Service + Repair: Ladies’ watch with Unicorn movement

IMG_7777As you might know, Unicorn was the predecessor of Rolex, so Unicorn watches command a certain price. In my opinion, the quality of the movements doesn’t stand out to warrant that, but that’s just my personal opinion.

Some Unicorn watches have a signed dial, but this one doesn’t. But the dial design is quite typical. The case is gold, and  was probably made by someone else, as Unicorn mainly supplied movements.

This one doesn’t work, and there is a good reason for it…


The case is in very good condition, but the movement has a fair amount of rust.


The winding stem got its share of the corrosion.IMG_7782

The bottom plate.IMG_7785

The set lever is pretty rusty.IMG_7786

And so is the plate where it sits.IMG_7790

The click wheel underside. IMG_7797

The wheel bridge and the barrel are corroded as well.IMG_7798

The mainspring in the barrel.IMG_7799

I start the clean-up and remove all the rust.IMG_7800

After the rust removal, the parts can go into the cleaning machine.IMG_7832

And the movement comes back together.IMG_7834

Ticking again.IMG_7837

The set lever cleaned up nicely.IMG_7838

The dial goes back on.IMG_7839

And the movement is back in its case.IMG_7841Job done and ticking.


12 thoughts on “Service + Repair: Ladies’ watch with Unicorn movement

  1. Hi Christian
    I have a Unicorn watch that I bought in Jan 1951. It is in perfect running order. It does not lose or gain time. I am 80 years of age. It still has the stainless steel original band.
    Kind regards — Bill Painter

  2. Hi I have an unicorn watch from about the 1920s with 24 tested diamonds around it. What would it be worth thanks Lin

  3. Question from an innocent buyer: I purchased a watch that has Unicorn on the face, but the insides do not have any markings and as your picture of Unicorn shows, the wheel has no engraving unicorn, 15 jewel, swiss made, or rwc anywhere. How do I figure out if this watch is worth anything?
    My understanding is Unicorn was a Rolex company subsidiary, but this watch clearly is from the 50’s or even more recent.

    • Hi Ellen,

      Unicorn was the company that later became Rolex. Their movements aren’t really outstanding or anything, but pretty normal stuff for their time. People just think they have a higher value because of the Rolex connection. The ones I have seen so far were pretty worn out and performed badly.
      If you send me a photo (you can find my email address under the “Contact” link at the top) of the movement, I can try to identify it.

      Best regards,


  4. Nice looking thing – family heirloom no doubt 😉

    How do you de-rust something so insubstantial as a setting lever? Phosphoric acid and then just clean in the machine as normal?

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