Teardown: Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 calibre 1225

Time to move up a bit…

I got this Rolex Oysterdate off eBay – very much “pre-loved”, with a chip in the glass and some scratches. But considering that the watch is probably a good 30 – 40 years old, this is not bad.

But the watch needs a good clean – the hands have a fair amount of patina, there is dirt on the dial, and the glass and gaskets need replacing.

The Oysterdate Precision 6694 is one of the Rolex watches that is not chronometer certified. It has the calibre 1225 movement, which beats at 21,600 bph / 6 bps. I’ve worn it for a couple of days, and it was a good 15 seconds a day slow, but fairly steadily – what you would expect from a Rolex.

The watch diameter without crown is 34mm, with crown 38mm, so for today’s standards, on the small side. But I have a very small wrist, and I don’t like huge watches. It’s nicely understated, and only few people will recognize you are wearing a Rolex. Nothing flash or blingy, just a nice watch!

The bracelet is original and comes off easily – you can push the pins from the outside. If you click on the image to enlarge it, you will see the state of the hands – lots of patina!

You need a special tool for the watch back – please don’t use scissors as I’ve seen a guy on YouTube do (but he had a fake Rolex)

A first look at the movement – and it’s a thing of beauty! The wheel above the wheel bridge that drives the second hand is a bit unusual. You can already get a feel for the craftsmanship just by looking at it

Turning the pull-out piece screw 1 1/2 turns will allow to remove the winding shaft

The movement comes out easily

First things first – hands off!

A lovely dial – great light reflection, a bit dirty. The luminous dots are tritium – as you can tell from the “T Swiss T” at the bottom of the dial. As long as you don’t lick the stuff off, you’re safe πŸ˜‰

The date wheel on the bottom plate. I like the eggshell white and the great looking numbers – nice font

Yes, I do like this a lot

The balance cock with balance wheel

Balance with focus on the impulse pin. I must say that I wouldn’t be able to tell from this photo that it’s a Rolex, the balance surface does look a bit rough

Top plate with the balance and balance cock removed

Pallet fork and pallet bridge removed – you can now clearly see the escapement wheel

Now this is a thing of beauty – the detailing on the pallet fork is incredible. Even the jewels are lightly undercut on the top side. The fork is polished all over. I’d say this is pretty unbeatable

The date ring is held by the outer ring that holds the movement in place in the case

Bottom plate with date mechanism, pawl spring and the crown assembly

Detail of a jewel block

Barrel bridge, barrel, crown and castle wheel removed

The wheel bridge removed

The underside of the wheel bridge

Top plate cleared – the beauty is not just skin-deep

… and the bottom plate

Parts ready for cleaning – the pallet fork will of course not go into the cleaning fluid but get a hand-clean

The main spring barrel. The spring will be taken out and cleaned as well

As this watch needs a new glass, I remove the bezel.

Glass removed from the bezel

The damage – time to order some spares

Wheel with focus on the pinion

Escapement wheel – you can see some dirt

One of the bridge screws – nicely executed and polished

Detail of the barrel wheel

Jewels on the top plate

Now it’s time to order a new glass and gaskets, and to clean all the parts.

Overall, impressive craftsmanship. The love of detail shows clearly, and the movement is certainly one up from your standard ETA stuff. You get what you pay for (well, some of that money goes to the brand image, but you want that as well, don’t you? πŸ™‚ )

The next step from here is to polish the case as it has quite deep scratches and dents.

142 thoughts on “Teardown: Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 calibre 1225

  1. Great information here. I am a new owner of a late 60’s stainless 6694. I am looking to have the bracelet and case polished . Can you tell me what the factory original finish was? ie polished or satin finish on case or bezel or a combination .

    Thanks Jay

    • Hi Jay,

      Don’t get your bracelet and case polished. You will have material taken off that you can’t put back on. True collectors of vintage watches never do that.

      Best regards,

      Christian

  2. First off, I would like to say that it is truly a amazing and detailed information that you shared there mate, well done and thanks for sharing! Secondly, I am wondering if the bezel size of this 6694 is 34mm? As I am thinking of replacing my stock bezel with a fluted one and I happened to come across one but stated that t’was from a Rolex 1500, and I am wondering if that will eventually fit my 6694. Thanks for your time in advance and hope to hear from you soon!

    Cheers,
    Ben

  3. Hi there,

    My second hand has randomly fallen off within my watch. Do i need to take the back of the watch off to access the bezel and glass so I can slot it in? I’m really confused. Please could you advise πŸ™‚

  4. sorry for reviving an old post. I was gifted with a vintage 6694 in a similar, slightly better condition that the one above. Your blog provided the most accurate information about this humble beauty.

    i’d like to ask about the bezel. Mine did not have any rolex markings or labels on the back side and was suspected by the RSC and my trusted jeweller to be aftermarket. But i’ve noticed the one in the post does not have any markings on the bezel back as well.

    do you think they came without any branding on the bezel. thank you very much again and much appreciated!

  5. how in the world would you remove a link from the bracelet, just cannot figure it out for the life of me. you’d be a life saver, there’s no way they are not removable is it?

    • This is the worst bracelet construction ever… You have to bend open a middle bit to remove a link, and it’s as good as impossible to bend it back so that you won’t be able to see deformation.

      • thanks so much for your speedy reply! thats the first hint ive ever gotten. i hate to ask, but can you elaborate for me please. i resized it as small as i can on the clasp, i still need just one link taken out. is this possible to do myself? what tools would i need? till confused exactly what you mean. thanks for your time πŸ™‚

          • any idea what they would charge me? as it doesnt need the full service, im almost at the 3 year mark – still around $400 u think?

          • i paid close attention to that actually lol thats kinda why i was clarifying. that sounds much more like it. wasnt sure if they would do that. ill give it a try, jewlers willing to do that without servicing it seems to be scarce near me. ill look around. thaks so so much for your time and help! great writeup!

  6. I just purchased this model watch on ebay, so I’m a little apprehensive. Here are my questions:
    If I hold the watch up to my ear, I can here ticking. I’d this correct for this model 6694, 1971 year.
    The bracelet is so very light. Looks good, but so light. Is this correct for this watch?

  7. Hi, i have the same watch but my date comes black and red alternately. Would you know if its original? Thanks πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Christian,

    Nice post! Could you please say how long a full winding lasts and how many turns it takes to fully charge the watch feom idle?

    Thanks
    N

  9. Thank you for the share , very instructive !!! Can you please tell me what size screwdriver you used for the winding shaft ?

  10. My serial number is
    1019210

    They face has the exact words as your, but the number indicaters seem to be tapered and the 6 & 9 seem slightly longer than the rest.
    I believe it is from 1955 it is a oyseterdate, precision. It needs new, hands,glass,dial,pin.

    Where would one find parts for this?

  11. out of interest, how do you remove the ring around the crystal?
    i’ve seen people using a razor blade to remove it, but that just doesn’t seem right.

    The other thing i’ve seen on ebay is that it is possible to buy sapphire glass crystals instead of the acrylic crystals. Do you think that is a good idea?

    My father’s 6694 watch dates back to 1968, so the edge of the crystal is now completely rounded off.

  12. i have a 1966 6694 cali. 1225 and i wanted to upgrade my dial, can i buy any dial and it will fit, or do i have to buy a certain dial?

  13. For a 1979 manual wind, hollow Stainless steel bracelet, ROLEX 6694 OYSTERDATE PRECISION DATE, where can I get an original new replacement steel bracelet. I would prefer a solid stainless steel oyster bracelet.
    Many thanks in advance for your help.

    P.S.
    Rolex Oyster Date: Model # 669410
    Bracelet: 7205 (stamped on center link @ 12 O’ Clock position)
    End Link: 57 (stamped on 12 O’ Clock position & 6 O’ Clock position)

  14. Dear Christian,will you please kind enough to explain if there is any difference along escape wheel and pallet between the two Calibres 1215 and 1225.
    Thanks
    Haroon

  15. hi i have a rolex 6694 oyster date but i don’t know if it is real or fake. can you give to me any suggestions about it? can i find it out by serial number?

  16. Hi Christian, interesting article. I currently owned 2 vintage 6694s. That prompt me to search for articles of 6694 watches. I wanted to ask if there are available genuine rolex 6694 leather straps available for sale anywhere. One of my watch is in serious need for a new leather strap. Thanks

    • Hi Ken,

      I very much doubt that. A strap is a strap (at least in my book), so why don’t you rather look for something that looks good, rather than being original?

      Best regards,

      Christian

      • Thanks Christian for the reply. Will be looking for aftermarket options then.

        I do have another question. What is the maximum lasting time after a full wind for a 6694? I’ve heard it ranges, generally 36 hrs is the passing standard, and some can go up to over 40 hrs. But what is the actual specification? There must be a spec sheet in the old days.

    • If you buy a Rolex strap, it is several hundred pounds – even on ebay. You can find Rolex buckles there and can be fitted to a good strap. It is probably 19mm at the watch end and 16mm at the buckle end but you would need to check.

  17. Hello Christian, if a customer presented the watch in this article how much would this level of service likely cost?
    Thanks

    • A full service for a 1225 is Β£110 as per our price list. If additional work needs to be carried out, we will quote for that and check with you before carrying it out.

    • Rolex currently charge a minimum of Β£430 subject to no parts needing to be replaced that are not covered by their guarantee and their London office can service this movement.

      The glass on these is a plastic acrylic one and is changed as part of the service.

  18. Hello Christian, if a customer presented the 6694 you purchased off eBay, and wanted the same level of service detailed in this article, how much would you charge? I ask because I intend to purchase a vintage 6694 I want to factor in a realistic cost.
    Thanks

  19. Hello Christian,

    Great article on the 1225. I would like to know if a special puller is used to remove the top wheel that transfers motion from one of the train wheels to the center seconds hand, they seem to be a co-axial assembly. I have this same watch ref. and caliber, but do not want to proceed without knowing. I have successfully serviced many standard movements with the seconds at the 6’oclock position, but never this type. Any help would be great!

    Thank-you,
    Charles

      • Ah, upon a bit further research, this is an indirect seconds movement and It’s the sweep wheel which is driven off the 3rd. I need a Presto No. 3.! That should do it, if you have a better method or suggestion, please let me know.

        Thank-you Christian,

        Charles

        • Yes, the presto tool is right. Sometimes, it’s easier to remove the bridge with the wheel on, and use the tool from the other side once the bridge is removed.

          • The Presto tool will be on it’s way soon. Will a standard cannon pinion remover remove the cannon pinion on this movement? It looks dangerously close to the center wheel in your photo of the wheel bridge removed, and looks as though removing it would bend the spokes on the wheel.

          • Most excellent thing to know, especially when working on a Rolex. Again, thank-you Christian.

  20. I have this same watch. Same color and all. I actually just picked it up from home today. My father who passed away over 20 years ago received it as a gift from Saudi royalty (which there are boatloads of) in the 80s when we lived in Saudi Arabia. Today I decided someone should wear this thing that’s been in storage for about 30 yrs. it had about 1-2yrs of wear a few years ago by my younger brother and that’s literally it (still enough time to nick it up a bit).

    Happy to see the breakdown of what’s inside this machine!

    Thanks so much for this.

  21. I have a 1970 oyster perpetual day-date
    Recently the shaft came out while trying to adjust time

    It went back in but does not change time. It does seem to wind the clock

    I live in New York. What is best way to take care of this. One issue is that I don’t have original straps and don’t want to waste too much money. I took it to one showroom and they said that if the straps have been changed, Rolex will make me buy new ones or else refuse to service it!!

    • Friend,

      Don’t take it to Rolex. I have a 6694 from 1971 and just got it serviced & cleaned, and the crystal replaced, by Star Watch Service in NYC. 30th street by Madison. Mr Kim will take good care of you. I just reviewed his work on Yelp, take a look under “Star Watch Service” in NYC.

      don’t take it to Rolex. It’s a hassle and you’ll pay so much more.

      Email me if you want details.

      Best,

      Vinnie Vegas

    • I took mine in to London and they were most helpful. The strap it came with was old, they removed it for me. They told me the prices of their straps and gave me the measurements and said if I bought a strap, they would fit it. They also took the buckle off to polish it. They will replace the spring bars, and refit a new strap of my choice.
      I have always found their work excellent. Not cheap, but definitely the best.

  22. Hi christian
    I dismantled all parts on a similar rolex 6694 cal 1225
    but I was stuck at center wheel and balance parts
    would you plz tell me how exactly can I uninstall the center wheel?
    Thx
    Ayman

    • Hi Ayman,

      You really really shouldn’t take apart Rolex watches. Please practise on something cheap and cheerful first. You have to pull up the cannon pinion from the other side to remove the centre wheel. But please don’t do that yourself.

  23. Hi Christian,

    Superb article! I know it’s an old article however I was after some advice? My early 80’s crown sits quite proud of the case but it doesn’t effect the operation of the watch. It does detract from the look though in my opinion of course. Can this be resolved and if so what is the cost and length of time you would need it for?

    Ian

    • Hmmm… It could be that the winding stem is too long, or that you have dirt in the pendant tube thread. Either way, no big deal. If that’s all the watch needs, we are in the low 10s to resolve the issue.
      The usual process of getting a repair slot applies, and all other questions should be covered on my faq page.

      Best regards,

      Christian

  24. Dear Christian
    I have become a 6694 owner recently too.
    Just wanted to replace the sad looking hands and on the market Rolex hands are sold with references to Calibers, only sometimes Sellers disclose their sizes.
    For example: 80/120/20 (holes sizes in mm for H/M/S hands respectively) for Calibers 1530… to 1575.
    This confuses me a little bit: How can the Minute Hand (1.2mm I believe) having a hole wider than the Hour Hand (0.8mm) according to the above?
    If you can shed some lights on that, would be good?
    And finally, would you let me have the sizes of Watch Hands for the Rolex 6694, and if you know where best I can get a set?
    Thanks and Regards
    Sunny
    Many thanks

  25. I recently bought one of these second hand in Hong Kong. This was the most amazing and helpful resource I found when researching it. So I just wanted to say thank you.

    Your photos were particularly valuable in helping to verify its authenticity when I examined it and the dealer opened it for me.

    So thanks again, and I may need to get you to look at when the time comes for servicing. As a practical question, there’s a mark inside the case back that claims it was serviced in 2012. Assuming this is accurate (it’s running well, consistently -1s/day in position 1) how soon would you recommend servicing it again?

  26. Hello

    I have the same watch (apart from having a silver face and hands) and it probably dates from the early to mid 1980’s.

    Is the date only changed by winding the time on or is there another way?. The winder only has 2 positions when released from the screw down.

  27. I have the exact same watch. my dad gave it to me as heritage. I love it. Do you think if i send it to Rolex they will give me a full restoration. i want this watch to live another 50 years.

  28. Nice blog!!
    Bookmarked πŸ™‚

    Could one remove patina on the dial markers/indices with cape cod?
    Or do you have a better solution?

    Regards

  29. Very nice read, not to mention the watch. I just had my Dad’s 1960 Oysterdate Precision resurrected. I was wondering if you have any idea where I could get an original steel bracelet? I want to give the watch a total lease in life with probably another 50 years or so. Thanks!

  30. Hi Christian,

    I have a Rolex 6084 super oyster case which i’m doing some restoration to, i wondered if you could advise on the best way to remove the bezel as it seems to refuse to pop off. The plexi is out but there appears to be some gunk in the space between the bezel and the case lip where the plexi sits.

    I’ve tried my fingernails, a sharp knife, case back opener… nothing seems to work. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    Cheers

    • Hi Ross,
      I also have a 6084 but I came to the conclusion that the bezel was not removable. Do you have any updates, is it removable and if so how did you do it.
      Anthony

  31. Hi Christian, just wonder if you know where i can find MOP with diamond dial for this 6694. I google but seem like no one make them.

    Thank You,
    Vinny

  32. hi, was browsing through the net and i found a left handed rolex 6694. Is it possible that rolex created one for lefties?

    • Hi Ravin,

      Yes, there are versions for left handed people, and they are pretty rare – probably less than a thousand were made. Not sure if that will fetch a higher price, as few people will want one. I am left handed, but I wear my watches on the left as everyone else.

  33. What a super posting! Congrats!
    I just bought an Oysterdate Precicion yesterday and – surfing for more info – found this blog… I’m delighted!
    Keep up the good work πŸ™‚
    Rolf

    • Hi Paul,

      You could try http://www.replateit.com/ Or, rather than re-threading with a larger diameter, and then having to make a new pendant tube that fits, which will be a very costly operation indeed, I would try to use a two component epoxy glue to fit a new pendant tube into the case with the damaged thread.

  34. hi mate i need one link (screw not pin) for this model the oysterdate precision.

    cannot find one online at all

    please help

  35. Great review. You are a real craftsman. How does one remove the steel bezel on this model? Mine is very damaged and needs to be replaced. Thanks!

  36. Hi, i have a Rolex Oysterdate Precision with the # 78350, and i would like to know the date of manufacturing if anyone have information in regard.
    Best regards

  37. Pingback: FS: Vintage Rolex Oysterdate 6694 In Very Good Condition

  38. Hi Christian, not sure if my question will show up given the date of this posting but here I’ll give it a try.
    I have a similar Rolex Precision (ref. 6694) bought on eBay as well and never had a problem with it even time wise (minus ten seconds more or less everyday, amazing) and since I’ve bought it it never been cleaned up or oiled. My problem is the crown, the other day while winding it broke. Can you please tell me the crown part number for our ‘precision 6694’ watch? Also all gaskets part number such as back, crown and crystal? My intent is to buy those on eBay and save some money.
    Also, I have a 6694 ref Sapphire crystal conversion that later on I would have it installed professionally, this crystal came with a white color plastic gasket all around, that would be the gasket itself or is it part of the crystal assembly?
    Thanks much for the great posting!

  39. Hi,
    I was comparing my Rolex watch with your information, the only difference is that on my watch does not says ” precision ” , I wonder why?
    I can see the serial number is 5260413 and the model 6694.
    Any difference ? Thank you

      • Thank you Christian!

        I’ll let you know how things progress. Btw great photos! (I’m a pro) and keep up the good work with this informative and very cool blog.

        Best,
        Jordan

        • Vintage Rolexes are so much nicer than their modern offerings… too much bling, not enough character. Good luck with your hunt πŸ˜‰

  40. “the pallet fork will of course not go into the cleaning fluid but get a hand-clean”

    What is it about this component that requires it be cleaned by hand?

    • At that time, I was using cleaning fluid with quite a bit of ammonia in it. That dissolves the shellac that holds the pallet jewels in place. The stuff I use now has a smaller ammonia content, and you can put the pallet fork in with the rest.

      • Ah – and shellac is used because it can be warmed and adjusted presumably… I am enjoying this blog AND learning things πŸ˜‰

  41. hi, thanks for your very well done and very informative piece on this somewhat misunderstood Rolex! i’ve read well intended comments on this watch that were somewhat dismissive in regarding it as “entry level” or less due to the fact that it is a manual wind model and less expensive than most other Rolex’. I absolutely love my gold bezeled Oysterdate Precision and am happy to rely on it as my everyday watch, even though i own 5 other Rolex watches, all more expensive! Beautiful, accurate, rugged and reliable, the Precision is all Rolex, and a very good one at that! thanks, joe

  42. DO you have any clue where I could find a complete balance wheel for a rolex 1210 or 1215 movement. It runs at 18.000.

  43. Hello. I enjoyed your article. I have a Rolex Oyster date – I think it may be a fake, that I purchased from eBay. I don’t have the tool to take the back off and I don’t want to used the “scissors” technique, incase it is real. Do you have any ideas on how to tell if it is real? Thanks for any info, it’s greatly appreciated. πŸ™‚

  44. Hi
    I have a Rolex Oysterdate steel with gold bezel serialnr 1776684.Can you tell me the year it was made?

    All the best
    Peter

  45. Hi there, beautiful things and a fascinating read!

    I just wondered if you could enlighten me as to the dates these were produced between? I have googled, but the information wasn’t forthcoming!

    Many thanks in advance

    • From what I read, between 1949 and 1988 – but I can’t say that with authority. Best to google around and see from what date range you can find them. eBay completed auctions might help.

      Best regards,

      Christian

  46. Hi,

    I actually had a question for you, does the date on your watch change instantly at 12 am or does it take a few hours?

    Thanks !

    • Hi,

      Date change should start around 15 minutes before midnight, ending at midnight with the new date clicking into place.

      If not, you probably have some dirt in the watch or no lubrication – or both.

      Best regards,

      Christian

  47. I know the feeling – you see the watch and you just have to have it! Slightly addictive, but better than collecting cars – they need way more space…

    I’d be more than happy to service that – I’ll send you an e-mail to discuss things.

    Cheers,

    Christian

  48. Very very nice. Your photos are beautiful as well as instructive.

    I’m fairly handy at fixing cars and other large machines, but cannot imagine tackling a watch disassembly and assembly.

    I have an old circa 1941 Rolex Oyster that I recently acquired, and also a 60s solid gold Date. The former definitely needs a servicing, even though it runs very reliably…very reliably ~30 seconds fast every day. I don’t think the back has ever been taken off this watch since 1941. Does this Rolex interest you?

    I have a drawer full of old watches acquired over the years. Just can’t help myself. If I see one I like I just buy it.

  49. I have a Rolex Oysterdate Precision that my dad left me. It looks very similar to the watch you have shown above. I called a local dealer and they want $600.00 to $900.00 to service. How much would it cost me to get a kit to take it apart myself and clean it and where do I get it from. Also would you recomend doing it myself without the training? I don’t plan on ever selling it but I wan’t it to look good. How do I tell how old it is? It has the same style as the watch above, but it has a brown face with gold trim. I can email you a pic.

    • Please please please don’t take this apart yourself as a first attempt at a watch – chances of survival are slim πŸ˜‰

      I’d say get 10 cheap watches off eBay – once you can managed to take apart and put together 5 in a row without breaking or losing anything, you could give your Rolex a go. The problem is that you are toying with over $ 1000 value…

      Alternatively, you can ask me for a quote.

      I’d like to see a photo – could you email that to christian@watchguy.co.uk?

      Cheers,

      Christian

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