How to Wind a Rolex Datejust Watch

Rolex Datejust 41 126300

How often should I wind my Rolex Datejust watch? This is a question we often get asked by our customers, and the answer is: it depends. We’ll explain why that is in just a minute.

First, let’s talk about how to wind your Rolex Datejust watch. There are two types of Rolex Datejust models: “non-quickset” models, and “quickset” models.

Today, all of Rolex’s watches are models with automatic movements that self-wind with your wrist and arm movement. Rotors and weights within the movement coil the inner spring and as that spring uncoils, it powers the movement. On average, a fully wound movement in a Rolex watch will last 48 hours while some can last up to 70 hours.

Why do I need to wind my Rolex?

Rolex Datejust 41 Green Dial Smooth Bezel Steel Mens Watch 126300Rolex Datejust 41 Green Dial Smooth Bezel Steel Mens Watch 126300

Automatic watches have to be worn to stay powered. If you have multiple watches and don’t wear the same one every day, you’re going to find a moment when your Datejust stops.

All Rolex models have movements that can store between 48 and 72 hours of power.

This means that if you only wear your watch to work, we’re talking over the 5-day work week. Then those two days over the weekend will likely mean your watch will need to be wound and reset on Monday morning.

Rolex Datejust 36 16233 and Datejust 26 69173Rolex Datejust 36 ref. 16233 and Lady-Datejust 26 ref. 69173

If you don’t want the hardship of resetting your watch every Monday morning, there are three options:

1. Watch winder: this small box uses electric motors that rotate any watch stored inside to keep those internal rotors and weights moving and winding the watch. Each winder has different rotation and movement settings so do some research before investing.

2. Wear the watch all the time, even on the weekend.

3. Manually wind the watch mid-weekend.


How to Wind a Rolex Datejust: Non-Quickset Models

When you have a Rolex Datejust, it is important to know how to wind the watch. The thing with Rolex watches is you need to know how the crown works in order to wind, set the time, and set the date. There’s a process to it that many aren’t aware of.

The Crown

Rolex Datejust Steel Yellow Gold Blue Brick Dial Vintage Mens Watch 1601The Rolex Datejust 1601 is a vintage reference with a non-quickset movement

The crown on your Rolex Datejust is located on the right hand side of the case at 3 o’clock. When properly used, the crown will be in a locked position unless you’re winding or setting the watch. This is incredibly important as the locking of the crown is a huge part of the waterproofing of your case. Locking the crown keeps moisture and dust out of the movement inside.

Your crown has four positions: Flush or 0, Pulled out once or 1, two pulls or 2, pulled out thrice or 3.

Position one is for winding the main spring on your watch

Position two is for setting the date on watches with the quickset feature

Position three or full extension is for setting the time.

Winding a Non-Quickset Datejust

President Datejust Yellow Gold Malachite Diamond Watch
The vintage Rolex President Datejust 6917 (right) has a non-quickset movement

1. Unscrew the crown on the right hand side of your case. This is done in a counterclockwise motion.

2. When fully released from the locking threads, the crown will pop out into position 1.

3. Rotate the crown clockwise a goof 25-30 times. Only a clockwise motion will actually wind your watch.

4. Gently push the crown back into the case and screw it back into the locked position clockwise.

You can turn it clockwise until you feel resistance on your hand. You will then feel an increase in tension as the mainspring starts winding so that it can power your movement for up to 48 hours without any help from human hands. Don’t worry about over-winding or damaging your watch! It has built-in mechanisms that prevent this from happening on newer models.


How to Wind a Rolex Datejust: Quickset Models

The Datejust 31 ref. 278274 and Datejust 41 ref. 126334The Datejust 31 ref. 278274 and Datejust 41 ref. 126334 are both quickset models

Winding is essential for keeping your watch running at its best. As you wear your Rolex Datejust Quickset model, it will lose power over time. It’s not just the automatic function that needs winding but also the manual setting mechanism.

When it comes to winding, the process is the same whether you have a quickset or a non-quickset model. The differences between the two models comes when setting the date and time rather than when winding.

Rolex Datejust Midsize 178241 and 278381Rolex Datejust Midsize Rose Diamond Dial ref. 278381 and Goldust Dial ref. 178241

To wind your quickset Datejust, unlock the crown with counterclockwise rotations. Once it pops into position 1 then rotate clockwise for 25-30 full turns to wind it.

If your watch was still running when you started the process it will continue to do so. If it had already stopped, you’ll need to reset the date and time. If the watch stops running while you’re attempting to wind it, you may have the crown in the wrong position.


How often should I wind my Rolex Datejust?

Rolex Datejust 28 Steel Rose Gold Diamond Ladies Watch 279381Rolex Datejust 28 Steel Rose Gold Diamond Ladies Watch 279381

You should wind your Rolex Datejust watch only if needed.

As with any automatic watch, the mainspring in a Rolex movement will lose energy over time if not wound regularly whether through your movements or manually.

If you wear your Datejust on a daily basis, there should be no reason to wind it, ever. The movements of your arm will do it for you. When you take it off, say in the evening before bed, your movements from the day should have fully charged the watch and it will run for up to 70 hours.

Rolex Datejust 36 Mother of Pearl dial 16233 and Datejust 41 126333Rolex Datejust 41 ref. 126333 and Datejust 36 Mother of Pearl dial ref. 16233 

If you don’t wear it every day, say you have other watches you like to wear or you only like to wear it at work, then you’ll want to wind it every 1 to 2 days while not on your wrist.

The alternative is investing in a watch winder to store the watch in when it’s not on your wrist.


Winding your Rolex Datejust: Final Thoughts

And that’s how to wind your Rolex Datejust watch! Now you can enjoy the convenience and accuracy of a self-winding wristwatch without having to worry about getting your hands dirty.

If you need more help on operating your watch, contact our experts at SwissWatchExpo, or go through helpful resources on our blog The Watch Club and on the SwissWatchExpo YouTube channel.

Rolex President Zebra Pave Diamond Dial Rose Gold Unisex Watch 116185

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