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 for you 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 that would 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. Trust us, the cost of repairing
How Much Does A Rolex Service Cost?
To pick one figure is somewhat difficult as the cost of servicing a Rolex depends on many factors. However, generally, it should cost about $800, give or take a couple of hundred dollars.
Like we said, the cost you’d pay to have your Rolex serviced will depend on the model you want to service as well as the condition of the watch to be serviced. In truth, you might not be able to tell how much you’re going to spend precisely until you get to your local authorized dealer.
Factors Affecting How Much A Rolex Service Costs
Three major factors affect how much a Rolex service will cost including the model, movement, and case type of the watch in question.
Now, before your watchmaker services your Rolex, they will, first of all, evaluate your watch’s condition before they bill you. When they’ve found out what needs to be done, the invoice you’ll get will depend on how many parts they have to replace as well as their own labor fees. You’d have to approve this bill before they can begin the service procedure.
That’s for a certified authorized Rolex Service Center (RSC).
If you’re going to an independent watchmaker, on the other hand, 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 and only go to an independent watchmaker if you absolutely can’t reach an authorized RSC and you trust the independent watchmaker.
Another thing to factor in a Rolex service is that, sometimes, the watch would 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.
Without further ado, here are the top three factors affecting how much a Rolex service costs.
Rolexes differ in the complexity of their movements. Some have simple movements while some have really complex ones. Of course, naturally, as the complexity of movement increases, so does the cost of servicing.
Rolex watches with the simples 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.
Check out this mesmerizing video showing how the Rolex movement comes together at Rolex Bienne.
2. Model And Case Material
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’d most likely spend more servicing the Submariner or the Air-King. In summary, a professional Rolex watch would cost more to service than a simpler, more classic Rolex.
Besides that, watches studded with precious stones 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’re definitely going to spend more as the watchmaker would have to deal more delicately with the watch.
This is another commonsensical deduction. The worse the condition of your watch, the more you’re 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 designed to run, practically forever. However, it’s bound to begin aging after a while. So, if you’re constantly wearing your watch, though a Rolex can take a good beating, the movement will definitely not be as good as new as the movement in a Rolex that sits in a safe, stopped and pretty.
So, 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 exactly going to remain in mint condition. Hence, it will attract higher service fees than a Rolex that’s not worn as often.
Do not forget too 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, don’t forget. 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. Hence, 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 Often To Service Your Rolex Watch
According to Rolex, it’s best to service your Rolex watch, at least, once in 10 years. If your watch is less than 7 years old, then there’s no need to service it except the watch is damaged. This is for new watches.
For vintage models, how often you will service the watch would depend on how the movement of the watch performs.
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.
In summary, here are the conditions:
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. Especially if you’re not the first owner of the watch and aren’t sure if the previous owner sent it in for maintenance regularly, you’d need to check with your local watchmaker or authorized dealer to be sure.
That aside, 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 though, then it’s time for maintenance.
What A Rolex Service Procedure Entails
Here’s what a Rolex service procedure entails:
1. First, the watchmaker detaches the bracelet from its case and then opens the case. After this, they remove the movement, completely disassembling the case.
2. They then disassemble the movement totally and take each component apart. Afterward, they then clean each part ultrasonically using batches of solutions which are specifically made for the task.
3. Next, the watchmaker will inspect all the parts individually to ascertain which ones need replacement. If anyone needs replacement, the watchmaker would replace them using genuine Rolex parts.
4. When all necessary parts have been replaced, the watchmaker will then reassemble the movement. They’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 precision of the watch will then have to be adjusted to Rolex’s standards of -2/+2 seconds per day.
6. You won’t get the watch immediately. The watchmaker would have to watch your timepiece for a few days to be sure it’s 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 then the watch polished.
Remember, if you want to sell the watch later, tell the service center you don’t want the watch refinished.
8. Next up, the watchmaker will reassemble the case of your watch and then put the movement inside it.
9. Water-resistance will then 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. The only caveat is if you damage the watch or fail to use it properly.
Hear this Rolex-trained watchmaker explain what a Rolex service entails in his own words.
FAQs Concerning Rolex Watch Servicing
Where Can I Have My Rolex Serviced?
The best place to service your Rolex watch is either with an official Rolex retailer or a Rolex Service Center. These centers are available in more than a hundred different countries all over the world.
Rolex employs only highly-skilled watchmakers and trains them itself 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.
If you want to locate a Rolex Service Center or official Rolex retailer near you, you can visit this site.
How Long Does A Rolex Service Take?
If your watch requires a complete overhaul takes, at least, 4 weeks. In some cases, it can extend to 6 weeks. It all depends on the condition of your watch.
When you get to the RSC, the watchmaker will first examine your watch — its case and bracelet as well as its movement. Tests are usually extensive, after which the watchmaker will determine the necessary service procedures to take in order to get your watch performing up to Rolex’s stringent standards once again.
How Can I Replace A Lost Rolex Guarantee Card?
As we said, you get two years guarantee when you service your watch at a service center or an official Rolex retailer. To be able to claim this guarantee, if need be, you’ll be given a guarantee card. If it gets lost, Rolex says there’s no way to get a new one. So, please be very careful with it.