Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Yesterday a Rolex cal. 3135 landed in my hands housed in a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date reference 15200. Having analysed its running (fully wound) using @praezis excellent PCTM software, nothing is alarming or acute, nevertheless, my conclusion is that it's up for and could benefit from a service. I'd like to know if someone has a different opinion. Pictures to follow...

Dialup.thumb.jpg.184607ef208df7a7d7880ed7f6e65501.jpg

Dialdown.thumb.jpg.6ef68d2807c630cdac72894a9f3eb005.jpg

Crownleft.thumb.jpg.13908b8a24152fe819e27b4d1977bc86.jpg

Crowndown.thumb.jpg.77dc881ae37ed161bc2157b81fb3a7ea.jpg

Crownright.thumb.jpg.c684036447e8fc832a33b74d875f7933.jpg

Crownup.thumb.jpg.0e0d9f9dbf229431ee311a79455fe135.jpg

However, what is alarming is that the rotor is loose, and unfortunately, I think it's pretty bad as the rotor won't even oscillate when the watch is in a dial-down position and gently shaken.  It also makes an unpleasant metallic sound when the rotor is spinning, so I hope it hasn't caused too much damage. Unfortunately, I have not been able to confirm this visually as I do not have the correct tool to open the case back and do not want to take chances with my JAXA opener. No doubt a repair is needed, and if a repair is done a service should of course be done as well. I guess I just answered my question 🤨

After reading this thread started by @dibs1, I guess that the rotor axle is worn out and needs to be replaced. dibs1, you mention that you replaced it "using the proper staking punch". It would be interesting if you (or someone else!) could tell us a bit more about how that operation is done. I also read somewhere that "There is a brass 'bearing' or similar, in the movement that wears out and starts to leave brass shavings in the surrounding around".

I have no doubt that I would be able to carry out a service but I feel a little unsure about how advanced the rotor repair is and what tools are required. So any handy tips would be greatly appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The rotor replacement is really easy. It's like anything, if it hasn't been done before, it holds a little fear.

This Horotec set of punches will do all the rotor sizes https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/oscillating-rotor-weight-axle-punches?code=R15264

The old axles gets staked out and the new one rivetted into place. The trick is to be deliberate in hitting the punch completely upright on the axle and hit it really quite hard .

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, VWatchie said:

Having analysed its running (fully wound) using @praezis excellent PCTM software,

Your varying lines look weird I'm used to seeing normal graphical display versus whatever this is showing?

Then it be interesting to see your timing 24 hours later that will really give you a clue as to whether you need servicing or not. A lot of watches even vintage pocket watches you can wind them up tight Then they will look pretty good on the timing machine but 24 hours later they'll totally crash and burn.

3 hours ago, VWatchie said:

so I hope it hasn't caused too much damage.

Fortunately the Rolex is sealed up you don't have a presentation back. Because rotors with worn and/or broken axles can actually Rob on the plates and not good at all. Shouldn't affect the running of the watch but visually it won't be as pretty as it used to be.

I needed to go find the timing specifications and your slightly out of beat. You can have a maximum of 0.8 ms in any of the positions. Then the clue to servicing would be 24 hours where you have to have a minimum of 200° in any of the crown positions.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Jon said:

hit it really quite hard

...but not too hard like me on a first attempt (see the crack?) 😵20240131_183031.thumb.jpg.3487672e23ff1cb7a3a31bb566ad5b7e.jpg

Mind you, getting a full replacement rotor in NOS condition (you don't want to buy a used one with already worn axle) will set you back several hundred dollars. 

 

 

PS: here is a nice video on the rotor axle replacement. As @Jon said, it's definitely doable. I was just stupid.. 

 

Edited by Knebo
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Jon said:

The old axles gets staked out and the new one rivetted into place. The trick is to be deliberate in hitting the punch completely upright on the axle and hit it really quite hard .

Thanks, Jon, I had no idea those punches existed and good thing that they don't cost a fortune!

A small follow-up question. In the video that @Knebo shared, a staking set is used and it seems like the right way to go so that the riveting is done vertically and safely. Would you happen to know what diameter the Horotec axle punch is? The punches in my staking set (Boley & Leinen) have a diameter of 4.70mm which I believe is a standard.

I think it's just a mistake, but in the link, you refer to "Horotec Axle Punch, Calibre 1570", while my calibre is 3135. It's not like the punch for 1570 is a better option than the punch for 3135, is it?

In the video, it surprised me the rivet was broken in a hole in the staking set smaller than the head of the axle. Doesn't that mean that the rotor takes the impact from the hammer and thus risks damaging it? Perhaps the rotor can be protected with a piece of tough plastic?

19 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

Your varying lines look weird I'm used to seeing normal graphical display versus whatever this is showing?

On a Weishi timing machine, it is an average of rate and amplitude that is shown while my pictures show rate and amplitude instantaneously. PCTM also shows the averages but I chose to show only the instantaneous values. Hence the crooked graphs. So it is not as bad as it looks. The average shows nice straight lines.

19 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

I needed to go find the timing specifications and your slightly out of beat. You can have a maximum of 0.8 ms in any of the positions. Then the clue to servicing would be 24 hours where you have to have a minimum of 200° in any of the crown positions.

Measuring is in progress and I'll publish the results a bit later today. Thanks for reminding us of this critical aspect of the assessment! Yes, the beat error is slightly excessive but I recon that might go away with a proper service. If not I found an old (long) thread somewhere where the adjustment of the beat error on the 3135 was discussed. Not sure it came to a conclusion so I'll have to have a look at it again. Anyway, if any of you know how the beat is adjusted, please tell us more!

One more question. I am thinking of ordering a Bergeon-style universal case back tool like this one, partly because it fits the Rolex, but I've been thinking about it for a long time anyway. So far I have done well with my JAXA tool. Another cheaper option is to buy a dedicated tool from Amazon but maybe it's better in the long run to spend the money on a universal tool. If you have the time and inclination, I would appreciate your input.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

Would you happen to know what diameter the Horotec axle punch is? 

Yes, I have the set of punches and they are 4.6mm. And my staking tool (Boley) has the standard 4.7mm. It does, unfortunately, produce a little bit of play... in my attempt to use it, I wrapped a layer of aluminum foil around the stake to reduce the play. I think that worked ok (I failed for other reasons). A professional (Rolex trained) watchmaker told me that I don't need to worry about the play because it would somehow not matter when you actually hit the stake (with the axle and rotor flat on the anvil.... but I wasn't convinced.

1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

It's not like the punch for 1570 is a better option than the punch for 3135, is it?

There are specific punches for each calibre. I doubt that they are interchangeable.

 

1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

In the video, it surprised me the rivet was broken in a hole in the staking set smaller than the head of the axle. Doesn't that mean that the rotor takes the impact from the hammer and thus risks damaging it? Perhaps the rotor can be protected with a piece of tough plastic?

This is indeed meant to be done that way. In my case, no damage was caused at that stage. I don't think you need plastic protection. 

The attached (as PDF file) article from the Horological Times is brilliant and goes into a lot of detail, see pages 10-14:  2009-03-web.pdf

One screenshot from the article is below.

image.thumb.png.666eb77ba74755ea43c1c5c30fb5ef17.png

 

NOTE: If you don't have a punch that fits as perfectly as shown in the picture above (and if you want to reduce the risk of hammering too hard and consequently hitting the rotor with the punch as the axle breaks away), you can use a punch that just fits over the top of the axle like drawn in green in the picture below.

image.png.76ea6eab2a2f4432969dbfa05b3e8c25.png

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dialup24h.thumb.jpg.55323c9eae4c754b63e39b7ef8601d8f.jpg

Dialdown24h.thumb.jpg.e5c9284a63ac749380ff88d88dea471f.jpg

Crownleft24h.thumb.jpg.04fd570450c485ab840106ec118fd428.jpg

Crowndown24h.thumb.jpg.c02afead92b5034c407b44e3928cc650.jpg

Crownright24h.thumb.jpg.e0defffde41fce1c96606c79d0993811.jpg

Crownup24h.thumb.jpg.86dd55c92e17542be2e32ae231ae6077.jpg

Here are the results of the measurements after just over 24 hours (more like 25 to 26 hours). What do you think @JohnR725? Maybe it is on the limit of what is acceptable. Anyway, I think a service is in order if a replacement of the rotor axle is done anyway, or what do you say?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

If not I found an old (long) thread somewhere where the adjustment of the beat error on the 3135 was discussed. Not sure it came to a conclusion so I'll have to have a look at it again. Anyway, if any of you know how the beat is adjusted, please tell us more!

This one is easy and I can give you the definitive answer. See below picture.

First, loosen (not remove!) the screw indicated with the red arrow. Second, adjust the beat error via the stud holder (orange arrows) as usual. Don't forget to tighten screw 1 afterwards.

image.thumb.png.e24512c6978348c5db32dcfba4c90c8f.png

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks a bunch, @Knebo And the illustrations made it perfectly clear how to do it and the risks. Great too with a backup plan if I don't have a punch that fits. As a matter of fact, the backup plan seems somewhat safer!

Wow, crystal clear about adjusting the beat error as well! Again, thanks! 🙂👍

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Most welcome @VWatchie!

I'm actually getting pretty excited when I'm able to provide ANSWERS instead of just asking questions all the time. 

Don't hesitate with any questions about this calibre. 

The rate and amplitude are just about acceptable, I guess. But if I bought it like this, let's imagine, I'd service it. 

When/if you service it, make sure you know how to deal with the reversing wheels (Epilame..). Also be careful not to break the balance stop/hack spring. The escape wheel jewel settings are easier to oil from below. In the date mechanism, be careful that the cam yoke, it's jewel and spring don't join the Rolex space programme.. 

Apart from these little details, it's an absolute joy to work on. 

 

PS: another detail: the casing screws release the movement in the opposite way, i.e. tighten the screw to release. Then turn the movement until the casing screw-rings line up with the two cut-out areas of the case (one is at the winding crown). The the movement can come out. 

 

PPS: to open the case, have you tried the rubber ball? Sometimes it works.. 

Edited by Knebo
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Knebo said:

I'm actually getting pretty excited when I'm able to provide ANSWERS instead of just asking questions all the time. 

Actually it gets really exciting when people start to quote your answers like this for instance. Then what makes this reply with the files attached to down below it interesting is the service manual let's in color? Yes Rolex printed them in color but typically anything available out there if you can find it was scanned in black-and-white. So somewhere this color manual came up and I wonder if any of the other stuff was scanned?

Then on page 36 of the colorful PDF you get your timing specifications. Yes Rolex has a procedure for timekeeping a very specific procedure of timing in various positions fully wound up 24 hours later etc. Then yes you are failing in that the amplitude dropped below 200° in one of the positions at 24 hours. As far as the timing specifications you can work out the math for yourself.

56 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

I think a service is in order

One of the problems of using a timing machine to determine service interval is it's not always the best way to do that. If you service your watch every X quantity of years ideally your watch should last forever if you wait until your timing machine indicates a problem it could be a problem of thing is wearing out and wearing out especially in a Rolex is not a good thing.

Then there is the other problem of course which is the gaskets need to be replaced as they will start disintegrate with time. So your timing machine may indicate everything is perfect up until the gaskets fail and then the timing machine may not always indicate how bad the condition is inside the watch until the watch totally disintegrates. Which is why anything that's a wearable watch should be serviced on a regular interval.

Oh and then the minor irritation I have with Rolex service information beyond the fact that it's very difficult to come by is the supplemental information that were missing. So a lot of procedural stuff like how to replace the axle would've been in a manual someplace and probably all sorts of other interesting things it be nice to know but conveniently Rolex doesn't want to share with us.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

Actually it gets really exciting when people start to quote your answers like this for instance

Dear @JohnR725, sorry if I didn't refer to you in my answers -- without a doubt, most of the things I've learned about the 3135 (and most of my watchmaking knowledge in general!) benefitted greatly from your kind contributions in this forum. My answers to VWatchie here are expressed in my own words and add my own experience. Since I serviced the 3135 myself and having saved some of the documentation on my hard-drive, I internalized some information and didn't go back to see where I found them. I was just trying to help @VWatchie. Sorry if that caused offense.

 

Edited by Knebo
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Knebo said:

orry if I didn't refer

I think you misunderstand what I was getting at I was quoting you. You're the one who found the color Rolex manual and that's definitely worthy of an acknowledgment.

 

7 hours ago, Knebo said:

Sorry if that caused offense.

So you don't need to apologize for anything I wasn't offended. As I said I was quoting you because you brought something exciting I color Rolex manual a PDF color manual. I just wish you'd remember where it came from and whether they had any other color or any other Rolex manual's.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

think you misunderstand what I was getting at I was quoting you

Ohhh, hahaha, yea, I thought you were complaining that I didn't quote you. 

Well, I'm relieved that you're happy with me and quoting ME! That's truly exciting 😉

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Knebo said:

Don't hesitate with any questions about this calibre.

Thank you Knebo, I will not hesitate to do so. And thanks for the other service tips. How to service the reversing wheels is fortunately well known and documented but the other tips were new to me so much appreciated!

18 hours ago, Knebo said:

PPS: to open the case, have you tried the rubber ball? Sometimes it works.. 

Well, I tried it. I even washed the ball before I tried it but even though I pulled so hard I almost turned blue in the face, the case back wouldn't budge. I can't understand why case-backs have to be screwed on so tightly. I had an Enicar where the only solution was to attach a nut to the case back with super glue and then unscrew it with a large wrench and even that was sluggish. Anyway, I don't want to superglue a nut to a Rolex case back! It just wouldn't feel right 🫤

Well, @JohnR725, after reading your comments, there is no doubt that a service is in order. Unfortunately, I have no history but I guess that an overhaul (or several) should have been done long ago, especially as the rotor shaft is worn out.

Thanks also to both of you for all the PDF documents that I have now saved on my OneDrive. It will be very interesting to read them.

I am now compiling a list of everything I need to carry out a proper service and repair. At least everything that can be reasonably foreseen. Obviously, all the gaskets need to be replaced and fortunately, Cousins has everything in stock. As I have not yet been able to remove the movement from the case, I have not been able to take a closer look at the crown, so I wonder how the gasket is replaced in the crown.

Maybe it's in one of the PDF documents but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask anyway!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, VWatchie said:

I wonder how the gasket is replaced in the crown.

I assume the watch will have a twin lock crown and therefore two gaskets. One in the crown itself (which is a flat ring and replaced like any other crown gasket) and one in the crown tube (which is round). 

The latter is a bit fiddly to squeeze in without damaging it. But not rocket science. 

See a picture of the crown tube gasket below:

20231215_002503.thumb.jpg.121bb5414486d8d29ff6df59e8c2bcab.jpg

 

By the way, if the rotor axle is badly worn, you'll probably also want to replace the rotor sping clip. Part 560. It exists in 3  versions/thicknesses: 560-1=0.18mm, 560-2=0.165mm, 560-3=0.195

I think the 560-1 is the default. 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Valuable and useful info again @Knebo! Thanks! 🙂👍

When I use the "Attribute Search, Rolex Case Parts" at Cousins I get the following results:

Partsandtools3.jpg.715485f7508dbf7115c34f8c567a2a00.jpg

I'll order the "Flat Ring" (for the case back) and the "Pendant tube gasket". Strangely, the flat gasket you mention is not listed for the crown. Either it is not needed for this model or they have missed to list it. The case number is 15200. What do you think? I attach a picture of the pulled-out crown:

TheCrown.thumb.jpg.697baee9eb9ef282e0cf16121f25c3eb.jpg

1 hour ago, Knebo said:

By the way, if the rotor axle is badly worn, you'll probably also want to replace the rotor sping clip. Part 560.

More great info! I'll place that too on my "to-order list". Would the below spring clip be correct? It comes up when searching for Rolex 3135 parts.

SpringClip.jpg.9a8ef78e36a69aa8e7e208ab99598681.jpg

It's the only spring clip for this calibre available at Cousins and as I understand it, it is a generic part. All other spring clips on the same page (560.1, 560.2, and 560.3) are listed with the Rolex logo and "Restricted Item".

I wonder if it is this spring clip that is referred to on Rolexforums.com as "a brass 'bearing' or similar, in the movement that wears out and starts to leave brass shavings in the surrounding". Link here.

Edited by VWatchie
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

When I use the "Attribute Search, Rolex Case Parts" at Cousins I get the following results:

Partsandtools3.jpg.715485f7508dbf7115c34f8c567a2a00.jpg

I'll order the "Flat Ring" (for the case back) and the "Pendant tube gasket". Strangely, the flat gasket you mention is not listed for the crown. Either it is not needed for this model or they have missed to list it. The case number is 15200. What do you think? I attach a picture of the pulled-out crown:

Yes, I also struggled to find the individual gaskets on Cousins. I ended up buying this assortment - it'll have you covered: 

https://www.cousinsuk.com/sku/details/generic-rolex-case-bracelet-parts-by-list/g47251

And yes, I'm pretty sure you'll need the both gaskets. 

28 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

SpringClip.jpg.9a8ef78e36a69aa8e7e208ab99598681.jpg

It's the only spring clip for this calibre available at Cousins and as I understand it, it is a generic part.

Interesting. Does it include two different clips in the two sizes? That would be nice for you. Yes, it'll be the generic part. But it's probably fine. Finding NOS (don't get used ones) original ones on eBay is possible but more expensive, of course. 

 

31 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

I wonder if it is this spring clip that is referred to on Rolexforums.com as "a brass 'bearing' or similar, in the movement that wears out and starts to leave brass shavings in the surrounding"

The rotor axle and the spring clip are steel, I'm pretty sure. From my experience with the 3135, I don't see any possibility of brass shavings coming from the rotor assembly. Unless, of course, the rotor axle is badly worn (so your case, maybe) and the oscillating weight starts scaping on the movement bridges. 

Frankly,  most people on the Rolex Forum have no clue what they are talking about when it comes to the movements.

Also, I often read that the rotor (and axle) are the a "weakness" or even "design flaw" of the 15xx, 30xx and 31xx movements. And it is true that in 3 out of 4 Rolex watches that I've serviced so far, it was an issue.  BUT, I still disagree with the popular verdict. ALL of the 3 watches that had issues hadn't been serviced for more than 10 years. I'm pretty certain that none of them would have needed any rotor/axle repairs if they had been serviced after 6-8 years. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/28/2024 at 1:24 PM, VWatchie said:

I think it's just a mistake, but in the link, you refer to "Horotec Axle Punch, Calibre 1570", while my calibre is 3135. It's not like the punch for 1570 is a better option than the punch for 3135, is it?

The set of four punches are marked 2235, 2135,3035 and 1570, so they do those calibres and others. The punches are v4.6 mm, but don't worry about the play in a staking set.

 

On 5/28/2024 at 1:24 PM, VWatchie said:

One more question. I am thinking of ordering a Bergeon-style universal case back tool like this one, partly because it fits the Rolex, but I've been thinking about it for a long time anyway. So far I have done well with my JAXA tool. Another cheaper option is to buy a dedicated tool from Amazon but maybe it's better in the long run to spend the money on a universal tool. If you have the time and inclination, I would appreciate your input.

Buy the Bergeon copy and a set of Rolex dies. Get away from using a Jaxa tool as soon as you can.

These dies have the attachment to fit the Bergeon copy tool https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32987526226.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.main.15.75d7m9kDm9kDgG&algo_pvid=fafdc008-007b-4947-8501-03c1720baa09&algo_exp_id=fafdc008-007b-4947-8501-03c1720baa09-7&pdp_npi=4%40dis!GBP!8.45!8.45!!!76.03!76.03!%40211b613117169978322718053e7400!66836057892!sea!UK!2256404187!&curPageLogUid=ruJc60lDrzjp&utparam-url=scene%3Asearch|query_from%3A

I also use neoprene suction cups most of the time. I would never use a Rolex die on an 18 carat case, as it's too soft. That's when I use my Horotec suction dies https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/suction-grip-dies-sets

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Jon said:

Buy the Bergeon copy and a set of Rolex dies. Get away from using a Jaxa tool as soon as you can.

The one I linked to seems to already include the Rolex dies and the adapter and as far as I can see it is the same tool as listed here on Cousins. The reviews are good and the price is slightly lower than at Cousins, so unless any of you see any warning signs, I will pull the trigger tomorrow.

Thanks for clarifying about the punches. If there's one thing I hate, it's ordering the wrong tool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Knebo said:

Yes, I also struggled to find the individual gaskets on Cousins. I ended up buying this assortment - it'll have you covered: 

https://www.cousinsuk.com/sku/details/generic-rolex-case-bracelet-parts-by-list/g47251

I forgot to thank you for this tip. If there is something that is both really difficult, time-consuming and also boring, it is to find the right gaskets. No matter how much and how carefully you measure, there seems to be no guarantee that it will be right. I will order this set of gaskets for the crown instead! 👍

Unfortunately, the owner of the watch wants to hold off on a service and just get the rotor repaired for now. I will see if I will insist on a service or not when I have examined the lubrication and if I find any metal debris or similar. I am curious to know your views on this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, VWatchie said:

Unfortunately, the owner of the watch wants to hold off on a service and just get the rotor repaired for now. I will see if I will insist on a service or not when I have examined the lubrication and if I find any metal debris or similar. I am curious to know your views on this

This is a bit of a dilemma.

From a technical watchmaking perspective, it seems like the perfect time for a service. Probably just before anything (else then the rotor) starts to wear -- especially with likely debris from the rotor rubbing on the bridges. Right now, you'll probably get away with just cleaning/lubricating (other than the rotor). In a year or two, some parts may need replacing -- and that's expensive for Rolex.

From a "human" perspective, your client seems to be stingy (?). That's not a good starting point. Even if you charge very little or even nothing for your time, you need to consider potential costs and risks. If everything works out perfectly (i.e. you replace the rotor axle without any problems and the rest is just clean/lubricate), your costs are maybe 50 EUR for the axle, 100 EUR for the punches and 20 EUR for the various gaskets. If the axle replacement doesn't work, you're looking at 300-400 EUR for a complete rotor in NOS condition (and there is just very few out there on eBay etc). If you lose a part or break anything: very expensive if you want to source original NOS parts (you may get away with generics, but I probably wouldn't use the when it comes to wheels etc). In this context, I've found it rather stressful working on Rolex watches... 

From this risk/uncertainty results the question: how would you charge your client? Give the "best case" cost first and then add if anything goes wrong? That may put you in an uncomfortable position. Or assume the worst and give a high cost estimate at the start (and maybe reimburse if all goes well)?  Another approach could be to tell your client to get a quote from Rolex first (they will probably insist on changing all scraped bridges and other parts that aren't perfect -- they may easily quote a 4-digit amount). Then, based on that, you can make an offer that covers your risks. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your comments @Knebo. No, my client is not the least bit stingy but is just very keen to start using her newly purchased beautiful Rolex as soon as possible. I can certainly understand that. I would feel the same way.

My dilemma is that I am not able to work full time on the watch to finish it in the shortest possible time. In addition, I want to take the time I need to achieve the most perfect result possible and also take the opportunity to carefully document and photograph the whole process. Then, on occasion, create a service walkthrough of this, perhaps one of the world's most prized mass-produced movements.

Another very important reason why I want to work slowly is precisely to avoid accidents. As a professional watchmaker for Rolex, you can afford to be quick because spare parts are freely and quickly available when an accident occurs and are already factored into the overall costs.

In my experience, if you take all the time you need and never take a chance, the risk of mistakes is reduced to near zero. The price to pay is that it can take a long time, sometimes a very long time, to finish. However, should a mistake occur, I am confident that my client will understand. We have a solid and mutual trust in each other and I am one hundred per cent transparent with what I do and how I think. That is my overall business idea, so to speak. 

2 hours ago, Knebo said:

From a technical watchmaking perspective, it seems like the perfect time for a service. Probably just before anything (else then the rotor) starts to wear -- especially with likely debris from the rotor rubbing on the bridges. Right now, you'll probably get away with just cleaning/lubricating (other than the rotor). In a year or two, some parts may need replacing -- and that's expensive for Rolex.

That is exactly what I am worried about. On the other hand, my client has not declined a service but really just wants to postpone it to a later date. I can definitely wait but since I'm so excited, it would be a shame if when the time comes I don't have the time (busy with work and family).

Well, I'll hold off on having any firm opinions or recommendations until I've actually taken a long, hard look through my stereo microscope and we'll see where it goes.

Again, thanks for your input! 👍

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Don't give up. You just need patience and practice. Don't use force or try to screw down the plate before making sure everything is in place. My first few watches took me like 45 minutes to get the train wheels in. Now it usually takes me less than a minute. Make sure that all the bottom pivots are in their respective holes before putting on the top plate. Then apply gentle pressure with a pegwood or gloved finger. Start from the barrel, 2nd wheel, 3rd wheel.... and finally the escape wheel. You can feel the plate drop each time you get a pivot in. If you experience the pivots that you have already gotten in coming out of their holes when you work on other wheels down line, you can put 1 or 2 screws nearer the barrel side in but don't exert any force on the screws. Just lightly turn the screws until you feel pressure and backoff 1/4 turn. This will prevent the plates from separating.  I use a homemade tool with a brass wire, shaped like an oiler to lightly touch the wheels to guide them into place. I find that an oiler made of hardened steel can leave scratches on the brass wheels. Once you think you have gotten all the pivots in, test it by using a blower to blow on the escape wheel. It should spin freely. Continue applying pressure on the top plate with the pegwood or finger until you lightly tighten all the screws. Don't tighten fully yet until you reconfirm that the wheels are able to spin freely. And reconfirm again after you have fully tightened all the screws. What you are experiencing is normal. All of us have gone through it. Don't work on watches when you are tired or frustrated. All of us can tell you what that leads to. But I'm sure you'll experience a few hard lessons even after reading this advice. It's only human. Go forth and practice. Good luck!
    • by the way this is very confusing to me? You have a 7s26a and you're comparing it to a 7s26b which is confusing to me because they're not the same? Watch companies are rather amusing when it comes the part numbers seemingly watches with similar  numbers as you're implying should be exactly identical but in this case they are very very dramatically different for instance the 7s26a balance part number is 0310 020 the 7s26b has a different part number 0310 197 as the part numbers are entirely different there must be a reason it noticed that I made two terms in the quote above in bold regulator pins are versus the etachron  system. In addition to changing the regulation part more than likely they change the hairspring. So this would typically main you wouldn't build a swap balance completes from one type to the other because they will be entirely different. this is where looking at the technical guide might yield some amusing information. you'll note in the 7s26b  service guide it explains what the difference is. It makes a reference to the balance staff which is totally inconsequential for this discussion. But the really big difference is the A  version has conventional regulator pins and the B  has is the Etachron  system. In @Jon excellent images up above he didn't explain something? if you look carefully at the images below you'll notice that the outer terminal curve is different  as a guest to accommodate the etachron  system it looks like the terminal curve is farther out. So yes exactly as the parts list indicates the balance completes will look different because they are different. Because they are different there are not interchangeable. so basically because the letter changes at the end in this particular case we end up with two separate balance completes as proven by the parts numbers. Balance completes that are entirely different to accommodate the regulation system conceivably with entirely different characteristics of timing as they are entirely different. So your observation of the balances are different shape is correct they are different.      
    • See, the problem with widening to a little bit wider diam is that the bit will 'grab' too much at a time and will get in too fast by itself, then it will stuck and break imediatey. If enlargening from 0.3 to 0.5 needed, complitelly different drill bit must be made - it must be similar to the ones they use for weapon cannons, with one cutting edge and with angle that will not cut fast. The other option is to enlarge the hole like they do on big lathes with cutter for internal turning, that will be small enough to get in the hole The idea with the plugging could work, but I haven't try it. The pug should be only a little bit softer than the piece and must get in completelly to the botom of the hole.  
    • Thanks for all the comments. I think I'll go back to restoring BMW motorcycles and making model steam engines.  Dave
    • Yep my thoughts the same,  i realised i slipped up with the smaller drill half way through. Out of curiosity if you had to widen a hole, could it be plugged and re- drilled ? 
×
×
  • Create New...