Official Rolex Retailer should not be confused with a service center. Retailers sell Rolex watches when a Rolex Service Center do the maintenance of timepieces. Here is what to expect from an official service center. Note that independent watchmakers may have a different process.
1. Removal the Rolex Air King watch from the watch case and bracelet
'The bracelet is detached from the watch case. The case is opened and the movement removed. The case is completely disassembled.' (source: Rolex Service Documentation)
To disassemble the Rolex Air King watch, first the watchmaker remove the band, then open the Oyster case and remove the internal mechanism.
2. The cleaning of Rolex Air King Oyster Perpetual movements
'The movement is dismantled and each component is ultrasonically cleaned in a special formulated solution' (source: Rolex Service Documentation)
The movement of a Rolex watch is cleaned in the ultrasonic machine using specially formulated cleaning solutions.
Rolex watches are thoroughly cleaned under this procedure after they have been penetrated with salt, dirt, grease, chemicals, and other residues.
3. Replacement of Rolex Air King worn out components
'A Rolex watchmaker closely examines each individual component of the movement and identifies which components require replacement. Only genuine replacement parts supplied directly by Rolex Headquarters in Switzerland are used' (source: Rolex Service Documentation)
Rolex Air King watches also undergo a thorough inspection by the watchmaker. The watch ageing parts are replaced with new components. For example to the mainspring, other parts and components may need to be replaced.
Vintage Rolex Air King
You should be cautious with part replacement on a vintage Rolex Air King.
They will replace any worn or broken parts that may make your Rolex unique and collectible during a full service appointment. Rolex's modern series doesn't use a glass manufactured only during a specific era. A Rolex watchmaker will replace an aged crystal with a new one when it is worn. If you don't have the original component, vintage Rolex watches could be less valuable on the collector's market.
Providing Rolex with specific information when authorizing mechanical parts to be replaced on a vintage or old Rolex Air King is important.
4. Lubrication the movement and reassembling of the Rolex Air King
'Using the most advance lubricants, each functional component of the movement is carefully lubricated to minimise friction and prevent wear. This ensures that the movement of your Rolex watch will continue to perform accurately.' (source: Rolex Service Documentation)
The majority of Rolex owners are misinformed, believing that oiling simply lubricates the movement, and for that reason see the Rolex service appointment as expensive. Rolex Service, however, deserves to be understood as a whole in order to appreciate its full value. The process of lubrication is intricate and complicated.
5. Timming and Calibration of the Rolex watches
'The heart of Rolex watch movement is its balance wheel, which has a frequency of over 690,000 beats per day. To ensure watches timekeeping precision, the watchmaker meticulously adjusts the balance wheel and electronically tests its timing accuracy. Your Rolex is then thoroughly tested and carefully observed over a period of several days to verify its performance.' (source: Rolex Service Documentation)
It is imperative to track the calibration to ensure that it is accurate for the 690,000 beats per day. Several days of monitoring the calibration will be required by the watchmaker. It is not only observed on a flat surface but also tested on a sidedial facing down and upwards. It must be timed correctly also, namely with +2/-2 seconds each day, before being returned.
6. Polishing the Rolex Air King Case and Bracelet.
'The same keen attention to detail that is devoted to servicing the movement of your Rolex also goes into servicing its case and bracelet. After the initial cleaning, the case and bracelet of your watch are closely examined, and any worn or damaged components replaced with genuine Rolex parts. Your case and bracelet are then expertly refinished and ultrasonically cleaned to restore lustre.' (source: Rolex Service Documentation)
Polishing Rolex Air Kings makes them look almost as good as new. Small scratches will be repaired, but there will be no complete removal of deep scratches.
Rolex Air Kings can be polished or unpolished, according to personal preference.
The Rolex service refinishing process might be viewed as world-class, but for some people, it erases the history of their watch. Even scratches and knocks can become precious memories for people. If you choose to polish your Rolex, you will have to decide what you prefer. Rolex Service Centres are not required to polish your Air King when you begin service.
7. Rebuilding the Rolex Air King watch
'The case is carefully reassembled, and all the seals replaced to guarantee waterproofness' (source: Rolex Service Documentation)
A Rolex Air King gasket is a wearable component that is automatically replaced during routine service. Rolex Service Centres will reassemble your Rolex watch to the same standards as Rolex's Swiss factories.
8. Rolex Air King Seals and water resistance testing
Watch cases are subjected to rigorous testing to ensure that they are water-resistant. Any leakage inside the case could be detected using three tests - a vacuum test, compression test, and condensation test.
Wetness and dust are harmful to any watch. Rolex watches have a waterproof case known as the Oyster. In the same manner that the Rolex Air King was tested in the factory, the case and gaskets you receive back will be tested to ensure they are functioning properly.
9. Rolex watches Final Quality Control
'Rigorous quality checks are carried out at each stage of the servicing process. During the final check, the power reserve, timing accuracy and aesthetic appearance of your watch are verified one last time against manufacturing specifications to guarantee the highest possible standard of quality.' (source: Rolex Service Documentation)
Rolex Service follows the same quality standards as the Swiss manufacturer.
10. Two years Rolex Service Warranty
Rolex Service Centers work is covered by the Rolex international warranty. Rolex offers a 2 years Service Guarantee on Rolex watches that have been serviced. In case of accident or mishandling, this guarantee does not cover the watch. Rolex service guarantees are void if a non-Rolex authorized third party intervenes or adds non-Rolex parts.