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Watch Repair: An Inside Look at a Rolex Overhaul

Written by Anna Currell
February 7, 2024

Does your Rolex watch need an overhaul? Just like all watches, Rolexes will occasionally need a little TLC. Over time, those complicated inner workings might need adjustment to make sure the watch is working well. But how do you know if an entire overhaul is necessary? A thorough cleaning, a battery replacement, or a new crystal can each separately make a difference in the function and appearance of your watch, but an overhaul covers all these things and more. In this article, we’ll walk you through all of the steps of a Rolex overhaul to give you an idea of what you can expect. 


A Rolex Overhaul in 14 Steps

If your watch isn’t keeping the time, if it got smashed, or if it took a major tumble in the dirt, it’s a good idea to take it to a jeweler for a full Rolex overhaul. A professional jeweler will have the equipment and experience to get your watch back in great shape. Here are the steps you can expect your jeweler to take in order to take care of your entire timepiece:

Step 1: Inspection and Disassembly

To start a Rolex overhaul, the jeweler will perform an inspection and disassembly. First, the jeweler will perform an initial inspection of the watch case, band, and clasp to check for external signs of damage and wear. Then, they will open and disassemble the watch case to check for any internal damage. 

Step 2: Cleaning

Next, the jeweler will thoroughly clean the watch. Most people wear their watches often, if not daily, which can facilitate the buildup of oils, dust, bacteria, and all other kinds of contaminants that can interfere with the watch’s movement. These particles can also tarnish the metal and diminish the polished look of a watch. The jeweler will clean all parts of the watch, including the movement, with all its tiny pieces. 

Step 3: Mainspring Replacement

The next phase of a Rolex overhaul is replacing the mainspring. The mainspring is the part of your watch that drives the movement; it’s a metal piece that ensures that your watch continues ticking. For a Rolex overhaul the jeweler will install a Rolex brand mainspring piece to ensure consistency. 

Step 4: Oil Lubrication

Next, as the jeweler begins to assemble the watch’s inner workings, they will apply a lubricating oil to the pivot points of the watch movement. This is an important step to ensure that each mechanism moves smoothly without unwanted friction or interruption. 

Step 5: Battery Replacement

Then the jeweler will replace the watch battery if it has one. If your Rolex watch is quartz, meaning that it operates on battery power rather than mechanical movement, this step will replace the previous one. The new battery will ensure that the watch keeps ticking and keeps the right time. 

Step 6: Initial Regulation 

Once all of the Rolex’s inner parts have been reassembled, the jeweler will regulate the watch. This simply means that the jeweler will ensure that the watch displays the most accurate time. They will use an horological timing device to set the time very precisely. 

Step 7: Case and Band Cleaning 

Next, the jeweler will thoroughly clean the case and the band. The case of the watch is the metal part surrounding the watch face, and the band is the part that encircles your wrist. In this cleaning step, the jeweler will use highly specialized tools to remove any dirt, oils, or other contaminants from the exterior of the watch.

Step 8: Case and Band Refinishing

After the case and band are cleaned, the jeweler will refinish and polish them, too. This gives your watch its shiny, luxurious appearance and gets rid of any blemishes on the surface of the metal.

Step 9: Case Tube Installment

Then the jeweler will install a new case tube to protect the stem and crown. The watch stem and crown are the parts that allow you to adjust the time and date. The case tube is a small metal cylinder piece that protects and secures the watch stem so that it doesn’t get misaligned, bent, or broken. It also prevents any dust or other particles from entering the watch. 

Step 10: Spring Bars Installment

Next, the jeweler will replace your watch’s old spring bars with new Rolex spring bars. A spring bar is the metal piece that attaches your watch case to the band. It looks like a tiny rod and makes it easy for you to replace the watch band if you’d like to.  

Step 11: Crystal Replacement

The watch crystal is an important part of your watch. Many Rolex watches have a layer of sapphire crystal across the face of the watch, acting as a protective shield and display case for the watch hands and dials. If the crystal gets scratched or dented, it can make a big impact on the overall aesthetic of the watch. Getting a new Rolex crystal can transform the look of your watch, and keep it safe too. 

a broken watch that we can repair

Step 12: Reassembly

Now the jeweler will reassemble the watch. They’ll attach the movement, the case, and the band back together so everything is in place where it belongs. In other words, your watch will look like your watch again. 

Step 13: Gasket Installment

For protection, the jeweler will also add gaskets to your watch. The gaskets are usually made of rubber, and they’re used to ensure that no moisture, dust, or other tiny particles enter your watch from any opening. The jeweler will place gaskets on the back case, the crown, and the tube. Now the assembly is complete!

Step 14: Final Regulation and Pressure Test

Finally, the jeweler will perform another regulation to ensure that the watch is keeping the right time. They will also pressure test the watch to measure its water resistance and make sure the seals are working to prevent moisture or other small particles from entering.  

As you can tell, this service is comprehensive, giving your watch an entire makeover inside and out. If you’re ready to get a Rolex overhaul, work with our team at Quick Jewelry Repairs. Our professional jewelers have years of dedicated experience working on luxury watches and would be happy to restore your watch so that it works (and looks) like new again.

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