Service: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 16233 calibre 3135

IMG_1149This is the third Rolex 3135 this month, and I still love servicing them 😉

Suhas sent this one in. Let’s see how it’s doing on the timegrapher …

IMG_1154Ouch. Hardly any amplitude, very wavy beat rate, just about beating!


No lack of dirt on the case and bracelet, either.IMG_1151That’s what an ultrasonic cleaner is for.


The dial and hands are in very good condition.


The movement with the balance and pallet fork removed.IMG_1162

The third wheel is slightly stuck in the jewel, and the oil has crystallised slightly. The second Rolex with that, and normally not something you find that often. Fortunately, the pivot isn’t damaged.IMG_1163

The wheel train nicely visible.IMG_1168

The mainspring still looks quite good, but I will replace it anyway.IMG_1170

I do love the look of the bottom plate of this movement.IMG_1172

Everything nicely made and decorated.IMG_1179

And of course that great detail of the jewel on the date change wheel. I just love it.IMG_1183

All going into the cleaning machine.IMG_1184

Epilame treatment for the usual suspects. IMG_1185

And all the parts clean and ready for reassembly.IMG_1190

The case and bracelet come out nicely from the ultrasonic cleaner.IMG_1196

And the new pendant tube gasket goes in.IMG_1197

Now it’s time to reassemble the movement with the new mainspring.IMG_1198

I start off by applying the braking grease to the barrel wall.IMG_1200

The barrel and bridge are in.


And the movement is beating again.IMG_1206

Time for the bottom plate, and I start off with the keyless works.IMG_1207

Ready for the date disc.IMG_1208

The auto winder is back together and ready to be put onto the movement once it’s cased.IMG_1210

The dial and hands go back on. IMG_1212

This looks much better than before. At +4s/day, the watch will even out to almost 0s/day in mixed positions.


With a new gasket in place, I can put the case back on.IMG_1215

I waterproof test, and all is well.IMG_1216

And we’re back in business. The crystal has some scratches, but it’s only visible in a high-res photo like this one. As they scratch easily, it’s not always worth replacing them as they aren’t cheap. Leave this one in to scratch some more, and replace it at the next service…

18 thoughts on “Service: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 16233 calibre 3135

  1. Nice work again! Where did you get the gaskets from? Cousin’s are restricted for the 16233…..I could only fingers crown tube. Need crown and back gaskets ?

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  3. Three years ago I brought my wife a new rolex oyster perpetual, when would it need servicing, I have been told anything from 2. To 5 years

  4. hi,I m from bangladesh.I have a Rolex perpetual datejust.model no-16253,sl no-8630583.Its main spring has been broken.I want to buy a new one.whats the procedure?I also want to buy a new chain.pls let me know the price of both.

  5. Christian, can you tell us what you are now epilaming? The list of “usual suspects” seems to have grown. Also, can you give us reviews of the new equipment? I’m waiting for my own upgraded cleaning machine — and I’d love to know what added value you are getting from the witschi?

    A very nice watch Suhas, a great set of photos on the service, Christian.


    • Hi Eric,

      On normal watches, it’s the escape wheel, pallet fork, and the cap jewels.

      Rolex wants epilame in more places, and the escape wheel itself has cap jewels, too, so it’s the reverser wheels, fourth wheel, 4 x cap jewels, escape wheel and pallet fork on the 3135.

      Always depends what the manufacturer prescribes.

      Added value from the Witschi … hm … it looks the part 😉 I guess it’s nice that you can change the magnification. Apart from that, I was just as happy with my little Chinese timegrapher.

      The Elma RM-90 is better than my manual cleaning machine as I don’t have to do anything. I put the parts baskets in, and just come back 25 minutes later, and all is cleaned, rather than standing in front of the cleaning machine, changing direction of the motor, moving the basket between jars, etc. It does clean slightly better than the old one as well as it changes direction every 10 seconds or so. It’s worth the money for me, as I save a lot of time.



      • You should never use epilame on the pallet fork, only the pallet stones. Epilame the pallet fork will cause rust on the fork and roller jewel.

        • Morten,

          I’ve seen that one photo from that one post.

          Epilame is highly volatile. Once dried, which doesn’t take long, it can’t attract humidity as it’s not hygroscopic.

          Best regards,


  6. Just to clear the confusion on gents or ladies watch. Its my watch and I am male. My name might not have given the clue.

  7. The sort of watch you’d get your wife, mum, daughter or any special lady in your life if you could afford it! And you know they’d never have it off their wrist! 🙂

  8. That is a great photo of the bottom plate without the date wheel – tells you a lot about the quality of the movement I think 😉

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