Jan 2021

It’s a universal fact that Rolex timepieces are crafted to the highest achievable standards & built to last for a lifetime when it comes to luxury watches. However, just like anything else, proper care & periodic maintenance are significant parts of ownership. Adhering to routinely scheduled service intervals will help ensure that your Rolex timepiece stays in top mechanical & cosmetic condition, guaranteeing many years of solid performance for both you & the next generation.


Servicing a Rolex watch is 100% not something you should attempt to DIY at home—the brands' feature precision mechanical movements demanding both extensive knowledge & specialized equipment to receive good service. While you should always have your Rolex timepiece serviced by an experienced professional company like NY WATCH LAB, it is also essential to understand what is involved with servicing a watch.

In the same way that your car needs periodic oil changes & its break pads replaced, a mechanical watch also requires its lubricants replenished & worn components replaced to guarantee proper performance. While some say that servicing your timepiece is like replacing your car's oil, this really has more to do with both being necessary parts of ownership rather than the actual processes themselves.

Rolex's service is quite a bit more involved & could better be described as a complete overhaul & refinish of the watch. The Rolex service method incorporates the complete disassembly of the timepiece, including the case & also the movement. Maintaining a Rolex is not merely a matter of opening it up & putting some oil on it. What is actually required is the complete tear-down, cleaning & reassembly of the watch.



The very first step in the servicing of a Rolex is the entire disassembly of both the watch & its internal movement. Depending on the specific model & the caliber it uses, the average mechanical timepiece consists of well over a hundred components & certain complicated watches can be made up of more than a thousand individual pieces. Additionally, a proper disassembly of a timepiece, particularly a Rolex, demands the use of various specialized tools. Without their utilization, disassembly can damage your watch.


Once the timepiece & the movement are totally disassembled, the individual components must be correctly cleaned before new lubricants can be applied. Typically this stage of the service process involves an ultrasonic cleaning using specially formulated solutions that remove old oils & dirt.


While the watch is disassembled, the watchmaker will inspect the individual components for wear & damage. As needed, worn & damaged pieces will need to be replaced. Only genuine Rolex parts must be used. Specific components are seen as consumable throughout the lifecycle of a watch.


Once all of the parts are clean & worn/damaged parts have been replaced, the very next step is re-assembling the watch & reapplication all kinds of lubricants. While the oils used on a watch are often not a topic for discussion, they play a significant role in the overall function. During the reassembly process, several highly specialized lubricants are reapplied to the movement. This step is one of the most exacting & essential in the entire service process.


After all the movement has been successfully reassembled, it is adjusted. The timepiece's timekeeping is dialed in to assure that it's operating within its proper manufacturer specs. Again, this is another part of the service process that requires special tools & equipment. It should only be done by a trained watchmaker with prior experience with Rolex watches.


In addition to the internal parts of the movement receiving attention, the different parts of the watch that construct the case & bracelet often undergo a polish & refinish to ensure that their cosmetic beauty is restored. During this step of the Rolex service process, the whole case & bracelet external surfaces have their decent gloss & satin-brushed surface finished fixed. 

Removing all scratches & scuffs that the timepiece may have undergone over the years. However, for collectible vintage watches, leaving them in their original unpolished condition is an essential part of preserving their value, so you may want to skip this step should you wish to protect the value of a particularly rare or collectible vintage Rolex model.


Once the service process is complete, several significant post-service tests are conducted to ensure that the watch functions precisely as it should be. Some of these tests relate to verifying that the watch is properly sealed against moisture & dirt. In contrast, others pertain to the timekeeping performance of the movement after casing.

Who Can Service A Rolex Watch?

Not all professional watchmakers can service Rolex watches. Even those who know how to service a Rolex (from a technical standpoint) may not correctly carry out the actual service process due to their inability to directly purchase genuine service replacement components from Rolex.

Usage of genuine parts are very crucial for the watch to function properly. At NY WATCH LAB, every watch component – right down the rubber gaskets – is 100% genuine Rolex. This is definitely a crucial step inappropriately servicing a Rolex. Suppose the watch isn't constructed with 100% authentic Rolex parts. In that case, there's no possible way that you can expect it to function exactly how Rolex intended it to perform.

Rolex keeps very tight control over the supply of its parts & the company does not sell them to just anyone that asks to buy them. The immense majority of expert watchmakers don't have direct access to original Rolex parts. It is crucial that you only have your watch serviced by either Rolex themself or a qualified independent watchmaker with direct parts account with Rolex.