How To Wind A Rolex

Figuring out how to wind a Rolex watch may seem obvious, but those that actually have the pleasure of owning one of these pristine timepieces know that the task is more complicated than one might think. For starters, the majority of Rolex watches are “perpetuals”, which means that they don’t require winding at all if they are worn regularly. This is a “James Bondish” feature that uses a tiny component inside the Rolex to harness the wearer’s movements into energy to run the watch. If you don’t wear the watch for a period of as little as 48 hours, it may be necessary to hand wind your Rolex. If you don’t wear it at all, or only for super special occasions, make sure you wind it once a week to keep the gears moving and lubricated.

To wind your Rolex you will need:

  • A flat surface like a table, covered with a towel to cushion the fall if you accidently drop the watch while winding.
  • A steady hand.


  1. Protect your investment. Hold the watch over a flat surface like a desk or table covered with something soft to prevent breakage if the watch is dropped. That would be a pretty big “oops!”
  2. Get to work. Unscrew the crown (the nub that sticks out at around 3 o’clock) to position 2, and turn it 30-40 times. Don’t worry about over winding. The nice folks at Rolex have made that faux pas impossible.
  3. Push the crown back into place. You should hear it reengage. If it does not start back up immediately, put it on for a while and your motions during normal activity should get it going again.

Tips: Only wind your Rolex when you are NOT wearing the watch. Also, contrary to the word around some campfires, do NOT shake your Rolex to get it going again! If it has stopped due to non-use, you will need to wind it in the above manner to get it ticking properly. You can also opt to skip this process all together by purchasing an automatic winder that you place your Rolex in when you’re not wearing the watch. This neat little gadget gently jostles the timepiece to simulate regular movement, thus preventing the need to wind at all.

That’s it. Your Rolex is all ready to go so get out there and show off your stuff! If you have any other question, give Major Boothroyd (Q from James Bond) a call.

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