Rolex Vintage Watch Repair.


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Among one of our favorite Rolex models is the 17 jewel manual wind Precision gents watch.  This is a very nice and very simple watch.  These models are known for their simple yet very accurate movements.  The movement features a sweep second hand.


The pictures above show a typical Rolex Precision model prior to its restoration.  The stainless steel case comes with a Cyclops plastic crystal.  The following pictures show the movement after the case back has been removed.  You can see the sweep second hand drive wheel as well as the balance wheel.  Also notice the small brass spring that applies tension to the sweep second hand pinion.  The movement is then removed from the stainless steel case.  The case is polished and cleaned.


The movement is then cleaned, properly oiled and again regulated if needed.  A new crystal is then installed.  There are two options for crystal replacement.  The owner may elect to have an original plastic crystal installed or may prefer a new sapphire conversion crystal installed in its place.  On this particular Rolex the owner requested one of our new sapphire crystals thus giving his Rolex a newer modern look.  The conversion crystals still maintain the appropriate level of water resistance.


Above is the completed Rolex OysterDate Precision with the new sapphire conversion crystal installed.  It also has new case back and case tube gaskets.  The original Rolex dial was not refinished and the hands are original.

The Rolex OysterDate Precision used the 1225 Rolex movement.  Following are a few pictures of another OysterDate that was produced in 1959.  The Registered Design of the case is 6694.


Notice the date stamp inside of the case back of IV.59.  This marking indicates when the case was manufactured.  You will also notice on the movement the marking 1225 which is the Reference Number of this model.

     Rolex OysterDate Precision with black dial marked Swiss.  These are very nice watches and perform flawlessly and require little mechanical maintenance.  Often overlooked by collectors due to the fact that they are not automatics and require daily winding.

Rolex 745 Movement.

     These two photographs show the typical Rolex Movement from the 1940's and the position of the auto wind mechanism.  The auto wind mechanism on the left, fits over the movement on the right.  This setup was used on many different Ref. Numbers.

The following twelve photographs show an older gents Rolex, Reference 745.  The 18kt. gold case is a registered design 6105.  The first four photographs show the oscillating weight assembly and the barrel bridge.  The oscillating weight is removed by removing three blue screws that hold it into place.  There is a cutout on the flange that exposes the serial number on the movement.  It is easy to place the weight assembly into the proper position where this cutout goes.


These pictures show the mainspring barrel and its associated parts.  Notice the barrel arbor.  These are much longer than on later models.  This is because the ratchets stack onto the arbor.  The second picture shows these parts.  The three screws in the upper left corner of the picture shows the screws that hold the barrel bridge in place.  The shorter screw goes to the inside of the plate while the two longer ones fit on the outer edge of the bridge.  The fine tooth gear is what drives the second hand.  This gear must be removed when servicing the watch in order to remove the barrel plate.  This is a very delicate gear and the proper tool must be used to pull it.  The third and fourth pictures show the placement of the gears on the barrel bridge and the installed sweep second hand drive gear.


After all of the parts have been installed as shown in the first picture below, the oscillating weight can then be attached to the movement.  This is a very simple process.  The weight assembly is held in with the three blue screws that go to the outside edge of the plate.  Replacement mainsprings are a little difficult to insert into the barrel as the inside of the barrel has a lip that holds the barrel cap in place.  The best way to insert the new mainspring is by using a Master Craft mainspring winder specifically designed for automatic watch mainsprings.  These winders have four gauges that fit each barrel along with the four transfer plates.  Using this tool will make the job of installing a new mainspring very easy.

Later model Rolex watches have barrels with straight internal sides which allows the new mainspring to be inserted directly from the retainer ring that the new spring comes coiled in.  Each ring is marked with the diameter of the barrel in millimeters.  This allows easy determination as to what size of mainspring inserter to use.


These older Rolex models are very nice to work on and are actually very simple in design and construction.  The date change mechanism is very simple and will perform its function for many years.  The most common problem with these older Rolex movements usually presents itself in the form of oscillating weight problems.  The older watches have a more complex system wherein the weight will only wind the watch in one direction only.  The newer watches use reverser gears in tandem that winds the watch no matter which direction the weight is traveling.  With regular service intervals these watches will last for many years.


This is the completed Rolex 6105.  The case has been polished and the satin finish has been applied to the lug ends.  These old original Rolex watches have a wonderful vintage appearance that remain very popular to both Rolex collectors and those that use them everyday.