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Old 20 May 2011, 06:44 AM   #1
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"Rolex certified" watchmaker

Just exactly what is a Rolex certified watchmaker? I see that thrown around a lot on eBay and other sites, which sounds a bit tacky. So are they watchmakers that used to work at an AD, or can one get certification directly from Rolex? What I'm get at is how much stock should be put into a watch advertised as having been gone over "by our certified Rolex watchmaker" (from a non-AD)?
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:04 AM   #2
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A Rolex certified watchmaker has to have completed the Century 21 watchmakers course.
This is a requirement by Rolex to become an official Rolex technician and is designed by Rolex to uphold their stringent expectations.
Without this course, anyone else can not be given a Rolex parts account, and is not considered qualified!!

Hope that helps a little!
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:06 AM   #3
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Not tacky at all. Rolex certification is getting harder and harder to maintain from what I understand.
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:07 AM   #4
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Didn't Rolex end this program in like 2008 of giving out certifications to watchmakers?
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:11 AM   #5
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Didn't Rolex end this program in like 2008 of giving out certifications to watchmakers?
I was under the impression they had though I'm not sure when.
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:13 AM   #6
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I was under the impression they had though I'm not sure when.
Interesting..........I hadn't heard that. I wonder how someone could keep a Rolex parts account then??
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:18 AM   #7
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It is still a current standard for any Rolex parts account holder to maintain their status!!

Here's an interesting thread started by Riki, who is a TRF forum watch tech and certified Rolex Tech!!

http://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=162083
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:21 AM   #8
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Thanks for the link
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:27 AM   #9
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Education
The Rolex Institute underwrites a number of highly respected educational activities in the watchmaking and technological fields.
It is a major funder of the new Learning Centre of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (known by its French acronym, EPFL). Opening in 2010, the centre, designed by Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima, will house a central library, computer facilities, study areas and conference rooms. At the heart of the EPFL campus, it is expected to attract some of the best scientists from around the world.
Rolex also funds two watchmaking schools in collaboration with the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program (WOSTEP), located in Neuchatel, Switzerland. The organization’s objective is to develop the profession throughout the world.
The Lititz Watch Technicum, a not‐for‐profit foundation entirely subsidized by Rolex, occupies 10,000 square feet (900 square metres) in a state‐of‐the‐art facility in Lititz, Pennsylvania, in the United States. Here students, whose tuition is paid by Rolex, participate in the two‐year, 3,000‐hour WOSTEP programme.
Rolex opened the Tokyo Watch Technicum in 2002. Students who follow the two‐ year programme and pass the final examination receive a diploma as watchmakers certified by WOSTEP. The Tokyo Watch Technicum trains 12 new watchmakers every year.
Opened in September 2007, the latest watchmaking school supported by Rolex is the Rolex Training Centre Mumbai. The first six graduates of the 12‐month
course, which is designed for professional watchmakers, received their certificates in 2008.
Those graduating from these watchmaking schools are prepared to respond to the most demanding requirements of the industry. They are not obliged to work for Rolex.
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:37 AM   #10
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Well then, if ceritified techs are allowed to work in the wild (not at an AD), then why send the watch for an expensive "official" service at Rolex rather than a local mom & pop watch shop which happens to have a Rolex tech employed there and save a ton of money in the process?
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:42 AM   #11
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It all comes down to customer service. Who treats you the best. Price is secondary to me, service is the most important.
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:46 AM   #12
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Well then, if ceritified techs are allowed to work in the wild (not at an AD), then why send the watch for an expensive "official" service at Rolex rather than a local mom & pop watch shop which happens to have a Rolex tech employed there and save a ton of money in the process?
My guess is that if someone spent 12 months of their life going through this training, they are not going to sell theirselves short by charging substantially less than RSC. If someone finds a watch maker at substantially less rates than RSC, then they are probably not certified. This doesn't mean they are not qualified, but you asked about certification.

I have only used 2 watch makers in my life; Bob Ridley who is not less expensive than RSC, but his experience and quality speaks for itself and another watch maker in Menlo Park, CA who was always more expensive than RSC and as far as I know, not Rolex "Certified", but was on caliber with Bob Ridley.
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Old 20 May 2011, 07:51 AM   #13
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Pretty sure it is like 10K to 20K a year agreement with Rolex to maintain a parts account.
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Old 20 May 2011, 08:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
It is still a current standard for any Rolex parts account holder to maintain their status!!

Here's an interesting thread started by Riki, who is a TRF forum watch tech and certified Rolex Tech!!

http://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=162083
Thanks Rob. That clears it up.
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Old 20 May 2011, 09:27 AM   #15
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Thanks Rob- interesting!!
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Old 20 May 2011, 09:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usbzoso View Post
Didn't Rolex end this program in like 2008 of giving out certifications to watchmakers?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike View Post
I was under the impression they had though I'm not sure when.
Watchmakers had until Jan. 2011 to qualify.
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Old 20 May 2011, 03:41 PM   #17
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It's been mentioned above but I can confirm that there are Rolex Certified Technicians in the wild with parts accounts. My watchmaker here in SD has an account in good standing and still regularly attends trainings at Rolex.

From what he has told me and showed me in his shop, Rolex requires specific equipment in order to maintain a parts account, much of this equipment is very expensive. Some replacement parts he still cannot get as Rolex chooses what they will release and what they won't. For example, he cannot get bezels or bracelets. When I wanted to get a replacement bezel for my ExpII, he said Rolex requires that I send it in. They are very strict and have representatives visiting the shop regularly. Rolex runs the show and I know my watchmaker really values his parts account so he adheres to their rules.

But his service is just as good as RSC in my opinion and quite inexpensive compared to Rolex. And this is not a case of you get what you pay for. He has serviced many of my watches and I have been 100% satisfied. If I thought for a second that my watches were at risk, I would send them into Rolex, no question.
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Old 20 May 2011, 11:04 PM   #18
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My watchmaker WAS certified and independent but could not afford to maintain the equipment and standards to be Rolex certified. He said he had guys inspect the shop and from time to time, required his equipment to be upgraded at his cost. Rolex also became restrictive with the parts that he can order. According to him, anything insided a watch was easy to get, but anything outside was near impossible. He couldnt even get end-links for a sub. He eventually decided that he just wasnt getting enought "ROLEX" business to keep his account. Rolex isnt just expensive for the end-user, its expensive for the entire distribution chain.
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Old 21 May 2011, 12:15 AM   #19
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My watchmaker WAS certified and independent but could not afford to maintain the equipment and standards to be Rolex certified. He said he had guys inspect the shop and from time to time, required his equipment to be upgraded at his cost. Rolex also became restrictive with the parts that he can order. According to him, anything insides a watch was easy to get, but anything outside was near impossible. He couldn't even get end-links for a sub. He eventually decided that he just wasn't getting enough "ROLEX" business to keep his account. Rolex isn't just expensive for the end-user, its expensive for the entire distribution chain.

No one cannot bitch and complain about Rolex making rules and regulations because we have a choice to own a superb quality Rolex watch.
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