The "Doctor" is Always In!

Rolex watches and their nicknames (Part 1)

Every Rolex tells a story, but some of their watches talk louder than others. And those often get a nickname — something used by collectors and fans as shorthand to let others know exactly what they’re talking about. Here are just some of the most notable and amusing Rolex nicknames used to describe the company’s rich history of watchmaking. Batman Some Rolex models don’t have a great reasoning for their naming… Read More

How does a Rolex screw-down crown work?

The winding crown on Rolex watches is made up of about 10 parts, and is screwed hermetically onto the watch case. This is how Rolex, for the first time in the history of watchmaking, created a waterproof winding crown — a secure interface between the protected, sealed world inside the watch and the harmful elements of the outside world. Even with a solid case and bullet-proof crystal, the Achilles’ heel.. Read More

The watches worn during World War I

Until the late 19th and early 20th centuries, men who needed to know the time and who had the money to afford a watch kept it in their pocket on a chain. Women, for some reason, were the trailblazers — Elizabeth I had a small clock she could strap to her arm. It is not true that wristwatches were invented specifically for World War I, but it is true that.. Read More

What is a Watch Cyclops?

I am a huge fan of science fiction movies. As a kid growing up in the ’60s, I loved all of the “Monster” movies that were popular at that time. Some of my favorites were “Jason and the Argonauts” and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad.” One of the best monsters in those movies was the Cyclops. This fierce one-eyed beast has always been one of my favorites.  So naturally the idea.. Read More

Overhauling a Rolex Model #3135 (Part 2)

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.  .. Read More

Overhauling a Rolex Model #3135 (Part 1)

The last few blog posts were about the “Tools of the watchmaker’s trade” and seemed to be well-received by my readers. I had a few people wonder how a watch is overhauled, step by step. I thought this was a great idea, so today is Part 1 of “How to Overhaul a Rolex model #3135.” The first task in the overhaul process is to remove the movement from the case… Read More

What is a motor barrel?

The motor barrel is an old American system used in the highest grade railroad watches like the Illinois Bunn Special and the Hamilton 950. The motor barrel allows the mainspring barrel to ride between jewels when the watch is running. The purpose of this arrangement was that if the spring breaks, destructive recoil forces would not be applied to the gear train. The Illinois Bunn Special and Hamilton 950 are two great examples of high-grade pocket watches that use a.. Read More

Tools of the trade, Part III: My machines

In this third part of my blog on the “Tools of the watchmaking trade,” I will show you some of the machines that I use every day in the watch shop. Let’s get started with the heart and soul of my shop, my cleaning machine. Cleaning Machine I have been using the RM-90 German-made cleaning machine for the past 10 years. It is the true workhorse of my business. It.. Read More

Tools of the trade, Part II: Equipment and tools to fix a watch

This week’s blog post will continue showing you some of the tools and equipment that I use every day to repair your watch. I am glad to see everyone is interested in how your watch is repaired and what a normal day is like at the “watch shop”. My glasses and loupe My glasses and Loupe are the heart of my job. Without my loupe, I am out of business… Read More

Tools of the trade: A look at the tools of a watch doctor

I’ve always had a number of customers ask me several questions about watch repair. That expands to how I do my job, what tools I use and why I do the things I do. I thought it would be good to show some behind-the-scenes information on where you’re sending your watch for a repair. Bench My workbench is 42 inches tall, 40 inches wide and 17 inches deep. This is.. Read More