How to Remove a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Back

by Robert Morello

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a preferred timepiece for the discerning consumer around the world.

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Rolex as a brand is highly valued and works diligently around the world to preserve its image and worth. The Oyster case is one of the most prized of the Rolex patents and its water resistance and style have long been the standard of the Swiss watchmaking industry.

Items you will need

  • Rolex Oyster
  • Case back removal tool
  • Large felt or cloth

Removing the Case Back

Step 1

Remove the band/bracelet from your watch before moving forward. To do so, use a blade or jeweler's screwdriver to compress the spring-loaded pin located at the clasp. Once you remove this pin, the band will separate into two pieces, both still attached to the watch case. There should be enough room to work on the case back now, but if you prefer, you can remove the band completely by compressing the two pins located where the band meets the case. You should perform this action with a flat-head jeweler's screwdriver of the proper size to fit between the metal guards. Depress one side and release it by pulling upward with the screwdriver. Be careful not to lose the pins when they eject from the case, as they are spring-loaded.

Step 2

Turn the watch onto its face and lay it on the clean cloth or felt with the top away from you. The back of the case is round and made of metal with a small ridged circle. These ridges are the grip which allow the screw-down case back to be removed. Place the case back removal tool face down onto these ridges and watch as the three adjustable heads shift into position to match the width of the ridges. Once they are firmly set, use the tool to turn counterclockwise with strong downward force to ensure that there is no slippage. Grip the watch case in one hand and the tool in your dominant hand for the best leverage.

Step 3

Once the case back releases and begins to turn, reposition the watch with the face down over your cloth so that none of the watch's inner workings can fall out as the case is removed. Slowly turn the case back with your hand until it is completely off the case. Make sure to keep track of every piece you move or touch so it may be returned to the proper location later on.

Tips

  • Rolex watches come with a warranty. Make sure to produce your warranty card, receipt of purchase and official watch paperwork when having repairs done. If the watch is under warranty, the repairs should cost you nothing.

    The toughest part of this job will be finding the case back removal tool. Other tools can be used and you will probably be able to fashion something for the job through trial and error, but these other options may result in scratches, difficulty in removal and a nonwatertight seal once the case back is replaced.

Warnings

  • Removal of the back panel, or any part of your Rolex watch, by any person other than an authorized Rolex factory technician will void all warranties for your watch.

    Rolex has a very strict policy when it comes to repairs. They consider each watch to be a representation of the company as a whole and will at times perform unsolicited repairs, deeming the watch unacceptable until and unless these repairs are carried out. As all Rolex repairs take place at the factory in Switzerland, the consumer will have no idea of the these repairs or the cost involved until he receives the watch afterward. This can result in a high bill and an angry owner with no recourse.

    By removing the case back you will be breaking the watertight seal, which may or may not be resealed when you replace the case back. Certified Rolex watchmakers use a new gasket when they do this work.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.