How To Take Care Of Your Rolex Watch
Like a house, a Rolex watch is a lifetime investment. Like your house, it’s a treasured part of your life, and you want to take proper care of it.
Unlike a house, which needs periodic replacements and repairs, your Rolex should function perfectly with minimal maintenance almost indefinitely. It’s a testament to the meticulous design and ingenious engineering of these beautiful watches.
That said, a few small care practices are essential for keeping your Rolex looking gorgeous and running smoothly—find out how to take care of your Rolex watch below.
Winding a Rolex Watch Properly
You’ve purchased a Rolex—the first and most important task is to wind it:
- Unscrew the winding crown (the dial on the watch’s right side) by turning it counterclockwise. You will eventually feel it click—it’s now in the winding position.
- To wind the watch, turn it clockwise. It’s advisable that you rotate it fully a minimum of 25 times.
- Screw the crown back in fully by pushing it in and turning it clockwise. Ensure that it’s fully screwed in and not loose—this preserves the watch’s waterproof integrity by forming a hermetic seal.
Once you’ve done this, wearing your Rolex watch every day will keep it running smoothly—the motion of your wrist powers the winding mechanism.
This is the famous Oyster Perpetual winding system that Rolex developed in 1931. It takes skilled master watchmakers many labor hours to hand-craft the parts that allow this mechanism to work, and it is as astonishingly elegant today as it was back then.
If you don’t wear your Rolex for more than 48 hours, it may require winding again. The steps are the same whenever you need to wind your watch, so just follow the guide above.
Daily Care for Rolex Watches
Let’s be clear: your Rolex watch doesn’t need daily care. However, we completely understand if you want to put a shine on it every morning. It’s an object of extreme beauty and a source of pride for any owner. Why wouldn’t you want it to look its best?
Simply take a microfiber cloth and gently polish the face and metal strap each morning for daily care. Polishing the back is also an excellent way to remove any sweat or dirt from the previous day. It should only take a minute and is a great way to ensure that your statement watch looks the part.
Models with a leather strap only need the face and back of the case to be polished. We explain how to care for leather straps in our monthly care guide.
Note: Whenever you polish your watch, take care to avoid loosening the winding crown. Ensure that it is screwed tight to maintain its waterproof integrity.
Weekly Care for Rolex Watches
Weekly care is perhaps the best way to ensure that your watch is always looking beautiful and doesn’t accumulate dirt. Remember that there’s no pressure to step up to daily cleaning if you notice a few specks of dirt in the watch strap on the weekend. Even if you polish your watch daily, it won’t stop sweat and dust from building up between the strap links.
For weekly cleaning of a Rolex watch, follow these steps:
- Ensure that the winding crown is screwed in correctly.
- Fill a bowl of warm water.
- Dampen a microfiber cloth and gently wash the watch.
- Apply a small amount of non-toxic soap to the watch (for recommendations, contact your local watch expert).
- Use the microfiber cloth to massage the strap and face with the soap gently.
- Run some fresh warm water and use a fresh cloth to clean the soap from the watch. You can pass the strap under the running water to remove all the soap.
Monthly Care for Rolex Watches
Weekly care will keep your watch looking beautiful. Monthly care ensures the removal of that tougher grime that builds up between the links and around the case’s back.
Monthly care is also essential because sometimes hard particles can get trapped between links in the strap. These can cause scratches over time, so you’ll need to remove them with a brush.
Monthly cleaning follows a similar pattern to weekly cleaning, but once you have the watch lathered up with soap, take a very soft brush and gently scrub the watch.
Pay particular attention to the area between links and the case’s back. You should also clean the winding crown thoroughly—once again, ensure that it’s screwed in properly before you begin.
For leather straps, wiping thoroughly with a damp (not wet) microfiber cloth should ensure that they remain clean. You can also ask your local watch expert about the best cleaners for your leather strap.
Some Rolex owners wear their wristwatches daily. In that case, storing it in a watch box should suffice to keep it safe.
However, other owners—especially collectors—may have several Rolex watches that remain in long-term storage. In these situations, it’s best to keep it stored out of direct light and in a dry environment. A safe or deposit box is suitable for keeping these highly-prized investments in a secure location.
Servicing a Rolex
One of the many joys of owning a Rolex is that they require very little professional maintenance. They’re crafted from the finest materials and designed using the best engineering techniques in watchmaking.
All the same, taking your Rolex in for annual servicing is a great way to make sure that your prized possession continues to operate at 100% and hasn’t been affected by external factors. It is also imperative if you notice issues like condensation under the face.
You should ensure that your service provider is a reputable independent expert with experience in maintaining Rolex watches or an official Rolex store. An independent expert will typically be more affordable but ask for their credentials before service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Wear My Rolex Every Day?
Yes! Why wouldn’t you? It’s beautiful.
More importantly, wearing your Rolex every day ensures that the winding mechanism continues to self-power.
How Often Should You Wash a Rolex?
Weekly washing is advisable. Monthly washing using a very soft brush helps prevent the build-up of hard dirt and grime.
Taking Care of Your Rolex Watch
Your Rolex has been precision-engineered by the finest minds in watchmaking. As long as you wear it regularly and follow guidelines for winding, its internal workings will take care of themselves. Take it in for a check-up once per year to make sure there have been no external problems, follow our weekly and monthly cleaning guides, and if you like, give it a polish in the morning. And wear it with pride.