How To Open A Rolex — An Easy-To-Follow Guide

A Rolex watch is a luxury timepiece crafted from the highest quality materials and using the best designing methods. Therefore, it carries a heavy price tag and must be serviced using the highest level of skill. Today, we want to learn how to open a Rolex watch.

As with any luxury product, a Rolex watch must be opened and serviced with utmost care.

The truth is that when it comes to things like this, the best person to open up your watch or service it is actually a trained expert. However, if you’re patient and deft enough, you might be able to service your precious watch yourself. But make no mistakes about it, it does require a lot of patience.

But, first things first, you must gather all the necessary tools you’ll need to work with your watch’s mechanical innards.

What Are The Tools Required To Open A Rolex?

The tools required to open a Rolex watch are:

1. Watchmakers’ or jewelers’ screwdriver

2. Surgical steel tweezers

3. A Rolex-specific waterproof case wrench

4. A bracelet link remover and/or a bracelet screw remover

5. A jeweler’s light and magnifier

Let us look at what these tools are used for.

1. Watchmakers’ Or Jewelers’ Screwdrivers

What are watchmakers’ screwdrivers used for?

Watchmakers’ screwdrivers are used to loosen the tiny parts and screws of a watch. They are precision-made screwdrivers designed to penetrate small spaces without affecting other parts. The screwdrivers have uniform-sized blades

2. Surgical Steel Tweezers

What is the function of surgical steel tweezers in watch servicing?

The surgical steel tweezers work together with the watchmakers’ or jewelers’ screwdrivers to hold down some tricky pieces in a watch. This will make it easier to open the watch for service.

3. A Rolex-Specific Waterproof Case Wrench

What is the importance of a waterproof case wrench in watch servicing?

The importance of a waterproof case wrench in Rolex watch servicing is that it ensures the proper removal as well as replacement of parts of a watch. It helps to make the process much simpler and faster.

When you want to use it on a Rolex, make sure it is a Rolex-specific wrench. If you use a wrench that isn’t Rolex-specific, you run the risk of marring your finish or misaligning some parts.

4. A Bracelet Link Remover And/Or A Bracelet Screw Remover

What are the functions of a bracelet link remover and a bracelet screw remover?

A bracelet link remover and bracelet screw remover are used to adjust your watch’s bracelet to size. Besides that, either of these tools is also important in the disassembling of your watch’s band, whether for repair, for cleaning, or for maintenance. With any of these tools, disassembling your watch band is made faster, simpler, and more precise.

5. A Jeweler’s Light And Magnifier

What is the use of a jeweler’s light and magnifier?

A jeweler’s light and magnifier are used to make the viewing of tiny parts of a watch clearer. Watch parts range in size from tiny to minuscule. Having an additional source of light at hand as well as a magnifier can help to prevent the loss of valuable screws, a dial, or other sundry tiny pieces and that is what a jeweler’s light and magnifier do.

Some lenses of the magnifier even come as a combination-lighted lens, which are great options to get as well. These tools are other additions that can make your work easier as a tinkerer.

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What Are The Important Things To Note Before You Open A Rolex Watch?

When you want to open a Rolex watch, there are important things you must put in place and strict rules you must adhere to.

Firstly, it’s important that you carry out the procedure on a clutter-free desk. Using a padded mat can also help. With these two, you’ll be able to keep your watch, as well as its many components, within a clear view. In addition to this, it helps in protecting the most fragile parts of the watch from damage.

Secondly, If you are opening a Rolex watch for the first time, it might seem like there’s nothing to it. However, when all the parts are out, it can look quite intimidating. So, it’s important to work with a clutter-free desk in order not to lose sight of important parts of your watch.

Finally, and most importantly, you must not open up your Rolex without a careful study of what the process entails. Thankfully, there are many resources that can help you with this.

Therefore, you want to get a good grasp of the Rolex blueprint, the parts, and part placements as well as how the watch works internally. Learning how these watch parts work together is also important as you venture into opening up your Rolex watch.

How To Open A Rolex Watch

There are two methods by which you can open a Rolex. You can either use a rubber ball or a metal die. But before we introduce any of these methods, here are some things you must take care of first:

1. Open The Band Of Your Watch

If your band separates, then open it up first. If the band is a metal one with a closed-loop, then look for the pin in the clasp. Use your jeweler’s screwdriver to push the pin to the other side of the clasp. When it comes out, keep it in a safe place and open up the bracelet.

You want to be careful as you push out this pin so you don’t scratch your band due to a slip of the tool in your hands.

2. Place The Watch On Its Face On Your Padded Work Mat

Another important thing you need to take care of is the face of your Rolex watch. When you are working on it, it is expected that your watch will be lying face down. And as a result, you need to protect it from being damaged.

That is why you need a padded work mat. The padded work mat should also have a good grip to prevent any accident that might damage your watch due to a slippery surface.

How Do You Open A Rolex Watch With A Rubber Ball?

To open your Rolex with a rubber ball, the first thing you have to do is to get a nice rubber ball, something with a decent level of grip, preferably.

Secondly, place the rubber ball on the back of the watch’s case and apply some pressure. Then turn the ball counterclockwise until the case back unscrews and can be removed from the watch without shaking.

Although a wrench can be used for this, there are cases where you get a wrench that’s too small. In such a case, using a rubber ball is a great idea.

Fitting the case back on to the back of the wristwatch works pretty much the same way. You simply place the back of the case on to the back of the watch. When you’ve ensured a snug fit, use the rubber ball once again by applying pressure onto the back of the watch. Next, pushing the ball onto the case back, turn the ball clockwise until the case back locks in securely.

Video: How to Unscrew a Watch Back With a Rubber Ball

Here is a visual demonstration of how to unscrew a watch back using a rubber ball.

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How Do You Open A Rolex Watch With A Die?

To open your Rolex watch with a die, the first thing you need to do is to make sure you have the appropriate die that will suit what you are doing.

In the first place, if you decide to get a die kit online, make sure you measure the back of your watch first. The measurement should be from one ridged edge to the other. This is important to make sure you have the correct size of die with which to open the back of your watch.

Next, most die kits will include a handle in which you will place your die. This handle also helps you when turning the die on the back of your watch.

However, for a more sophisticated kit, you might not find a handle. Instead, you might find a vice with which to hold both your die and your watch.

Now, place the die (with its handle) on the back of your watch ensuring that it sets in the grooves, (you’ll know the die has set when you feel it). Make sure you apply the die straight. This is because if you apply it at an angle, you could end up scratching your watch.

Once the die has set properly into the grooves, turn the die counterclockwise to unscrew the back of the case. If you don’t have a vice, ensure that your watch remains steady while you turn the die. Keep turning the die until the cover is removed from the back of the watch.

You can get a die kit with which to open your Rolex watch from any local store around you — online or offline. Most often, the kit will come with a number of dies to fit all kinds of watches.

How To Open A Rolex Band

To open a Rolex band, look for the flip-lock part of your watch’s bracelet. You’ll find it above the small crown on the clasp of your bracelet. It is a small metal tab. Almost all Rolex models have this section on their bracelets.

Next, put your fingernail under the indentation located above your watch’s crown and then push out the flip-lock. A section at the end of the watch’s buckle should now be exposed along with the flip-lock. Then pull the metal up gently until the main clasp is disengaged.

Lastly, pull the main clasp back and let the metal leaves fold apart. This will help to remove the bracelet.

How Do You Remove The Bands Of A Rolex Watch?

To remove the band of your Rolex watch, first, set your watch facing downwards on your padded work mat and locate the screw links on your bracelet’s links. Each side of the clasp should have links that have tiny screw heads on the edge of the band. So, this shows they are removable.

Use your small jeweler’s screwdriver to remove the screw from the links. Once you successfully pull out a screw, ensure you keep it in a safe place as you wouldn’t want to lose it.

Keep unscrewing the links until you have removed the needed number of links to ensure that the watch is now your right size.

Once the watch is your right size, attach the clasp to the remaining links by screwing the links to the clasp using your small screwdriver.

And with that, you’re done!

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You can also learn how to set the time on a Rolex watch here.

How to Open a Rolex – FAQs

Why Is Rolex So Expensive?

One of the things that makes a Rolex watch so expensive is its uniqueness and quality of the design.

Another reason why a Rolex watch is expensive is that it is a luxury watch. To maintain a top-notch quality, Rolex watches are made with unadulterated 18-carat gold. They are mixed with the right portion of silver and copper to maintain high quality.

In addition, Rolex uses 904L stainless steel for their bracelets. This is much better quality than the 316L used by other watchmakers.

Finally, the movements they use are handmade and they are one of the best movements in the watch industry.

Are Rolex Diamonds Real?

Rolex diamonds are real and are rigorously tested to avoid any mistakes. The standard of diamonds that they use is quite high. This is because there are certain stringent qualities diamonds must possess before they are approved to be used on a Rolex watch.

A diamond has six stages of clarity. The two highest levels of clarity are Internally Flawless (IF) and Flawless (F). These are the only two levels of clarity acceptable to Rolex.

Furthermore, they only accept the colorless diamonds rating between G and D. These are the highest quality of diamonds that you can find anywhere.

Also, for quality assurance, Rolex uses their own jewelers in placing the diamonds on their watches.

What Does the Reference Number on a Rolex Represent?

The numbers found on a Rolex watch indicate the model type, period of production, bezel type, and the bracelet type. Also, each Rolex watch has a unique reference number.

Here are what the reference numbers look like and represent:

1.      The reference number must be engraved and not printed or etched with acid.

2.      Pre-1980 Rolex models have the 4-digit reference number.

3.      The models between 1980-2000 have 5 digits.

4.      Models from 2000 to date have 6 digits

5.      The 1st three digits of the reference number represent the model type.

6.      For those with 5 digits, the 5th digit represents the bezel type.

7.      The 6th digit represents the bracelet type for those with 6 digits.

How Can I Clean My Rolex Watch?

The following are the steps to follow in cleaning your Rolex watch:

1.      Make sure that the crown of your Rolex is tightly screwed to the case. This is to protect the mechanical innards of your watch from the water.

2.      Pour lukewarm water into a bowl and mix with mild detergent.

3.      Apply the soapy water to the watch with your hands.

4.      Gently rub the surfaces you want to clean with your hand. For more thorough cleaning, use a soft bristle brush.

5.      Use a soft cloth to wipe the watch dry.

Should I Wear My Rolex Every day?

You can wear your Rolex daily. As a matter of fact, it is advisable to wear your Rolex as often as possible. This is because it has an automatic movement that winds by the movement of your hands.

However, if you choose to wear it every day, it could make the watch look dull and dirty if not properly cared for. As a result, you need to know the proper way to maintain your watch and keep it looking good.

Does Polishing a Rolex Devalue It?

Polishing a Rolex does not devalue it. But it does not add any value to it, either. Polishing a Rolex watch is just a matter of choice. If your choice is to have it glittering, then you can go ahead and have it polished.

However, it is important to point out that if you intend to resell your Rolex, it is not to your advantage to have it polished. When people want to buy a used Rolex, they like to see the sign of age on it. It helps to establish it as an iconic piece.    

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