How Long Does a Rolex Last

November 10, 2019

How Long Does a Rolex Last?

The simple answer is that a Rolex can last a lifetime or more as long as it is well cared for.  Just like any piece of equipment, a fine timepiece needs to be looked after by professional watchmakers and gemologists.  Depending on the kind of timepiece you purchase, you might need to have specific things to address.

3 Things to Do to Protect Your Rolex

  • First - Make sure you Screw Down Your Winding Crown tightly to ensure waterproofness.  This is most important for diving watches.  However, if you take your Rolex swimming or in the shower, this becomes the top priority.
  • Second - If you have a metal band, wash and clean your Rolex using soapy water and a soft brush.  However, do not wash a leather band.  We highly recommend a Rubber B or similar rubber band for normal wear and tear.  You can preserve your original leather band in a case or drawer for years, while enjoying the beauty of your Rolex with a more functional rubber band. 
  • Third - Wind your Rolex often.  If you wear your Rolex, you don't need to do this.  However, if you don't wear your Rolex, you could purchase an autowinder that can keep your timepiece working and ready to go when you need it.
Rolex timepieces can last many years without much care at all.  However, some of the luster of the metal might start to lose its shine, and often the scratch resistant sapphire crystal can still get scratched.  This is certainly not the end of the world.  Scratches do add character.  And even the highly "worn" Paul Newman timepiece went at auction for over $16 million.  So, collectors still will pay a premium for a highly sought after timepiece even if it would be considered in "Poor" or "Well-Worn" shape.  

Rolexes are made to be worn.  The purpose behind Rolex, is to make a durable timepiece that can withstand the life activities of the man or woman wearing it.  Whether it is diving in the ocean, climbing a mountain, or racing on a yacht or racecar at breakneck speed the Rolex is bound to keep up and exceed your expectations.  

How Rolex Services Your Rolex

Some experts suggest sending the Rolex in for servicing every 5 years.  Just as you would send your car into service every 3-6 months to change out the oil and rotating the tires, Rolex owners are often urged to send their timepiece to Rolex for care and cleaning.  Here is what Rolex does to preserve the function of your timepiece.
  • Complete Disassembly - Rolex takes all of the pieces of the timepiece apart.  This means they remove the entire band from the watch, and the movement out of the case itself.  
  • Cleaning the Movement - Dust and debris can get inside a timepiece over time.  Rolex uses ultrasonic devices to clean the movement completely.
  • Replacing Components - Each watchmaker examines individual components in the movement and identifies components that may require replacement.  Genuine Rolex replacement parts are used to preserve the integrity of the movement.
  • Timing Calibration - Rolex watchmakers meticulously adjust the balance wheel for several days to make sure the timepiece provides precise timekeeping performance.
  • Refinishing the Case and Bracelet - Cleaning is not limited to the movement.  The entire case and bracelet are examined for damage and wear and tear.  Parts, such as links in a band, might be used to replace damaged links.  Everything is cleaned with the same precision as the movement - restoring the lustre of the entire timepiece.
  • Lubrication - One of the biggest reasons for having Rolex service your timepiece is for them to add their advanced lubricant to minimize friction and prevent wear and tear, while preserving accuracy.
  • Reassembly - Each timepiece is reassembled with ultra care and precision.
  • Testing the Waterproofness - The newly reassembled timepiece is tested to meet pressure-resistance, a vacuum test, compression test, and a condensation test.  If even the slightest bit of moisture is found inside the case, these tests will reveal all.  
  • Final Quality Check - During this final checklist, the watchmaker tests power reserve, timing accuracy and overall appearance of the watch one last time for the highest possible standard of quality.
After achieving all of this, Rolex offers a two-year service guarantee.  Servicing can cost approximately $600 - $1000.  However, it could be more or less depending on the model.  Some service centers have their own watch experts and may charge less for a complete servicing.  However it is imperative that Rolex timepieces are serviced by only authorized Rolex Dealers.

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