How to Wind and Set a Rolex Watch

Rolex watches have been unarguably the most famous and popular watch brand. No wonder some Rolex collections have been the symbol of achievement and the most sought-after watches in the world. While Rolex has made some manually-winding watches and quartz watches, today Rolex only makes automatic mechanical watches. In fact, the vast majority of watches that Rolex has produced are automatic (self-winding) mechanical watches such as Rolex Explorer, GMT Master II, Submariner, Sea-Dweller, Cosmograph Daytona, Yacht-Master, Air-King, Datejust, and Day-Day. It means, these watches are equipped with rotors which rotate when you move or wear it, which thus winds the watch. The energy is gained by the natural movements of your arm.

When wearing Rolex watches every day, you do not need to wind it manually. Different Rolex watches have a different power reserve, and this affects how long you can leave the watch without wearing it before the watch runs out of energy and thus stops. Some Rolex watches have a 48-hour power reserve while, for example, the Rolex calibre 3255 has a power reserve of 70 hours. But this time is only when the watch is fully wound, so if the watch isn’t fully wound, it will stop earlier. When this happens, you have to manually wind it to return it back into its functional. Maintaining your Rolex movement by manually-wind it on a regular basis even if you do not wear it is a crucial thing to do to maintain the durability of your watch. Winding and setting your Rolex watch is pretty simple. You only need to know how to do it for your specific Rolex model as different steps are required for different models.

 

Steps to manually wind your Rolex watch

  1. Unscrew its crown by turning it counterclockwise until it pops out from the side of your watch
  2. Turn the crown slowly clockwise 360 degrees. Do this at a slow pace. Repeats it for 30 – 40 times to manually wind your Rolex and jumpstart the movement. At this point, you would have wound the watch completely. If you do not fully wind your Rolex, the watch will not have the maximum energy to store and thus stop earlier if you do not wear it. You do not have to be afraid of over-winding your Rolex because most modern Rolex watches have an in-built mechanism which is designed as a self-winding watch in such a way that you cannot overwind them.
  3. Screw back the crown to the watch by pushing the crown into the watch and screwing it back on to the threads by turning it clockwise. After this, leave it for a while as it might require a few turns before the watch starts working.

 

Adjust the Time and Date on your Rolex Watch

If your Rolex watch was left motionless, besides manually-winding it, you would also need to adjust the time and date too. How to do it will vary depending on the model of your Rolex watch. It is always best to set the time and date after you have manually wound it. After you set the time, always remember to screw the crown back to its neutral position correctly to maintain the watch’s water-resistance.

 

Steps to set the time on a non-date Rolex watch (Oyster Perpetual, No-Date Submariner, Daytona, Milgauss, Air-Kind)

  1. Pull the crown out and manually wind the watch
  2. Pull the crown to the last notch. Twist the crown clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the hands to get the correct time

Steps to set the time and date on a quick-set Rolex Date, Datejust, Submariner, Sea-Dweller

  1. Pull out the crown by turning it counterclockwise and manually wind the watch
  2. Pull the crown to position 2 to set the date
  3. Turn the crown clockwise (counterclockwise for Lady-Datejust) to change the date
  4. Pull the crown to position 3 to set the time
  5. Twist the crown clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the hands to get the correct time 

Steps to set local time, second-time zone, and date on quick-set Rolex GMT-Master II and Explorer II

  1. Pull out the crown by turning it counterclockwise and manually wind the watch
  2. Gently pull the unscrewed crown to the position 3 to set the minutes and second time zone
  3. Turn the crown to move the minute hand and 24-hour hand until it gets the correct time in the second time zone
  4. Push the crown to position 2 to set up the local hour hand and date. Twist the crown clockwise or counterclockwise to change the local hour hand, which also changes the date with every turn after midnight

 If you find maintaining the movement of your Rolex watch is troublesome, then you should consider using a watch winder. It will wind your watch when you do not wear it. Keeping your Rolex movement is essential to keep it in top form and save money on service costs in the long run. 

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