Quick Tips For Improving the Accuracy of Your Rolex

If your Rolex watch is no longer keeping accurate time, or more specifically, if it’s losing or gaining time consistently over time, it might be time for a service. However, there are a few things you can do to improve accuracy before shipping your watch off to Rolex for a full service.

But before we go any further, know this—while most of the tips below are universal, try checking out this article for more general tips on improving the accuracy of your non-Rolex watch.


Winding an Automatic Rolex

Most modern Rolexes have perpetual (automatic) movements, meaning the watch is powered by the movement of your wrist. When you move your wrist, the rotor winds the watch.

If you wear your watch daily, the rotor should do a sufficient job of winding the movement. In the event you don’t wear your automatic watch daily, it’s important that you manually wind your watch.

Winding your watch is an easy process, just locate the crown on your Rolex (the knob at the 3 o’clock position) and follow these directions:

  • 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 overwinding it—you may feel some resistance when it’s fully wound, but further winding will not harm it.
  • When you’re done winding, make sure to screw the crown all the way in to seal it from water.

(For further instructions on winding, check out this blog post on Winding a Rolex Watch.)


Why Wind Your Watch?

Simple answer: winding your watch will help it keep better time. If you’ve been gaining 30 minutes to several hours on your Rolex every day, it may just need to be wound more regularly.

But ultimately, 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 (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’s okay for modern mechanical watches to lose or gain upward of 15 seconds per day.


Other Options for Maintaining Rolex Accuracy

Opinions differ as to how often you should get your watch serviced, but your Rolex should be serviced by a watchmaker about every 7-10 years. If it’s still losing significant time, take it to an authorized Rolex service center. A certified watchmaker can tell you what’s wrong with it and possibly save you major money by conducting the repair on-site before you ship it off to Rolex for hundreds (or thousands) of dollars.

And if you don’t want to have to manually wind your watch every day, look into purchasing a watch winder. Watch winders keep your watch wound and they double as a storage container when your watch is not in use.


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

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  • 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.