Every watch is different, and the art of Rolex watch repair is not a “paint-by-numbers” craft. However, the following rules should always be followed – and if properly followed, will save you a significant amount of money when it comes time to have your watch serviced next.
Rolex Repair Lesson #1: Don’t Pan-Fry Your Watch
When moisture intrusion occurs, it is imperative that the watch be properly dried out to prevent damage from the resulting corrosion. What is the absolute worst way to dry out a watch? Sticking it in the frying pan like a piece of bacon to try to “cook” the moisture out of it.
In this instance, the damage from the moisture intrusion was not as bad as the damage that resulted from our customer’s misguided efforts to try to dry out their watch. The high temperatures of the frying pan irreparably damaged a large number of components and even blew the crystal and bezel off the watch.
Rolex Repair Lesson #2: Don’t Use Your Watch as a Golf Tee
This may seem rather obvious, but severe impacts will damage your Rolex watch. Although we do not know the exact details about what happened to this particular Rolex Daytona, we do know that it was damaged while its owner was out golfing.
Given the shattered crystal, the extensively damaged dial and hands, the severely dented bezel and case, and the fact that a number of internal components were deeply lodged into the bridges and plates of the movement, we can only assume that the owner of this particular Rolex used his watch as a golf tee at some point during his weekend game.
Rolex Repair Lesson #3: Don’t Let Your Watch Rust
The majority of the damage that results from moisture intrusion is not caused by the moisture itself, but rather the corrosion that takes place once the moisture reacts with the oxygen in the air and starts to eat into the surfaces of the watch’s delicate metal components. The amount of time that passes after moisture first appears inside a watch is often directly proportional to the amount of corrosion that will be present inside it.
As you can tell from the picture below, A LOT of time passed before this watch was sent to us for service. As a result, A LOT of corrosion was present on the movement. Although the owner of this Rolex may have found it interesting to watch the rust grow inside his watch, the amount of corrosion on the movement was extensive, and the majority of its internal components were compromised.
Rolex Repair Lesson #4: Don’t Turn Your Watch into an Aquarium
Moisture inside a watch is never a good thing; however there is a difference between light condensation and a significant amount of liquid. The owner of this watch forgot to make sure that his crown was screwed down before he went in the water, and an extremely large amount of moisture entered his Rolex Datejust.
The amount of water – and the type of water can have a significant effect on the extent of the damage. Even light condensation has the potential to compromise the delicate internal components of a watch; however flooding a watch with dark, murky water and turning it into a miniature, wrist-mounted aquarium will almost always result in extensive damage.
Rolex Repair Lesson #5: Don’t Use Your Watch as Sandpaper
Despite the robust build quality of Rolex watches, they still have the limitations of the materials from which they are constructed. Although metal is remarkably strong and durable, even Rolex’s proprietary alloys will wear down after repeated and prolonged contact with another surface.
The owner of this watch wore it on the same wrist as a large bracelet, which resulted in a significant amount of wear on the bottom edge of the watch from it rubbing against another metal surface for many years. Although the internal components of the watch were in decent condition, the extensive wear to the case and case-back prohibit the watch from ever being able to be sealed properly again.