Service: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 16200 calibre 3135

IMG_0859Martin sent in this 1990 Rolex for a service. It has the calibre 3135 movement, which is Chronometer certified. It has 31 jewels, and is beautifully made. You will see in a bit why I’m saying that…

IMG_0860There is a bit of a beat error, and the movement is slightly fast, but nothing to worry about.


First look at the 3135. You can see that there is no regulator. The beat rate is adjusted with little nuts on the balance, moving the centre of gravity inwards or outwards.IMG_0865

Date and hands are in great condition.IMG_0866

The date dial. Everything nicely decorated.IMG_0868

The auto winder.IMG_0870

Now we get a clear view of the base movement.IMG_0874

The gear train is visible now the wheel bridge is removed.IMG_0877

Just the barrel bridge left. The brass lever on the left is the stop lever for the hacking second feature.IMG_0881

Top plate cleared.IMG_0882

The mainspring has a bit of solidified grease on it, and I will of course put in a new one.IMG_0884

The bottom plate with the date ring removed.IMG_0889

I love that little jewel on the date change lever. It rolls against the excenter on the date change wheel, keeping friction to a minimum. This isn’t over the top – it’s a chronometer movement, and any avoidance of a change of the beat rate helps. The less friction on the date change, the more constant the beat rate.IMG_0890

Ready for the cleaning machine.IMG_0891

The parts that get epilame treatment.IMG_0892

All parts ready for reassembly.IMG_0942I spread a tiny amount of braking grease on the barrel wall, to make the slip of the mainspring as controlled as possible.


The new mainspring can now go in.IMG_0945

Then I oil the cap jewels and put them in.IMG_0946

I start off with the barrel and barrel bridge.IMG_0947

Then I put the gear train back in.IMG_0948

Once the pallet fork and balance are in, the movement starts beating.IMG_0950

Now it’s time for adjusting the movement.

This little key is used to turn the adjustment nuts on the balance. You always have to turn opposing nuts in the same steps, as otherwise, the balance would be out of poise.

IMG_0968The beat error is corrected, and with +3s/day dial down, I am as close as I can get to 0s/day as an average of all positions.


I put the auto winder gears back together. The reverser wheels were epilame treated to avoid seepage of oil onto the ratchet mechanism.IMG_0955

I can now turn my attention to the bottom plate.IMG_0956

The photo is a bit blurry, but I wanted to add it as it shows the little round jewel on the date changer wheel in action.IMG_0958

Almost there.IMG_0960

The date ring in place, and the movement is ready.IMG_0961

New gaskets for the pendant tube, crown and base back.IMG_0962

The movement cased without the auto winder bridge.IMG_0963

Auto winder bridge and oscillating weight in place.IMG_0964

Movement cased and looking great.IMG_0965

Dial and hands are in great condition.IMG_0966

Waterproof testing, and all is well. No pressure loss within a minute.IMG_0967


The bracelet is back on, and all it done.

I know how Rolex watches divide the world of watch lovers, especially those on the Omega side of things. Whatever you think about the design, you can’t fault the movement. The 3135 is a super chronometer certified movement, a great performer, and beautifully built.


25 thoughts on “Service: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 16200 calibre 3135

  1. Hello, I love your in depth knowledge and advice provided on this watch. I have just purchased a 2002 16200 from reputable dealer but wanted to ask how often do I get the watch serviced and how much should I expect to pay for a service (I’m not a big earner but have dreamt of owning a 16200 for many years purely because I appreciate the quality of the timepiece). Thank you on advance

  2. Hi Christian or Mitka,
    For the 3135 mainsprings, with a new mainspring, what is best way to lubricate the spring itself (not asking about barrel wall or arbor)? If you oil the spring do you just put a few drops on top of spring or on bottom of barrel? Do the new GR springs come prelubricated? I know lubrication is a touchy subject but just needing some advice. Thank you and SUPER website !

  3. This is a great post. The Rolex is a beautiful inside as it is outside. I own a Datejust, 1992 vintage and have worn it daily up until a year ago. It wears and ages well. Still looks like new.

    I just bought a Volta watch winder that allows me to program the turns per day. Would you know which setting would be best? 650, 900, 1350, or 1800?

    And thanks for your great blog. It is excellent!


    • Hi Jerry,

      The 900 setting should do the trick nicely.

      If you don’t wear the watch for longer periods of time, I wouldn’t keep it in the autowinder. I only recommend that if you swap between a couple of watches, and want to keep all of them running so you don’t have to adjust them every time you decide to wear them.

      Opinions vary on the subject, and some people recommend to keep watches in an autowinder at all times.

      I don’t 😉

  4. Is the balance screw adjustment tool used while the balance is fitted? I always thought that it looked like access to those screws could be a little tricky.



  5. WOW! I have to agree that the movement is awesome (but the case styling isn’t my taste, either)! Nice to see your new timegrapher helping out, too. Great blog post – thanks.

    • Nice link! No Rolex in my collection – so far, however they do look nice (movements that is).
      The 2892a2 is in my opinion possibly the best movement for the money out there. It is possible to pick up some nice looking watches with this movement at bargain prices, even in the lovely Chronometer grade.

  6. Thanks Christian, a beautifully chronicled piece of work, I look forward to the next time and the next time piece, all the best

  7. I’ve yet to come across a Rolex that I like the outside looks of, but the inside… now that’s just be-ooo-ti-full 😉

    • Well.. as far as I am concerned – and I am aware it is entirely a personal thing – the Datejust with its crenelations is just a step over the line towards “bling” when it could just as easily be “refined”.

      You cant fault the design and execution of the mechanical bits though… even the choice of material is lovely!

      Shouldn’t that balance adjusting tool have some sort of hydraulic fluid in? The first time I saw one I thought it was some sort of posh oiler 😉

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