How Much Does It Cost To Polish A Rolex

by Barbara Wilson

When it comes to luxury watches, Rolex stands as an iconic brand symbolizing prestige, craftsmanship, and timeless elegance. Owning a Rolex is not just about telling time; it’s about making a statement. As with any prized possession, maintaining its pristine condition is essential to preserving its value and appearance. One of the key aspects of Rolex maintenance is polishing. This comprehensive guide will delve into the cost of polishing a Rolex, providing detailed and specific information to help you understand the process, what influences the cost, and what to expect.


Understanding the Importance of Polishing a Rolex

What is Polishing?

Polishing a watch involves smoothing out scratches and restoring the shine to its case and bracelet. This process can make an old watch look almost new again, enhancing its aesthetic appeal. For Rolex owners, polishing is a way to maintain the watch’s luxurious look and feel.


Why Polish a Rolex?

Aesthetic Appeal: Over time, daily wear can lead to scratches and dullness on a Rolex. Polishing restores its original shine, making it look brand new.


Value Preservation: A well-maintained Rolex retains its value better than one with visible wear and tear.


Sentimental Reasons: For many, a Rolex is more than just a watch; it’s a symbol of achievements and memories. Keeping it in top condition maintains its sentimental value.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Polishing a Rolex

Type of Rolex

The model and material of your Rolex significantly affect the polishing cost. Here are some specifics:


Stainless Steel: Generally less expensive to polish compared to precious metals.

Gold/Platinum: Requires more delicate handling and expertise, thus higher costs.

Two-Tone (Rolesor): Involves polishing both stainless steel and gold parts, increasing the complexity and cost.


Submariner, GMT-Master, Daytona: Popular models that might be easier to service due to their commonality.

Vintage Models: Older watches require more careful handling to preserve their integrity and might cost more to polish.

Extent of Damage

The severity of the scratches and wear on your Rolex will determine the amount of work required:

Light Scratches: These can be buffed out relatively easily and cost less.

Deep Scratches and Dents: Require more extensive work, sometimes involving filling and recontouring, thus increasing the cost.

Service Provider

Where you choose to get your Rolex polished also impacts the cost:

Authorized Rolex Service Centers: Typically charge more due to their expertise and the guarantee of authentic parts and service.

Independent Watchmakers: Can offer lower prices but it’s crucial to ensure they have a good reputation and experience with Rolex watches.

Local Jewelers: Might be the cheapest option, but there’s a risk if they lack specific experience with luxury watches.

Geographical Location

The cost of services can vary significantly based on location:

Major Cities: Higher costs due to higher overheads and demand.

Smaller Towns: Potentially lower costs, but availability of experienced professionals may be limited.

International Differences: Prices can vary globally based on local economic conditions and service standards.

Detailed Cost Breakdown

Authorized Rolex Service Centers

Basic Polish: Typically part of a full service package, costing anywhere from $500 to $1,200 depending on the model and condition.

Standalone Polish: If only polishing is required, prices can range from $100 to $300.

Independent Watchmakers

Basic Polish: Can range from $50 to $200.

Extensive Work: For watches needing more attention, prices can go up to $400.

Local Jewelers

Basic Polish: Prices can be as low as $30 to $100.

Complex Jobs: Might cost between $100 to $250, but ensure the jeweler is competent to handle Rolex watches.

The Polishing Process

Step-by-Step Breakdown

Initial Assessment:

The watchmaker examines the Rolex to evaluate the extent of scratches and damage.

A detailed quote is provided based on the condition and required work.


The watch is carefully disassembled to access all parts needing polishing.

This includes removing the bracelet, bezel, and sometimes the movement.


Before polishing, the watch parts are cleaned to remove dirt and oils.


Different polishing wheels and compounds are used to restore the shine.

Care is taken to preserve the original lines and contours of the watch.


The watch is reassembled, ensuring all parts fit perfectly.

Final Inspection:

The watch is inspected to ensure the polishing has been done to a high standard.

Additional cleaning might be performed to remove any polishing residues.

Tools and Techniques

Polishing Wheels: Various wheels are used for different parts of the watch.

Compounds: Specific compounds are chosen based on the material of the watch.

Ultrasonic Cleaners: Used to clean parts before and after polishing.

Microscopes: To ensure precision and maintain the integrity of the watch’s design.

See Also: How Much Does Rolex Submariner Weigh

Pros and Cons of Polishing


Enhanced Appearance: A polished Rolex looks almost new, increasing its aesthetic appeal.

Value Maintenance: Keeping the watch in good condition helps maintain its market value.

Personal Satisfaction: There’s a sense of pride in owning a well-maintained Rolex.


Potential for Over-Polishing: Frequent polishing can wear down the metal and alter the watch’s original lines and contours.

Cost: Polishing can be expensive, especially if done regularly.

Risk with Non-Authorized Services: There’s a risk of improper handling and damage if not done by an experienced professional.

Tips for Maintaining a Polished Rolex

Preventative Care

Avoid Rough Surfaces: Be mindful of where you place your watch to avoid unnecessary scratches.

Regular Cleaning: Clean your watch regularly with a soft cloth to maintain its shine.

Protective Covers: Consider using protective covers or films, especially if you wear your Rolex daily.

Professional Maintenance

Regular Service: Schedule regular services with authorized centers to ensure your watch remains in top condition.

Expert Advice: Always seek advice from professionals about how often to polish your specific Rolex model.


Polishing a Rolex is an essential aspect of maintaining its beauty and value. While the cost can vary based on several factors such as the type of Rolex, extent of damage, service provider, and location, understanding these aspects helps in making an informed decision. Whether you choose an authorized service center, an independent watchmaker, or a local jeweler, ensure they have the expertise and reputation to handle your prized possession. By taking proper care and considering professional maintenance, you can keep your Rolex looking its best for years to come.


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