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GeorgeC

Rolex owner claims watch stops

Question

I have overhauled and put in new mainspring for a Rolex 3135 on Nov, 2018.  The watch has ran fine during my couple days of watching it prior to customer delivery.  The customer was surprised at the price of my repair although I was less than if he were to have shipped it off to a authorized Rolex shop.

The complaint is that the owner wears the watch of a day and even wears while sleeping, takes it off in the morning to go exercise, returns and the watch has stopped.  Can wind a little and put back on to wear during the day and watch doesn't stop.

It was brought back to me and I placed it immediately on a watch winder without any manual winding from the crown.  I set my watch winder to rotate in one direction for 5 minutes per hour for 3 hours and then the same in the opposite direction.  After that the winder doesn't rotate for 9 hours.  I figured this setting would be the most representative of normal wear on a person.  The watch ran that way for 4 days and only lost 10 seconds.  I gave it back to the customer informing that the watch was working fine.

Is there something else I could check in the watch besides that the person may not be moving enough to keep it wound? 

  • Perhaps take the back off and rotate the watch ensuring that the oscillating weight winds in both directions, meaning that it stays in the lower part and the winding mechanism is not binding?
  • Wind the watch fully 40+ full crown turns and see if the watch runs for ~48 hours?

Thanks for any advice.

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If it is stopping when taken off, it could be the orientation of the watch is important in tracing the fault. If they take it off and always place it, for example face up, or always face down, this may give some clue as to why it stops when not worn by them, but not when you test it yourself.

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I would re-examine and re-assemble the selfwinder mech and conduct tests recommended by Rolex. I presume given full manual wind, perofmance will show independence from, position, rest or owner schedule....

 

 

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It would be interesting to know what was the prior history of the watch and the customer? In other words was the watch running fine and he decided to have it serviced or is this a new acquisition with no history? Was the watch giving him a problem before he had it serviced?

One of the problems with automatic watches is our modern lifestyle doesn't necessarily move the watch enough to keep it fully wound up. This watch has approximately a 50 hour run time it should easily run overnight and still be running the next day.

Out of curiosity did you time the watch the way Rolex specifies? Like for instance after winding the watch up letting it run 24 hours put it on the timing machine and what was the amplitude In the pendant positions?

 

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I,d say the watch winds in both direction,  to consider otherwise then the question,  is 15 min in one direction( on autowinder)  enough? ( during four days observation) 

I used to think if rotor winds falling under own weight, its doing its job,  coincidently johnR posted some links that prooved me just assuming. ( the thirty seconds test) 

So, I now give the MS five turns wind.observe the winder falling under own weight.

Next give five more turns wind and observer and continue by five turn increments.

 I expect to see the winder fail to wind, falling under own weight at some point before reaching full wind by selfwinder. That I think is what happens on owners wrist.

 

 

 

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I suspect it is the auto side is not functioning efficiently. I had the same issue with my 3135. After I service mine it worked great for a few months then it started to stop. What I did was remove the auto works re-cleaned BUT then I treated the wheels etc with Fixodrop (epilame) and then I lubricated with HP500. Since then it has run perfectly for the last couple of years and It is never off my wrist (part from bath time!!)

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Thanks for the recommendations.  I am going to begin with the re-cleaning and Episurf Neo then lubrication.
Will follow up 


In fact I did find a underside pivot for one of the reversing wheels that had dried lubricant around the jewel hole. A complete autowind mechanism tear down, cleaning, demagnetize and re-lube took place. It now turns with greater ease now that is back on the watch.
Thanks for the recommendations!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Episurf Neo, eh? I hadn't heard of that, but I don't service a lot of automatic movements that might require it. However, I may work on a few per year, and this looks like a great product. Unfortunately, it looks like it has a very short shelf life. Ads I see at retailers show a latest expiration date of 2020. At $70-90 for 50ml, that might be a little pricey for the 1/2 dozen autos I might work on. Is the shelf-life really that short? Thanks. And congratulations on your successful repair on the customer's Rolex. Cheers.

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Rolex produce some wonderful watch movements BUT the 3135 has weakness & that is  auto-wind mechanism. If not lubricated correctly it will fail. In extreme cases the "Rotor Axle" wears and has to be replaced. See Pic. Epilame is expensive but so are Rolexes.

1544587176_Screenshot2019-02-1408_15_11.png.e50751f015a6936ead54df17b71049c3.png

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7 hours ago, MrRoundel said:

Episurf Neo, eh?

Initially when I saw this " Episurf Neo" I assume that was something I wasn't interpreting correctly? But seeing MrRoundel Message above I googled it and found a link below.

Then I remembered Omega had  what I thought was a revised but  in reality is a new document on new procedure to apply Epilame treatment. So they're using FIXODROP ES/BS 8981 Which comes in 1 & 5 Litre Bottles.

So a dramatic departure from the past new procedure and  what gets surface treated has changed dramatically. New procedure is run the watch through the cleaning machine same as always. Then we get to the dramatic difference previously only a couple of components got treated now a couplet components are not treated and just about everything else in the watch is. Then the complicated application of the past is gone you put a new jar in your cleaning machine filled with the solution there recommending for a Greiner machine half a liter of fluid for the jar. One minute in their a couple of minutes in the dryer your good to go..

https://www.surfactis.com/en/produits/episurf-2/

http://www.moebius-lubricants.ch/en/products/epilames

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I may be servicing an 80's Rolex Date at some point over the next year. I believe that it has the 3135 movement in it. It's good to be aware of what it's going to take to service it.

Last year I serviced my nephew's Wittnauer automatic, 11SR(?) movement. Since I didn't have any epilame, I researched it and found that some use a dilute solution of watch oil in naptha to clean and lube the reverser wheels. I'd better check to see if it's still running. :huh:

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The problem when you're doing automatic watches is the lubrication can be very specific for each of the watches. Some of them definitely have to have surface treatment or else. Others as you mentioned there is a very diluted lubrication that you can purchase or mix yourself that can be used. As clockboy pointed out there's other issues that come up.  This then becomes a problem if you're servicing a watch when you're not authorized because unfortunately like Rolex is really tight with their technical documentation. So all the nifty updates that would explain all the things you need to be doing don't exist which can definitely be an issue if you're servicing watches not to have the proper current documentation.

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