How to Wind & Set a Rolex

Posted on Saturday, March 18th, 2017 at 12:46 pm by Victoria

The elegance of the unparalleled, illustrious, most prestigious wristwatch of all time. The crème de la crème of timepieces. A Rolex. Your heart races and butterflies take over. The world moves around you but you are still, in total awe and mesmerized by the wearable work of art that is all yours. Could it be love? 

After the initial excitement subsides, you realize none of the information you were given about your Rolex was committed to memory, and who could blame you? Euphoria took hold of your synapses. Now you have questions and Hingham Jewelers has the answers.

“My Rolex stopped running. How do I wind it?” “My Rolex is running twelve hours behind. How do I fix it?” “Do I turn the crown forward or backward?”

These are some of the questions our customers ask. No matter the model, we can help guide you. The following steps are specific to the Datejust, Daytona, Submariner, Sea-Dweller, Yachtmaster and Deepsea. If you have a Day-Date or a GMT, the steps vary slightly as the Day-Date has an extra function to set the day of the week and the GMT has a second hour hand. 

The crown has four positions numbered zero through three. Position zero is the crown screwed all the way down. The crown should always be in this position to assure waterproofness unless you are setting or winding your Rolex. Position one is unscrewed and allows you to manually wind the movement. Position two sets the date. Position three sets the time. 

Step One:

The first step in setting and winding a Rolex is to unscrew the crown to position one. With the watch dial facing you, turn the crown counterclockwise, or towards you, to unscrew the crown. When completely unscrewed, you will feel the crown pop into the winding position. A Rolex is automatic and is designed to self-wind utilizing the day-to-day, natural motions of the wearer. However, if the watch is tucked away for a few days and not on a watch winder, it will eventually stop running. Once the crown is unscrewed, you can begin winding the Rolex. To do so, turn the crown clockwise, or forward, and you will feel a slight tension and hear a soft ticking sound. Continue to turn the crown approximately forty times to start the watch and give it full power. 

Step Two:

After the Rolex is wound, you can set the date. Pull the crown out slightly and it will click into the next position, position two. This position is how you will set the date. Begin to turn the crown clockwise, or forward, to change the date. The date can only be changed by moving the crown forward, not backward. Set the date to one day early. This will be corrected later and is to ensure your watch is properly set to either morning or night. More on that later.

Step Three:

Pull the crown out one more time and it will click into position three to set the time. Begin turning the crown clockwise, or forward, and the hour and minute hands move. This is the part where the date becomes important again. Remember, when you set the date you set it for one day behind. As you turn the crown and the hands approach twelve o’clock, keep an eye on the date. If you pass twelve o’clock the first time and the date doesn’t change, this means your watch is set to twelve in the afternoon. If the date moved forward one day, which should be the correct date, this means your Rolex is reading twelve o’clock in the morning. Now you can set the time and be certain your Rolex will not be running twelve hours ahead. 

Step Four:

Once your Rolex is set it is time to put the crown back into position zero. To do so, press the crown down and while screwing it clockwise, or forward, until it is snug. If the crown is not screwed down completely, the Rolex is no longer waterproof. Take care not to over-tighten the crown. 

Et voilà! It is really that simple. But if you find yourself struggling we are always available to assist. Before you reach for the pliers, give us a call or stop by to visit and one of our Rolex experts can surely assist.