After a couple of futile attempts to open the back with the original Rolex tool, I resort to my trusted children’s bouncy ball, and some methylated spirit for cleaning the watch back and ball – and it finally gives in!
Last service mark is 10/89, but the movement looks fairly clean, so I would say it had another service in between then and now. I shake the watch a bit, and the balance swings a bit, but the escapement wheel doesn’t turn, even though the watch is fully wound. As I’m going to take apart the movement and clean it, I don’t worry about that too much at the moment. The movement has some marks and scratches, as you would expect at that age.
This watch has the calibre 1030 movement, which is properly chronometer certified. Nice decorations!
I take off the rotor before removing the movement from the case.
As usual, the hands come off first.
The dial isn’t held by pins, but just pushed over the rim of the movement. Whoever designed the date wheel must have liked roulette! I am missing a green zero, though….
Having taken the movement apart, I remove the balance jewels, and clean, rinse and dry everything. Oddly enough, there is a bit of sticky clear tape stuck to the bottom of the escapement wheel. No idea how that got there, but it explains why the watch wasn’t running!
First, I put the balance jewels back in and oil the jewel caps.
Then I put the barrel and wheels on the plate.
The bridges and pallet fork go in.
And the movement starts ticking.
Now I put the bottom plate together.
When checking the date change, I notice that it takes 3 hours to complete! I normally adjust the hands so that the date change is just complete at midnight, but I can’t do that here – otherwise the date change will start at 9 in the evening! So I decide to let it start at 11:30 and finish at 2:30.
The movement goes back into the case and the auto-winder assembly goes back on.
And we’re done. A nice little watch – chronometer certified, date, and automatic. What more could one want?