Rolex recommends their timepieces to be serviced every 5 years. This is important because when a Rolex watch is properly maintained, it will preserve its great condition for many, many years. If the watch is neglected, however, it will inevitably run into problems, requiring expensive services or overhaul.
Every Rolex wristwatch is made up of over 200 parts that work together and use friction in daily movement. This friction can be metal to metal or metal to jewel (rubies, sapphires, garnets and diamonds) and require lubrication to avoid breakdowns and for proper movement. The metal gears are designed so that their teeth roll on each other instead of sliding.
If the axle of the gear wears away, however, the gear will shift, ultimately resulting in increased friction. If this happens, the movement of the watch will slow down, no longer showing accurate time. The jewels used in the Rolex watches are very tough to ensure that they beat at regular bearings. They are also very smooth to decrease friction, allowing the metal parts to slide easily. They usually do not need to be replaced — unless they are damaged or worn out. For more information on jewels used in Rolex wristwatches, please read Jewels inside Rolex.
Over the years, the oils and grease that lubricate the movement particles inside a Rolex can break down, dry up, or harden, affecting the movement of the watch. This can be very problematic as it can decrease the timepiece’s accuracy and even cause further damage.
When seals and gaskets dry out, there is a great chance that the Rolex will lose its water resistance. If water seeps in inside the watch, it may rust, which can cause irreversible damage. If this happens, you can send it to Rolex for a complete movement replacement. If you think that water has entered the watch, or if you notice fog or moisture under the glass or crystal, it is crucial that you seal it in a plastic bag and get it serviced as soon as possible before it causes any further damage. The biggest mistake people make in such situations is attempting to dry the moisture inside the watch by unscrewing the winding crown. Unfortunately, instead of drying it out, oxygen will enter the watch, jump starting the oxidation process — resulting in rust and consequently, an expensive repair bill.
All mechanical devices such as Rolex wristwatches, cars, and vacuum cleaners need to be regularly serviced to keep them functional and in a great shape for a long time after they are manufactured. If they are neglected, they will eventually develop problems that result in their breakdown. Thus, when you purchase a used Rolex wristwatch, be sure that you take care of it well – for more information you can check out our basic care page.