Rolex FAQ's Things You Might Not Know

The world of Rolex is an ever changing one.  Rolex has made many everlasting advances in the watchmaking world.  Many of these advances are actually not known by the consumer and in some cases Rolex has not published much information about their watches and the techniques that are utilized in the manufacturing process of their superb line of fine watches.  Here we will post questions and answers about Rolex watches.

Rolex Questions and Answers


Q.  What type of stainless steel is used to make the Rolex stainless steel case?

A.  Rolex has created its own form of stainless steel that is supplied buy outside suppliers.  This form of stainless steel is known as 904L.  This steel resists corrosion and is very tough.  It is one form of stainless steel that is very difficult to machine.

Q.  Who makes the dials for Rolex?

A.  Rolex actually makes their own dials at its facility in Chene-Bourg.  Most of these dials are actually produced and assembled by women.

Q.  Where does Rolex get its gold from and do they alloy it at their factory?

A.  We don't know where the raw gold comes from.  Rolex however is the largest consumer of gold in Switzerland and is the only watch company that does its own alloying.  By doing their own alloying Rolex is able to control its quality and it also affords Rolex the ability to create new gold alloys like rose gold it recently developed.  This new rose gold does not lose its pink tint like other rose gold alloys do.

Q.  Is the anyway that I can self regulate my Rolex?

A.  Yes you can self regulate your Rolex.  The following information is from Rolex.  It is interesting and might help correct for a few seconds of error in your watches timekeeping ability.

If your watch loses or gains a few seconds per day (remember there are 86,400 seconds in 24 hours!), you can correct it without expert aid. The rate of a watch varies slightly depending upon its position. Take it off at night and place it as follows:

1. To gain a few seconds: Lay the watch flat with the dial uppermost.

2. To lose a few seconds: Lay the watch vertically with the winding-button downwards.

3. To lose rather more seconds: Lay the watch vertically with the winding-button uppermost.

Q.  Do I need to wind my Rolex even though it is an automatic winding watch?

A.  If you have just received your Rolex back from having it serviced or if you have just purchased a new Rolex you will have to wind the watch manually in order to supply your Rolex with the correct amount of reserve power.  Here's how to do it.  Unscrew the crown.  From this position, wind the watch at least 40 full turns of the crown.  Set the watch to the correct time.  When this is completed, push the crown back in and screw it all the way down.  This should supply your Rolex with plenty of reserve power to keep it running.  If you are an inactive person, it may be necessary to wind your watch upon occasion in order to keep it running.

Q.  Is it alright to take my Rolex into a hot tub or shower with it?  Will soap damage the gaskets?

A.  Watches should never be put in a sauna or a hot tub since the exposure to heat can easily make the gaskets lose their shape and ability to keep water out.  This is especially true with the case tube gasket and crown gaskets.

Watches should not be worn in the bath or shower. The soap suds reduce the surface tension of the rubber gaskets in the watch, which allows water to get in. The soap can also damage the seal itself. So we highly recommend you do not bathe with your watch.  Signs of slight moisture in your watch will appear as slight to moderate fogging or moisture forming under the crystal.

Q.  What does the water resistance rating really mean?

A.  Water resistance is normally expressed in meters. This rating is only theoretical and refers to the depth that a watch will keep water out if the watch and water are both motionless. These conditions never really exist in real life because the users arm movement dramatically increases the pressure on the watch, along with the water moving itself. The chart below should help you understand how deep you can really go with your watch under static conditions.

Measurement Units: 1 meter is about 3.3 feet / 1 ATM (atmosphere) or bar is 10 meters

  • If a watch is labeled only "water-resistant." It can withstand splashes of water but should not be submerged in any water.
  • 50 meters: suitable for brief water exposure
  • 100 meters: suitable for standard swimming pools
  • 200 meters: suitable for recreational scuba diving
  • 1,000 meters: (roughly three-fifths of a mile).

Q.  What is reserve power and what does it mean?

A.  Rolex watches require a certain amount of reserve power in order for the movement to operate properly.  When your Rolex has been serviced and returned it is necessary to manually wind the movement.  You will need to un-screw the crown.  The first position is the winding position.  From this position, wind your Rolex 40 full turns of the crown.  When winding is completed, screw the crown down to its original position.  Your Rolex will now have the correct amount of reserve power to properly operate the movement.  From this point on, depending upon your activity level, your Rolex should wind automatically maintaining the correct amount of power.

Q.  What do all the numbers on a Rolex mean?

A.  There are two numbers that are located on the outside of a typical Rolex watch case.  These numbers are located between the lugs of the case and requires that the watch band be removed in order to see them.  These numbers are etched into the case and at times they can be difficult to see due to wear.  The number located at the 12 position is the Registered Design number.  This number tells you how the watch was originally manufactured and what materials were used.  The number located at the 6 position is nothing more than the serial number of the case.  This number at times can be used to determine an approximate date of manufacture, however, this is not reliable as Rolex over the years has duplicated serial numbers.


More Rolex Information Will Follow.