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Old 20 January 2011, 06:22 AM   #1
ddommen
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When should a Rolex be serviced?

Hi, could you let me know your thoughts on when I should have my watch serviced. I have had it 3 years and it was new when I was given it, but the serial number dates it 2003. It was bought from an authorised dealer as new.
What is the general rule?
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Old 20 January 2011, 06:24 AM   #2
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The service centers say 5 years, people have varying opinions but I plan to go about 7 for my first service on my sub and daytona.
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Old 20 January 2011, 06:26 AM   #3
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I recommend once every 5-7 years, and that should start counting from when you first start wearing it. Modern Rolexes use synthetic lubricants, they don't dry out when sitting in a case like older mineral oils did
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Old 20 January 2011, 06:42 AM   #4
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i have a f series which i bought new from the dealer 5 months ago. it runs fast about 10 seconds a day i have the warranty. should i have it serviced or wait to when the warranty is close to expiring?
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Old 20 January 2011, 06:44 AM   #5
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i have a f series which i bought new from the dealer 5 months ago. it runs fast about 10 seconds a day i have the warranty. should i have it serviced or wait to when the warranty is close to expiring?
It doesn't need service just a regulation.
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Old 20 January 2011, 06:45 AM   #6
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i have a f series which i bought new from the dealer 5 months ago. it runs fast about 10 seconds a day i have the warranty. should i have it serviced or wait to when the warranty is close to expiring?
Get it sorted now, why wait?
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Old 20 January 2011, 06:47 AM   #7
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cause i can have it services in 19 months and then it will be good for another 5-7 yrs so i gain an additional 19 months from when ill have to pay to service it
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Old 20 January 2011, 06:48 AM   #8
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whats the difference between a service and regulation?
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Old 20 January 2011, 06:49 AM   #9
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whats the difference between a service and regulation?
About $500
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Old 20 January 2011, 06:50 AM   #10
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cause i can have it services in 19 months and then it will be good for another 5-7 yrs so i gain an additional 19 months from when ill have to pay to service it
Thing is, it'll just be an adjustment to the balance wheel, as that dictates the timekeeping. All it needs is the tweaking of a couple of screws to get it sorted again. In any case, a repair under warranty is only a service of the movement, and the case and bracelet won't be refinished. My advice is to get it sorted now, and worry about a service when the bracelet needs freshening up
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Old 20 January 2011, 06:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ddommen View Post
Hi, could you let me know your thoughts on when I should have my watch serviced. I have had it 3 years and it was new when I was given it, but the serial number dates it 2003. It was bought from an authorised dealer as new.
What is the general rule?
Here is what Rolex actually says... Notice, they do not say " exactly every 5 years...."

Also........ It doesn't matter what some chart says; a chart cannot date your watch closer than 2 or 3 years........... If you bought your watch in 2003, then it is a 2003 watch and no service period needs to be started based on some unknown guess from a chart...

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Old 20 January 2011, 07:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Here is what Rolex actually says... Notice, they do not say " exactly every 5 years...."

Also........ It doesn't matter what some chart says; a chart cannot date your watch closer than 2 or 3 years........... If you bought your watch in 2003, then it is a 2003 watch and no service period needs to be started based on some unknown guess from a chart...

Thanks for the reply, the watch was bought in 2007, so I guess I can leave it a couple of years
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Old 20 January 2011, 08:05 AM   #13
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I recommend once every 5-7 years, and that should start counting from when you first start wearing it. Modern Rolexes use synthetic lubricants, they don't dry out when sitting in a case like older mineral oils did
Good to know Does that mean, therefore, one need have no reservations when buying a new Rolex with an older serial number? You hear people refusing to accept a watch that is not the latest serial (suggesting it has been sat unsold in the AD for awhile), or demanding a discount on the basis of the argument that it would need a routine overhaul sooner.

(leaving aside the new apparently randomized serials which would neutralize this issue)
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Old 20 January 2011, 08:12 AM   #14
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Good to know Does that mean, therefore, one need have no reservations when buying a new Rolex with an older serial number? You hear people refusing to accept a watch that is not the latest serial (suggesting it has been sat unsold in the AD for awhile), or demanding a discount on the basis of the argument that it would need a routine overhaul sooner.

(leaving aside the new apparently randomized serials which would neutralize this issue)
I would say so. I've never seen any evidence to suggest that the watch's movement might get damaged from sitting in the window, and Rolex certainly regard it as a new watch no matter how long it's been in stock. If it has been "shop soiled", then that's a different matter, but as far as I'm concerned, if it's in good physical condition, it should be sold as new
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Old 20 January 2011, 08:20 AM   #15
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Shhhh don't tell anyone, but... I had my DJ for 24 years and just 2 services!!! Just gone in for it's 3rd service this week.
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Old 20 January 2011, 08:41 AM   #16
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Many folks including some watchmakers I've talked to feel that 5 - 7 years is an appropriate interval between services, but all agree that if the watch is used underwater it should be pressure tested annually to verify its watertight integrity.

Btw, here's a quick pic of a Rolex rotor pivot after 7 years. The upper groove shouldn't be there. Any guess as to where the missing metal went? Some here will say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". That's ok for them, but it doesn't work for me. I want every mechanical device I own to be in perfect working condition or I don't want to own it. YMMV.
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File Type: jpg Worn rolex axle.jpg (31.7 KB, 407 views)
File Type: jpg worn rolex axle 02a.jpg (11.3 KB, 409 views)
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Old 20 January 2011, 09:03 AM   #17
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Here is the size of the Rotor Axle and jewel... There isn't a lot to work with, so it doesn't take much to wear it down.



The jewel here is broken causing rotor wobble.. It's a clear knocking you can hear when the rotor turns..

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Old 20 January 2011, 09:16 AM   #18
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My 14060 has one complete service since 92(2004). Pressure tested every year, though
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Old 20 January 2011, 09:19 AM   #19
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Here is the size of the Rotor Axle and jewel... There isn't a lot to work with, so it doesn't take much to wear it down.
Great pix, Larry.
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Old 20 January 2011, 12:16 PM   #20
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I recommend servicing every 5 years or so and watertesting every other year after service. The pics that Larry shared I see every week and some are much worse on watches that are 3 to 10 years old. There are many factors that go into determening what is a good service interval, some people never take their watch off ever some don't shower with them some play golf and other hard shocking sports that can have potentially deleterios affect on functionality. So at best at least have it checked out when you get it watertested every other year. Rik
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Old 20 January 2011, 12:23 PM   #21
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Good advice Rik! It depends--for me 10 years more like it--for some it might be 5-7. At the very least--make sure if you are going diving you are pressure testing it regularly and checking it's seal integrity!! For me-the only diving is the occasional desk dive!
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Old 20 January 2011, 12:27 PM   #22
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whats the difference between a service and regulation?
A regulation is when the watch is regulated to improve accuracy. Usually the fee for performing ranges from free to as high as $50, with $20 being typical. It takes about 10 minutes to accomplish. This is more on regulation courtesy of Sheldon: http://www.minus4plus6.com/regulation.htm

A service is where the watchmaker tears your watch completely down, cleans everything in a cleaner designed for such things, and then inspects each part and replaced those that are worn and replaces some as standard practice such as main spring. It is about a 5 hour job so with labor and parts is in the order of $400. Usually they will polish the case and bracelet which will run another $100.
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Old 20 January 2011, 12:42 PM   #23
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I bring my watch into an quality watchmaker after approximately 7 years of use. The watchmaker will inspect and insure the bearing services still have lubrication in them, look at rotor axle end play that can result in contamination when the rotor contacts the case, look for contamination, etc. Before he inspects he will have a good idea if it requires a service based on the machine he puts it on. Amplitude is the degrees the balance wheel swings between hitting each pallet. Usually 200 to 300 shows a healthy watch, how free it runs and how well the energy is being utilized. A watch may still be within COSC, but with an amplitute of 100 is on its last legs. I have had watchmakers hand me a 7 year worn watch and say it looks good, come back in a year or so.

I know many just run their watch until performance is so severely impacted that they have to have it serviced. I have heard this discussed a number of times. I doubt if they boast about going 100K miles without an oil change in their car. As someone who has performed in-service engineering on complex electro mechanical systems for many years..... well, I am biased on doing the right maintenance at the right time at the right level. Fortunately, there are few parts that without lubrication cause the really expensive parts to be replaced. However, there are a few, but I've gone too deep into this as it is.
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Old 20 January 2011, 12:49 PM   #24
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I believe in servicing a auto only when its accuracy starts to suffer. I'm at over 11 years with my Serti Sub and its just as accurate now as it was when new. The watch is either on my wrist or on a Orbita Belino winder the entire 11 years. It was +3 seconds when new and is still +3 seconds in 24hours. I believe that to be "perfect working order".


pic taken last summer
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Old 20 January 2011, 01:08 PM   #25
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RSC statement is 5 years.
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Old 20 January 2011, 01:20 PM   #26
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RSC statement is 5 years.
That is because RSC is in the business of servicing watches and getting paid. Save your money and service it when it truly needs serviced!!
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Old 20 January 2011, 01:25 PM   #27
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I've been told by a very reliable source that every 7 years will do.
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Old 20 January 2011, 01:38 PM   #28
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A downside is that every time a watch is overhauled, there is a small risk of inadvertent cosmetic damage. There are tales of woe of watches returned with new dings or scratches too deep to be polished out, scratch marks on the dial or hands, etc. Watchmakers however competent and careful are only human & accidents do happen when doing all that delicate work. When you think about it, the typical cost of an overhaul is really not that much, bearing in mind the knowledge, expertise, skill, care and attention required.

Personally I allow 10 years between routine overhauls, or sooner if the performance deteriorates beyond what is reasonably acceptable.
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Old 20 January 2011, 01:45 PM   #29
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The funny thing is I have seen countless vintage Rolexes that have gone 20 plus years without a service and work fine. Do they deserve a trip to the Ridley Spa?? Yes--and when they come back they are good to go for another 20!! Rolex made their watches with a lot of forgiveness--any vintage folks out there know that first hand. A lot of factors come into play--what elements is watch exposed to--how often worn and wound--etc. etc. To each his own--you own it--service it when you want to. You would be surprised though how well built these babies are and how little actually needs to be done to them unlike many other high end swiss watches!!
PS-I am not suggesting you wait 20 years in between overhauls................
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Old 20 January 2011, 02:01 PM   #30
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I buddy of mine has had his DJ since 1991 and has not had the watch serviced because it still keeps accurate time (he uses USNO). The watch however, did not get a lot of wrist time either; truly an occasional wear. I tried to tell him to get it serviced but he said he was told by a Rolex rep at an AD a long time ago that if the watch was keeping accurate time leave it alone.

Thoughts or comments?
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