How often should I service my watch?

Friday 2nd February 2018

Often we get asked “how often should I get my Rolex serviced?”


Most watchmakers would recommend having a mechanical watch such as a Rolex or an Audemars Piguet serviced every 3-5 years. The manufacturing and testing carried out on a luxury Swiss watch is of the highest calibre. There are so many tiny, moving parts that need to be maintained to keep it running smoothly. Just like servicing a car, a watch requires an “MOT” every now and then, albeit not as often.


Unfortunately, and unlike cars, many Rolex owners don’t look after them, and will only get them looked at when something goes wrong. In this case, prevention can save you a lot of money over cure.


Neglect is the main cause of problems in a mechanical watch. If you didn’t change the oil in your car for five years, what would happen? It would seize up! The same goes for a watch. The lubricant on the watches years coagulates (or hardens up) and causes friction on the gears. Once left, the parts inside begun to wear and cause erosion to the movement. The parts inside a Rolex, Audemars Piguet or any other luxury Swiss watch are tiny and measured in microns, which is thousandths of a millimetre. This is why as the owner of a luxury Swiss watch, it is important to wear the watch regularly to keep the parts moving, providing a consistent flow of lubricant and reducing the risk of coagulation. 


Even though watches such as Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Cartier are built to stand the test of time, everyday life can cause them stress. Little dings, magnetisation and being exposed to rainwater or perspiration can cause problems over time. Rolex offer a 5 year warranty on their watches, but once outside of a manufacturers warranty repair bills can add up fast, and waiting to fix the problem when it’s already happened could end up costing you a small fortune.


There are a few tell tale signs that your watch may need a service. Look out for condensation on the dial, as it only takes a tiny amount of moisture to get in to one of the hundreds of parts before they begin to corrode and dry out. This can happen fast, a matter of hours so if you see this in your watch get it looked at as soon as possible.


You may hear a rattling inside the watch, or maybe the dial and hands seem looser than usual. Bear in mind a chronograph watch has over 250 moving parts, some smaller than the head of a pin. Yes, luxury watch makers like Rolex or Audemars Piguet will use the best quality materials to make the parts, and in most cases a bump or a knock won’t cause any problems, but a precise knock at a certain point on the watch could cause internal damage. 


Also, take note if your watch is more than 5 seconds fast of slow per day. The Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute’s daily tolerance for a certified chronometer is -4 to +6 seconds. Almost all luxury Swiss watch brands are much stricter than this when it comes to their quality control, meaning if your watch is running fast or slow each day, something is definitely wrong and it needs to be serviced.


These are just a few things that could be a sign that a service is needed, so if you have any doubts about your watch take it to get a second opinion.


You can book a service with us by clicking here. Your watch will be closely examined, tested for water resistance, cleaned and lubricated, preparing it for the next 5 years.


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