Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.

That’s a phrase attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Even though its from the 19th century, it’s a saying that’s always on the top of my mind when working on Rolexes. One of the most popular models I work on is the GMT and GMT 2. 

While I was fixing a newer model that uses a Rolex movement #3186, I started thinking of the comparison between this movement and the #3185. I thought this would make an interesting comparison post. 

Rolex 3185 vs 3186 movement

Both the 3185 and 3186 are basically a standard 3135 with the only changes in the date. The Rolex #3135 is my favorite watch to repair.

The standard 3135 is a solid, no nonsense movement in both the train side and also the date. There’s nothing fancy, it’s simple and easy to work on and best of all, there are no surprises. One of the reasons I enjoy working on a Rolex movement is the high quality, sturdy design and well thought out layout with how the parts fit. 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’s easier to show you a few pictures of each movement so 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 and 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.
Here’s a broken spring. The entire date is depending on this small thin piece of steel. That’s a bad idea!
Click spring installed with the top gear. If these two parts are not perfect, the watch will not set. Dumb and dumber!

Which one do you think does the better job?

Mark Sirianni Watch Repair
25 Fraley Street
Kane, Pa. 16735
814-558-4818 (cell)
[email protected]

CHARLEY PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Charley is helping watch her cousin Roy the Cat this week. She’s also hoarding all her toys.