The Rolex Submariner watch offers a date-adjustment feature that is accessible on the crown on the side of the watch. Loosen and pull the crown out to the first level --- you'll feel a small amount of resistance --- to change the date on the watch's display. This feature typically works smoothly, but some problems can arise from improper use or on older models that have been used extensively.
Date Change Mechanism
Rolex watches with the date-marking feature use gears to control the date display. The date gears begin to move and create tension on a spring, which advances the date at midnight; the gears begin to create tension on the lever two hours before midnight and relieve the tension two hours after midnight. Thus, the gears begin to advance the date starting at 10 p.m. and stop moving at 2 a.m., setting the new date in place for the next 24 hours.
Potential Date Adjustment Problems
Adjusting the date during the two hours before and after midnight can disrupt the gears' sequence and cause complications with the date-change feature. Since the gears create tension on the spring that controls the date, adjusting the date feature can overload the spring with tension and cause it to malfunction. The best way to avoid causing damage to the spring is to not change the date during the two hours before and after midnight. You can also adjust the watch's time to some time before or after these hours and then change the date --- this relieves the tension on the spring before you change the date.
There are several potential causes for the Rolex Submariner's malfunctioning date adjustment. Since the system depends on gears and a spring to change the date display, the gears or the spring itself can be damaged. In addition, the crown can also sustain damage, causing problems when adjusting the watch's display features. Test the crown conditions by adjusting your watch in all of the crown positions.
After identifying a malfunctioning date feature on the Rolex Submariner, you have two repair options. First, you can send the watch directly to a Rolex Service Center to have it repaired. The price of the repair can vary depending on whether your watch is still under warranty. Contact the Service Center before sending your watch in to provide your warranty information and confirm the cost of repair. The second option involves a warranty issued by a retailer, which usually lasts up to two years; check the coverage of the warranty and contact the retailer to find out if it will perform the required repair and what costs are involved. Given the intricacies involved with identifying and replacing the malfunctioning gears, spring or other components, do not attempt this repair at home.