How To Set Time On A Rolex — Simple, Easy Steps

Now that you’ve got a Rolex. First off, congratulations. Secondly, it’s important to learn how your Rolex watch works else you might not enjoy your watch to the fullest. This is why it is important to learn how to set time on a Rolex. It’s not difficult to do this, thankfully. So, you can learn this in a snap.

Today, our article will cover a step-by-step process on how to set time on your Rolex watch. We even throw in a guide on how to manually wind your watch as well.

When it comes to Rolex and its watch movements, there are two kinds. Rolex has been known to be an innovator when it comes to watch movements. The brand set the pace once again when, in 1977, it introduced the 3035 movement called the quickset movement.

The quickset movement was introduced to make setting the date on a Rolex watch much easier than ever.

So, before we get to the steps involved in setting the time on a Rolex, let’s find out how you can tell if your watch has a quickset function or not.

How To Tell If Your Rolex Watch Is Quickset Or Not

If your Rolex is a new model, then, most definitely, your watch has a quickset movement.  If it’s vintage, on the other hand, then it might or might not be. The best way to tell is to check through your watch’s model number. (Click here to learn how to find your watch’s model number in our article: Where Can I Sell My Rolex Watch?).

When you have found your watch’s model number, then you can check out this table to find out whether or not your movement is quickset.

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How To Set Time On A Rolex

If your Rolex has been motionless for a long while, you’d need to wind it manually to get it working again. (Rolex watches only have about 40 to 72 hours of power reserve on the average).

We will show you how to do manually wind your Rolex watch in a second. Now, once you’ve got your watch wound, you’d most probably have to adjust the time and date on your watch as well.

Setting the date and time on your Rolex watch would depend on the watch model you have. When it comes to setting the time and date on your watch, it’s best to manually wind your watch first so that your watch holds the correct time for longer.

How To Set Time On A Non-Date Rolex (E.G. No-Date Submariner, Milgauss, Oyster Perpetual, Daytona, and Air-King)

1. Begin by unscrewing the screw-down crown. You do this by winding the crown counterclockwise until it is released to the first position.

2. After it gets to that position, pull out the now unscrewed crown till it gets to the second position.

3. Now, turn the winding crown in either direction to get the hands moving till it gets to the right time.

4. After you’ve set the time, then screw the crown back down till it gets to the position it was in when you started setting the watch. This is an important step you mustn’t forget if you want to maintain your watch’s water-resistance.

Watch the video below for a visual demonstration on how to get this done.

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How To Set The Time And Date On A Quick-Set Rolex (Datejust, Date, Sea-Dweller, and Submariner)

1. Unscrew the winding crown from its screwed-down position by turning it in a counterclockwise direction until the crown pulls out in the first position.

2. Then pull out the winding crown again so it gets to the second position. This is how you set the date for the watch.

3. You set the date by turning the crown clockwise. If the watch is a Lady Datejust though, you change the date by turning the crown counterclockwise to set the date.

4. Now, pull the crown again to the third position to set the time.

5. You can then turn the crown in either direction to set the time correctly.

6. Lastly, do not forget to screw the winding crown back to the original position it was in else you risk tampering with your watch’s water-resistance.

Watch how to set the time on a quick-set Rolex in this video below:

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How To Set Time, Day, And Date On A Double-Quick Set Rolex Watch (The Rolex Day-Date President)

1. First, unscrew the winding crown from its screwed-down position by turning the crown in a counterclockwise fashion till it gets released to the first position.

2. Next, pull out the crown to the third position in order to set the time.

3. Then turn the crown in either direction to get the hands moving till you get to the correct time.

4. Push the crown again to get to the second position to change the day and the date.

5. Set the date by turning the crown clockwise and set the day by setting the crown counterclockwise.

Here is a visual demonstration on how to get this done. Watch the video below:

6. Don’t forget to put the crown back in its screwed-down position so that your watch’s water-resistance is not tampered with.

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How To Set Local Time, Second Time Zone, And Date On Quick-Set Rolex GMT Watches (The Explorer II, and The GMT-Master II)

1. Unscrew the crown from its screw-down position by turning the crown in a counterclockwise direction till it gets to the first position.

2. Afterward, pull out the crown until it gets to the third position. This is how you will set the minutes and the second time zone.

3. Next, turn the crown so that you move the minute hand as well as the 24-hour hand till you get to correct time in the second time zone. The arrow tip should be pointing to the correct hour on the bezel.

4. Push the crown in from the third position to the second position to set the date and hour hand in the local time zone.

5. Now, turn the crown to change the hour hand (for your local time zone). This also changes the date with each turn once it’s past midnight.

6. Do not forget to ensure that the watch is screwed back to its initial position. That is, properly screwed down so you don’t tamper with your watch’s water-resistance.

Finally, let’s learn how to manually wind a Rolex watch.

Watch the video below for a visual demonstration on how to set a quickset Rolex GMT watches.

How To Manually Wind A Rolex Watch

1. First, unscrew the crown from its screwed-down position by turning the crown in a counterclockwise fashion until the crown is released into the first position.

2. Turn the now-unscrewed crown clockwise about 30 to 40 times. This manually winds the watch and jumpstarts the movement.

3. As usual, you must return the crown to its initial position to ensure that your watch maintains its water-resistance.

Once the movement of your Rolex has been wound, your watch should begin running perfectly again. If you want your watch to keep running even if you won’t be wearing it for long periods at a time, think of getting a watch winder.

It’s important to keep your watch wound even when you’re not wearing it as it keeps your watch in top form. In fact, it might even save you some money in form of servicing costs in the end.

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Final Tips For The Road

1. Remember that if your watch needs winding, you do that first before you set your watch. By winding your watch, you keep your mechanical watch running. Most watches don’t require winding seeing as they run on batteries.

However, if your watch is a vintage piece, then remember that setting your watch before winding it will cause the date and time to change. So, you must wind before you set the time.

2. If you don’t know how to set the time and date on your watch or you don’t know how to wind your watch, consider getting some help either from a jeweler or from a local watch shop.