Are Rolex Watches Supposed to Tick?

I heard that a genuine Rolex watch will not tick, is this true?

Well, the answer may surprise you. Despite hearing that a true Rolex won’t tick, this is not technically true. You see all watches will tick, it’s just that Rolex watches, for the most part, tick at a different frequency, so when they tick, it shows up as a sweep. The exception to this is a few Rolex models that have a quartz movement that ticks at 1 beat per minute, most notably the Rolex Oyster-Quartz Model.

Rolex Oyster-Quartz

The reason why it’s often said that a Genuine Rolex should not tick, is because most of the low-quality fake Rolex watches out in the market house low quality battery (quartz) movements, when most Rolex watches contain fully mechanical movements that tick at a higher frequency than a battery watch. Below we have a chart showing the beat rates for most Rolex watches.

Notice that outside of the Oyster Quartz, watches will beat at a rate higher than 1 beat per second. That means that most Rolex watches will show a “sweeping” second hand that doesn’t pause. If someone is trying to sell you a Rolex watch with a second hand that is ticking, watch out! If it’s not one of the rare Rolex watches with a battery inside, it’s probably a fake. This is why it’s always important to buy from a trusted, vetted dealer who will stand behind their product.

Rolex Beat Rates

So, what did Jay-Z Mean By “Rollies That Don’t Tick Tock?”

So, if we have concluded that every Rolex does indeed tick, what did Jay-Z really mean when he rapped about having “Rollies that don’t tick tock”. Well, there’s 2 possibilities:

  1. Jay-Z only wears real Rolex watches, so his Rolex’s have seconds hands that sweep. In other words, Jay-Z doesn’t wear cheap knockoffs that tick tock.
  2. Rolex watches need to be wound periodically or else they run out of power, as they are not powered by a battery. Not so fake watches. Jay-Z owns so many real Rolex watches that many of them have not been worn for months or years, thus they are no longer ticking!
Jay-Z with a Rolex

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