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1987 Rolex Ladies Datejust refurb


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My girlfriend's mom was trusting enough to let me work on her Rolex ūüė¨¬† She said it was serviced at a local jeweler a few years ago, but hasn't been keeping good time recently, and hooooooo boy.

It is absolutely filthy on the outside, and drenched in oil on the inside. Every part is glistening, and there are puddles of oil everywhere. I'm FAR from an expert here, and even I know this thing is kind of a mess.

I just finished my second negroni, so no more watches for the evening, but I can share some photos.

Timegrapher reading is super exciting.

rolex.thumb.png.823a98bc40ca6d38e719b3fd7379c79a.png

14k fluted bezel. Crystal looks decent, at least. The face shows some surprising wear around the date window.

20221004_165804.thumb.jpg.506c6f8471c99ef4fabcf8bb46367ea7.jpg20221004_181943.thumb.jpg.00afe2a8bcbb706ef493c2cb7b91b045.jpg

 

No, that's not a gear at the top, that's a gear-shaped puddle of oil.

20221004_194906.thumb.jpg.7c4fb3fcba21a66501b2872f975c1a4c.jpg

Mainspring looks worn and misshapen to me, so I sourced a new one. The inside of the barrel was also seriously filthy.

20221004_201651.thumb.jpg.56dd5865bde3263582bd614b4a27e4b2.jpg

Mmmmm, skin.

20221014_214014.thumb.jpg.bc55a2fad81da081b3c38ee06c8793de.jpg

So much nicer clean and organized into a dust tray.

20221014_222103.thumb.jpg.ecbc1acaa8ec2fbd9f1c5372a4a67335.jpg

 

Edit to note this is a 2135 movement, for future forum searchers. Hello from the past!

Edited by ManSkirtBrew
Added mvoement number
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1 hour ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

My girlfriend's mom was trusting enough to let me work on her Rolex ūüė¨¬† She said it was serviced at a local jeweler a few years ago, but hasn't been keeping good time recently, and hooooooo boy.

It is absolutely filthy on the outside, and drenched in oil on the inside. Every part is glistening, and there are puddles of oil everywhere. I'm FAR from an expert here, and even I know this thing is kind of a mess.

I just finished my second negroni, so no more watches for the evening, but I can share some photos.

Timegrapher reading is super exciting.

rolex.thumb.png.823a98bc40ca6d38e719b3fd7379c79a.png

14k fluted bezel. Crystal looks decent, at least. The face shows some surprising wear around the date window.

20221004_165804.thumb.jpg.506c6f8471c99ef4fabcf8bb46367ea7.jpg20221004_181943.thumb.jpg.00afe2a8bcbb706ef493c2cb7b91b045.jpg

 

No, that's not a gear at the top, that's a gear-shaped puddle of oil.

20221004_194906.thumb.jpg.7c4fb3fcba21a66501b2872f975c1a4c.jpg

Mainspring looks worn and misshapen to me, so I sourced a new one. The inside of the barrel was also seriously filthy.

20221004_201651.thumb.jpg.56dd5865bde3263582bd614b4a27e4b2.jpg

Mmmmm, skin.

20221014_214014.thumb.jpg.bc55a2fad81da081b3c38ee06c8793de.jpg

So much nicer clean and organized into a dust tray.

20221014_222103.thumb.jpg.ecbc1acaa8ec2fbd9f1c5372a4a67335.jpg

 

Edit to note this is a 2135 movement, for future forum searchers. Hello from the past!

Lol timegrapher / digital snowglobe, just in time for xmas shopping ‚ėļ. Is a beat error that high even possible ? The collet must be slipping around in the oil slick. On the positive side you can't make your potential mother in law's watch any worse. God help you if you do ūüėĀ. Might be worth signing up for a tinder account now just in case.

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1 hour ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

digital snowglobe

if you have the snow globe affect like this then all the numbers will typically be invalid. towards always really important that visually the watch should agree with the timing machine and the timing machine numbers in the graphical display should all be similar and when things are this bad of the graphical display well everything else is worthless.

 

6 minutes ago, Kalanag said:

The reverser wheels should be epilamed and must nut be oiled at all (the pivots only).

 

33 minutes ago, ifibrin said:

but the reverser wheels on Rolex watches need to be oiled/ treated in a specific way for them to work well.

basically all reverser wheels have to be treated in a specific way for each the various types otherwise undesirable things will occur.

typically on the Rolex am attaching some images they have to be epilam. That's to keep the oil from going where it's not supposed to be. Then you can see it's only on the post at the wheel goes on nowhere else.

 

Rolex 2130 2135 epilam.JPG

Rolex 2130 2135 reversers.JPG

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I'm glad I posted! I've seen Fix-o-Drop and the magic bottle discussed before, but never knew exactly where to use it. Aside, are these lubrication guides available to laypeople like myself?

I watched a ton of videos on Rolex servicing -- including Mark's on a similar 2130 movement -- and no one mentioned epilame. Mark even appears to apply HP1300 to the teeth of the reversing wheels, exactly where the image above says not to.

I don't mind spending money where it's necessary, but also don't want to spend it if it's not. Is it something I'd use on the escape wheels and pallets of any movement I service, or is it specific to certain movements like Rolex?

I guess the real question is: how important is it to the running of the watch?

Edit: I just found this thread, which seems to answer that question pretty definitively:

Quote

The epilame is really key, you have to do it. It's a weird quirk of an otherwise bulletproof movement. I think you could use pretty much any synthetic lube and it'd survive as long as you epilame the reversers.

Quote

The reverser wheels MUST be treated with " Epilame" if not after a while the auto stops functioning correctly. I speak from experience. PS I used HP500 for the reverser parts with no issues the watch has not been off my wrist (apart from bath time) for 4 years now.

Quote

My understanding is that the clicks or whatever they're called in the reversers have to be absolutely free to move and lubrication would Interfere with that. So epilame treatment is applied to keep lubrication away.

 

Edited by ManSkirtBrew
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9 minutes ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

and no one mentioned epilame

several problems that occur in watch repair. Often times people have never actually looked at the service guide may be because they just never could find one. I was talking to somebody who used to work at a store that was authorized by Rolex as asking about the literature and he said that they would get a new package a literature and all the old habit go back. It explains why we don't really see much bold Rolex literature out there because it's all gone back the Rolex they just don't want it out. Not that it can't be found on eBay occasionally there is a seller in Italy who sell technical manuals. But if you've never seen the technical guide then you don't actually know what you're supposed to be doing.

Then depending upon when the guide was produced they may not mention that there's other stuff like epilam. That's been a very common à la the Swiss stuff it's only recently that they even talk about it. Omega I have a guide from the mid-50s precleaning a lubrication and they basically epilam almost the entire watch and that's never mentioned in the technical guides. So using insanely thin lubricants on the keyless work having to epilam keep it in place and if you fall the tech guide your oils going to fall over the place

 

 

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4 minutes ago, LittleWatchShop said:

I never saw him use it.

in the timeframe that he operated epilam did exist I think it first came into existence in about 25 roughly give or take.

What would happen here is where did he learned watch repair. Did he belonged in a horological associations probably. Did the horological Association ever published anything on epilam did he read the article and did he care.

And then it's back to if the technical documentation up until recently other then specialized documents were they specifically covered cleaning lubrication epilam if none of the technical documentation mentions epilam people will happily be servicing a watch is falling to recommendations with no idea that there supposed to be doing this

of course the other way around this is like the keyless works is to decide that Greece would be better than super light oil with epilam  or you question the sanity of why would anyone use super light oil and not know about the epilam.. In which case you use grease  and that's going to work just fine and you don't need to epilam.

The other thing that happens is?  Okay epilam is used everywhere that 9010 is used at the factory level  the balance jewels  treated with some process balance staff. Pallet fork jewels and the teeth escape wheel so what happens if you don't and how do you know that you didn't? So which case he can service a watch it can go out  and how we do know that you didn't what would be the consequence  is it a spectacular consequence an answer is no because what was you would notice right away

uunless you have a timing machine that measures amplitude near obsessed with amplitude  and you're watching a watch year after year after year you might not see a falloff of performance and even if you did would you blame it on the lack of epilam and the lubrication on the escapement for instance running away.

My place that I've ever noticed this on watches IdcService long-term and why don't use 9010 is 9010 on the and stones the balance I've noticed long time  just disappears which I was that was strange I thought it was a undesirable characteristic of 9010 which it actually is.  So if the end stone was treated with epilam they do not recommend the hole jewel probably because we can apply a super thin coating like the factory does but that's a guess but without the epilam on the end stone the oil would be free to spread with time.

sso basically it means the lack of proper technical literature that spells out that you should be doing this than most people probably wouldn't know until relatively modern  times when it's started to be mentioned literally everywhere. Bike if you look at a modern eta document it's prominently mentioned on practically every single parts  where the older documents was never mentioned at all.

That's why he never used it nobody ever told him  that bad things would happen to the universe if he's not using it so. It's kind of like  the discussion on radium hands if you don't have a Geiger counter is that going to be a problem for you?

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Thanks for all the input. My 10ml bottle of Fixodrop is flying across the pond from Cousins as we speak.

While I wait, a few more questions on it:

- My understanding is after coating the escape wheel and pallet stones in Fixodrop and allowing them to dry, I should still apply 9010 to the faces of the pallet stones, correct?

- Would this be standard practice on non-Rolex movements as well?

- Should the Fixodrop also be used on cap jewels?

 

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5 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

He guaranteed his work for one year, which for that time was standard practice, so there. I think he recommended yearly service

one of my friends learned from his grandfather probably about the time that your father was practicing. We used to bicker over lubrication because he only used three lubricants. Basically a light oil I heavy oil and a grease and that was it. Whereas will skip over how many I have

then add a nawcc chapter meeting at his house he talked about his grandfather and show the logbook. Everyone marveled at how inexpensive watch repair was back then. Until I pointed out how long was a service expected for. It is expected one year because the watches were not sealed up like they are today. Then when I got home I took the price for one year put it into one of the websites and converted it to modern dollars made the assumption that if the person was practicing today the watch would go for five years and that inexpensive price was actually considerably more money than it was today.

So one year servicing you challenges are less other than to try to actually get the customer back every single year.

5 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

While I wait, a few more questions on it:

- My understanding is after coating the escape wheel and pallet stones in Fixodrop and allowing them to dry, I should still apply 9010 to the faces of the pallet stones, correct?

- Would this be standard practice on non-Rolex movements as well?

- Should the Fixodrop also be used on cap jewels?

out of curiosity can I get the exact part number of which one you purchased as there are a few variations

then as I have to run out the door at this exact minute but just give is super quick answer the fixodrop/epilam is to keep your lubrication from spreading so you have to use lubricant. You only using him on the reverser wheels because you want the lubrication in the center part not to spread outward to the click parts where they would not work correctly. On the escape wheel and pallet stones is a procedure and you want it definitely lubricate not with 9010 though ideally want to use 9415. And then I think somewhere I did see you can put it on the end stone but are all of this there is a procedure it depends upon exactly which one you have.

The procedure comes about because some of them the solvent the stuff is dissolved is extremely volatile and of evaporates too fast doubts the older version it would cause a chilling effect with the possibility of condensation forming. Think of an ice cold glass of water sitting somewhere and it's covered with sweat that's what will happen at your parts are on the parts and there's a possibility of rust forming which is very bad. And then there's the newer safer kind where they can be set aside someplace warm to dry and you don't have to be so aggressive on drawing fast with heat. So I get a chance I'll look up and see what the procedure is

but all they epilam is for is to keep the lubrication from spreading you still have to lubricate preferably with cracked lubrication

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3 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

I got the train and escapement back together just to see where I'm at, while I wait for the Fixodrop to come in. It's better than the snowglobe, but amplitude is very, very low. And beat error is pretty high.

the specifications for this watch you are not even close. Maximum a 0.8 ms beat error. Amplitude of course is way too low and timekeeping is based on average are variety of positions but I'm sure you timekeeping is off.

But is definitely looking better than what you started with.

it would also be nice if you time it in more than one position and show us the results.

then note regarding the beat? Usually if the amplitude gets superlow everything gets magnified. I would visually check the beat with the power off the watch to make sure it looks like it's grossly out of beat before you try to make any adjustments.

 

 

Edited by JohnR725
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Thanks for the suggestions!

6 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

I would visually check the beat with the power off the watch

It looks as centered as it can be when at rest. The pallet fork is centered and the impulse jewel is right in the middle of it.

One thing I notice is the hairspring looks off-center. I demagnetized, and no change. I also notice one edge of the balance cock doesn't seem to be seated properly. As if it's bent slightly--in the photo you can see the alignment pin in the gap.

rolexbalance1.thumb.png.08170ac1f1c84175063a90a024b18c8b.pngrolexbalance2.thumb.png.813a52b1cc113e55acb2d1a44ab6c538.pngrolexbalance3.thumb.png.c602a890b9f76e1c08a42ce9ea0cba79.png

 

I took your advice and timed it in several positions. Dial up:

dialup.png.51de6971e124cc9fd4a9202ad883a6c1.png

 

Dial down:

dialdown.png.567e1c0c9c19c07e62eebb859b30ce15.png

 

And crown up, which did not go well, so I took a plot:

crownup.png.3040053670ce54448ed6dbbc2a451ac7.pngcrownup_plot.thumb.png.1e82e12f43d8c68fb29efb457bcaa49f.png

 

I took off the balance jewels, and it looks to me like there's too much end shake here--the pivots aren't as deep in the hole jewels as I'd expect. Thoughts?

Upper hole jewel:

upperjewel.thumb.png.edf04e5f7a575e3c605fc5b17ca9d357.png

 

Lower hole jewel, and the pivot with the jewel removed:

lowerjewel.thumb.png.c377084957960a6d3a542a80f284fde1.png995077980_RawPhoto.thumb.png.5cafc17489776ed3ad96c1cfb3035567.png

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2 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

I demagnetized, and no change

typically on hairsprings that are made out of alloys do not going to see a spectacular change unlike a steel hairspring that can be magnetized. But you can see a difference in the timing machine.

2 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

I also notice one edge of the balance cock doesn't seem to be seated properly. As if it's bent slightly--in the photo you can see the alignment pin in the gap.

out of curiosity I assume this is your first Rolex service? I'm also going to assume that you don't have the service manual. If you wanted to set nice and flat there's a screw for that but if you touch the screw you going to change the end shake of the balance wheel with a very very bad until they screw up everything especially if you have no idea what you're doing. I was going to ask if you played with the screw you weren't supposed to play with?

2 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

One thing I notice is the hairspring looks off-center.

it doesn't look like it's spectacularly off-center yes it's off-center a little bit but I don't think it's what's causing all your issues right now.

In other words being slightly off center is not going to cause a huge decrease in amplitude and make the beat ridiculously insane there's probably something else going on

2 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

I took off the balance jewels, and it looks to me like there's too much end shake here--the pivots aren't as deep in the hole jewels as I'd expect. Thoughts?

I guess that answers my question of did you turn the screw you weren't supposed to or even better did you take the screw out that you weren't supposed to? for right now I'm going to leave this is a mystery, while I wait for my answers and then I'll go and snip something out for you if you did play with the screw were going to have to readjust the end shake of the balance and that may be all that's wrong with this if your lucky. Then there's something else I'm seeing but I need to go and look into that before I say anything may not be an issue.

 

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19 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

it's off-center a little bit but I don't think it's what's causing all your issues right now.

This was also my intuition, but I figured I'd make a note of all the things I noticed.

 

17 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

I was going to ask if you played with the screw you weren't supposed to play with?

It is my first Rolex service, and I do not have the service manual. I did not touch that screw (nor the one on top that I'm assuming is to adjust the beat error) because I didn't know what it was for, and just this morning realized it must be to set the end shake. The only screw I removed was the one holding the balance cock in place.

If the rest of the watch is any indication, I going to assume the person who serviced this last replaced that screw and just socked it down tight during the service. That would explain why there's so much end shake, and why the balance doesn't sit flat.

Thank you for all the help, @JohnR725. Tremendously informative. If you ever make it to New Jersey, I'll buy you a beer.

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50 minutes ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

If the rest of the watch is any indication, I going to assume the person who serviced this last replaced that screw and just socked it down tight during the service. That would explain why there's so much end shake, and why the balance doesn't sit flat.

this is the problem of people not having the service guide and not following the procedures. Rolex has all sorts of things you're supposed to be following and doing and most people never seen the guide so most people are not doing whatever it is they're supposed to do. That would also include a lot of people on YouTube as they've never read the manual either.

then it's very hard to obtain manuals especially anything new but it typically available from the sellers on eBay in Italy.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/195317505692

then I snipped out an image where it talks about the end shake adjustment. Notice when they are doing the adjustment tools are in place. While you can look down through with the jewels missing and get a clue that yours appears to be up way too high you have to do it with the jewels in place. Then even give you precise number your adjusting for know there are no tools for measuring.

Rolex 2135 balance wheel adjustment.JPG

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7 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

One thing I notice is the hairspring looks off-center

there is something about the hairspring that was bothering me is looking at balance completes on eBay and yours looks different but? I emailed the photograph to somebody who works on Rolex watches an answer back was this "This looks exactly the way it is supposed to. Don’t change a thing." 

On 10/14/2022 at 11:32 PM, JohnR725 said:

basically all reverser wheels have to be treated in a specific way for each the various types otherwise undesirable things will occur

 

25 minutes ago, LittleWatchShop said:

am curious about what these might be.  Catastrophic?

I had to find what you are quoting from. If you do not lubricate the reverser wheels correctly worst-case is they will not work. I remember doing an Omega watch for somebody and the Omega reversers are supposed to come apart at least the service manual so is that. At the time I couldn't take them apart and put oil in them the best I could watch what out watch came back and fortunately that was long ago when Omega parts are available I just bought a new reverser wheel and basically it was solely a lubrication issue I couldn't get the lubrication where supposed to be. Now there's a solution you dip it into and it will take care of that

but you really wouldn't want to have a service like a Rolex have an issue because lubrication got on the clicks and things didn't work people to spend a lot of money to get a Rolex service to expect them to be perfect

oh and then even disassembling the reverser wheels later in my life I worked at a shop that was authorized to service Omega watches. In the good old days when they didn't have their own shops they had independent agents all over the place and did he take them apart didn't have the tools. He used a dual lube cleaning product to lubricate them. So basically all the reversers require different lubrication's and can have issues if the lubrication is wrong. And having an unhappy customer because of that isn't good although my customer wasn't happy he just brought it back and I had to replace them. Because I didn't know how you are supposed to lubricate them back them other than what I shown in school that didn't work

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3 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

I emailed the photograph to somebody who works on Rolex watches an answer back was this "This looks exactly the way it is supposed to. Don’t change a thing." 

Thank you for doing that. My plan was to not change a thing. So I took the balance off to remove the pallet fork so the balance would be free spinning while I set the end shake.

When I reinstalled it, this is what I was greeted with. I have absolutely no idea how or when it happened, but I'm so upset right now I can't even see straight. I've been beyond careful and delicate with the balance, and still I ruined it. I'm so frustrated.

dammit.thumb.png.6a75dd145c406acdc7d3694a21d50832.png

5 hours ago, rossjackson01 said:

What digital Microscope are you using?

It's not a digital, it's an Amscope 7x-45x trinocular scope with an old Canon EOS Rebel DSLR on the trinocular port.

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38 minutes ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

and still I ruined it.

you need to take a very long break now which is really hard because you really want to work on it and then come back and evaluate the situation.

fortunately you don't have regulator pins so the only place that you could then they hairspring would be normally at the stud but you don't have a stud. Instead you have a clamp that's holding the hairspring. There's a tiny possibility that the screw is loose and it's just twisted. One unlikely you bet it at the clamp and this is a relatively simple fix if you been practicing on other balance wheels integrated hairspring work.

Typically people like to practice as they go in other words they don't like the practice and Rolex balance wheels are really expensive and you really don't want to practice on that. So if you haven't practiced bending up hairsprings and fixing them need to find something disposable out there to practice on.

Words you can bend a hairspring at the stud and see what it does then bend it back and see how easy it is to fix that is once you do a proper evaluation make sure it actually is bent and not something else that we can't see.

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14 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

you need to take a very long break now which is really hard because you really want to work on it and then come back and evaluate the situation

Thank you for saying this, because it is exactly my mindset.

It does look like it's twisted right where it connects to the clamp on the balance cock.

I have practiced hairspring manipulation on several other movements with good success, and I'm quite confident I can fix it. I'm just demoralized that I can be so careful, and still accidentally bend it.

I suppose it's a normal part of the process, but still tremendously frustrating.

Not to mention embarrassing. I almost didn't post it, but I figured we're all on this journey together, so might as well share.

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3 minutes ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

have practiced hairspring manipulation on several other movements with good success, and I'm quite confident I can fix it. I'm just demoralized that I can be so careful, and still accidentally bend it.

I'm happy to hear even practicing because hobbyist typically like to practice on live subjects and don't like the practice on stuff just to be practicing. Unlike people who go to school who have to do the same thing over and over and over again until I get really really good at it.

6 minutes ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

 

It does look like it's twisted right where it connects to the clamp on the balance cock.

as I said with a watch like this there isn't too many places where it can get bent..

8 minutes ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

 

I suppose it's a normal part of the process, but still tremendously frustrating.

Not to mention embarrassing. I almost didn't post it, but I figured we're all on this journey together, so might as well share.

unfortunately this is watch repair everybody has accidents. At least everybody that's paying attention often times people don't pay attention and don't realize who caused the accident.

then it's definitely nice if you share. I feel annoyed a lot of times when you help somebody and they never get back to you as to whether the fix the problem or not because they don't realize somebody else is going to go down this path at a later date and this information to helpful.

I was going to find you a video on end shake adjustment found this website a lot of interesting information but when it gets to the balance adjustment of course it's wrong a Rolex word has a screw specifically for this purpose. But this person isn't talking about Rolex which is interesting

https://nobswatchmaker.com/blog/simplifying-the-art-of-endshake-in-watchmaking

oh and end shake think I might have mentioned this Rolex is obsessed with it not just for the balance wheel for the entire watch.

 

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