Fashionable Rolex Watches and the Question of Accuracy


Those who snub the highly fashionable Rolex watches will always say that their cheaper brand is equally as accurate, but time will tell.

 Official Rolex Repair

Official Rolex repair has indicated that a margin of 5-7 minutes per month lost or gained can be expected from authentic Rolex watches, but there are some adjustments that can be made to offset these losses or gains.  The reason however, for this fluctuation has to do with the elevation or altitude rather of the timepiece and its user.   When a Rolex watch is manufactured it is calibrated to run at a certain speed when fully wound and operational to the settings of altitude and temperature within the environment of production, Rolex watches are then tested and a quality control inspection is undertaken to provide quality assurance to the end consumer.

Five years of testing

It can take up to five years for the team at Rolex to come up with a new model, and hundreds of aesthetic and industrial prototypes are made and rejected before the perfect new Rolex watches are launched onto the market.   With such a high level of technical expertise going into the making of Rolex watches, it makes sense for the lucky owner to maintain their timepiece.  Rolex recommends having your watch serviced (or overhauled) every 3 to 5 years.

200 working parts

A Rolex watch consists of over 200 parts working together, within tolerances measured in microns (thousandths of a millimetre). The day to day movement of these parts causes friction – whether it is the metal to metal or even metal to jewel (ruby) contact – and requires proper lubrication to avoid failure. Over time, the oils and greases used for this lubrication can break down, or dry up. This can result in coagulation (or hardening), which can affect the accuracy of your watch, and even cause subsequent damage to the movement’s tiny parts.

Invention of the self-winding wrist watch

British watch repairer, John Harwood patented the self-winding wrist watch 80 years ago on 7 July 1923. Although other self-winding watches had been made prior to Harwood’s invention they were fob watches, which were bulky and expensive. Harwood wanted to design a watch that had its winding mechanism inside which would be impervious to grit and safe from the human error of over winding. In 1931 Rolex developed a variation on Harwood’s patented invention where the central rotor swung in a full 360 degree circle. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual continued to accurately keep the time 35 hours after the wearer removed the watch. The Rolex watches were a significant improvement on Harwood’s wrist watch which kept ticking accurately for only 12 hours after the wearer removed the watch.

So Accurate they were Designed for Pilots

The GMT Master Rolex watches for sale were made in 1955 for pilots at the request of Pan Am Airways, recording the time in two different time zones simultaneously. Both the original GMT and the GMT II can display the time in 2 different time zones by having an additional “GMT” hand which completes a 24 hour cycle in a single rotation. Use of the bi-directional rotatable bezel allows for a third time zone to be displayed.  This model of Rolex watch is popular with travellers and people who need to keep track of the time across multiple time zones.


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