How To Adjust A Rolex Watch Band

It is important for your watch to sit on your wrist comfortably, or else it can get in the way and become a mild annoyance. If you know how to adjust a Rolex watch band, you’d be able to get it to fit nicely and comfortably.

Besides the inconvenience you suffer from a tight-fitting watch, a Rolex that is too loose will also be prone to knocks and scratches. This can add to your watch aging faster than it should normally. This is why your watch must be a perfect fit.

Before we go into the details of how to adjust a Rolex watch band, here is an important tip to help you size your watch correctly so that you might not have to end up adjusting your watch band.

Wear Your Rolex Watch On Your Forearm Not On Your Wrist!

Yes, it is called a wristwatch, we know.  And yes, everyone says you wear a watch on your wrist. But you are not actually supposed to wear it on your wrist. You are supposed to wear it adjacent to the wrist on the lower part of the forearm, to be precise. This is true for leather straps and metal bracelets. Here are some reasons why wearing your watch on your forearm is better.

First off, the bone of your wrist (on the pinkie side of the wrist) called the head of the ulna is going to hurt if your watch is sitting directly on top of it, especially for long hours at a time.

Secondly, the winding crown, as well as the chronograph pushers for Daytona watches, can dig into your hand if you wear your watch on your wrist. This could cause scratching and blisters on your wrist which isn’t exactly great news.

How To Adjust A Rolex Watch Band

Now, it’s possible that, even after you get the right fit with your Rolex, the watch is still a little loose. In this case, you might have to remove a few links from the bracelet to be able to get the perfect fit.

It’s best to get a watch specialist you trust to help you with this. However, if you’re confident in yourself and you want to adjust the band on your own, we’re here for you.

Now, don’t forget that your clasp must be centered with the case when you want to remove bracelet links. This is important to ensure that things are kept balanced.

How To Adjust A Rolex Band — Required Tools

Here are the tools required to adjust a Rolex band

1. Bergeon screwdriver or Rolex screwdriver

2. Small spring bar tool or thumbtack

3. Locktite 221 or 222

4. A padded worktop

Here is a breakdown of the functions of these tools in adjusting a Rolex band

1. Bergeon Screwdriver or Rolex Screwdriver

The best tool for this work is a Rolex screwdriver. It is designed to fit into Rolex watches perfectly. However, it is hard to get and is also quite expensive. Hence our recommending of Bergeon screwdriver. It is a perfect alternative to the Rolex screwdriver.

The slot you will be working with is one that has exactly 90-degree corners with a flat bottom. Usually, a screwdriver should fit the slot precisely without any slop.

For many watchmakers, they decide to file their 1.8-millimeter screwdriver blade so that it can fit the slot exactly. Then they retain their custom screwdriver and use it as their dedicated Rolex bracelet screwdriver.

2. Small Spring Bar Tool

For Rolex watches with the milled clasps, you’d need a small spring bar tool. For the folded stainless clasps, you’d need either a toothpick or a thumbtack.

3. A red bottle of Locktite 221 or Loctite 222.

This thread locker is used to lock the links on the band to make it firm.

4. A Padded Worktop.

This could be a desk/table or hardwood floor. You want something on which you can easily locate your spring bar in case it flies off.

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Also, make sure there is something soft spread over it like a cloth, so that your watch does not get scratched when you are working with it.

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How To Adjust A Rolex Watch Band With The Built-In Extension System

There are two ways to adjust the band of your Rolex watch using the built-in extension system. They are:

  1. The Glidelock extension system
  2. The Easylink extension

How To Adjust Your Rolex Band Using The Glidelock Extension System

To adjust your Rolex using the Glidelock extension system, you have to adjust the clasp. When you look underneath the clasp, you’ll find that you can adjust your bracelet (either to expand or to contract) with an 8-millimeter increment or reduction without the aid of a tool.

What you should do is to simply push the adjustable side of the bracelet from the clasp. Then, as the name suggests, glide the extension back or forth until it gets to your desired size. Afterward, simply click your bracelet back to its place, and you are done.

By the way, Submariners with the Glidelock extend up to 20 millimeters. Deepsea watches and Sea-Dweller watches, on the other hand, extend up to 26 millimeters.

A Glidelock extension is a great way to make slight size changes as you switch between temperatures or as your wrist changes in size.

Some Rolex watch models such as the DeepseaSubmariner, and Sea-Dweller all come with a Glidelock extension system.

How To Adjust Your Rolex Band Using The EasyLink Extension

To adjust the band of your Rolex watch using the Easylink extension system, you will need a spring bar tool. Bracelets that feature the Easylink extension system typically come with about 4 or 5 spring bar adjustment holes.

Firstly, push the spring bar holding the bracelet and the clasp together. When you have done that, you can then move the bracelet to one of the adjustment holes on the inside of the clasp — anyone of your choice. Once you’ve reached your preferred adjustment hole, slide the spring bar back in place and you are done.

Lastly, the Easylink extension only expands and contracts by a miximum of 5 millimeters. Do not pull on the link when you’re releasing the spring bar. If you do, it might fly off and get lost.

Rolex watches such as the DateJust, Daytona, GMT Master II, and some others come with the Easylink extension. The extension only supports micro-adjustments and adjusts a little differently than the Glidelock extension. 

It is not as effortless as the Glidelock extension, so you’d need to do a little bit more work with the Easylink than with the Glidelock.

More information on Rolex bracelets, clasps, and extension mechanisms can be found here.

How Do You Adjust Rolex Watches With Milled Clasps

Rolex watches with the newer milled clasps have three adjustment slots inside their clasp. You need a spring bar tool to release the two sides of the spring bar. Make sure you do not pull on the links when you are releasing the spring bar so that you do not send the spring bar flying off.

Next, once you have released the spring bar, slide it gently from slot to slot till you land on your preferred slot.

You can try different combinations of spring bar locations and links inside the clasp until you get something that fits.

How To Adjust A Rolex Watch Band By Removing Bracelet Links

When you remove links, you’ll be able to make more significant changes to your Rolex watch, depending on your needs. 

Most times, a new Rolex watch will need to have a few links removed as they typically come with a full set of links on the bracelet.

Also, while adding links to a new Rolex’s bracelet is uncommon, it’s not impossible. Adding new links to your watch’s bracelet, fortunately, is easy and follows the same steps as removing them.

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However, before you begin taking out the links, be sure that your clasp is centered. Also, check to confirm that your watch is sitting correctly on your wrist.

As a rule, when you wear your watch, it should be loose enough such that a finger can slide in between the clasp and your hand. This is important for times when the temperature gets warmer and your wrist expands. If the clasp fits flush, your watch can become uncomfortable.

How Do You Remove Rolex Bracelet Links?

To remove the bracelet links of your Rolex watch and achieve the best result, you should begin from the 6 o’clock side of the watch. This is to ensure that the hinge remains centered on the wrist. If you remove them from the 12 o’clock position, you could pull the watch off-center which is not the best for your watch balance.

The first thing is to remove the links. You will need the screwdriver for that. The best screwdriver to use for this is a Rolex screwdriver. However, if you cannot lay your hand on that, you can use the Bergeon screwdriver, which is a good alternative.

To start with, place your Rolex vertically on a soft worktop. You can use a soft cloth or a pillow. This is to keep you from scratching your watch.

Secondly, insert the screwdriver into the slot and begin unscrewing. When you begin, it might seem a little tight. This is normal and expected considering that Rolex uses 222 Loctite to hold its links together.

So, while it is a bit tough, do not fall into the temptation of applying more force than is necessary, or else you might end up damaging the screw. Instead, try heating the link to loosen up the glue a little. Using a hairdryer will be of help here if you have one.

Thirdly, spot the holes on each side of your bracelet. You can find these holes at the edge of the links near the clasp.

Next, to remove one link, you’d have to unscrew two pins from the bracelet. To do this, hold two links together while you unscrew the pin, and then pull out the pin. After doing this, then remove the residual Loctite glue on the screw and pin.

Furthermore, when that is done, apply a little amount of Loctite glue to the end of the pin you just pulled out and then hold the two links back together by passing the link through the hole.

Finally, screw the pin back in and make sure you screw the pin in properly. Also, make sure that you keep every link you take out safely as this will definitely affect the valuation of your Rolex watch in the future if you intend to sell it.

Video: Rolex Training – Bracelet Adjustment

Watch this video for a visual demonstration of how to adjust the bracelet of a Rolex watch

How To Adjust Your Rolex Watch Band When Nothing Else Works

If you’ve tried everything and nothing is working, it might be time to do something a little more drastic.

Rolex wearers whose wrists are smaller than 6.5 inches in diameter are typically in such situations that demand drastic measures. To get the Rolex to fit perfectly, you would have to take out a non-removable link.

Therefore, if you are in this predicament, your first option is to go to your local authorized dealer to help you remove a few non-removable links. It is not something you can handle on your own, so, please, do not attempt to.

A second option would be to use half-links. However, this option is mostly for watch owners with a Submariner, Deep Sea, or Sea-Dweller. The Oyster half-links are made for these models. But there are also half-links for jubilee bracelets which an authorized dealer can get for you if you own none of these watches but have a Rolex that has a jubilee bracelet.

Tips For Removing Bracelet Links

What are the tips for successively removing bracelet links?

1. The first tip for removing bracelet links is to ensure that you screw the removed pins back into their original thread. This is because if you have even slightly different threads or sizes joined together, it could affect the perfect fit.

2. Be careful about tool slippage while working to remove links on your watch. The more your tool slips, the more your watch suffers unnecessary scratches that could affect valuation in the future if you decide to sell.

And these things happen pretty quickly, especially if your watch’s bracelet is made of precious metals.

However, to prevent this, you can mask the bracelet with tape so that any accidental slippage won’t lead to any damage.

3. Sealing with glue (Loctite glue) is very important. It is true that there are many who never use the glue and nothing happens to their watch. In fact, the way Rolex crafts its pins and threads, it’s possible for them to hold properly without glue.

Nonetheless, it is best to use the screw glue for a number of reasons. For one, a damaged thread due to incorrect screwing, or exchanged pins can lead to a loose connection. In such situations, Loctite glue will help in securing the links so they do not fall.

4. Keep the application of the screw glue very light. If you use too much glue, you could set yourself up for next time. If there is any need for Link removal in the future, it will be unnecessarily difficult. So, make sure you keep the application light.

How to Adjust a Rolex Watch Band – FAQs

How Can I Tell If a Rolex Is Stolen?

To tell if a Rolex watch is fake, you will need to check the serial number on the watch and contact the Rolex headquarters for confirmation. There are two numbers listed on the case of a Rolex watch, they are the serial number and the reference number. The serial number tells when they made the watch while the reference number indicates the type of watch.

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Normally, Rolex owners register the serial numbers with Rolex USA, and they report it as lost or stolen using the serial number if that happens. Therefore, when you contact Rolex headquarters with the watch’s serial number, you’ll be informed of the status of the watch. It also helps you confirm the originality of the watch.

What Is Oystersteel Used in Making Rolex Bracelets?

Oystersteel is one of the 904L steel groups known to be one of the best stainless steel. The 904L stainless steel is known to be resistant to corrosion. In addition to that, it responds quite well when polished. The steel displays a beautiful sheen to it when polished.

The 904L steel has such a high quality that they are the preferred steel for high-tech companies, including in aerospace and chemical companies. As a result of this, Rolex, who always goes for the best, decided to exclusively use the Oystersteel for their bracelet bands.

Why Does My Rolex Stop?

A Rolex watch stops when the winder becomes fully unwound. To get your watch working, the winder has to be wound fully. The winding or tightening of the spring creates tension in the mainspring. When the mainspring starts to unwind, it releases energy to the engine of the watch. This keeps the dials of the watch ticking.

Consequently, as the spring is unwinding, the dials will continue to work. This goes on until the watch is completely unwound again. However, to prevent your watch from stopping, you need to keep the watch wound. Most Rolex watches come with an automatic winder. This means that you only need to wear your watch regularly to keep it wound.

How Do Rolex Watches Tick?

Rolex watches tick in a sweeping way. They tick that way because they use mechanical movement. However, it is not only Rolex watches that have a sweeping second hand, but all mechanical watches also tick in the same way. This is different from quartz (battery) movement which has a more noticeable ticking movement.

While a quartz movement ticks at a speed of one tick per second, a mechanical movement ticks at 8 – 10 ticks per second. Because of the number of ticks a Rolex dial makes in one second, its ticking movement is not quite pronounced compared to that of a watch that has a quartz movement. This also makes the ticking of a Rolex almost soundless.

What Is So Special About Rolex?

A Rolex is special because it is the most revered watch in the world. Rolex has developed a reputation for itself over the years. They have consistently maintained the production of high-quality watches with great movements. They do not compromise on the quality of the materials they use in making their watches. This is why a Rolex is said to be as good as money.

Besides, all their movements are handmade, and this contributes to the unique quality of their timepieces. In addition to that, the respect, admiration, and value that Rolex enjoys are heightened by the secrecy and mystery that surrounds their company’s business setup. As successful as the company is, it is owned and run by a charity organization.

Should I Wind My Rolex Every day?

You should not wind your Rolex every day. When fully wound, most Rolex watches have a power reserve of 40 hours and above. This means that it will take a Rolex watch almost two whole days, at the minimum, to run out of power without being wound. There are Rolex watches that have a power reserve that can last up to 3 months without being wound.

Moreover, there is no need for you to manually wind your Rolex watch. This is because Rolex mechanical watches have an automatic winding mechanism. Therefore, to get your watch to wind itself and retain power, you only need to wear it at least once every two days.