuine Rolex replacement parts.
- completely reassemble the movement, using special lubricants created to keep the movement lubricated and prevent wear.
- readjust the precision of the watch, making sure it’s within Rolex’s accuracy standards of -2/+2 sec/day. Then they will keep the watch for a few days to make sure it’s performing as intended.
- refinish the bracelet and case, to restore its original shine. They will replace any damaged part and then polish the watch. If you don’t want your watch to be refinished, don’t forget to tell your service center!
- reassemble the case and place the movement in it
- test the waterproofness of the watch using a vacuum test, a compression test, and a condensation test. At this point, the watch will be completely sealed (up to the rated maximum water resistance)
- make a final quality control, making sure your Rolex watch performs and looks like it should: perfect.
When you send your Rolex watch for a service, you a get 2 years or service guarantee. Should the movement not operate correctly that period, it will be taken care of – unless you didn’t use the watch properly or damaged it.
Where to Service Your Rolex
Does a Rolex need to be serviced? Yes, it does. Rolex watches run thanks to complex mechanical movements that slightly deteriorate and deregulate the more you wear the watch. You need to service your Rolex in order to keep it functioning properly and within Rolex’s accuracy standards.
What is the Rolex service turnaround time? The turnaround time for a Rolex service is between 4 and 6 weeks. The vast majority of Rolex owners report that an US-based RSC will take around 6 weeks to service the watch. Some can go as quick as 3 weeks, but it’s not the norm.
Do Rolex watches stop running? Yes, Rolex watches stop if you don’t wear them enough. All current Rolex watches feature movements that need to be kept wound in order to run. As soon as the mainspring runs out of power (because it’s fully unwound), a Rolex watch will stop.