Quick Tips For Improving the Accuracy of Your Rolex

Rolex watches have withstood the depths of the deepest oceans and the summits of the highest mountains. To ensure their watches can perform accurately under any circumstances, Rolex tests them to the extremes. The brand designed a series of trials measuring things like shock resistance, water resistance, and basic wear and tear. These ensure their timepieces can excel in any real-world conditions, even those they’re never likely to encounter.

Still, like all watches, Rolex timepieces are manmade and subject to human error – or sometimes, user error. If the accuracy of your Rolex watch is no longer keeping accurate time, it might be time for a service. However, there are a few things you can try before shipping your watch off to Rolex for a full service.

Winding an Automatic Rolex

Most modern Rolexes have perpetual movements. Automatic or self-winding are other names for perpetual movements, meaning the motion of your wrist powers the watch. If you wear your watch daily, the motion of your wrist should do a sufficient job of winding the movement. However, you’ll still need to wind your automatic watch occasionally. Sometimes you’ll need to power it up after if you’ve left it unworn. It can also help with regular maintenance.


Winding your watch is a relatively easy process. We’ve shared some steps here detailing how to wind your Rolex. If you still need more guidance, you can check out this handy video on how to wind a watch.


  • Start by locating the crown at the three-o’clock hour marker.
  • Turn the crown counterclockwise (toward you), which will allow the crown to pop out to the first position.
  • Once the crown is out, rotate the stem clockwise (away from you) 30-40 times to wind your watch. Don’t worry about over winding it. You may feel some resistance, but keep in mind you can’t overwind an automatic watch like you can a manual.
  • Lastly, make sure to screw the crown all the way back in to maintain its water resistance.

Why Wind Your Watch?

Winding your watch periodically, even if you wear it regularly, will help it keep better time. For instance, if your watch is losing or gaining time consistently every day, you may just need to wind it more regularly. However, keep in mind that it’s normal for a mechanical watch to gain or lose a few seconds daily. According to COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) standards, a watch should lose no more than 4 seconds per day and gain no more than 6 seconds. So, if your watch is -4/+6 seconds per day, you’re in the clear. If your watch falls just outside of the COSC regulations, it’s not a cause for concern. It just means you might want to wind your watch more frequently.

Other Options for Maintaining the Accuracy of Your Rolex Watch

Opinions differ as to how often you should get your watch serviced. We recommend you have your Rolex serviced by a watchmaker about every 7-10 years. However, if you notice your watch is losing or gaining significant time, don’t wait for your next service interval. Take it to an authorized Rolex service center and have it checked out by the professionals. A certified watchmaker can tell you if there’s something wrong with your watch. This might save you hundreds or thousands of dollars by conducting the repair on-site before you ship it to Rolex.

One final tip: if you don’t want to have to worry about wearing your watch daily or winding your watch regularly, look into purchasing a watch winder. Watch winders don’t just keep your watch wound. They also double as a storage container when your watch isn’t in use.


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on February 8, 2013. We have updated it in June of 2019 for relevance and clarity.

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Latest comments
  • I have a gmt master 2 it’s been on my wrist for 3 weeks and not lost or gained a second I am amazed

  • Citizen Eco WATCHES are the best at a graction of the price of a rolex. My citizen will gain no mote than 8-10 seconds a month!!

    • Jim , I Got a citizen ecodrive 13 years ago I use the watch everyday. Never had an issue with it keeps the time perfect. It loses a Few seconds every 2 months.
      I Got a rolex last month when i turned 40 datejust 36 mm black diAl . New watch it loses 13 sec every 72 hours. I took it baCk to the dealer and they told me it will take 4 to 6 weeks to Fix it. It was ship to toronto. I am in calgary. The luminous handles are not as good that my ecodrive and the handles in the rolex are hard to see. After wasting all this money in a rolex i really admire citizen ecodrive watches. MY new rolex was a waste of my money.

  • I have a 1982 gmt master 16750 that I set 20 seconds slow at the first of every month. At the end of the month, the watch is 20 seconds fast meaning that the watch runs fast by 1.4 seconds per day. I wear the watch each day, so I do not wind it. The watch has been serviced within the last 4 months. Love the rolex.

  • My PResident snd my Wife’s gold rolex bracelets have now been replaced, at greAt expense. I see no reasOn why rolex will not repair. I understand Gold is Soft And stretcheS , but can be filled or recast

  • This is a helpful blog

  • NIce Article

  • Have sent my rolex watch back to person I bought it from as it stopped at a certain timE ,he informs me it will take up to 25 weeks to get it sorted am I being unreasonable asking for my money back

  • When i purchace my rolex watch & also my watch winder i notice when i have it on it does stop after a few days for me throught my experience its a useless buying It also kind a pricy too.

  • Which way to lay you rolex when remover for it the night. I used to have instructions to help it gain or lose time

    • Lay it as in how, teddy?

  • Hi~
    I have had my watch for 16 months. At about 10 months, it was losing hours a day. I took it in for service to Rolex, and they were sort of puzzled as to why it was losing time. They asked a bounty of questions, including if I had hit my watch hard. No, I had not. now, 5 months later it is losing several hours a day again. At what point do they replace the watch? Im concerned that this will continue to happen out of warranty and I will have to pay for the services. Any suggestions/ideas? Thanks!

    • Heather,

      It might be a good idea to take it to a reputable watch maker in the area. He will be able to take a look at the watch and hopefully diagnose the issue with your watch.

  • The positioning information of Rolex watch enhance accurate good timing effectively.Now Its really makes me less worried but technically informed. Thanks for the time and money you saved me. I was jus thinking of going to a watch repair man. How can you tell if you are dealing with a watch maker? Pls. respond

  • i had my rolex watch service recently, is it normal tt the watch stop movement after 10 hrs when not wearing?

  • Why bother with buying a Rolex if you have to go thru this problem with losing time.

    I was going to purchase a Rolex but changed my mind due to th loss time issue. I have a SEIKO and it never skips a second. For the price it’s the best!

    • Richard,

      Every mechanical watch is going to lose time, over time. However, as this article states, it is easy to get the watch back on the right time with just a few twists of the crown. Rolex watches are of the highest quality and have a very strong brand reputation. Seiko watches are a great choice as well!

  • My Rolex recently even using the watch winder still is losing time and date by one day.it was purchased in 2002 and serviced by Rolex in 2007. Do you think it needs another service.

    • Rob,

      If it is losing that much time, it may be a good idea to get your Rolex watch serviced. Many people suggest servicing it every 3-5 years, so it would definitely be a good time for a servicing.