Rolex World Service’s Lifelong Commitment

Rolex World Service programme

How the Rolex World Service enables all Rolex timepieces to last generations.

People talk about the ‘thrill of the hunt’, celebrate #NWAs and pursue grail pieces with the fervour of Bambi-eyed romantics. Nothing wrong with that – we all love the feel of a newly acquired ticker on the wrist and the gratifying beauty shots we can dish out for the ‘gram. But seasoned collectors would also ask: how do you keep the flame alive?

For starters, one should always be armed with a well-curated checklist before embarking on any love affair with a watch. What’s its provenance? Where are you buying it from? What is the brand’s track record? And, probably the most important of all, what kind of after-sales service can you expect?

To that end, Rolex’s reputation as the world’s most recognised and esteemed watch brand rests not just on making the most desirable timepieces on the planet, but also the care it takes to ensure that its watches stay that way for generations to come. It is a rigorous and thorough process that begins from the watches’ conception; Rolex’s timepieces are developed with after-sales service in mind. For instance, even if a model has been discontinued, Rolex guarantees the availability of its parts and labour for at least 35 years following its withdrawal from the catalogue.

Rolex watchmaker assessing the watch at the Rolex World Service workshopRolex watchmaker assessing the watch at the Rolex World Service workshop

Built To Last
While Rolex’s in-house manufacturing prowess and proprietary innovations that contribute to its watches’ enduring and illustrious stature are well documented, the brand’s stringent global after-sales service programme, known as Rolex World Service, is just as important to the equation.

Right from the start, Rolex’s founder Hans Wilsdorf was adamant that every Rolex timepiece produced had to be unrivalled in chronometric precision and waterproofness –along with the guarantee that they would continue to perform in optimum condition over time. As such, besides building up Rolex’s production capabilities and establishing its global distribution network, Wilsdorf also found it imperative to set up a network of watchmaking workshops around the world responsible for the servicing and upkeeping of all Rolex watches.

Rolex World ServiceMovement components prepared for cleaning in an ultrasonic bath

A fully integrated after-sales set-up, the Rolex World Service is, like the watches it looks after, an in-house affair. Regardless of location, all Rolex World Service workshops are equipped with infrastructure and equipment that meet the brand’s specifications, and are staffed by watchmakers who have been trained by the company. To bolster its after-sales service standards, Rolex inaugurated the Rolex Training Centre in Geneva in 2018. Among its programmes is an 18-month Rolex Watchmaking Training course, which Rolex also provides for its affiliates that train watchmakers to carry out a full service on Oyster movements.

Waterproofness of Rolex watches are tested in hyperbaric tanks developed by the brandWaterproofness of Rolex watches are tested in hyperbaric tanks developed by the brand

Inside-Out
Depending on the age and condition of the watch, or the nature of work required – whether something cosmetic such as adjusting bracelet length, or more intensive like the overhaul of the movement – servicing can take place at an official retailer, an affiliate, or at Rolex World Headquarters in Geneva

So, what actually happens when you send in your precious Rolex for an overhaul? After the watch has been assessed and the service cost estimate approved by the owner, it will be completely taken apart, with the case, movement and bracelet undergoing their own servicing routes.

A movement’s accuracy adjusted using a microstella regulating keyA movement’s accuracy adjusted using a microstella regulating key

All movement components, as well as dial and hands will be dismantled and cleaned in an ultrasonic bath before being put together again. In the event where a part is deemed unsuitable for reassembly, it is replaced by another, direct from the Rolex manufacture in Bienne, where the company’s movements are produced.

Similarly, the case and bracelet components are disassembled, individually cleaned and re-finished by hand. Performance tests include a 24-hour precision test for the movement and pressure test for the waterproofness of the case. When all of the above are done and certified, the owner gets his Rolex back looking and working just as it did on the day he bought it – with the added assurance of a two-year international warranty covering parts and labour.

Rolex World ServiceServiced watches are covered a two-year international warranty

One’s love affair with new watches is often most intense and exciting at the beginning. But as with all relationships, the virtues of graft, foresight and commitment are, more often than not, what truly matters. For they help eke the most precious thing one could get out of any bond – the assurance of longevity.

Rolex Service Center Singapore

Rolex Service Center Singapore is located at 302 Orchard Road, # 01-01, Tong Building
Singapore 238862, Tel: 6737 9033

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Ex Editor-In Chief

Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.


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