How To Clean A Rolex — A Complete Guide

If you wear your Rolex every day, naturally, it is going to get exposed to the weather more frequently and will begin to gather dust and grime. Thankfully, the way Rolex watches are built, they can withstand moisture, dirt, and grime. However, after a while, you’d have to clean it if you want it to retain its brilliance which is why you should learn how to clean a Rolex.

Besides retaining your watch’s brilliance, cleaning your Rolex is important to prevent the buildup of dirt. This is because it could lead to significant damage to your watch. So, although Rolex watches are some of the highest quality watches money can buy, you must keep them clean to fully enjoy all that they have to offer.

Hence, in this article, we offer you a step-by-step guide on how to clean a Rolex. It does not take too much time and in 15 minutes, you can get your watch looking good as new.

Why It Is Important to Wear Your Rolex Often

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

You invested so much in your Rolex watch because you wanted to use it, right? So, use it. And it is not just about you enjoying your watch, it is also important for the sake of your watch — to keep it running.

For example, if you have a Rolex Perpetual. The movement of this watch is maintained by subtle movements similar to what your wrist makes when it’s wearing the watch. 

So, if you don’t want to keep winding the watch, you’d have to wear the watch, at least, once every 48 hours. Or rock the watch gently once every 48 hours.

If, on the other hand, you leave your watch to sit and just run out of power, a lot of things can go wrong. Lubricants can harden which will lead to friction which will eventually cause damage when the watch eventually enters into motion again.

For this reason, therefore, even if you got the watch for special occasions, it’s important that you move it gently once every 48 hours or wind the watch once a week, at least.

Now, wearing your Rolex regularly is important. Nonetheless, it could quickly cause your Rolex to start looking dull or dirty. This will, in turn, affect the looks and functioning of the watch. This is why learning how to clean a Rolex is important.

Some Pre-Instructions In Cleaning A Rolex

Here are some pre-instructions you must take note of in cleaning a Rolex

1. Check the crown and ensure that it is tightly wound and screwed down before you start cleaning. If you fail to do this, you could damage your watch and that would cost you some good money by way of repairs.

2. Get a medium-sized bowl. Mix lukewarm water with ammonia-free soap into the bowl.

3. When applying the soapy mixture to your watch, use your hands.

4. When you are cleaning your watch, please scrub gently. For the best results, you might want to work with a soft bristle tooth brush.

5. To dry, just pat your watch gently with the aid of soft cotton cloth.

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How To Clean A Rolex — Washing Your Watch

You can wash your Rolex as long as it is a waterproof model. With the Rolex Oyster, for instance, the watch is water-resistant down to depths of 300 meters underwater. However, if the watch is not water-resistant, then it is not a good idea for the watch to get wet.

But if your Rolex is waterproof, then it is possible to wash your watch and you wouldn’t need to worry about damage. 

You can even wear your watch in the pool or while having a shower. However, doing that has a few disadvantages. It could, ultimately, affect the polished look of your watch and cause scratching too.

Here Are the Steps to Follow In Washing Your Rolex Watch

1. Wash your hands so that you don’t transfer the excess oil and dirt on your hands on to your watch while cleaning.

2. Make sure that your crown is screwed tightly to the case so that water does not penetrate through the crown into the internal parts of the watch.

3. Rinse the watch with lukewarm water in order to remove excess loose particles.

4. Use ammonia-free soap to wash the external parts of your watch gently.

5. Apply the soapy solution to your Rolex with the use of your hands.

6. For the nooks and crevices where they can be congealed dirt, you can use a tool to clean those corners. A good idea is an old toothbrush, preferably with soft bristles.

7. Also, use the brush to clean in between the bracelet links. These spots can be tough to clean, so, you need to take your time.

8. After scrubbing the watch, you can then begin to dip the watch into lukewarm water at short intervals. Continue doing this while washing away any remaining dirt or soap.

9. Once you are done washing your watch, use a soft, clean cotton cloth to pat your watch dry. This should be done gently. You can also use a blow dryer for hard-to-reach parts.

Video: How to Clean Your Rolex Watch

You can watch the video below for a visual demonstration of how to clean a Rolex Watch.

Some Tips and Warnings

1. Do not polish your watch yourself. If you want to polish your watch, take it to a certified Rolex Service Center. Don’t forget that if you intend to sell your Rolex later, polishing your watch might not be the best idea.

2. If, while washing you watch, you begin to see signs of condensation or water under your crystal, it is a bad sign. Take your watch in for repair as soon as possible.

Check out these articles for more on watches

How To Avoid/Limit Scratches On A Rolex Watch

To avoid scratching, or limit how often your watch gets scratched, there are a few things you need to do. The first is that whenever you are not using your watch, ensure you lay it on a bed of soft cloth, or in its own box.

Secondly, avoid making direct contact with wood, metal, or any rough, and hard surface with your watch, especially the crystal and the bracelet.

However, if you find it difficult to keep your watch away from such situations, you might be better off learning how to deal with the scratches. The bracelets especially are areas that need special attention as they are the more vulnerable parts. You should consider polishing your bracelets every few months in order to keep your watch looking its best for a while.

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How Can You Deal with Scratches on a Rolex Bracelets

To remove scratches from your Rolex bracelets, you will need a high-quality polishing cloth specially made for polishing gold and stainless steel. It is very important to use a high-quality polishing cloth as the wrong cloth can cause additional scratches.

In addition to the high-quality cloth, you also need a high-quality polishing liquid. 

Please, avoid using cleaners and chemicals not specially prepared for jewelry.

Also, do not use polishing liquid on the parts of the bracelet with a brushed finish as you could damage the finish.

The entire polishing should take about one minute max. Use only moderate pressure as polishing cloths are already designed to remove scratches.

Finally, when you clean, go with the flow (grain) of the metal. This will determine the direction in which you polish your watch. So, do not use circular strokes. Instead, go with straight strokes using the grain as a pointer for direction in which you should go.

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Video: How to Polish Your Rolex Watch

Here is a visual demonstration for polishing scratches on your Rolex bracelet.

What Happens When You Polish a Rolex Bracelet?

When a Rolex bracelet is polished, the scratches that appear on the bracelet are smoothened.

A scratch essentially occurs when one layer gets removed to expose another layer underneath. You notice the scratch because there are now two different layers on your watch’s bracelet. 

Therefore, when you polish, you take out the old layer in order to bring it to the level of the layer of the scratch which causes the scratch to disappear. Therefore, you don’t want to unnecessarily take out the layers of your watch’s bracelet.

So, only polish areas that are scratched and never the entire bracelet at a time.

Dealing With Scratches On The Crystal With Polywatch Crystal Scratch Remover

Some people say that the advantage of acrylic crystals or plexiglass crystals is that they are easier to clean up if they ever get scratched. Sapphire crystals, in comparison, are nigh impossible to get back in shape once scratched. They are not lying. Sapphire crystals can be a little difficult to maintain. Although Sapphire crystals do not scratch as easily as acrylic or plexiglass crystals.

In this subsection, we will show you how to use Polywatch to bring your plexiglass crystal back to mint condition if you just got yourself some vintage watches.

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How to Clean Your Crystal With Polywatch

To clean the crystal of your watch the first thing to do is to use a lens cleaner to wipe the surface of your crystal. This is to remove debris and oils that must have accumulated on the surface of the crystal from handling. Oils and debris can get in the way of the cleaning process, so you have to get that out of the way first. You need to start out with a clean crystal when carrying out this process.

Next, put a small amount of the Polywatch cleaner directly on to the surface of the crystal. Do not apply too much of the cleaner at once. It is better to apply a little at a time, buff it until it vanishes and then repeat the process.

After applying the little quantity of Polywatch on the crystal, it’s time to begin buffing. For this, it is best to use a soft, cotton cleaning cloth, even a small piece of an old t-shirt will do. They are great for applying the necessary pressure.

However, if you cannot lay hold of any of the materials mentioned, a cotton ball can also suffice, but do not use a Q-tip. It will not allow you to apply the necessary pressure, and you need to be firm with the pressure you’re applying to see results.

After buffing, wipe off the excess cleaner with a microfiber cloth.

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Other Care And Maintenance Processes To Carry Out

There are two other processes involved in caring for and maintaining your Rolex besides cleaning. These are winding the watch, and servicing it.

How To Wind Your Rolex Watch

To wind your Rolex, first place your watch on a soft, flat surface. You don’t want to scratch your watch, so you must handle it delicately. Also, do not ever wind your watch while it is still on your wrist. Always take it off first.

Next, after placing the watch on a soft surface, unscrew the crown and pull it to position two (the first click). Now, wind the crown about 30 to 40 times.

After winding the crown, screw the crown back down. This is a crucial step. If you forget to screw the crown securely into the case after winding your watch, you risk damaging the internal components of your watch and it will take no small fee to get your watch fixed.

When it comes to winding your Rolex watch, there is nothing like overwinding it. So, do not be afraid while winding it. Wind the watch fully to ensure that your watch continues performing at optimum standards.

Trust Rolex to think about everything. Every Rolex watch has a built-in mechanism that ensures that you can never over-wind the watch. So, as we said, you are safe.

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What to Do When Your Rolex Watch Fails to Work After Winding

If it happens that your Rolex watch does not begin working after winding it, do not shake the watch. Rather, rock it gently, more like you are trying to simulate a wrist-wearing experience. This should help to boost the movement.

After winding your Rolex watch, do not always expect it to start working immediately. Sometimes, it might take some time before your watch swings into action.

However, if after rocking it gently it does not still work, just give the watch some time. It should begin moving on its own.

If you have tried everything and the watch still refuses to work, then it might be time to take the watch to a certified Rolex repair center or your authorized dealer.

For perpetual movements, these watches wind themselves just by you wearing them. So, wear them often. Regular wear does not just help to wind the watch, it also keeps the lubricant viscous so that your watch continues moving.

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Servicing Your Rolex

Another thing you need to do to maintain your Rolex and care for it is to send it in for servicing regularly. In the past, Rolex used to recommend a 5-year cycle. However, now Rolex recommends a 10-year service cycle. Plus each service comes backed with a 2-year guarantee. Ain’t that awesome?