Whether you’re an avid collector or have just invested in your first Rolex watch, it’s important to know how to care for these finely tuned instruments. While they’re known for their durability, Rolex watches need attention and care just like a fine automobile if they are to run properly for the long haul (and retain their value). We consulted our expert on the subject, President of Precision Watches & Jewelry Roman Murat, to get Rolex care tips that will keep your timepiece ticking for years.
1. Get older Rolexes serviced regularly.
Rolex watches are complex machines, needing your care and our maintenance to keep running properly. Once your Rolex watch is over 10 years old, we recommend bringing it in for maintenance every two to three years – the friction within watches wears them down over time. If you wait five years or more after that point, it could mean the difference between a quick touch-up and a full Rolex rebuild with replacement parts. Give our watch maintenance guide a read, as well as our frequently asked question and troubleshooting guide – that way you know just what you need to do should the worst happen and your watch breaks down, as well as ways you can prevent future issues.
2. Keep your watch moving.
It’s always better to wear your watch than to let it sit unused. Like a car that is better of when it’s driven – watches were built to run. If it sits too long, oils can dry and movements can stiffen. If there was any moisture getting in over the years, rust has already formed and damaged the vital insides. If you do have to store your watch, keep it somewhere at least relatively temperature and humidity controlled. Hot, dry, cold, wet – these can all be bad for your watch. Direct sunlight is another no-go. We recommend using a watch winder for at least 5-8 hours a day – as with most things, moderation is best – a good quality watch winder can serve as a safe storage or display case for your watch.
3. Consider Rolex restoration carefully.
The decision to have a vintage Rolex restored is a very difficult one, heavily dependent on the owner’s wishes. When you have an overhaul done on your Rolex watch, you can have both the bracelet and the case refinished. Keep in mind, that when you refinish a watch, you can wear away some of the precious metal. There are some who swear by sticking to their factory Rolex finish for authenticity. It really comes down to personal preference – up to the Rolex owners themselves.
4. Be careful when wearing your Rolex.
Rolex watches are made of high grade stainless steel, gold, and platinum, and most have durable sapphire crystals, but that doesn’t make these watches impervious to harm. If you catch the watch at the right angle at the right time, even a small bump can damage it.
5. Don’t take Rolex water resistance for granted.
I know this likely doesn’t need to be said, but I’ll say it again: water is very bad for the inside of watches. If you get water inside your watch, treat it like a heart attack – put it in a bag of rice and get to a watchmaker immediately (skip the rice if you don’t have any nearby and put it on your wrist – your body heat can help evaporate the water and keep it from the intricate mechanisms in your watch movement). Whenever you are about to enter a wet environment, be sure that the crown on your Rolex is screwed down tight – without that, your watch is not water resistant.
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