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1987 Rolex Ladies Datejust refurb


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3 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

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.

Aw mate sorry about that dont panic, you are in good hands with John, anything he doesnt know isn't worth knowing. Theres always a way around issues and always a fix. You really do need to take break and reset yourself maybe for a day or two if its more than just bugging you. Dont battle through it while you are in this mindset.

2 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

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.

Good for you matey,  you have the right sort of attitude for watch repair and for a forum. To pass on any experience and anything you learn does help others. I try not to consider too much a watche's value, sentimental or monetary when repairing, it can affect nerves and ultimately how you work. Finding the right balance between confidence and complacency is key. You are in no rush to fix this watch,  a week , a month, six months, its doesnt matter. Do some h/s practice on some cheap movements if you need to while you are taking a break, even if you have to buy a couple of crappy watches to do that. Then when you are ready, take up your mission again with the Rolex. And before you start,tell it that you are going to fix it. To get through everything in life we need a positive confident  mindset, trust me i know what I'm talking about, I've been in some very dark places. So the order of the day will be " Oy Rolex you're getting fixed whether you like it or not "   🙂

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I’ve never worked on a Rolex before, but I would check to make sure if one has the correct tool for the job: not sure what screw driver to use for the hair spring clamp, and the balance wheel screws.
 

Also, if you have to adjust the hairspring on the Rolex, make sure you have the correct tweezers for the job. You may also have to remove the hairspring(and collet) from the balance wheel to adjust the hairspring flatness, but that is also a risky procedure. Do take some (a lot) of time to consider what you should do, and ask here before attempting.

Edited by ifibrin
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23 minutes ago, ifibrin said:

not sure what screw driver to use for the hair spring clamp, and the balance wheel screws.

I think realistically anyone working on a Rolex watch should have the service manual. The newer ones typically only seem to show up for sale eBay at Italian sellers for which I already gave a link for this particular manual. it's definitely worthwhile there is like 35 pages in this one and is all sorts of stuff you realistically should probably be concerned about. Then it's really nice so I did snipped out an image for the question on a hairspring clamp screw they do specify all the screwdriver dimensions.

then as typical Rolex they're not exactly screws on the balance wheel there are gold timing nuts which do require a special tool. I think all of them use the same tool which is good and is cheaper than what it used to cost. Although previously I think only Rolex had it so now you get a cloned tool. he Rolex version was really interesting because the weight that is found inside the plastic case on the Rolex version it was filled with a green fluid. The peculiar disk in the form of the pendulum allows you to make very very precise rotations the timing nuts because after all this is basically a chronometer grade watch capable seconds per day. 

Rolex 2135 hairspring attachment.JPG

cousins Rolex regulation.JPG

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Thank you all for the very kind replies. It's genuinely helpful and most appreciated.

I actually have the Microstella tool--my girlfriend insisted on buying it for me as a thank you for even attempting the service. Maybe I can talk her into buying me the service manual, too 😉

 

7 hours ago, ifibrin said:

make sure you have the correct tweezers for the job

Funny you mention that. As I noted to John earlier, I've been practicing my hairspring manipulation, and currently have a pair of Molnija 3602 on the bench that both need some hairspring work, and have a pair of Dumont #6 on their way from Cousins. According to the tracking, they just arrived in the 'States today, in fact.

image.png.cb2da96ebffd5bdf7887ba782a198e11.png

 

Having taken another good look at the balance, I'm reasonably confident it can be fixed in place without removing the balance from the movement. It looks like only a slight twist right at the clamp, as John guessed earlier. I'm going to take Kalle's advice and wait until I'm in the right frame of mind to tackle it. Maybe make some watchmaker fuel, too.

 

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1 hour ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

Maybe make some watchmaker fuel, too.

Haha. But not too much that Dutch coffee is like rocket fuel, you'll be super focused but jittery as hell with shed loads of energy wanting to escape. A bit calmer might be better, i always make sure i have a reasonable sized meal a couple of hours before a h/s day. So a fair sized breakie at 8 and then start around 10ish and as soon as i notice even a hint of hand shake i stabilise my blood sugar usually with a glass of pure orange not that concentrated garbage though. Please let us know how you get on, we love to hear success stories. Just remember calm and collected matey, it wins the day ps. and the girl and her mum lol.  My mother in law is orrible 😠 haha.

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2 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

Cousins. According to the tracking, they just arrived in the 'States today,

as you don't have a location in your profile I wasn't sure where you are located. The reason I bring this up is even though most the people order from cousins most the people in this group are in Europe and I'm pretty sure in the US there are material houses you can order from.

3 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

Dumont #6

then for hairspring work everybody has their favorite tweezers I like number five. but once I finish with my hairspring tweezers put them safely back in the bench because using them for general watch work screws have a habit of flying away the good for hairsprings bad for general repair.

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3 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

as you don't have a location in your profile I wasn't sure where you are located. The reason I bring this up is even though most the people order from cousins most the people in this group are in Europe and I'm pretty sure in the US there are material houses you can order from.

Whoops! I thought I'd filled that out already. Thanks for reminding me.

I also use Esslinger, Cas-ker, Dave's watch parts, and Otto Frei, but I've found that Cousins has the best selection, an excellent website whose navigation and search actually works, and the prices are very reasonable, even including international shipping.

The only downside is the extra waiting time, but I can be patient.

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8 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

Cousins has the best selection

material houses for watch parts are interesting things in their histories are very interesting. I had never looked at cousins history until now it's at this link.

as I read through the history what I find interesting is they embraced technology early on. When they realized that at one point most of business was with telephone and that fill the orders in the afternoon they grasped technology and embraced it early on. Plus they did not fear quartz watches like a lot of others did

what makes the history of the company interesting is is exactly why you like to do business with them basically everything is online. this is where a lot of material houses in this country their histories are very different we still have material houses local material houses don't even show up online. The remaining two Seattle material houses do not have an online presence for instance and I'm sure there's others sprinkled across the country. I also know that a lot of material houses in this country do not have everything online just because the inventory things would be complicated so basically they will have to go into their warehouse and find it for you if you ask nicely. So this explains why cousins has so much they embrace technology early and the  don't think they quite grasp thing is the way cousins did which explains a lot.

https://www.cousinsuk.com/history

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, still needs work, but definite progress. Got the spring almost flat, and wanted to test it out before I went any further. In the video below, the train is lubricated (including epilame for the escape wheel/pallet fork/cap jewels, and 9415 for the pallet jewels), but the balance jewels have not yet been oiled. The train runs very free, and end shake looks good on the wheels.

I set the balance end shake as recommended in the tech sheet: backed off the screw until the balance just stopped turning, then back in about 90 degrees.

I can see the pivots in the hole jewels, but the wobble of the rim has me a little concerned. I'm going to take the jewels off again and double check and lubricate everything.

Slow motion video link.

1235224516_90degrees.thumb.jpg.77df54a6d7e16e4b79a7ba8a36407228.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

balance jewels have not yet been oiled

you really should oil those they like to be oiled there really happy if they have oil on them

Casually of course you amplitude it looks too low but we do have to see the oscilloscope to see how that looks. Then one side of your escapement is rough when you lubricated the pallet fork with the 9415 may be put just a little bit on the other pallet stone because it may still be dry sometimes you do not careful lubrication one of the stones ends up without lubrication and you can have stuff like this

oh and as far as the balance wheel wobbling a little bit it may not be the pivots in the jewels it could just be that the balance wheel wobbles the balance. I've seen that with the Rolexes we do in our shop where somebody is probably restaffed it in the past they worked perfect about truing the balance wheel and it wobbles. So if it was brand-new from the factory of the absolute perfect but if somebody else worked on it though building and walk so little bit isn't going to your problem a lot could be

oh and of course the rate is a huge problem. But I can't remember what the software whether there's a way of calibrating it? Because if your software is relying on a time base that's not perfect and you trying to time a Rolex watch that has to be perfect then you might be seeing a problem from the lack of calibration.

 

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On 10/30/2022 at 4:48 PM, JohnR725 said:

you really should oil those they like to be oiled there really happy if they have oil on them

I did, and they were very happy. I'd call this a significant improvement.

I'm going to let it run overnight and check it again tomorrow. The hairspring could still use a little more tweaking, but at some point I'll have to leave well enough alone.

 

image.thumb.png.81e4d2a2823b31b32319b8529864e0e7.png

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On 10/31/2022 at 4:48 AM, JohnR725 said:

oh and as far as the balance wheel wobbling a little bit it may not be the pivots in the jewels it could just be that the balance wheel wobbles the balance. I've seen that with the Rolexes we do in our shop where somebody is probably restaffed it in the past they worked perfect about truing the balance wheel and it wobbles.

What causes the balance wheel to wobble if it’s been trued?

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3 hours ago, ifibrin said:

What causes the balance wheel to wobble if it’s been trued?

if somebody replacing a balance staff is not careful they can screw up whether the thing is running flat or not possibly. Then if they put it back how closely do they put it back what if they don't.

So you end up with Rolex watches that should be absolutely perfect but the balance wheel is still out of flat by a very tiny amount. I've seen that I work were looking at Rolex on the timing machine egg and see it vibrating up and down a little bit and nobody's worried about it because are not going take the time to fix the problem but there it is out of flat. So I assumed it was from replacing a balance staff.

in other words just speculation on my part

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1 hour ago, JohnR725 said:

if somebody replacing a balance staff is not careful they can screw up whether the thing is running flat or not possibly. Then if they put it back how closely do they put it back what if they don't.

So you end up with Rolex watches that should be absolutely perfect but the balance wheel is still out of flat by a very tiny amount. I've seen that I work were looking at Rolex on the timing machine egg and see it vibrating up and down a little bit and nobody's worried about it because are not going take the time to fix the problem but there it is out of flat. So I assumed it was from replacing a balance staff.

in other words just speculation on my part

Would that be the balance wheel not seating perfectly flat onto the staff hub. Or maybe a poor staff manufacturerd and the hub not turned true enough. A bit like a car wheel not bolted sufficiently correct to its wheel hub. Or a non flat hub which then needs wheel balancing to correct any wobble. A bit like poising but on a vertical plane.

Edited by Neverenoughwatches
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29 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Would that be the balance wheel not seating perfectly flat onto the staff hub. Or maybe a poor staff manufacturerd and the hub not turned true enough. A bit like a car wheel not bolted sufficiently correct to its wheel hub. Or a non flat hub which then needs wheel balancing to correct any wobble. A bit like poising but on a vertical plane

if it was an original Rolex balance staff everything should be perfect. But this is watch repair and things tend to end up not being perfect for variety of reasons. Especially as the watch gets older there was more likelihood of basically somebody had a bad day and there's going to be an issue.

So basically if you replace the balance staff wheel you're supposed to putting it in truing calipers and make sure that its flat. But it depends on how obsessed you are with doing that. Things can look really flat in the truing calipers but in the watch they may not look as flat. then of course there still could be something else going on.

 

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Well this was the most nerve-wracking thing I've done with a watch so far. I could see my heartbeat making the tips of the tweezers wobble.

But I have to be proud of this before and after.

Before:

dammit.thumb.png.6a75dd145c406acdc7d3694a21d50832.png

After:

after.thumb.png.fdcbec1a057879ce9fda44f6414378e4.png

A slight twist right at the "stud" brought the left side up, but it also showed a twist near the dogleg that brought the front closest to us way up. A slight twist there flattened it out.

I know the more experienced hairspring maniuplators know this, but when I say "slight," I mean "sliiiiiiiiiiight." The absolute tiniest touch made permanent changes to this spring.

It honestly feels much softer than other springs I've manipulated, but that could be my imagination and/or inexperience. Either way, I'm letting it run for a bit before regulating. Meanwhile, cleaning up the case and getting the automatic works together.

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5 minutes ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

...and spending an hour on the floor looking for the date unlocking cam that launched off the movement when I turned my head.

At least it's a part available for purchase 😜

DONT give up.  It did not disappear.  Get a BRIGHT flash light and scan the area.  Use a magnetic sweeper.

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2 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

DONT give up.  It did not disappear.  Get a BRIGHT flash light and scan the area.  Use a magnetic sweeper.

Trying. Been 3 hours on the floor now with both of those things. Tore apart my desk, checked my clothes, checked all of my drawers. Ready to give up on the whole damn thing.

You have got to be kidding me. I think I'm more angry at where I found it than losing it in the first place.

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5 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

Trying. Been 3 hours on the floor now with both of those things. Tore apart my desk, checked my clothes, checked all of my drawers. Ready to give up on the whole damn thing.

You have got to be kidding me. I think I'm more angry at where I found it than losing it in the first place.

Haha. Any chance you put it there for safe keeping or maybe it decided to make its own way in there thinking " this lune is going to lose me ". 😅. You found it thats all that matters mate. You will now always place small parts this way and never forget that you did that ( unless you forget  😅 ). Just a small safe keeping tip for the very small parts. I have a piece of rodico inside contact lens cases. These are very cheap, i think i paid 3.50 for 10 pairs and have screw on lids. You can write on the lid  # do not lose # 😅.  

16674615467215083803706707055655.jpg

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6 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Any chance you put it there for safe keeping or maybe it decided to make its own way in there thinking " this lune is going to lose me "

The latter is far more likely 🙃 I remember looking at it after I put the date yoke spring on thinking, "That looks like it's going to ping the cam off there. Maybe I'll take the cam off until I get the lever on. *wiggle with tweezers* well it seems secure enough while I turn to the parts tray for a moment." Turn back, gone.

How it ended up under that piece of Rodico, the world will never know.

 

6 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

I have a piece of rodico inside contact lens cases.

Clever!

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This watch is a rollercoaster of emotions.

I ended up with one extra screw--the small countersunk ones that hold the date jumper in place, but there's no hole for it. So I did my due diligence and took the movement back apart to figure out what I missed.

Which meant I had to take the balance off again, and the hairspring immediately deformed, and there's some binding such that the balance wheel doesn't spin freely.

Sigh. I think I'm going to take up knitting.

Edit: and I got the whole movement stripped and reassembled, and still don't see where this extra screw goes. I could not feel any more stupid right now.

Edited by ManSkirtBrew
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2 hours ago, ManSkirtBrew said:

Sigh. I think I'm going to take up knitting.

I know it says on the recruitment poster for watchmakers that anybody can do it no skills required but that's only recruitment poster. The reality is to learn to be good at watch repair requires lots and lots of practice. I sometimes really learning watch repair the same as learning to become a doctor. Ever notice were doctors say they're practicing? The same as in watch repair every single watch were practicing to get better it just takes time lots of time basically a be practicing until the day you quit all of us are just practicing to get better.

also of course as others people probably said lots of pictures in the absence of a service manual lots of pictures are needed better more pictures then not enough.

By the way I believe knitting is also something that requires practice.

 

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