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