How to Set the Time and Date on a Rolex & How to Wind It

Owning your first Rolex is a heady experience. It’s only natural that you want to learn how to make the most of it. That means you probably have some questions about how to use all the features. Among them are functions that you’re likely to use quite a bit.

Do you know how to set a Rolex watch? After all, you want to start with an accurate time and date. There’s also the question of how to wind a Rolex when and even if the need arises. Fortunately, the process of setting everything is much easier than most people realize. Here are some basic instructions that will help you accomplish these essential tasks.

Winding Different Types of Rolex Watches

A good place to begin is with the basic function of winding the Rolex. Just how do I wind my Rolex? While there’s an answer that applies to most designs, there are some exceptions. Let’s begin with the basics.

It’s possible to divide Rolex watches into two categories. One is the Quickset and the other is the non-Quickset. If your watch happens to be made after 1977, it’s likely to be a Quickset. Any vintage Rolex made before that time is more likely to be a non-Quickset.

How do you confirm which category your watch falls into? The easiest solution is to check the model number and look it up. You can also take the watch to a shop and have a professional check the model number.

To wind your Rolex, start by winding the crown or stem in a counterclockwise fashion until the crown is no longer touching the screw heads. Once that’s done, you’ll want to turn the crown in a clockwise fashion to wind the watch.

Depending on the model, the recommendation may be to wind the crown for a total of thirty revolutions. Other designs may recommend somewhere between twenty to forty revolutions. Once you’ve done that, push the crown inward until it’s flush with the watch body again. You can then wind the crown clockwise until it’s back in the position where you began.

If you don’t have a date feature on the watch, you’re done. The watch is wound and will remain that way for some time. This is true for both Quickset and non-Quickset watches that do not include the date feature.

Do Rolex Watches Have Batteries?

There are only a few Rolex designs that come with batteries. The OysterQuartz is an example. Most Rolex watches employ a self-winding perpetual movement. There’s a rotor inside the watch that moves as you swing your wrist. That in turn transfers a flow of energy to the mainspring and keeps the watch running.

If you don’t wear the watch often, the lack of motion will eventually cause the watch to stop. That’s when you’ll need to wind the Rolex and ensure the mainspring has the power needed to keep accurate time. People who wear their watches every day will find they keep running due to activities like swing the arm while walking.

How Often Should I Wind My Rolex?

On average, a Rolex will continue to operate for a total of 48 hours in between windings. That’s true whether you wind the watch by moving the wrist or by manually winding the device. People who tend to wear their watches daily will notice that the time is beginning to slow a bit. That’s a sign that you need to wind it and then reset the time.

Winding Specific Designs

With watches that are not self-winding, you will need to manually wind the watch. The process outlined above will do the trick nicely. When you buy the watch, identify the model and determine if winds perpetually due to movement or if you will need to check it every other day and wind it yourself.

For example, would you know how to wind a Rolex Datejust? It happens to be a self or perpetual winding model. So how do you wind a Rolex Datejust watch? Moving your arm and wrist around is all it takes.

With this and most other designs, you can turn your wrist and arm in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Several rounds will be all it takes to keep the watch properly charged. This will be no problem if you wear the watch every day.

If you only wear the watch on special occasions, it could be dead when you take it out and place it on your wrist. Use the method to manually wind the watch. Once that’s done, you can set other features like the date and time. Your movements while wearing the watch will be enough to keep it running for some time.

What Happens if I Wind the Watch Too Tightly?

Now that you know how to wind a Rolex, your next question likely has to do with winding the watch too much. Experience has taught you that it can happen with other types of timepieces. How do you prevent this sort of thing happening to your Rolex?

First, can you overwind a Rolex? The answer is no. Thanks to the design, it’s not possible to do this. Even if you wind the watch manually, it will stop once there’s enough tension to keep it working. For self-winding watches that are worn daily, it’s not possible to adversely affect the watch by moving the wrist around too much.

Consider this one of the perks of owning a Rolex. While you do need to care for the watch properly, you don’t have to worry about overwinding.

Setting the Date and Day on a Rolex

Your Rolex only comes out for special events. After winding the watch, you can move on to setting the date. Do you know how to change date on Rolex? It’s easy.

For most models, pull the crown out to the first notch. Next, turn the crown in a counter-clockwise direction to set the date. If you need to set the day of the week, pull the crown out to the last notch. Once that’s done, turn the crown in a clockwise direction. When you have the day and the date set, push the crown to a closed position.

Resetting the Date at the Beginning of the Month

You will run into a slight Rolex date change problem as the new month dawns. That’s because the months have different numbers of dates. Unlike the week that has seven fixed days, a month may last for 28,29, 30, or 31 days. You’ll need to manually adjust the date so that it’s back to “1” when the new months begins.

The same process that you use to set the day and the date for a watch that’s ran down applies in this scenario too. Assuming the watch is charged and the day of the week is fine, you only need to pull the crown out to the first notch, turn the crown counter-clockwise until you reach the desired date, and then push the crown back inward.

Do You Have to Manually Reset the Date at Midnight?

How do you set the date so it changes at midnight? If the watch is running, it will automatically move to the next date. Unless it’s the first of the month and you have to manually adjust the date, there are no worries about having to do anything. The date as well as the day will remain correct.

Like all Rolexes, the Rolex Datejust date does not change based on the number of dates in the month. If there were 30 in the previous month and it’s now the first day of the new month, you will need to make the change yourself.

Changing the Time on Your Rolex

Knowing how to set time on Rolex watch is simple. Pull the crown outward to the first notch. Instead of turning it counter-clockwise to set the date, you will turn it clockwise to set the time. Once you reach the right hour and minute, push the crown back in and you’re done.

Remember that if the design does include a day and date function, knowing how to change time on Rolex involves not winding clockwise until you make two complete revolutions on the watch face. At that point, the watch will advance the day and date by one. Once you wind past the 12 the first time, slow down and then stop at the right hour and minute.

When Would I Want to Reset the Time on My Rolex?

You would want to know how to set time on Rolex if the Rolex has wound down. You would also want to change the time if you traveled to a different time zone or if you noticed that the watch was winding down.

Knowing how to adjust Rolex time means that you can always update the watch if the need arises. Since the steps are so simple, you don’t have to be concerned about doing anything that’s out of the ordinary. In just a matter of seconds, the time will be accurate again.

Owning and wearing a Rolex can be a lot of fun as well as a great way to display your good taste. It may even lead to some interesting philosophical questions such as “would Jesus wear a Rolex?” or “would I feel differently if I wore some other type of watch?” While there’s always time to delve deeper into your thoughts and ponder those types of questions, why not relax and enjoy it? Once you know how to set a Rolex, including how to wind a Rolex watch and change the time and date, you can enjoy all the benefits of owning one of the best time-keeping devices in the world. Who could possibly find fault with that?

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