How to Wind a Rolex

Written By: Vahid Moradi

Properly using your Rolex begins with setting it, and this comprehensive guide will walk you through the three key steps on how to wind a Rolex.

Using the winding crown is simple, provided you know how to properly position and turn the crown to achieve your desired results. If this sounds too complicated you can go to a watch repair and service shop to consult with an expert. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the proper steps for winding, setting, and using your Rolex watch.


Rolex watches are unique in that they are a delicate blend of manual and mechanical operations. Before the first use, after you choose your favorite from all the Rolex watches for sale, a Rolex watch must be wound in order for the watch to begin operating. Once the watch is wound 25-30 rotations, your Rolex does not need to be wound again. An alternative would be to purchase a watch winder to keep your watch automatically running when not in use. However, simply wearing your Rolex on a regular basis will keep the mechanical watch operating properly. Rolex features an internal system using automatic movements in their watches that rely on  the movement of your wrist to keep the watch charged and continuously self-winding. However, if your Rolex is ever not worn for a substantial amount of time, you will likely need to re-wind it before wearing it again.

Winding your watch may seem like a daunting and archaic task, but it could not possibly be more simplistic or intuitive. Whether you are winding your Rolex for the first use or winding it as a result of not wearing it for a while, the process is very simple. Here are the instructions for winding your Rolex:

1) Unscrew the winding crown by gently pulling while turning it counterclockwise. Do not pull out into the second or third position as those positions are used to set date and time. 

2) Once the winding crown is free from its locked position, you can begin turning the dial clockwise to begin winding the watch. For a full wind, you will need to turn the dial 360 degrees a minimum of 25 times. No need to turn more than 30. Somewhere in the 25-30 wind range is sufficient for a full wind. 

3) Once your watch is wound, you can set the time and date. Pull the winding crown into the subsequent positions to begin. Your Rolex must be wound properly in order to set the date and time, so always wind your watch first before moving on to date and time.

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How to Set the Time

o set time on a Rolex, the winding crown will need to be in the third position. In order to get to the third position, unscrew the winding crown counterclockwise until it is all the way loose. After you have loosened the crown, pull the crown away from the watch two clicks until the crown is in the furthest position from the watch. 

Once you have placed the winding crown in the third position, you are ready to dial in the time.

Turn the winding crown clockwise to move time forward until you have reached the correct time. It is important to note that turning the crown counterclockwise moves time backward. 


Just like setting the correct time, your winding crown needs to be set to the correct winding position. In order to set the date, the winding crown needs to be set to the middle position; one click in from the position used for setting the time.

As with setting the time, turn the dial crown clockwise until the desired date appears underneath the Cyclops lens of your Rolex. Remember, turning the dial crown counter-clockwise does nothing.

Finally, press the winding crown into the watch and turn clockwise as you do so. This combination of pressure and winding will cinch down the Oyster case and lock it into place so that your Rolex is now waterproof and locked.

Once you are finished winding, setting the date, and setting the time, your Rolex officially becomes a functional and fashionable timepiece. Once you have messed around with setting the time.


Your Rolex was made to be used and crafted with the finest materials to stand up to a life well-lived. With your Rolex fully set, you are ready to take on life, knowing full well that time is indeed on your side.  

Whether you need help setting a Rolex, how to clean a Rolex, or learning how much a Rolex is worth, we’re here to help. Are you thinking about how to sell my Rolex? CJ Charles provides the best prices and an effortless process if you’ve decided to part ways with your Rolex. Thinking about purchasing a pre-owned genuine Rolex watch? CJ Charles has a wide selection of pristine luxury timepieces for you to choose from. As an official Rolex jeweler, CJ Charles can help you with a number of things to make sure your Rolex watch stays in pristine condition. Visit our website or come to one of our locations today!


Written By: Vahid Morai

Vahid Moradi’s lifelong passion, dedication, and commitment for the jewelry industry led him to become the respected owner of CJ Charles Jewelers in 1988. From that moment, Moradi’s single focus in business was to become recognized as the pinnacle of value and world-class quality in the his Community. Over 34 years later, CJ Charles continues to grow and thrive as a successful, family-owned business that consistently provides exceptional service to all their clientele.



Unwound. How to Wind a Rolex Watch.

The Watch Company. How to Wind & Set a Rolex Watch.

Rolex. User guide.

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