Today’s blog post will continue with the overhaul of a Rolex 3135 movement. We will go over the reassembly process, oiling and buffing.  

After the movement comes out of the cleaning machine, the parts are unpacked from the cleaning basket and the process starts. I normally make a quick check to see if all the parts that went into the machine, are also there when it came out.  

Sometimes parts “disappear” in the basket, a bit like when you do laundry and for some reason a sock is gone. The machine has been known to eat a small part or a screw every now and then!

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The first part that is installed in the main plate is the center post.


After the center bridge is installed, the train wheels are put into place.


The mainspring is oiled and the barrel cap is ready to be installed.


Here, the train bridge is installed.

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A little oil goes on the train wheel pivots.


Next, to the barrel bridge.


You can see the barrel top jewel is oiled.


Now we flip the movement over and begin work on the dial side and date.


The date back is put together.

timing machine

Now on to the timing machine. The movement is cleaned and running well on the timing machine. Rolex spec’s are -4 to plus 6 seconds a day.  I normally shoot for 3-5 seconds fast. I always l regulate it fast because customers hate it when their watch is slow!

The auto reverser wheels getting some oil

The automatic unit is next to be oiled and put back together.

The auto unit back together and ready to install

The movement is again flipped over and the dial and hands are installed. Here comes the tricky part, getting the hands set so that the date changes at 12:00.  This normally takes a few tries before the hands pass inspection.


Here’s what it looks like before buffing and with the old gasket installed.

After buffing, clean and a new tube gasket installed

The case now needs some attention. Here is a before picture of the case side and dirty case tube.


Here’s the case before polishing.


The movement is back in a nice clean case. The new case back gasket is installed.

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The watch is buffed, the movement in place and gaskets changed. It’s ready to return to my customer.

CHARLEY PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Charley only looks annoyed because we were going over her taxes for the year.