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How to Change Time on a Rolex Watch

Setting your Rolex isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Most Rolex watches wind and set in much the same way, but if you need to set your watch to display the correct day, date, and time, these steps can help. Whether you have an older Rolex or a newer timepiece generation, you can wind and set it in a few simple steps. Follow along as we show you how to wind and set multiple watch types, including the Rolex Oyster Perpetual model.

How to Wind a Rolex Watch

A Recently Wound Rolex Watch

Image via Flickr by Alan Antiporda.

Most Rolex models require manual winding to stay powered, and you’ll need to wind it before you set it. Start by locating the dial on the side of your watch. This is the crown. Then, use these steps to wind your watch:
  1. First, unscrew the crown by turning it counterclockwise. Turn the crown all the way until it’s free of the threads.
  2. Next, slowly turn the crown clockwise. Twist the crown between 20 and 30 times to start the movement of the watch.
  3. Always wind your watch before you set the time. Keeping your watch wound ensures the mechanisms don’t lose their charge, which can affect the date and time of your watch.

How to Set Day and Date on a Rolex

Most Rolex watches follow a standard procedure for setting the time and date. However, some models, like quickset and non-quickset watches, require a different set of steps when adjusting the date and time. No matter the type, your watch will have several different crown positions that control the date, day, and time settings. Typically, the first position is where the crown sits before you unscrew it and is the position for winding your watch. The second position lets you set the date and day, and the third position is for the time. Some Rolex pieces have four crown positions and you can only get the crown into the first position after you unscrew it. On every model, the first crown position is for winding the watch. After you wind the watch, you can set it by following these steps:
  1. First, unscrew the crown by turning it counterclockwise. Make sure you unscrew the crown until it’s free of the screw threads.
  2. Gently pull the crown all the way out. You should feel a soft click as you pass through each crown position until you reach the last one.
  3. Set the time on your watch. Rotate the crown counter-clockwise (or clockwise for women’s watches) until you reach the time you want.
  4. Then, push the crown back to the second position so you can adjust the date and day. Turn it clockwise.
  5. Once you set your watch, push the crown back in place. Tighten the crown so it’s secure and keeps its watertight seal.
If you have a quickset, double quickset, or non-quickset model, you might need to set your watch in a different manner.

How Do I Set the Time, Day, and Date on a Quickset Rolex?

Quickset Rolex watches differ slightly in the way you set them. If you have a quickset watch, start by pulling the crown out to the first position. Next, turn the crown counterclockwise or clockwise (for men’s and women’s watches, respectively) so you can set the date. Then, pull the crown out to the last position to set the time.

How Do I Set a Double Quickset Rolex?

To set a double quickset watch, you’ll need to pull the crown out to the first position, similar to a quickset. Then, twist the crown clockwise to set the date and then counterclockwise to set the weekday. After setting the day and date, pull the crown to the last position and turn it counterclockwise or clockwise so you can set the time. Once you’ve set your watch, be sure you screw down the crown securely.

How to Set Day, Date, and Time on Non-Quickset Rolex Watches

For non-quickset watches, start with the crown out to the last position. The second hand on your watch should stop. Then, twist the crown counterclockwise until you get to the date you want. This also sets the time as you set the day and date. Non-quickset Rolex models are typically older in vintage. If you have a non-quickset model and you’re thinking about purchasing a newer quickset, you can easily sell your Rolex vintage so you don’t have to repeat this lengthy process.

How Do I Set a Rolex Oyster Perpetual?

A Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a uniquely crafted model that typically features a date window at the 3 o’clock position. The Oyster Perpetual usually doesn’t have a day feature. Additionally, the Oyster Perpetual will usually come with four crown positions. To set the day and date on Rolex Oyster Perpetual, you can follow these steps:
  1. First, unscrew the crown counterclockwise. Once unscrewed, the crown is in the second position. This is the position you wind your watch in, rather than the first position like most other Rolex watches.
  2. Next, move the crown up one position. Now it should be in the third position, where you can set and change the date. Turn the crown clockwise to do so.
  3. Then, pull the crown all the way out to the fourth position. This changes the time and is the last position on the Oyster Perpetual that the crown moves to. The second-hand stops completely while you set the time and won’t start again until you push the crown back in. Set the time and push the crown back in place. Screw the crown in securely when you’re done.

When Should I Wind My Rolex?

You should wind your Rolex any time you’ve gone several days without wearing it. Even if your watch is an automatic Rolex, it will still lose its charge if you’re not wearing it. Wearing your watch on a daily basis can help you make sure it stays wound and keeps its power. You’ll also want to make sure you wind your watch any time you change the date or time. Typically, this tends to be during the time changes in spring and fall. Whether you’d like to sell your Rolex and upgrade to a new model or buy another vintage timepiece, visit us at Las Vegas Jewelry and Coin Exchange and browse our selection of fine jewelry and luxury watches.

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