Why Does My Rolex Stop At Night?

Rolex, a globally recognized brand, is synonymous with luxury, precision, and durability. Known for their timeless designs and superior craftsmanship, Rolex watches are often viewed as a status symbol, an investment, or a treasured heirloom. Each Rolex timepiece is a marvel of horological engineering, crafted to provide accuracy and reliability for years to come.

It may be puzzling, then, when your treasured Rolex watch stops working, particularly at night. The primary reason for this occurrence is the automatic nature of these watches. Rolex watches are designed to wind themselves through the movement of the wearer. When the watch is inactive, such as during the night, it can exhaust its power reserve and stop functioning.

We’ve delved into the world of horology to bring you a comprehensive analysis of why your Rolex might stop at night. Uncover the intricacies of your Rolex and learn how to keep it ticking smoothly with our in-depth guide. Ready to embark on this insightful journey?

Rolex Sky Dweller

Understanding the Rolex Mechanism

Overview of Rolex’s Automatic Movement

Rolex watches employ an automatic, or self-winding, movement. This ingenious system, powered by a rotor or oscillating weight, harnesses the energy from the wearer’s movements. The rotor swings freely with each wrist motion, winding the mainspring and storing energy.

The Role of the Mainspring and Power Reserve

The mainspring is the heart of your Rolex watch. When fully wound, it slowly unwinds to release energy, which drives the gears and moves the hands. The power reserve refers to how long a watch can run while not being worn before it stops. Most Rolex watches have a power reserve of approximately 48 hours.

Why Does a Rolex Stop?

Normal Operation: How Often Should a Rolex Stop?

Contrary to what some may think, it’s entirely normal for a Rolex watch to stop occasionally. If your watch is unworn and stationary, it’s likely to stop after its power reserve is depleted. This period typically lasts around 48 hours but can vary based on the model.

Effects of Inactivity on Rolex Watches

Inactivity is the most common reason why your Rolex might stop at night. If you take off your watch in the evening and don’t move it until morning, it may not receive enough kinetic energy to keep the mainspring sufficiently wound, causing the watch to stop.

Why Your Rolex Might Stop at Night

The Connection Between Wrist Movement and Your Rolex

The concept of an automatic watch is centered around the idea of converting the energy of motion into mechanical energy. When there’s a significant reduction in movement, such as when you’re sleeping, the watch may not receive enough energy to keep running.

Understanding the Rolex Power Reserve

When fully wound, most Rolex models can run for about 48 hours without additional winding. This time frame is the power reserve. If you’ve been relatively inactive or have left your watch off your wrist, the watch may use up its power reserve and stop.

Other Factors Causing Your Rolex to Stop

Impact of Temperature Changes

Extreme temperatures can affect your Rolex watch’s lubricants, causing it to run too fast or too slow. Although Rolex watches are designed to withstand a wide range of temperatures, it’s best to avoid exposing them to very high or very low temperatures.

Need for Regular Servicing

Like any high-precision instrument, a Rolex watch requires regular servicing to maintain optimal performance. Over time, the lubricants inside the watch can dry up, or parts can wear out, causing the watch to stop. Rolex recommends servicing your watch about every ten years.

The Role of Magnetization

In today’s digital world, watches are often exposed to magnetic fields, which can magnetize the watch’s parts, causing it to stop or run inaccurately. If you suspect your watch has become magnetized, a watchmaker can easily demagnetize it.

How to Prevent Your Rolex from Stopping

Wearing Your Rolex Regularly

Wearing your Rolex watch regularly is the simplest way to keep it running. The movements of your wrist throughout the day will wind the watch, ensuring it has enough power to keep running through the night.

Proper Winding Techniques

If you don’t wear your Rolex every day, consider winding it down manually. To do this, unscrew the crown to the winding position and turn it clockwise about 30 to 40 times. Remember to screw the crown back down properly to maintain the watch’s water resistance.

Importance of Regular Servicing and Maintenance

Routine maintenance is critical to the longevity and performance of your Rolex. It’s recommended to service your watch every ten years. However, if your watch is regularly exposed to harsh conditions, you might want to service it more frequently.

What to Do When Your Rolex Stops

Troubleshooting Steps

Before rushing to a service center, there are a few steps you can take. First, try manually winding your watch. If it still doesn’t work, check to see if it’s been exposed to a magnetic field. If these steps don’t solve the problem, it’s best to seek professional help.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your Rolex continues to stop even after troubleshooting, it’s time to consult a professional. Remember, a Rolex is a precision instrument, and only certified watchmakers should open the watch to avoid causing further damage.

FAQs About Rolex Watches

Can over-winding damage my Rolex?

Rolex watches are equipped with a protection mechanism that prevents over-winding, so you can’t damage your watch by winding it too much.

How long can a Rolex run without being worn?

Most Rolex watches have a power reserve of about 48 hours. However, this can vary depending on the model and the age of the watch.

Does wearing a Rolex every day keep it wound?

Yes, the daily movements of your wrist should provide enough energy to keep the watch wound running accurately.


As we’ve unraveled the mystery of why a Rolex watch might stop at night, it’s clear that the automatic nature of these watches is a significant factor. They rely on the daily movements of your wrist to keep running. Therefore, inactivity, particularly during the night, can cause your Rolex to stop.

Preventing your Rolex from stopping can be as simple as wearing it regularly or winding it manually if you’ve been inactive. Regular servicing is also essential to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your watch.

Remember, your Rolex is a testament to more than a century of innovation, precision, and craftsmanship. It deserves your care and attention. So, wear it, enjoy it, and let it become a part of your everyday life.

Michael, an ardent horology enthusiast, brings his love for exquisite timepieces to life at WatchReflect. With a background in marketing and a penchant for luxury, he dives into the world of popular watch brands. His journey began during his years at a Swiss watch boutique, fueling his passion for precision craftsmanship. Through his words, Michael shares the allure and innovation that define the watch industry.

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