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Thread: Cost of Rolex Sub maintenance - what's normal?

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    Super Moderator DocDave's Avatar
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    Cost of Rolex Sub maintenance - what's normal?

    I was at my local watch maker shop yesterday and I asked the fellow what he would charge for an overhaul/maintenance on my 1997 Rolex Submariner. After looking at my watch, he said the cost would be $600 plus any parts.

    Does this sound right? Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocDave View Post
    I was at my local watch maker shop yesterday and I asked the fellow what he would charge for an overhaul/maintenance on my 1997 Rolex Submariner. After looking at my watch, he said the cost would be $600 plus any parts.

    Does this sound right? Thank you.
    Depends on what needs completed. I would just send it into Rolex for the service. I remember costs a few years ago being like $600-$750.

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    I had a late '90s Explorer II repaired and serviced by RSC last year and I want to say it was right around $750-800, which included the cost for a replacement crown. $600 plus parts sounds pretty right to me.
    Ben

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    Varsity Member evanparker's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=DocDave;312631} he said the cost would be $600 plus any parts.
    [/QUOTE]

    can you list what he is doing for that much? does your watch require 6 hours of work?

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    Presumably he will do what any watchmaker does during a full service - take apart the whole movement, inspect for any worn or damaged parts, ultrasonically clean everything, replace parts that are worn or damaged, lubricate and reassemble the movement, regulate for timekeeping, replace the seals and re-case everything, test for waterproofness.
    Ben

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    Silly question, but does the quoted cost include replacement part costs? I've got a Rolex that I inherited that hasn't been serviced since probably the early 2000's.

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    You should bring it to a Rolex AD or send it in to Rolex. The cost is about the same as a boutique. Watch boutiques have customer service and employ technicians of questionable quality. I have two experiences. Both negative. I brought one of my watches in for maintenance service at my local Bethesda Liljenquist & Beckstead. The watch went in working fine and was returned broken. They said it must have been ready to break down when I brought it in. They sent it back in and charged me for its repair. I ended up paying for service and repair. When I lived in Long island, I brought my watch with its scratched crystal to Fortunoff. They replaced the crystal but installed it closer in so that my second hand was actually stuck and didn't move. When i brought it in, they accused me of dropping the watch. Now I bring my watches to the AD's and never have any issues.

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    Yes.

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    This is probably the wrong forum to ask this. Would highly recommend asking on Watchuseek or Rolex Forums (both of which have a much higher membership than Dappered, by the way). They will also recommend both watchmakers (both locally and nationally) who have a good reputation with servicing Rolexes.

    That being said, $600 to conduct a full service/overhaul of a 1990s submariner is well within what's market. To put things in perspective, a 1997 sub that has been recently serviced would likely command $6500-7000 on the secondhand market, depending on the condition and whether you've got box and papers.

    Sending it to the Rolex Service Center (RSC) is probably the safest bet (yes, there are bad watchmakers out there--they're a dying breed), but you need to watch out for a few things with them (and potentially with other watchmakers as well):

    1. They will often ask (and sometimes insist) that the dial, hands, or crystal are replaced, or that the watch is polished. Each of these are frowned upon nowadays and will lower the resale value of the watch (except for maybe the crystal). If you have a 1997 sub, then you're right on the cusp of when Rolex switched from tritium to luminova lume plots. Tritium is usually viewed as more desirable than luminova nowadays (due to the patina it shows over time), so you'll want to make sure that your dial and hands are untouched.

    2. The RSC will thoroughly inspect a watch, and they may find more issues with it than you expected (and accordingly, the service bill may be higher than expected). It's akin to bringing your car in for an oil change, and then being told that a dozen other things need to be fixed or repaired. Meanwhile, an independent watchmaker might be a bit more judicious regarding what absolutely needs to be repaired and what doesn't need to (but likewise, there are some dishonest independent watchmakers who will request excessive parts to be ordered, to jack up your bill).

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