A good reason NOT to buy a Rolex

A while ago somebody made me aware of a "little" problem they had with Rolex. He came to tell me that Rolex did not feel obliged to service his Rolex. Why? Because it was more than 25 years old... Could not believe my ears. I Asked him for proof and got it. (If you read Spanish then take a look.)

If you don't, the letter addressed to the owner comes to say:

- That by law, Rolex is only required to have and guarantee supplies for watches that are up to 25 years old.
- His Rolex was 36 years old and even if it where to be serviced they would not give it an International Warranty.
- Even though they serviced the watch this time, they would not be able to service it any further due to a lack of parts.
- In the future they would gladly refer him to some "other" repair service that would repair the watch.

In other words; If your dad's Rolex is over 25 years and needs service, you are screwed brother! Rolex don't give a dam...

Don't think that the Rolex in question is something special. It's a very common Oyster date, nothing fancy. Mind you, Rolex has been going without something fancy for over half a century.

Can't believe that I have been praising the Rolex after sales service.


noble said...

Cause to worry as I have several Rolexes and two sons.


KronosClub said...

When letters start by telling you; "by law, we only have to..." Then you know you are in trouble.

What is most annoying about this is how they seem to give you the "tough luck" response to get away with it. To be honest with you, 25 years is very little for a luxury watch.

Boy, I hope I don't get that kind of answer from AP or Patek down the line.

Anonymous said...

Rolex is multi-million dollar company with a reputation that is among the best.

They did not get to this point with poor customer service.

Have your friend send his watch to the factory in Sweden it will be repaired!

Anonymous said...

the reason for this is clear:

1. Rolex doesn't have all the neccessary pieces for a check-up after 25 years.
2. Rolex gives you warranty. they say if they don't they don't service it.
3. you still have the opportunity to let your watch reviewed by the dealer near you....

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that somebody is defending this sort of behavior!

Whatever the reason their behavior is inexcusable.

KronosClub said...


Please sign your name when you leave a comment. I know it is anoying but at least we would not all be called "Anonymous"...

dimitris said...

I find the letter very interesting and made me to get a bit worry but also curious.
I read many comments at a german forum which Rolex owners have service and repair their old watches with no problem. Some of them they are even 30 to 35 years old or more.
I personally sent my watch at an official swiss Rolex retailer who also have one of the top after sales services.
I had serviced swiss watches that are almost 50 years old from a quiet small old manufacturer with no problem, of course I have sent the watches straight to them.
So after reading your letter I thought I have nothing to lose asking at the swiss retailer were I sent my watch about servising old Rolexes.
They did answered me and the answer was very relieving.
They insure me that they repair Rolexes that are even more than 40 years old, and getting original parts of any kind is not a problem at all.
So I can not see why in Spain they can't or they don't want to repair your watch.
One reason I can only thing is that they dont realy bother because they don't have to do so by law and just like to sell new watches.
So try to have a contact with Switzerland and have it serviced there or even in Rolex Cologne in Germany, I'm sure they will also accept it with no problem.
After you have your watch back as good as new it could be helpful for other spanish Rolex customers to let Rolex Headquarters in Geneva to know that some Official retailers don't realy do the job that they are suppose to do.

dimitris said...

Rolex has been going without something fancy for over half a century.

Sure you don't talk about the true watchmaking art which is hidden under the watch dial, the movement.
If you don't know about watch movement you are missing the true magic of Rolex. And in fact they are a century ahead of everybody else.

KronosClub said...

Hi Dimitris,

By "nothing special" I meant Retrogrades, Large Dates, Power Reserves, Perpetuals, Full Calendars, 8-Day Manuals, Rattrapantes, Flybacks, etc... I don't doubt the technical abilities of Rolex, in fact if they where to do any of these complications I am sure that it will be a hit.

As to the statement that "... they are a century ahead of everybody else." well, that is your opinion... personally I really don't think that anybody is ahead of anybody in this game. Especially since the industry has a habit of copying each other, and patents last only for 10 years. Only because of this I doubt that anybody would be a century ahead.

dimitris said...

Certainly complications are a great thing at watchmaking but aren't realy used to anyone but just nice so I do agry with rolex policy to keep doing what they are expert at and to continiou with their own inventions that have contribute so much at the modern watchmaking.
No watch can compine certain characteristics like a rolex can. A timeless classical design with the most up to date technology to provide the customer a watch to be worn all times being as tough, as reliable and as precise as it gets.
Rolex is one of the few that haven't been bought and will also never be, also not many firms make everything on their on from A to Z.
There can not be a watch fan that can not be greatful that firms like Rolex, Patek, Parmigiani etc still exist untouchet by the pass of time, having still their own truly character.

dimitris said...

And sorry about the half a century ahead but I look at most of wathes and I see that still non of them are using Breguet or even free sprung spirals but still flat ones.
Most of them still dont have a microadjustment, or a level brigde over the ballance wheel etc etc and I see since when Rolex been using those technics that improve precision or other that improve durability etc.
Now they have the Parachrome Blu spiral, not many firm have made their own spirals as far as I know. And the changes and new things they put are done only to improve something not just to make something different with no actual benefit for the customer.
So certainly they are away ahead in sections that concern precision, durability, longlivity and reliability.
They even melt their own the gold and even make their own alloys.

Carlos Torres said...

I think the letter was not correctly translated. It says that Rolex does not give the usual service guaranty of one year for watches with more than 25 years. They say they will continue to service the watch in the future but that some spare parts do not exist anymore. And finnaly they say that on the other hand there are other repair services available besides Rolex, and that they will gladely give the necessary adresses.
Rolex does not write about any "Law" or rule and it doesn´t refuse at any point to service the watch in the future.
I just thought I schould contribute with a correct translation of this Rolex letter.

Carlos Torres - Portugal

Timejourney said...

Somebody please remove the r*pl*ca spammer above..tnx

KronosClub said...


Kent said...

I can only assume that who ever translated this was not versed in the spanish language
1. no where in the letter does it mention anything about "law"

"Rolex guarantees that all repair/maintenance parts for "Oyster" timepieces are available for a time period of 25 years"

"A complete overhaul of an Oyster not exceeding this age will be coverred by an additional warranty of 1 year"
-meaning after they do a repair, they will warranty said watch (not just the repair) for 1 more year

"Should you agree, we can continue repairing watches over the 25 years but we cannot offer the international warranty"

"Your watch is 36 years old, it has been repaired and in the future we will continue to try to maintain it, keeping in mind that the stock levels of certain parts could be depleted"

"On the other hand, should parts be depeleted, it is possible for you to use private qualified individuals, should this be the case, we could furnish you with said contacts"

"We hope to continue counting with your trust and that your watch continues to function for many years to come"

Now this is very loosely translated and i substituted the word "repair" for the word "revisado" which actually translates to "inspected or examined". But in the context it seems like they were speaking about repair. Of course we would need to see the original letter which was written to Rolex, as it says this is a reply to an original letter.

Who knows what this guy was originally talking about, the only "bad" thing I see here is that they don't guarantee keeping replacement parts in stock after 25 years, is that really so bad? No where here does it say his watch is broken or that it should only work for 25 years. Seems to me like this gentleman sends his watch for repair every so often just to get that 1 year warranty.