Many watches have a ticking sound that you can clearly hear when you listen closely. But do Rolex watches tick as well?
No, a Rolex watch does not make a ticking sound found in most watches. The gears are expertly crafted to make for a fluid motion that doesn’t tick. If a Rolex does tick, it’s often a sign of it being a counterfeit.
A ticking Rolex is most likely a fake one; however, there are actually a few very rare and old models of Rolex that can make a ticking sound. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the question; do Rolex watches tick?
Do Rolex Watches Make A Ticking Sound
The general rule is that a Rolex watch does not tick. At least, not to the extent that we would hear it clearly. Just like any watch, the movement of the gears inside is not completely silent, but it’s safe to say that Rolex watches are one of, if not the most silent.
Another way people like to say that Rolex watches don’t tick is by their movement. The second hand of a Rolex sweeps smoothly, which could lead you to think that there’s no ticking at all, as a ‘tick’ is often associated with a ticking movement.
With that being said, if you listen really closely, you might be able to hear some movement. These are the gears moving along and you can hear very fast ticks. Usually around 8 to 10 ticks a second, but you really have to put the watch against your ear to hear this. It’s extremely quiet.
What Makes A Ticking Sound In A Watch
Most watches will have a ticking sound, either loud or relatively silent. But where does this ticking sound come from?
The ticking sound in a watch comes from the movement of the gears. This is especially prevalent in quartz watches, which are powered by a battery. However, mechanical watches can also have a ticking sound.
Before we dive into the ticking sound of a watch, we’ll first have to make the distinction between a quartz watch and a mechanical watch.
A quartz watch is a battery-powered watch. This battery will send a ‘shock’, which makes the gears inside move. This will result in a ticking sound, but also in how the second hand will move.
A mechanical watch gets its movement from the power stored in the mainspring. The mainspring gets its energy from being manually wound or from the movement of the rotor when the watch is worn.
Both of these types of watches will have a ticking sound. How loud this sound is will differ, though. Generally speaking, a quartz watch will have a louder tick.
In a quartz watch, the gears inside will move via a battery. This battery periodically sends out a wave of energy that makes the gears move. When the gears are moving, the watch hands are moving with it.
Due to a quartz watch working with a battery, the gears will move in a ‘rougher’ way. This makes for a ticking sound that you can definitely hear. Most times, though, this ticking sound isn’t annoyingly loud, luckily.
For a mechanical watch, everything’s a bit different. Due to the gears inside moving via de energy stored in a mainspring, you’ll have a ‘smoother’ gear movement.
This smoother gear movement will in turn produce a more silent tick. In fact, sometimes the ticking sound won’t even be noticeable until you put your ear against the watch.
Both mechanical watches and quartz watches are commonly produced and there isn’t really a ‘better’ version. It mainly comes down to personal preference.
That being said, Rolex is known for making mechanical watches with an extremely silent tick. This leads people to believe that a Rolex watch should never tick.
However, this isn’t entirely true. Even mechanical watches will have a ticking sound, although very silent. And on top of that, Rolex has actually made a few quartz watches back in the day.
The Rare Few; What Rolex Watches Do Tick
Factually, every Rolex ticks. However, we’re not looking for those near-silent Rolex watches. Instead, we’re looking for the rare few quartz watches made by Rolex.
In 1970’s, the Asian watchmarket was starting to get dominated by Japanese watch brands. These Japanese watches were mainly quartz watches and Rolex wanted a piece of the pie.
Thus, they brought forward their own line of quartz watches, the Rolex Oysterquartz line; Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust and Rolex Oysterquarts Day-Date.
These new watches from Rolex were quite different from their usual models. The case was completely angular and the band was integrated, making for a new and unique Rolex watch.
Aside from the different looks and movements, the Oysterquartz collection was available in three different colors; gold, steel with white gold, and yellow gold.
As intended, this watch collection was very popular in Asia, but also in the United States. However, the true popularity of the Rolex Oysterquartzes came after Rolex decided to take it out of its catalogue. No longer were these Rolex Oysterquartz watches made, which caused a surge in popularity and price.
Just like any quartz watch, this watch ticks. A Rolex watch that actually ticks and isn’t a fake one. It’s a rare sight, but they do exist. In fact, you can still purchase them today via auctions. Be prepared to pay a lot of money, though, as this is almost like a collector’s item.
Are The Other Rolex Watches Completely Silent
As we mentioned above, even mechanical watches will make a sound. This sound can be extremely quiet and sometimes it can even be extremely difficult to hear, but the fact remains, every watch ticks.
Luckily, when you purchase a Rolex, the ticking sound is not something you’ll have to worry about. Rolexes are known for being extremely silent. We’re not sure how they do it, but the Rolex watchmakers make some of the quietest watch movements ever. Guess that’s the benefit of purchasing such a luxurious item.
And this doesn’t only go for their high-end models either. Every Rolex watch that’s currently in production will be very quiet, from the more affordable Oyster Perpetuals to the more expensive Day-Dates.
Overall, you’ll hardly ever hear a Rolex watch tick. In fact, it’s one of the commonly used methods to find out whether a Rolex is fake or not. Rolex has specialized itself in making watches that will have an extremely quiet tick. The producers of counterfeit Rolexes will not be able to recreate this, so their fake watches will make a ticking sound not found back in the original.
Still, this doesn’t mean that a Rolex does not tick. Every watch ticks, but some are louder than others. As mentioned above, Rolex makes extremely quiet watches to the point that you’ll have to get the watch pressed to your ear to hear it.
The one exception to this is are the quartz Rolexes made back in the day. A quartz watch will have a more distinct sound that you won’t find in their usual mechanical watches. These Rolex Oysterquartz watches are quite rare and are no longer produced.
And since the name specifies it’s a quartz Rolex watch, there should be no trouble in detecting whether it should tick or not.
Usually, though, a Rolex will not tick, so always make sure you’re not buying a mechanical Rolex that ticks. You shouldn’t have to worry about this when purchasing from a reputable seller, but if you’re purchasing anywhere else, this is a handy trick to know.