Rolex watches are built to last a lifetime as long as you give them the tender loving care they deserve. One thing you must do for your Rolex to ensure it lives long is to service it. You might be wondering “how much does a Rolex service cost?” Well, it could cost quite a bit. A Rolex isn’t a cheap watch after all.
Today, our article covers everything you need to know about servicing your Rolex, including how much it will cost you and how regularly you should service your watch.
Keep in mind that the person to service your watch is an experienced watchmaker, preferably at an official Rolex retailer or a Rolex Service Center (RSC). Even if you like to tinker a bit, be careful about opening up your watch as you could tamper with your watch’s functionalities, especially its water-resistance. It’s best to leave it at the hands of Rolex-trained experts for your own peace of mind.
How Much Does A Rolex Service Cost?
The cost of servicing a Rolex is within the range of $700 to $1000. A Rolex is a specialty watch, therefore, it needs the services of an expert that is a specialist in Rolex watches. As a result of the expertise required, the cost of servicing a Rolex is on the high side.
However, to pick just one figure may not paint the entire picture as the cost of servicing a Rolex depends on many factors.
The cost you will pay to have your Rolex serviced will depend on the model and the condition of the watch to be serviced.
What Factors Affect How Much A Rolex Service Costs?
The factors that affect how much a Rolex service costs are:
1. The complexity of the movement.
2. The model and case material of the watch.
3. The condition of the watch.
Because Rolex is made to last for a life time, there is no consideration for the engine. It is not expected to develop any fault.
Let us now discuss these factors in detail.
What movement do Rolex watches use?
Rolex watches use only mechanical movements in their watches. The movement has different levels of complexity. Some have simple movements while others have really complex movements.
Of course, naturally, as the complexity of movement increases, so does the cost of servicing.
Rolex watches with the simplest movements are the three-handers. That is, the movement only has to handle an hour hand, a minute hand, and a second hand. Watches in this category include the Oyster Perpetual, the Submariner, the Explorer, the Air-King, the Milgauss, and the Cellini Time.
Video: Rolex Bienne – The Movement
This video shows how the Rolex movement comes together at Rolex Bienne.
2. Model And Case Material
What kind of materials are used in making Rolex cases?
The materials used in making Rolex cases are:
2. White gold
3. Yellow gold
The model of your watch, as well as its case, can also affect how much you spend in the servicing of the Rolex. For instance, an Air-King, a Submariner, and an Oyster Perpetual all share the same movement.
However, if you were to service all three, you will most likely spend more on servicing the Submariner or the Air-King. In summary, a professional Rolex watch will cost more to service than a simpler, more classic Rolex.
Besides that, watches made from precious metals will, naturally, cost more to service than watches made with stainless steel. So, if your case is made of Everose, white gold, yellow gold, or platinum, you are definitely going to spend more, as the watchmaker would have to deal more delicately with the watch.
3. Condition of the Watch
Can the condition of a Rolex affect the cost of servicing it?
The condition of a Rolex can affect the cost of servicing it. There is a common connection between the condition and the cost of fixing it. The worse the condition of your watch, the more you are likely to spend.
So, if your watch is relatively new, say between 7 to 10 years old, the movement is sure to be in much better conditions than that of a vintage piece.
In truth, Rolex watches are practically designed to run forever. However, it’s bound to begin aging after a while. So, if you are constantly wearing your watch, though a Rolex can take a good beating, the movement will definitely not be as good as new.
That means if your Rolex is your everyday watch, considering the occasional bumps it’s sure to get, not forgetting the exposure to moisture and the elements, it’s not going to remain exactly in mint condition. Hence, it will attract higher service fees than a Rolex that’s not worn as often.
Do not forget that your case is going to be polished, too. However, if you plan to sell your Rolex at some point, we’d have to advise you against polishing your watch. By the way, if you don’t know how to value your Rolex, click here to read What Is My Rolex Watch Worth?
For most buyers of pre-owned pieces, they prefer to see the watch as it is, with the scratches, scuffs, and marks.
Polished cases can look suspicious as a potential buyer might think you have something to hide. We explain more about how to sell your Rolex in this article: Where Can I Sell My Rolex, click here to read it.
So, if you plan to sell later, tell them at the service center not to polish the case. This is a routine part of their service procedure. If you don’t tell them, they will go ahead to polish your case.
Finally, for vintage pieces that need parts replaced or rebuilt from the scratch, service costs go up considerably.
How Does a Watchmaker Cost the Servicing of Your Rolex?
Before your watchmaker costs the servicing of your Rolex, they will evaluate your watch’s condition. When they have found out what needs to be done, the invoice you get will depend on how many parts they have to replace as well as their labor fees.
You will have to approve this bill before the watchmaker can begin the service procedure. This procedure is for an authorized Rolex Service Center (RSC).
If you are going to an independent watchmaker, most will have a price list on hand that you can browse through. Nonetheless, it’s generally advised that you go to an authorized RSC. You should only go to an independent watchmaker if you cannot reach an authorized RSC and you trust the independent watchmaker.
Another thing to factor in a Rolex service is that, sometimes, the watch may need to be sent to Switzerland when your local RSC is unable to sort the issue for whatever reason. In such cases, the customer would have to bear the costs of shipping in addition to servicing costs.
How Often Should a Rolex Watch be
A Rolex watch should be serviced at least once in 7 years. It is a watch that is made to last a life time. Therefore, the parts are made of quality materials. As a result, it does not need regular maintenance. This should not come as a suprise because the warranty on a Rolex is five years from the day of purchase.
You do not need to service a Rolex watch that is less than 7 years old. It is expected to still be in perfect working order by this period.
However, this is for new watches. For vintage models, how often you will service the watch would depend on how the movement of the watch is.
Now, the 10-year benchmark is just a ballpark figure. There are people who send in their watches for servicing every 5 years. There are no rules against that. Nonetheless, it might not be the best idea. If your watch isn’t damaged or running poorly, there’s no need to service it every so often. It’s best to stick to the 10-year plan as recommended by Rolex.
Here are the conditions that should make you take your Rolex watch for servicing:
1. Concerning servicing for a new watch, just keep your watch in good condition, ensuring that it’s operating at Rolex’s -2/+2 accuracy standards. If your watch is falling short, then it might be time to send it in for servicing.
2. For Rolex watches that are about 7 to 10 years old, start preparing to send them in for servicing, whether they are functioning well or not.
3. If you own a vintage piece, then consult with an authorized dealer or your local watchmaker. This is especially true if you are not the first owner of the watch and aren’t sure if the previous owner sent it in for maintenance regularly. You need to check with your local watchmaker or authorized dealer to be sure.
However, if the vintage watch was regularly maintained, then it’s best not to service the watch as long as it’s running fine.
You really don’t want to damage anything, so you must ensure you don’t open up the watch unnecessarily. Once the watch begins to run poorly, then it’s time for maintenance.
What Does A Rolex Service Procedure Entail?
A Rolex service procedure entails the following:
1. The watchmaker detaches the bracelet from its case and then opens the case. After this, he/she removes the movement, completely disassembling the case.
2. The movement will be disassembled totally and each component taken apart. Afterward, each part will be cleaned ultrasonically, using batches of solutions that are specifically made for the task.
3. The watchmaker will inspect all the parts individually to ascertain which ones need replacement. If anyone needs replacement, the watchmaker will replace them using genuine Rolex parts.
4. When all necessary parts have been replaced, the watchmaker will reassemble the movement. He’ll apply a special lubricant to ensure that the movement stays lubricated and to also prevent wear from constant use.
5. After reassembling the movement, the watch is then adjusted to Rolex’s standards of -2/+2 seconds per day.
6. You won’t get the watch immediately. The watchmaker will have to observe it for a few days to be sure it is performing as it should.
7. This next step, although routine, can actually be left out if you inform the watchmaker. This is where the watchmaker refinishes the case as well as the bracelet so that it returns to its original shine. Damaged parts will also be replaced and the watch polished.
Remember, if you want to sell the watch later, tell the service center you don’t want the watch refinished.
8. The watchmaker will reassemble the case of your watch and then put the movement inside it.
9. Water-resistance will be tested using a vacuum test, a condensation test, and a compression test. Don’t worry; at this point, your watch must have been completely sealed. So, it won’t get damaged.
10. This last step is basically quality control to ensure that your watch works and looks perfect.
PS: If you send your watch to a Rolex Service Center (RSC) for maintenance, you’ll get a 2-year service guarantee. This means that, within 2 years, if the movement begins to underperform, you can take the watch back and it will be fixed without charges. The only caveat is if you damage the watch or fail to use it properly.
Check out these articles for more on watches
Video Title: Authorized Rolex Watch Service & Repair
In this video, this Rolex-trained watchmaker explains what a Rolex service entails.
How Much Does A Rolex Watch Servicing Cost – FAQs
What does a Rolex full service include?
A Rolex full service includes all the extra services that will be rendered to you in addition to the basic service of cleaning the Rolex. The bracelet of the Rolex watch will be checked for any damage or wear and tear.
Also, the watch case will be examined. If any form of damage or wear is noticed, the affected component will be replaced with a new Rolex part. After replacing the worn out or damaged parts, the bracelet and case will then be expertly refinished. It will also be cleaned ultrasonically. This will restore its beauty.
Does a Rolex stop if not worn?
A Rolex does not stop if not worn. This is one of the exquisite features that Rolex has which marks it out as a special watch. A Rolex watch has a self-winding mechanism that helps to keep it up to time even when not in use.
Rolex watches that have this self-winding mechanism are known as “perpetual-movement” watches. They stay wound for forty-eight hours while not being worn. If the perpetual movement watch happens to die, you can easily get it up and running by simply winding it again.
Can you overwind a Rolex?
It is not possible for you to overwind a Rolex. Rolex watches have been made in such a way that when you are winding it, it disengages immediately it gets to the full wind.
This design was included in the Rolex watches to prevent the user from damaging the winder through overwind. As a result, immediately the winder gets to the end, you cannot overwind it no matter how much you try.
Moreover, there is hardly any need to wind your Rolex watch. As long as you are putting it on regularly, the Perpetual rotor transfers the energy to the watch. This makes it to retain power for up to 70 hours after wearing.
Where Can I Have My Rolex Serviced?
You can have your Rolex serviced either with an official Rolex retailer or a Rolex Service Center (RSC). These centers are available in more than a hundred countries all over the world.
Rolex employs only highly skilled watchmakers and trains them to expertly service, maintain, and repair Rolex watches. They are also trained to advise Rolex watch owners on the technical aspects of their watch as well as its functions.
Taking your Rolex to somebody who is not an authorized Rolex retailer for servicing will void the warranty on your Rolex.
How Long Does a Rolex Service Take?
A Rolex service takes a minimum of 4 weeks to be complete. That is enough time to do a complete overhaul of the watch.
For situations that are more serious, it can take up to 6 weeks for your Rolex to be completely serviced. The duration depends heavily on the condition of the watch.
When you get to the Rolex Service Center (RSC), the watchmaker will first examine your watch — its case and bracelet as well as its movement. Tests are usually extensive. After that, the watchmaker will determine the necessary service procedures to take. This is to make sure your watch is performing up to Rolex’s stringent standards once again.
How Can I Replace A Lost Rolex Guarantee Card?
You cannot replace a lost Rolex guarantee card. The guarantee card is issued after servicing your Rolex watch. It is a coverage issued by Rolex or its service engineers to customers whose watches have been serviced.
To receive the Rolex guarantee card, you must service your Rolex watch at a licensed Rolex service center or an official Rolex retailer. You can claim your guarantee if your Rolex watch develops an issue within two years of service.
So, it is important that you keep it safe once it is issued.