How Much to Service a Rolex Submariner?

How Much to Service a Rolex Submariner?

Rolex Submariner Service Costs And Prices

Every owner of a Rolex Submariner or who intends to get one has to factor in the cost of Rolex service. Basically, Rolex Service in 2021 costs a total of $800, excluding tax. The price for watch servicing may be higher for some people, depending on their work need.

You are probably familiar with Rolex Submariner prices if you are already a Rolex owner or have considered buying one. The Rolex Service cost is one of those things Rolex owners should pay attention to. This blog post aims to present a comprehensive and practical answer to the Rolex service cost. You will be informed so that you get a general idea of how much a Rolex service might cost.

Rolex servicing is a form of watch maintenance operation. None of the cost of repairs is included in a Rolex standard service. For a mindful owner whose watch has been in a perfect state, Rolex servicing should be done in 10-year intervals.

From research done and information obtained from various forums, Rolex servicing for a Rolex Submariner (stainless steel) costs an average of $1,200 (excluding tax).

The Rolex service cost will be approximately $800 for a mindful owner of a Rolex Submariner. On the other hand, a reckless owner will spend $1500 or more.

Hence, on average, the Rolex Service cost is between $800 and $1500, depending on how mindful you are with your Rolex. Note that this is for a watch that needs to be serviced and not for a Rolex Submariner that is damaged and needs to be repaired.

For a Rolex Submariner that doesn't run fast enough but is in relatively good condition, the Rolex service is just about $800. The standard Rolex service includes setting the time accuracy and recalibration.

For a water-damaged Rolex Submariner that moves inconsistently, repairs and replacement of parts are most likely needed. This will cost more than $800 as the Rolex service cost will also include parts replacement costs.

Your Rolex service cost can easily skyrocket due to the cost of parts replacement. Genuine Rolex parts do not come cheap, especially gold Rolex Submariner parts.

It shouldn't be a surprise that replacing the bracelet link on Gold Submariner is expensive compared to replacing the same for a stainless steel Rolex Submariner. A general principle, the higher the price of your Rolex Submariner, the higher the service cost of your Rolex will be. This is because of the price of spare parts, and not because of the actual service, which costs the same for different watches.

Authorized Rolex service centers offer Rolex service at high prices. Watch servicing for some watch brands are way cheaper. Nevertheless, you are guaranteed a first-class service for your money's worth.

A Rolex service always returns your watch next to brand new. It will be spotless on the exterior, while the movement also works in perfect condition, guaranteed to last for many more years.

Summary Of Rolex Service Cost

  • Standard Rolex service costs $800
  • Average Rolex service costs $1,200
  • Rolex Submariner in poor condition costs $1500+

It is more expensive to do a gold Rolex Submariner part replacement than it is to do the same for a stainless steel Rolex Submariner.

A Rolex service aims to make your watch look as flawless as a new Rolex and work in perfect condition.

From the cost above, you should have an idea of the bills you'd be getting when you visit a Rolex Service Center with your Rolex Submariner. Use this information for educational purposes and not as an actual quote to service your Rolex Submariner. This website has no affiliations with Rolex SA. Visit the official Rolex website: and contact the Rolex Customer Service to know exactly how much it costs to service your Rolex.

The Reasons To Service A Rolex Submariner

I appreciate why Rolex Submariner fans are so passionate about their watches and want to show that Rolex is the greatest watchmaker on the planet. They will tell you that the watch can withstand almost anything.

Some Rolex owners are proud to say that they never serviced their watch and have no problems with it. The reality is that they are unaware of the current condition of their Rolex Submariner. If the watch has not been examined and serviced by a certified Rolex watchmaker, the condition is unknown. The watch movement could be fine, or it could be off.

Rolex Submariner watches are robust and reliable, but that does not mean they don't need to be serviced, though the frequency is dependent on the owner lifestyle and how much the watch is used. Dust and residue within the watch can create friction and will increase the wear on the watch and it’s components. The lack of accuracy it causes may not be noticed if the Rolex user is not careful and observant. Water and shock are the worst enemy of every watch, therefore, how the watch is used impacts its longevity. A Rolex owner who believes that their watch is everlasting does not really understand mechanical self-winding watches.

Watches Longevity

Rolex Submariner is a luxury watch that can be a treasure for a lifetime. Often the watch has emotional value, they often represent a memory or a special occasion that you want to remember. Rolex service is the best way to enjoy your Rolex Submariner for decades to come. Though Rolex servicing is not cheap, it is well worth the investment when your watch is returned to you in almost brand new condition. Being careful with your Rolex Submariner will help to keep the service costs lower, as the cost relates to how much needs to be done to restore its condition.

Watches Water Resistance

Rolex Submariner is guaranteed to be waterproof up to 100 meters/ 330 feet. Each watch is individually tested at the Rolex factory labs before being sent to their retail stores. At this point the watch is in perfect condition with brand new gaskets.

Some Rolex users do not realise that waterproof is not a permanent feature, here is an article about it Is Rolex Submariner waterproof? The water resistance will diminish over time, and salt or sand find their way inside the crown because the watch was not rinsed properly, the damage can be significant. As this may not be seen easily it is important to maintain regular maintenance. With no warning systems like a car dashboard or squealing brakes, servicing needs to be completed before a problem arises.

You can swim for years with a Rolex Submariner without a problem, and one day you could notice condensation under the crystal. A Rolex owner needs to know how to use and care for their watch, especially when the watch is worn for swimming.

For Rolex Submariner Holding its Value

The Rolex Submariner is an iconic and timeless watch. Decades have passed, but the style and class have remained. The second-hand market has many buyers biding to buy Rolexes.

Rolex Submariner in good to great condition is more valuable. When the watch has its original documents with its box, and you can show that it has been serviced at a Rolex Service Centre, then Rolex Submariner can fetch the best price on the pre-owned market. The better the condition and the service record, the better the sale price will be.

On the other hand, a Rolex Submariner that has never been serviced or opened is like a watch that hasn't been diagnosed; Personally, I could never imagine purchasing a never-serviced pre-owned Rolex Submariner. What you are buying is a gamble, and I would recommend to stay away from it, especially if I don't know the history of the watch and how it has been used. There is no way to know whether that Rolex Submariner is in decent condition if it has never been opened and examined by a professional Rolex watchmaker.

Rusting on the Rolex Submariner movements can not always be noticeable from the outside. When this happens the watch has been subjected to premature wear and tear from water damage, or may have a lack of lubrication. The fact that the Rolex Submariner is still running is not an indication of the movements condition, as rust will not instantly break it but will become noticeable over time. The service history, however, is a good indication of the condition. It shows the owners care for his Rolex.

Rolex Service history will ensure that mainspring, balance wheel, gaskets, and other wearable parts are in good condition.

Differentiating Price For Servicing A Rolex Vs Repair

A little confusion arises from the fact that Rolex refers to both servicing a watch and repairing a watch using the term 'service'. It is almost impossible to find the word 'repair' on the Rolex website. It's seem that Rolex SA does not like the words 'watch repair'. On the other hand, there are several mentions of the word 'service'.

I distinguish Rolex service from Rolex repair thus: 

Rolex Submariner Service

Rolex service is required to keep the Rolex Submariner in good working condition. Your watch needs servicing when it is no longer accurate or its gaskets are becoming worn out. Rolex service can be compared to a car revision. It replenishes lubricants and renews wearable parts, which is important for the longevity and proper working condition of your Rolex Submariner. As of 2021, the cost of Rolex service is $800 plus tax.

Rolex Repair

Rolex repair is required when the watch is damaged and not working. It involves more than just adding lubricant and resetting its accuracy. Your watch needs a Rolex repair when the crystal is smashed and small parts have been caught up in the movement, or the watch produces a grinding sound when you wind it.

Water damage is another case that requires a Rolex repair. The movement can become rusty when saltwater gets in and remain inside the Rolex Submariner.

The Rolex Service Center will handle these kinds of repairs, but they cost more than standard servicing. A Rolex Service Center has to examine the damaged watch before they can provide the cost of repairing a Rolex Submariner. 

What Does Rolex Servicing Include?

The Rolex service 'includes all the necessary operations to restore the Rolex Submariner functionalities and aesthetics' as defined in the Rolex SA. What most people want to know is what is included in the standard Rolex service cost. Here is the information I have been able to gather regarding what is included in the Rolex service.

The Rolex standard service cost includes:

Rolex Submariner Cleaning

The service includes internal and external cleaning of the watch. This means that the Rolex Submariner will be dismantled, and every element individually cleaned.

Rolex Submariner Wearable Replacement

The Rolex Service Center will examine each element of the movement and replace the worn out pieces. I have heard that Rolex will automatically replace the watch hands, but it needs to be confirmed. Lubricants will also be added to the movements before the watch is put back together.

Rolex Submariner Timing Calibration

The Rolex Submariner movement will be tested and tuned to be accurate. Rolex accuracy standard for their mechanical movement is +2/-2 seconds per day.

Rolex Submariner Polishing

The Rolex Submariner case and the bracelet will be polished back to their original lustre. Some people don't want their watch to be polished and request that it not be though it will not reduce the service cost.

Rolex Submariner Waterproof testing

Watch gasket replacements are included in Rolex standard service cost. The watch will also be tested to guarantee waterproof up to the model specifications. The water resistance testing is the same as the tests done at the Rolex factory in Switzerland.

Two Year Rolex Service Warranty

The Rolex Submariner is guaranteed for two years on all the works done during the Rolex Service 

What Is Not Included In The Official Rolex Maintenance?

There are elements of the Rolex service that are not included in the basic Rolex service cost, but they can be added as an extra service. Elements that are not directly affecting the Rolex Submariner functions and tend to be related to the watch aesthetic.

Damaged Rolex Submariner Bracelets and Links

Rolex will repair bracelets and links, but it will be an extra cost. The additional cost varies depending on the Submariner bracelet, with a gold link will be more expensive to replace than stainless steel link. Before doing the work, Rolex will send you a quote for you to approve.

Damaged Rolex Submariner Crystal

Rolex will replace a damaged crystal, but it will add to the final Rolex service bill. If the crystal is only scratched, Rolex will give you the option to replace it or not. If the crystal cracked or smashed, it is considered a mandatory repair that you need to pay extra for.

Rolex Submariner Dial Restoration

A faded or damaged dial can be repaired at a Rolex Service Centre. The restoration will be an additional charge on the service. It is during the assessment that Rolex watchmakers will determine if the restoration in optional or necessary.

Rolex Submariner Missuses

If the watch has been damaged because of misuses, the repair costs will be an extra on the Rolex Service. If the watch has been water damaged because of the user negligence, the basic Rolex service cost will not include the repairs.

If your Rolex Submariner has been repaired or service by an unauthorized watchmaker and generic parts has been added, Rolex can refuse to service the watch, unless all the non-Rolex parts are being replaced at that time. It will add an extra cost to your Rolex service.

No matter if the generic parts are working fine, Rolex will refuse to accept any non-genuine parts inside their Rolex watches.

Rolex Maintenance Procedures

Following are the steps followed in your service appointment.

1. Rolex Disassembly

‘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)

The Rolex Submariner will be dismantled beginning with removing the band from the Oyster watch case, opening the casing, and then mechanical movement is removed.

2. Cleaning the Rolex Perpetual Movement

'The movement is dismantled and each component is ultrasonically cleaned in a special formulated solution' (source: Rolex Service Documentation)

The movement is disassembled, and the parts are cleaned thoroughly in an ultrasonic machine using Rolex specially formulated cleaning solutions.

If your watch has water damage and salt residues have infiltrated your Rolex movements, this cleaning process will eliminate any trace of that salt.

3. Rolex Replacement of 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)

The Rolex watchmaker then closely examines each individual component of the Rolex Submariner. He identifies the components that require replacement for example, the mainspring.

Replacement of components is where you need to be careful; Rolex will replace any olds parts of your Rolex watch. An old unique part could be the element that makes your Rolex rare and collectable, but it will be replaced during a full service appointment. For example, a specific glass is only produced during a certain period and no longer used in the modern Rolex series. If the component is worn, the Rolex watchmaker will replace it with a new genuine Rolex glass. Not having the old original component will affect your Rolex value on the collector's market.

I recommend you be extremely specific on what you are authorising Rolex watchmaker to replace.

4. Rolex Lubrication and reassembly of the movement

'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 timepiece will continue to perform accurately.' (source: Rolex Service Documentation)

Many owners are misinformed and believe the surface is simply lubricating the movements, and therefor find the service appointment to be expensive. However, as it includes many other services as well, understanding the entire process is the only way to see the value in the Rolex Service appointment.

5. Rolex caliber Timing calibration

'The heart of your Rolex watch movement is its balance wheel, which has a frequency of over 690,000 beats per day. To ensure 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)

With the 690,000 beats every day the timing calibration is extremely important and well worth the several days that it takes to monitor the calibration to be sure it is just right. It is observed not only sitting flat but also on the side dial, facing up and facing down. This also includes ensuring the timing standards of +2/-2 seconds per day is maintained before returning the watch.

6. Refinishing the 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)

The Rolex polishing procedure will restore the lustre of the Rolex Submariner almost to a brand new condition. Any deep scratches will not be completely removed, but it will be improved and small scratches will be removed.

Polishing or Not, Your Rolex Submariner is a Personal Preference.

Some people like the feel of a new watch, and Rolex service refinishing is outstanding, but it erases the watch history for others. Knocks and scratches, for some people, are life memories they want to keep. To have your Rolex polished or not comes down to personal preference. At the beginning of the Rolex service, you can instruct the Rolex Service Centre not to polish your Rolex Submariner.

7. Reassembly of the Case

'The case is carefully reassembled, and all the seals replaced to guarantee waterproofness' (source: Rolex Service Documentation)

Watch gaskets are a wearable element of the Rolex Submariner that is replaced automatically during servicing. The Rolex Service Centre will reassemble your Rolex as the same standard as the Rolex factory in Switzerland.

8. Rolex Waterproof tests

The watch case is rigorously tested to ensure it meets water resistance requirements. The three-step process – a vacuum test, a compression test and a condensation test – will reveal the presence of even the smallest amount of moisture inside the case.

Water and dust are harmful for any watches. Rolex watch is famous for its water-resistant Oyster case. Your new gaskets will be tested the same way as the factory testing before original purchase.

9. Rolex 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)

A Rolex Service will have the same quality control standard as the Rolex manufacture in Switzerland.

10. Official Rolex Warranty

The two year Service Guarantee: After a complete service, your Rolex is covered by a two year Service Guarantee. This guarantee excludes any damage or deterioration that results from an accident or from mishandling of the watch. Any intervention by a non-Rolex authorised third party or the addition of any non-Rolex manufactured parts or accessories will void the Service Guarantee. One work completed at a Rolex Service Centre is covered by the Rolex international warranty.

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