New Rolex International Warranty Extended to Five Years
By Aaron Recksiek, CW21
In early June, rumors started to circulate about the possibility of a change in the Rolex international warranty. In a time where there is no shortage of rumors involved with this industry or this particular company, it is always advisable to wait for official word from the company before believing. Word finally came on the day of implementation. In a move that many industry experts see as a game changer for the watch-manufacturing community, Rolex SA announced officially via a letter to its authorized dealers that it has increased its international warranty for all Rolex Oyster and Cellini models from two years to five years. The warranty is effective as of July 1, 2015 and will apply to any watch sold on or after this date.
Rolex will also increase the warranty an extra year on any watch sold from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015, bringing the total on those watches to three years. Rolex also changed the recommended service interval to approximately 10 years. However, the service warranty will not change and will remain at two years.
There are a number of factors that allow watch manufacturers to increase the warranty time by such a large margin. Obviously, advances in technology such as modern synthetic lubricants, cleaning solutions, epilame usage, as well as data tracking on part failure in the service centers that allow parts to be upgraded, and continuing to improve their calibers. The brand’s two closest competitors have already increased warranty periods on certain watches. Omega offers a four-year warranty on watches equipped with silicon oscillator and escapement components. Breitling offers a five-year warranty on watches containing an in-house manufacture movement.
To further bolster its warranty authenticity, last year Rolex installed electronic-warranty-card-swiping machines at all authorized dealers. This allows them to get real-time sales data and instantly start the warranty period. With this technology, the system cannot be thwarted. Warranty cards can no longer be left blank and filled out at a later date, extending the warranty and scamming the system. The dealer’s stock can also be replaced automatically by tracking inventory and reordering with each sale.
Aaron Recksiek is an independent watchmaker in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a graduate of the 2008 WOSTEP class at the Lititz Watch Technicum.