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How to Adjust Your Rolex – a Step-By-Step Guide

Rolex Explorer 214270 wristshot

Do you need to adjust your Rolex? Is your Rolex set to the wrong time? Is it set on the wrong date or maybe day?

The vast majority of Rolex watches, except for a few exceptions, are automatic mechanical watches. This means that they are wound when worn, and a rotor generates energy which powers the watch.

However, a Rolex watch doesn’t have an endless power reserve, and so if you don’t use your Rolex for a while, or wind it up manually, it can stop. When it stops, you need to adjust your Rolex, set it correctly, and then wind it again to make sure that it has power.

In this article, we’ll share step-by-step how you adjust your Rolex, and the three most common features of a Rolex watch: time, date, and day function.

It’s also worth pointing out that different models are operated differently, the most common difference is the quick-set and non-quickset changing, which differs between newer and older watches.

Rolex Submariner 116613LB

How to adjust your Rolex: Adjusting the time

The natural first step is to adjust the time of your Rolex if it has stopped.

To adjust the time, you need to wind the crown counterclockwise to unscrew it. You will be able to feel when it pops out to winding position. Now, pull the crown out from the case gently, and you should feel different notches. Pull the crown to the last notch. This is the position for setting the time.

 Now, set the time by turning the winding crown clockwise to the correct time. 

Now, if your watch has stopped, it’s also important to wind your watch before starting to use it. All automatic watches have a power reserve which can vary greatly. If your Rolex watch has stopped, and you put it on your wrist, and rely on the movements on your wrist to wind the watch, the power reserve won’t be fully charged, which means that it will stop much faster when you stop wearing it. Therefore, you should wind your watch – before setting the time, day, or date.

Once you’ve set the time, push the crown down and screw it against the case. Except, of course, if you are going to change the day or date function of your watch.

Rolex Explorer II 16570

This brings us to the next point:

Quickset and Non-Quickset Rolex

As mentioned, the way you change the date on a Rolex watch can depend on how old your watch is.

In 1977, Rolex achieved a technical feat which made it easier to change the date. With the previous watches, if your watch has sat for some time, it may mean that you have to change between a lot of dates. The problem, however, is that the way you change the date on these older models is by simply changing the date. Safe to say, this is a very time-consuming process that can take a long time. As such, if you have a Rolex pre-1977 and the quick-set date function, the way you change your date is very basic. Simply pull the crown out to the last notch, and then start screwing to change the time. When the hour hand has rotated 24 hours, the date will change by one. As you can imagine, if you need to change the date from, for example, 5 to 30, you have a lot of winding to do.

Rolex Yacht-Master 116621

The good news is that in 1977, Rolex introduced the revolutionary 3035 movement. This movement was revolutionary because it meant that no more, you would have to wind countless rotations to change the date. Instead, with the help of the very convenient quickset function, you can simply pop the crown into a specific setting, and then only change the date.

If you have a vintage Rolex with a date function, you need to check whether it has the quickset function or not.

The easiest way to find out is to look at the reference number of your watch. Simply search for the reference you have, and you’ll be able to find which movement it is using. Now, you’ll know whether or not it is quickset.

The other method is to pull the crown between the different modes and see if the watch has quickset or not. If you can find a mode which only changes the date wheel, then you have a quickset Rolex.

Rolex Submariner 16610 complete set

Adjust Rolex with quickset

Changing the date of a quickset Rolex is extremely easy. Simply pull the crown out to the first notch, then turn counter-clockwise to change the date. You’ll notice just how easy it is.

Adjust Rolex Day-Date

If you have a Rolex Day-Date, you need to change the day as well.

To change the day, pull the crown out to the last notch and turn clockwise to set the day.

It’s important to remember that each and every time you’ve adjusted your Rolex, you need to screw the crown back into the case. Doing this will protect the watch as it will prevent water and dust to get inside the case (as long as the case is leak-proof, of course).


Adjusting your Rolex is relatively easy. Over the years, Rolex has also gone to great lengths to make it easier for you as a wearer to adjust your Rolex, where one of the most notable innovations is the Rolex quickset date function.

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