A Simple Guide on How to Change the Date on a Rolex

Many people will buy a Rolex with a date function; these are usually found on models such as the Datejust or Day Date. While there are a few other examples of Rolex models that have some additional functions – such as the capability to measure multiple time zones – for the most part, the second most used function of a watch after the time is the date.

But how do you adjust the date on a Rolex? 

The process is quite simple, and if you have seen our post on how to change the time on a Rolex, you will be halfway to understanding the process of adjusting the date. Read our easy guide for setting the date on your watch below:

Step-by-Step Instructions for Setting the Date on a Rolex

Rolex Datejust Crown Closeup shot

Whether you need to set the date or time on your Rolex watch, the first step is always the same: you will need to unscrew the crown. The crown is the small, circular cog-like part of the watch, directly to the right of the watch face – the same place that you will wind your Rolex if it stops.

After unscrewing the crown it may be worth winding the watch a few spins before setting the date, but if it has not stopped this is unnecessary. To set the date, you should:

  1. Pull out the crown: If you pull the crown out, the second hand will stop sweeping. Pull it out to get into the winding position, and one extra click for the date setting position. Another click will let you adjust the time if you want to do this afterwards. If you take 1 to 2 minutes to set the date, it is worth doing the time as well for accuracy.
  2. Wind the crown clockwise to move the date forward: Winding the crown clockwise will advance the date, which is the most common date change you are likely to make because if there are fewer than 31 days in a month you will only need to turn it clockwise one or rotation, or three for February and two if it happens to be a leap year.
  3. Turn the crown counterclockwise to move the date back: If you do not wear the watch regularly and it has stopped, or if you make a mistake and turn the crown clockwise too many times, you can turn it in the opposite direction to go back. Turning the date backwards or forwards will not damage the manual winding mechanism.
  4. Push the crown back in and lock: Once the date is in the desired position, push the crown back into its original winding position before screwing it back in again. Make sure you screw the crown back into place firmly, too, as failure to do so may allow small amounts of water or vapour to enter the watch case if it gets wet.

One thing to note is that if you have a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date you have three settings instead of the two for adjusting the name of the day, which works on the same principle. Also, be sure to remember that if the time is set in the afternoon, the date will move forward as it hits 12.

We buy and sell a wide range of luxury watches, including Rolex watches, so we understand how to adjust the time and date, the best cleaning tips and much more about your watch. You can book a free valuation to sell a watch in the UK and see our current stock if you want to buy.

What to Do If You Cannot Change the Date on Your Rolex

 Rolex Submariner watch equipped with a ceramic bezel

If you find that you cannot change the date, the crown does not click out into a separate time and date setting, or you have another issue with setting it you can try the following tip, which is very useful for people with particularly old or vintage Rolex watches.

Simply move the time forward an entire 24 hours. Most older Rolex watches do not have the quick-set date function, in which case you can simply manually wind the crown clockwise or counterclockwise in the time setting position and change the date that way.

If it still does not change, or you see the date does not turn over to the next day at midnight, there may be a problem with the movement of your watch. In this case, the best thing to do is to take it to an Official Rolex® Service Centre, where a professional can assess and fix the issue.


How to Change the Date on a Rolex Explained

Pulling out the crown to its second position and turning it clockwise or counterclockwise will allow you to change the date on your Rolex. Whenever you unscrew the crown to set the time or date, make sure to screw it firmly back into place to avoid exposing the case to the elements.

If you have an unused or unwanted Rolex watch you wish to sell, you can do it without any hassle by using our private buying service. Our unique service lets you avoid all auction fees, so you will always get the highest amount possible. Book your obligation-free valuation with us to sell your Rolex.

September 27, 2022

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