It's a well-known fact that Rolex's success is based on the foresight of its founder Hans Wilsdorf. He believed that every Rolex timepiece ought to be reliable and durable and spent his lifetime perpetuating that guiding principle and pushing the limits of the Oyster case, which protects the movement—even up till today.
But little do people know that Wilfsdorf, as part of his business plan, also established a network of dedicated after-sales service workshops in the countries where Rolex was available in. This initiative further assured consumers that their watches would receive the best servicing standards at any point in time, thus maintaining their high levels of precision, accuracy and reliability. Operated and managed by Rolex World Service, the brand's after sales service department, the workshops are staffed with watchmakers, who have been trained extensively by the brand, in order to ensure service consistency and quality.
Each timepiece, after it has been maintained and certified by a Rolex workshop, will enjoy a two-year international service guarantee that covers its components and labour. Also, Rolex ensures that the availability of parts and labour for every watch is guaranteed for at least 35 years even after its withdrawal from the brand's stable of timepieces. Should the watch be purchased more than 35 years ago, servicing of the piece will be handed over to its Restoration Atelier (see below), a special department that handles rare and historic Rolex pieces.
What happens when a watch is sent to the Rolex World Service workshop? Once the watch has been received, assessed and the customer has approved the service estimate, The watchmaker will then separate the bracelet from the case and remove the movement, still fitted with its dial and hands. From here on, the movement, case and bracelet will take on separate servicing paths.
The movement is completely dismantled with each component undergoing scrutiny to determine if it still meets Rolex's standards. If it doesn't, a new component manufactured in-house by Rolex will be replaced. All the other components are thoroughly cleaned in an ultrasonic bath to remove impurities before being dried. The movement is then assembled with all parts lubricated, and adjusted to achieve the required working precision. Only then, will the watchmaker refit the dial and hands.