How to Adjust Your Rolex Bracelet: A Step-by-step Guide
It’s important that your watch fits perfectly on your wrist. Just like it’s important that your shoes fit properly, and that your shirt is the correct size.
If the clothes you wear don’t fit, you’ll just feel uncomfortable, and it will harm your user experience. Furthermore, it will also look awkward.
Rolex watches are beautiful pieces of art, stunning to look at, but it’s still important that you adjust your Rolex bracelet to your wrist so you can also wear it the way it is intended to be.
Now, you might be surprised that many of the people who are wearing a Rolex watch haven’t properly adjusted their Rolex bracelet to their wrist. Some people have it way too tight, making it uncomfortable to move the wrist, but others have their bracelet too large, making it slide up and down on forearm, getting in the way, and requiring the wearer to constantly adjust the Rolex watch.
Some people don’t have the correct size on their Rolex bracelet because they just don’t know that it’s possible to adjust the Rolex bracelet, but others just don’t know how to go about doing it.
The most important part, however, is that you feel comfortable wearing your Rolex. If you prefer to have your watch a bit tighter, then have that, but if you prefer to have it looser, you should adjust it accordingly. But when it comes to people wearing their Rolex bracelet improperly, it’s not only about the size of the bracelet. In fact, it’s also about how the clasp sits on the wrist. Here, there’s only one ”right” way to wear your clasp, and that’s in the middle of your wrist. Often times, wearers have the clasp too far on one side of the wrist, and this causes the watch to be pushed up or down on the wrist, making it uncomfortable to wear, as it tends to cause links to cantilever over the hinge of the clasp.
If you don’t know how to adjust your Rolex bracelet, don’t worry.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to adjust your Rolex bracelet to fit your wrist perfectly – just the way you want it -but also how to adjust your Rolex clasp so that it sits evenly on your wrist.
How to adjust your Rolex bracelet
First thing first, the most common way to adjust a Rolex bracelet is to remove or add links to the bracelet. But the catch is that this may not always be necessary, and if you can, it’s ideal to choose other, easier ways to adjust your Rolex bracelet than to bring tools and start adding or removing links. If you have no other alternative, this is, however, the alternative you need to opt for, and I’ll go more into detail on how you can remove or add links to your Rolex bracelet further on.
Wear your watch correctly
When talking about wearing a watch, everyone always talks about wearing your watch on the wrist, but while this is used in a more ordinary language, the fact is that you shouldn’t actually wear your watch on the wrist. As such, the case might actually be that your Rolex watch is perfectly adjusted to your wrist, but because you wear your watch on your wrist, it still sits uncomfortably.
There are several reasons you don’t want to wear your watch on the wrist, and the first is that it significantly limits your wrist’s ability to move. if you are going to bend your wrist, your watch may actually work as a block, preventing you from bending it, but also causing pain to your wrist as you’re doing so.
The second reason you don’t want to wear your watch on your wrist is that the crown or pushers if you are wearing a Daytona, will be pushed into your hand, which may cause blisters and leave red marks.
Most importantly, however, is that the head of the ulna, which is the bone that sticks out on the left side of your wrist (on your left wrist) makes it uncomfortable to have your watch against it, between your wrist’s ben-point and the bone.
As such, the proper place to wear your watch is actually on the lower part of the forearm, just above the head of the ulna. Your wrist has a different diameter here compared to your actual wrist, so it might be the case that if you simply move where on your wrist you have your watch, you may not need to adjust your Rolex bracelet.
Now, if you are wearing your watch on the lower part of the forearm where wristwatches are meant to be worn, and your Rolex bracelet is still too tight or too large, you need another approach, and this demands you to actually adjust your Rolex bracelet. But before we look at how you can change the number of links you have on your bracelet, let’s look at simpler alternatives to adjust the size of your Rolex bracelet.
Does your watch have a Glidelock clasp?
The Glidelock clasp only exists on modern Rolex Submariner and SeaDweller watches, so if your Rolex watch is either of those, this is a way to adjust your Rolex bracelet.
If you look underneath your Rolex clasp, you’ll find the Glidelock system. With this feature, you can effortlessly adjust your Rolex bracelet by 2mm increments. The Gridlock feature offers a total extension of up to 20mm.
To use the Glidelock clasp function to adjust your Rolex bracelet’s size, pop open the adjustable side of the bracelet from the clasp and then glide it back and forth until you find a size suitable for your wrist. Then, simply click the clasp back in place.
The Deepsea and Sea-Dweller extend up to 26mm thanks to their diver’s extension.
The Glidelock feature is great to make small size changes to your bracelet when switching between temperatures when your wrist changes size, but it can also be the small necessary difference between having your bracelet perfectly sized and having it just too tight or loose.
Since the Glidelock clasp only allows you to adjust the size of your Rolex bracelet so much, even if you use it, your Rolex watch may be too loose or too tight, and this may demand you to ultimately turn to the link approach.
Adjusting with the easy clasp feature
Many Rolex watches with a clasp have an easy-link feature that allows you to adjust the size of your Rolex bracelet. Now, this approach isn’t as effortless as the Glidelock clasp, however, it is still an easier alternative than turning to the links.
Note that not all watches have this type of clasp that enables this, so this may or may not work for adjusting the size of your Rolex bracelet.
The watches that have the easy clasp feature are the GMT-Master II, the Daytona, and many other Rolex models and versions.
The approach is similar to the Glidelock, however, in order to adjust the size, you need some kind of tool. On these traditional folded Rolex stainless steel clasps, there are 4-5 springbar adjustment holes. What you do is you push in the springbar that holds the bracelet together with the clasp, and then move the bracelet to one of the holes that exist on the inside of the clasp. When you’ve found the hole you want, you simply slide the springbar in place again.
The Easylink can extend or contract up to 5mm.
For newer, milled Rolex clasps, there are at three adjustment slots inside the clasp. When doing this, you want to use a small springbar tool or even a toothpick to release both sides of the springbar. As you do this, don’t pull on the links.
Removing links from your bracelet
The last method and often most common is to remove links from your bracelet.
Removing links allows you to make size adjustments of more than just a few millimeters, and this is something that you always do if you buy a new Rolex watch since new Rolex watches always come with a full set of link bits already on the bracelet.
Most people won’t have to add links to the bracelet, but if you do, you use the exact same method as when you remove them.
Before you make any adjustments to your links, you want to first make sure that the clasp is centered, but most importantly, see how the watch sits on your wrist.
If you don’t feel confident enough to do this yourself, we recommend that you take it to a watchmaker. All watchmakers have the skills and tools needed to do this, however, we recommend that you go to an authorized dealer to stay on the safe side.
As for the size of a Rolex bracelet, the standard recommendation is that you should have your bracelet loose enough to allow a finger to slide under the clasp. The reason you want to have your bracelet set to this size is so that even when your wrist expands as your wrist get warm, it is still comfortable.
But again, if you don’t like to have your bracelet this size, then experiment until you find a size that suits you. After all, you’re the one who is going to wear the watch, and it’s important that you’re comfortable with it.
When it comes to removing links, Rolex themselves recommend that you should first remove links from the 6 o’clock side (bottom) to make sure that the clasp hinge stays centered on the wrist.
If you remove links from the 12 o’clock side, the bracelet tends to pull the watch, preventing it from staying centered on your wrist.
Now, it’s time to remove links from your bracelet. To do this, you need a screwdriver. Don’t just take any screwdriver, but make sure you have a proper tool that is made for this exact purpose. This will prevent you from scratching the bracelet or damaging anything. Ideally, you should use an official Rolex screwdriver, but these can be pricey. The slot where you screw has 90-degree corners and is flat at the bottom. To avoid scratches, it is important that your screwdriver fits the slot perfectly.
Begin by placing your Rolex vertically on a soft surface, such as a cloth or on a pillow or similar to prevent scratches when you adjust the band.
When you start screwing, it can be tough at first, and this is because Rolex uses 222 Loctite. Don’t use too much force as you’re screwing as you may damage something, but instead, heat the link with a hairdryer. You can even continue to have the hairdryer on as you’re screwing if needed. The warmth will loosen up the Loctite glue.
Identify the holes on the side of your bracelet which can be found at the edge of your links right near the clasp.
It’s on one side that you find the holes where you are going to screw.
In order to remove a link, you need to screw out two pins from the bracelet.
Unscrew the pin holding two links together and pull out the pin.
When you’ve done this, remove the Loctite residue that is left on the pin and screw.
When you’ve removed the link, apply a very small amount of Loctite to the end of the pin and then put the link through the hole to hold the two links together.
Now, carefully screw back the pin and make sure that it is properly screwed in.
Also, make sure that you keep the link(s) that you’ve removed because these will affect the value of your watch if you are going to sell it in the future.
How to adjust your Rolex bracelet: making sure it fits perfectly
Now you know all of the ways you can adjust your Rolex bracelet. Now, it’s just time to find your perfect fit. It can take a few weeks to find the perfect fit for your Rolex bracelet, and normally, it’s not enough to just use one of these methods. Many times, you need to use several of them to adjust your Rolex bracelet to both make the size of the bracelet, but also the clasp of the bracelet a perfect fit.
If you have wrists that are smaller than 6.5” in diameter, you must remove a non-removable link from your bracelet. This is not something you should do yourself, but instead something that you should go to an authorized dealer for help with.
There are also half-links for Oyster bracelets made for the Submariner and DeepSea SeaDweller bracelets, as well as half-links for Jubilee bracelets which you can get help with acquiring from an authorized dealer.