Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door is a phrase attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson in the late nineteenth century.

I was thinking about this phrase when I was working on 2 Rolex watches this month. One of the most popular models that I work on is the GMT and GMT 2.  While I was working on the newer model that uses a Rolex movement #3186, I started thinking of the comparison between this movement and the #3185.  I thought that this would make an interesting comparison blog post.  So here we go:

Rolex 3185 vs 3186 Movement

Both the 3185 and 3186 are basically a standard 3135 with the only changes in the date. If you read last weeks blog post, you will note that I voted the Rolex #3135 as my favorite watch to repair.

Overhaul a Rolex Model #3135 Part 1

The standard 3135 is a solid no nonsense movement, both in the train side and also the date.  Nothing fancy, it is simple and easy to work on, no surprises. One of the reasons that I enjoy working on a Rolex movement is the high quality, sturdy design and well thought out layout, how the parts fit etc. That is why I am a bit disappointed in the 3186.  I will show you why I really dislike this one over its older version the 3185.

Rolex Movement #3185

It is easier to show you a few pictures of each movement so that you can see how they are alike and how they differ.  All of the differences that I will discuss are in the date and quick-set.

Simple date side before reassembly
The heart of this date is the ratchet hour wheel.
Date top bridge installed, done!!

Rolex Movement #3186

the #3186 is basically a standard $3135 with changes to the date.

The jump hour click spring as it should be
Broken spring. The entire date is depending on this small thin piece of steel. Bad idea!
Click spring installed with the top gear. If these 2 parts are not perfect, the watch will not set. Dumb and Dumber!

In the last 6 weeks, I have worked on 2 #3186 movements and both needed a new jump hour click spring!

Which one do you think does the better job?