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Rolex Lemon?

My wife purchased a Submariner, new, for me as a wedding gift in 2007 :001_wub:.

While still in warranty I sent it back because it was gaining around 30 seconds a day. They went it back to me and things went ok for a couple of years but then it started losing time to the tune of a couple of minutes per day.


I sent it for service in May 2010 and was told that the oil was dried out and it was because I live in the South. This service cost me $600.


I just sent it back in for service again yesterday because it is gaining time. I set it to the correct time at 6am yesterday and by 11am it had gained an hour.


I have to wait to hear back from them once they receive the watch but I'm not happy with the idea of another $600 bill. It is basically costing me $200/year to own a $6,000 watch.


Is this normal? I really hoped that my Rolex experience would be greater than the one I had with my $200 Seiko or $400 Tag.
 

Austin

Moderator Emeritus
It is not normal to have your Rolex serviced so much. I live in hot and steamy Central Texas. I generally have mine serviced every 5 years by my watchmaker. He does a wonderful job and costs me around $200. I have owned Rolex watches that were not serviced in 10 years. They ran precise.
 
I'll send you a $200 Seiko and a $400 Tag for it, lol.

Kidding aside, sorry to hear. Hope this gets sorted out soon for you.
 
That seems very strange for a Rolex. Cleaning and/or servicing should have fixed the problem. As a complete shot in the dark, what do you do for work? I have heard of trouble with movements due to exposure to magnets and magnetic fields.
 
I have had some issues also and was initially surprised, but I think it is not terribly uncommon. I get it cleaned every 5 years or so, but any longer than that and issues seem to arise.
 
That seems very strange for a Rolex. Cleaning and/or servicing should have fixed the problem. As a complete shot in the dark, what do you do for work? I have heard of trouble with movements due to exposure to magnets and magnetic fields.
I work from home behind a keyboard and mouse so my watch has a pretty cushy life.
 

ackvil

Moderator Emeritus
Contributor
No, that is not normal.

A few months ago I stopped into an authorized Rolex dealer. I complained to the salesperson that my Seiko told better time than my Rolex. She had two suggestions: (1) at night take it off your wrist and lay it on the counter with the stem winder facing the ceiling. (2) Periodically wind the watch even though it is a self winder. Believe it or not those two suggestions work and now it tells accurate time.

Service of this watch, however, is very expensive. However, as with many things the more costly it is the more expensive it is to maintain. I'm sure a service for a Rolls Royce would be more expensive than a Chevy.
 
My watch cost me $19.95 and loses about 15 seconds a month. It is a couple of years old so I expect to change the battery in about 3 years.

My fake rolex cost me $25 in Bahrain and runs better than your rolex. That is just crazy that a real one doesn't perform better than that. They are usually pretty good watches. Almost as good as my Casio, in fact.
 
No, that is not normal.

A few months ago I stopped into an authorized Rolex dealer. I complained to the salesperson that my Seiko told better time than my Rolex. She had two suggestions: (1) at night take it off your wrist and lay it on the counter with the stem winder facing the ceiling. (2) Periodically wind the watch even though it is a self winder. Believe it or not those two suggestions work and now it tells accurate time.

Service of this watch, however, is very expensive. However, as with many things the more costly it is the more expensive it is to maintain. I'm sure a service for a Rolls Royce would be more expensive than a Chevy.
How do you wind a Rolex? I understand that it can be expensive to maintain and $600 every five years would be understandable. I just don't want to do that every 2-3 years. I put up with increasingly poor performance before I finally had enough.
 
I work from home behind a keyboard and mouse so my watch has a pretty cushy life.
When I first got my Submariner it ran fast. Not nearly as fast as yours, but definitely out of chronometer specifications. I had my jeweler send it in for service (either the SF or the TX service center), and they tried telling me being near computers could cause this.

I would send it back in. Just make sure to avoid the NY Rolex service center. I have heard horror stories about that one.
 

Austin

Moderator Emeritus
How do you wind a Rolex? I understand that it can be expensive to maintain and $600 every five years would be understandable. I just don't want to do that every 2-3 years. I put up with increasingly poor performance before I finally had enough.
As a rule of thumb, wind it 34 full crown rotations and back 5 rotations. My watchmaker recommended this to me.
 
None of my Rolex watches have lost time as you are reporting including my circa 1980 Sea Dweller that I have dived with for 30 years or so. All mechanical watches will need some servicing from time to time, but not what you are reporting. I assume that you sent it into an authorized Rolex service center and not some local talent? My hobby is horology, which I learned from my father, and I have seen some real butcher jobs on antique clock and watches over the years from so-called watch makers.
 
None of my Rolex watches have lost time as you are reporting including my circa 1980 Sea Dweller that I have dived with for 30 years or so. All mechanical watches will need some servicing from time to time, but not what you are reporting. I assume that you sent it into an authorized Rolex service center and not some local talent? My hobby is horology, which I learned from my father, and I have seen some real butcher jobs on antique clock and watches over the years from so-called watch makers.
Authorized Rolex service center for me.
 
As a rule of thumb, wind it 34 full crown rotations and back 5 rotations. My watchmaker recommended this to me.
Is that pulling it out one stop, two, and I'm assuming not three because that changes the time. Not that I can experiment now but I will be after getting it back. Has anyone heard of anyone having any luck with contacting Rolex and getting a replacement watch?
 

Austin

Moderator Emeritus
Is that pulling it out one stop, two, and I'm assuming not three because that changes the time. Not that I can experiment now but I will be after getting it back. Has anyone heard of anyone having any luck with contacting Rolex and getting a replacement watch?
Unscrew the crown to the first stop. This should let you wind the watch. I have never heard Rolex replacing a watch after it is out of warranty.
 
Not only will Rolex not replace a watch out of warranty, but any thing older than 30 years or so they will consider obsolete and not service. You might be able to stretch the time a bit, but Rolex will not service any of their bubblebacks for example. It is poor policy in my opinion as Audemars, Patek, even IWC will work on their watches no matter how old they are. I have recently had some restorations done on calibre 89 IWCs that were returned looking like they came out of the factory yesterday.
 
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