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Rolex 3135 movement -in over my head?


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Hi all. I recently got an IBM 25 year service award Rolex handed down to me from my grandpa. It is a 1989 Datejust 16220 with 3135 movement.

When i got it the dial was spinning in the case when i would wear it and the second hand was off. Using YouTube videos, I got through replacing the dial with no issues. However when it came to the second hand, come to find out part of the second wheel stem was broken off in the hand. So i ordered a new second wheel and used Marks videos on YouTube to attempt that job. That’s how i got here.

But i didn’t take my time and didn’t let the main spring wind down first. I jumped right in and when i took the train wheel bridge off i realized my mistake. At that point the watch started unwinding rapidly and the minute hand hit one of the markers on the dial. Once the dust settled and i put it back together the watch isn’t working correctly. When i try to wind it, the clutch wheel on the main spring barrel turns but so does the main spring barrel which doesn’t allow the spring to wind. When i pull the stem out to hack position, the hands turn but so does the clutch on the main spring barrel as if it was trying to wind the watch. I have had front (date wheel side) and back (main spring barrel side) apart with no idea or visible sign of what is wrong.

Thank you for any guidance you can provide as i am stumped and didn’t feel comfortable continuing to remove parts trying to find out. 

First pic is dial change prior to second wheel replacement. Other 2 pictures show current state. 

119AEC6E-EE65-48C7-871B-2427AAD55377.png

3272BFC6-D444-4325-8900-00E6E619FCC0.jpeg

2406A554-9219-43AE-8C5A-7942ACC38570.jpeg

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One detail is not clear to me. Energy is being transferred to the mainspring barrel; you say it's turning. What's not clear is how far it gets away from the mainspring barrel. The energy that's going

Here it is - couple of photos: viewer discretion is advised  

Maybe not the best choice to learn on, from a financial perspective... Based on what I've read here so far, I am also leaning toward the keyless works as the prime suspect. But, since the rapid r

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2 minutes ago, IBM16220 said:

No, it looks like that in the pic but that was just some black grease like substance that was on the top of the wheel when i opened it. Currently that is cleaned off. Ratchet wheel works great and the are no broken teeth. 

Then check if pallet fork is installed correctly and that both jewels are present.

If that does not help - take the entire movement apart - clean it and visually inspect all pivots, teeth on each wheel.

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The piece in the center of the dial side, where you fit the minute hand, is the canon pinion. This has a light friction fit on the corresponding gear in the gear train, it snaps onto that gear's extended arbor. When you set the hands it slips on that arbor; when the watch is running the arbor drives the canon pinion and thus the minute wheel and then the hour wheel and date mechanism. If the friction is too light it might slip when driving the date mechanism- if it's too heavy you might damage parts in the setting mechanism. But nothing "disengages" or engages except for the sliding pinion, when you pull the stem. It is under the plate just above the top red circle in the second picture.

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31 minutes ago, IBM16220 said:

Hi all. I recently got an IBM 25 year service award Rolex handed down to me from my grandpa. It is a 1989 Datejust 16220 with 3135 movement.

When i got it the dial was spinning in the case when i would wear it and the second hand was off. Using YouTube videos, I got through replacing the dial with no issues. However when it came to the second hand, come to find out part of the second wheel stem was broken off in the hand. So i ordered a new second wheel and used Marks videos on YouTube to attempt that job. That’s how i got here.

But i didn’t take my time and didn’t let the main spring wind down first. I jumped right in and when i took the train wheel bridge off i realized my mistake. At that point the watch started unwinding rapidly and the minute hand hit one of the markers on the dial. Once the dust settled and i put it back together the watch isn’t working correctly. When i try to wind it, the clutch wheel on the main spring barrel turns but so does the main spring barrel which doesn’t allow the spring to wind. When i pull the stem out to hack position, the hands turn but so does the clutch on the main spring barrel as if it was trying to wind the watch. I have had front (date wheel side) and back (main spring barrel side) apart with no idea or visible sign of what is wrong.

Thank you for any guidance you can provide as i am stumped and didn’t feel comfortable continuing to remove parts trying to find out. 

First pic is dial change prior to second wheel replacement. Other 2 pictures show current state. 

119AEC6E-EE65-48C7-871B-2427AAD55377.png

3272BFC6-D444-4325-8900-00E6E619FCC0.jpeg

2406A554-9219-43AE-8C5A-7942ACC38570.jpeg

What is going on here? Broken teeth?

CT - Copy.PNG

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28 minutes ago, Poljot said:

What is going on here? Broken teeth?

CT - Copy.PNG

No, it looks like that in the pic but that was just some black grease like substance that was on the top of the wheel when i opened it. Currently that is cleaned off. Ratchet wheel works great and the are no broken teeth. 

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8 minutes ago, Poljot said:

Then check if pallet fork is installed correctly and that both jewels are present.

If that does not help - take the entire movement apart - clean it and visually inspect all pivots, teeth on each wheel.

In all of my tear down I do not remember removing the pallet fork or even seeing it.  I google'd it to find an image and definitely didn't remove it but that doesn't mean it wasn't dislodged or broken when the watch unwound and the hand slammed the index.

It seems like whatever is supposed to "clamp" either the main spring barrel from spinning when in winding position or clamp or disengage the winding rotor when in hack position isn't working properly.  Does the pallet fork play a part in these mechanisms?

pallet fork.jpg

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8 minutes ago, IBM16220 said:

In all of my tear down I do not remember removing the pallet fork or even seeing it.  I google'd it to find an image and definitely didn't remove it but that doesn't mean it wasn't dislodged or broken when the watch unwound and the hand slammed the index.

It seems like whatever is supposed to "clamp" either the main spring barrel from spinning when in winding position or clamp or disengage the winding rotor when in hack position isn't working properly.  Does the pallet fork play a part in these mechanisms?

pallet fork.jpg

I am reading your comment "When i try to wind it, the clutch wheel on the main spring barrel turns but so does the main spring barrel which doesn’t allow the spring to wind."

Do all other wheels turn? If so - pallet fork is your main suspect. If they do not, hen tale of the mainspring, remove the lid and check if mainspring is hooked to the arbour.

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7 minutes ago, Poljot said:

I am reading your comment "When i try to wind it, the clutch wheel on the main spring barrel turns but so does the main spring barrel which doesn’t allow the spring to wind."

Do all other wheels turn? If so - pallet fork is your main suspect. If they do not, hen tale of the mainspring, remove the lid and check if mainspring is hooked to the arbour.

Yes, all wheels turn when I try to wind the watch and all wheels turn when in hack to change the time.  I thought the same thing, that I had a broken main spring, so I did remove the barrel, opened it and the spring is attached to the arbor.  To check if the spring was broken somewhere, I closed it back up and installed the screw that holds the clutch wheel to the barrel and used a screw driver to wind the spring in my hand.  It would wind and then it would unwind as expected (I've never done it before so have nothing to compare to but seemed ok)

So it sounds like pallet fork should be my focus.  Can you provide guidance on where it is located (date wheel side or main spring side).  I will watch Mark's videos that he has for working on the 3135 movement and how to access it but knowing where to look will help identify if I should watch video 1, 2 or 3.  Also, what would you expect to be the main failure mode of the pallet fork; broken or dislodged? (What should I be looking for when I access it?)

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The movement is extremely dirty which is unusual for a Rolex. This  movement has been out of its case for a service or it has been worn in a very dirty environment and either the case is not sealed or the crown seals are perished. My advise to to have it serviced by an experienced watchmaker.

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1 minute ago, clockboy said:

The movement is extremely dirty which is unusual for a Rolex. This  movement has been out of its case for a service or it had been worn in a very dirty environment and either the case is not sealed or the crown seals are perished. My advise to to have it serviced by an experienced watchmaker.

I agree.  My grandpa wore this watch 24/7 no matter what.  You can see in the first pic the hands have pitting and staining.  The original dial, pic below, in addition to having the posts broken off, had serious staining and signs of moisture.  The watch was serviced in 2017 by a local jewelry shop (I think they broke the dial and second wheel stem) and was running with great accuracy (-2 seconds per day).  I am trying to avoid the $400 dollar service fee again and started working on it and then continued to get deeper the more comfortable I got.  Besides the fact that it's broken right now, it was running very well despite the appearance of the movement.

Dial.jpg

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Hi  I think now is the time to study Mark Lovic's  (our Host) videos on the 3135 and build up from there before any real damage is done. to that effect I have attached the service document an two parts sheets should parts be require.    I believe there were three parts taking you through the disassembly and re assembly stage by stage.  If and when you decide to do the job take plenty of photos at the various stages as a memory aid and for future reference.  It may be a Rolex but its no different to any other watch of this type and will require some time and care.  good luck.

Rolex-3135-tech (1).pdf 2882_Rolex 3135 Pages 6-11.pdf 2879_Rolex 3135 Pages 1-5.pdf

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15 minutes ago, watchweasol said:

Hi  I think now is the time to study Mark Lovic's  (our Host) videos on the 3135 and build up from there before any real damage is done. to that effect I have attached the service document an two parts sheets should parts be require.    I believe there were three parts taking you through the disassembly and re assembly stage by stage.  If and when you decide to do the job take plenty of photos at the various stages as a memory aid and for future reference.  It may be a Rolex but its no different to any other watch of this type and will require some time and care.  good luck.

Rolex-3135-tech (1).pdf 989.42 kB · 2 downloads 2882_Rolex 3135 Pages 6-11.pdf 4.81 MB · 0 downloads 2879_Rolex 3135 Pages 1-5.pdf 3.03 MB · 0 downloads

Thank you for the additional documentation.  Yes, there were 3 parts to the video taking through disassembly and reassembly which were very useful and without them I would have never attempted the repairs.  Thank you for the advice on photos.  I have done that along the way and it has served useful.  Agree, it is a Rolex, but once you get past that, it just like any other mechanical device; just much smaller and finer parts than I have ever worked with before. 🙂 

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1 hour ago, IBM16220 said:

Yes, all wheels turn when I try to wind the watch and all wheels turn when in hack to change the time.  I thought the same thing, that I had a broken main spring, so I did remove the barrel, opened it and the spring is attached to the arbor.  To check if the spring was broken somewhere, I closed it back up and installed the screw that holds the clutch wheel to the barrel and used a screw driver to wind the spring in my hand.  It would wind and then it would unwind as expected (I've never done it before so have nothing to compare to but seemed ok)

So it sounds like pallet fork should be my focus.  Can you provide guidance on where it is located (date wheel side or main spring side).  I will watch Mark's videos that he has for working on the 3135 movement and how to access it but knowing where to look will help identify if I should watch video 1, 2 or 3.  Also, what would you expect to be the main failure mode of the pallet fork; broken or dislodged? (What should I be looking for when I access it?)

If all wheels turn while winding, then your pallet fork is not doing what it supposed to do. You can see it from the back side - next to the balance wheel.

Edited by Poljot
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1 hour ago, IBM16220 said:

I agree.  My grandpa wore this watch 24/7 no matter what.  You can see in the first pic the hands have pitting and staining.  The original dial, pic below, in addition to having the posts broken off, had serious staining and signs of moisture.  The watch was serviced in 2017 by a local jewelry shop (I think they broke the dial and second wheel stem) and was running with great accuracy (-2 seconds per day).  I am trying to avoid the $400 dollar service fee again and started working on it and then continued to get deeper the more comfortable I got.  Besides the fact that it's broken right now, it was running very well despite the appearance of the movement.

Dial.jpg

Once I was asked to look at 3135 watch to "see what is going one and why it stopped". That was also serviced just a 1-2 years prior getting into my hands. The back cover was damaged by someone trying to open it using a socket that should be used in automotive repairs. What was inside - difficult to describe... Dirt, moisture, rust, charcoal type of buildup on every pivot, around jewels, broken screw head, old gasket, scratches, damaged screw slots... It looked like ... Anyways, lots of manual cleaning with sharpen pegwood, manual and ultrasonic cleaning in Zenith cleaning solution, some new screws, new gaskets, new case tube o-rings, new crown o-ring, proper oiling - the watch was working and keeping excellent time for 3+ years now. I had a chance to open it a year later after servicing it - no deterioration of any kind.

3135 is not the most difficult movement to service. It is actually a simple one if you know what you are doing. read the TIs, watch Mark's video, get the right tools (screwdrivers, case opener, red oiler at least, Moebius oils) and cleaning solutions - go ahead and slowly clean and reassemble your watch. Leaving it in such dirty state will lead to further wear and damages. Good luck!

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One detail is not clear to me. Energy is being transferred to the mainspring barrel; you say it's turning. What's not clear is how far it gets away from the mainspring barrel. The energy that's going in, is not being regulated coming out, or is not actually being stored at all. When you wind it, do any of the gears turn? Do ALL of the gears turn? Sheared teeth is aiming at some number of gears turning with the energy being released fully through the opening created by the broke teeth. The escapement/pallet fork theory assumes all of the gears are turning freely as you wind it. The third option is that the mainspring is broken, and the energy is never being stored for release in the first place. 

Regardless, the movement is dirty, and a full tear down, clean, and inspection are a good idea; if for no reason other than to be able to fully and more easily assess where the actual problem is.

On a side note, living very near to a major IBM facility, I'm curious which one you're near and whether or not there are any local jewelry shops I should be avoiding.

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3 hours ago, IBM16220 said:

So it sounds like pallet fork should be my focus.  Can you provide guidance on where it is located

 

1 hour ago, Poljot said:

3135 is not the most difficult movement to service

I find the above quotes quite interesting? It's an easy watch the service I don't suppose the parts are really cheap? Then the original posting person is having problems finding the pallet fork in the watch I wonder if that's a problem at all?

Actually Rolex watches are really good training watches everybody should start with one. Because every little mistake is going to be really really expensive no matter how easy it is to work on because mistakes will be made by people learning watch repair.

I'm attaching an image showing you where Rolex hides their pallet fork.

21 minutes ago, spectre6000 said:

What's not clear is how far it gets away from the mainspring barrel.

This is an interesting quote? I know I'm being negative how hard would it be to work on a watch obviously not very hard at all. On the other hand how hard is it to break a pivot off, not like any of us have ever done that.

 

Rolex where they hide the pallet fork.JPG

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1 hour ago, Poljot said:

Here it is - couple of photos: viewer discretion is advised

 

Rol - Copy.PNG

Rol2 - Copy.PNG

Yuck.  Not pretty.  There are no signs of anything like that in this watch.  Every part that I took out has been nice and clean.  The picture honestly didn't do the watch justice.  Yes, there was some excess grease on the clutch wheels but everything else, from a new watch guy, looks ok.

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8 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

 

I find the above quotes quite interesting? It's an easy watch the service I don't suppose the parts are really cheap? Then the original posting person is having problems finding the pallet fork in the watch I wonder if that's a problem at all?

Actually Rolex watches are really good training watches everybody should start with one. Because every little mistake is going to be really really expensive no matter how easy it is to work on because mistakes will be made by people learning watch repair.

I'm attaching an image showing you where Rolex hides their pallet fork.

This is an interesting quote? I know I'm being negative how hard would it be to work on a watch obviously not very hard at all. On the other hand how hard is it to break a pivot off, not like any of us have ever done that.

 

Rolex where they hide the pallet fork.JPG

Thank you for this drawing.  I ended up finding the pallet fork using Mark's video's online and it was in place and not broken.  While doing this though, I did find that the sprocket that it drives which then in turn drives the second wheel was off center and wasn't working.  Correcting this corrected the watch not being able to be wound.  So now it runs.  However, now I have a different issue.

In position 1 the watch winds and runs.  In position 3, unlike prior issue where the hands and main spring barrel turned, now the stem wont turn at all.  When I put a little pressure on it to turn I can see the hour and minute wheels move a little but will not turn.

Any thoughts on what next?  I thought something might be jammed but when I use a 20x loupe when the watch is running I can see the minute wheel running so that at least is working correctly.

 

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12 minutes ago, IBM16220 said:

Yuck.  Not pretty.  There are no signs of anything like that in this watch.  Every part that I took out has been nice and clean.  The picture honestly didn't do the watch justice.  Yes, there was some excess grease on the clutch wheels but everything else, from a new watch guy, looks ok.

Sorry, but that's wrong answer - there should be no grease.

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11 minutes ago, IBM16220 said:

Thank you for this drawing.  I ended up finding the pallet fork using Mark's video's online and it was in place and not broken.  While doing this though, I did find that the sprocket that it drives which then in turn drives the second wheel was off center and wasn't working.  Correcting this corrected the watch not being able to be wound.  So now it runs.  However, now I have a different issue.

In position 1 the watch winds and runs.  In position 3, unlike prior issue where the hands and main spring barrel turned, now the stem wont turn at all.  When I put a little pressure on it to turn I can see the hour and minute wheels move a little but will not turn.

Any thoughts on what next?  I thought something might be jammed but when I use a 20x loupe when the watch is running I can see the minute wheel running so that at least is working correctly.

 

I also used my phone to take a slow mo video and can see that all wheels and the main spring barrel are all turning so nothing is jammed.

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10 minutes ago, IBM16220 said:

I also used my phone to take a slow mo video and can see that all wheels and the main spring barrel are all turning so nothing is jammed.

Well, if your watch is in great shape - that's even better. Do not get confused and scared by the diagram above, it's misleading in the sense that you only need to remove 2 F screws (you guess what F stands for, right?) to get a clear view of the pallet fork, and 2 extra screws (also F) to get the pallet fork out. How F complicated is that?

Edited by Poljot
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12 minutes ago, Poljot said:

Well, if your watch is in great shape - that's even better. Do not get confused and scared by the diagram above, it's misleading in the sense that you only need to remove 2 F screws (you guess what F stands for, right?) to get a clear view of the pallet fork, and 2 extra screws (also F) to get the pallet fork out. How F complicated is that?

Despite the "F screws" I was able to check the pallet fork and it was in good shape.  it ended up being the sprocket that the pallet fork drives which works with the second wheel that was not in position.  I am not able to wind the watch and it runs.  The problem now is that when the stem is pulled out to position 3 to set the time the crown will not spin.  It is jammed up somewhere which is different than before as it spun freely.  Any thoughts on this one?

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IBM please be aware if you loose or break any parts genuine Rolex parts are expensive and often very difficult to source. Only attempt this service/repair if you are really confident. 

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8 minutes ago, clockboy said:

IBM please be aware if you loose or break any parts genuine Rolex parts are expensive and often very difficult to source. Only attempt this service/repair if you are really confident. 

Your sound advice may have come too late, the OP is already all-in trying to fix to his expensive watch by himself, without proper training, experience, and tools. But if  seeking help from the Internet won't do the miracle it might not be too late to bring it to a reputable watchmaker to have back whole and working.

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