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ishmael
04-18-2010, 09:29 PM
to work on a thirty year old Rolex. How do you find one? I think it's a pretty impressive watch. Give it a shake and the second hand makes a move.

Ian McColgin
04-18-2010, 09:41 PM
Most Rolexes are automatics - self-winding. If fully wound down they can act broken unless restarted right.

They have a nifty winding system that really can't be over-wound so if you have one that's not been used in a while, give the stem a few turns and then gently rock the watch to get the gears moving. Assuming it goes, wind it up and wear it. You may be able to google up info from Rolex on how to maintain it as generally you want to wear it most of the time but also to manually wind.

If it's really broken, try getting to Rolex through their site to find out who can repair or whether you need to mail it to them. Real watchmakers outside the classic companies have pretty much died off and the days of a local guy who could take apart anything from a Longiene to a Hauer to a Rolex and make a new balance wheel if needed are gone.

G'luck

J. Dillon
04-18-2010, 10:13 PM
Rolex is elegant but for my buck Timex is rugged. I got this letter from Timex.

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/8274/timexresponse.jpg

after this story sent in.

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?t=112469&highlight=Timex

JD

Gonzalo
04-18-2010, 10:17 PM
A fair number of jewelers around here still have watchmakers on staff or on contract. A Rolex dealer will either employ a Rolex-certified watchmaker or know where to find one. There has been a surge in interest in mechanical watches, so more jewelers have watchmakers than 20 years ago.

There isn't really any need to have a Rolex-certified guy work on it, but a guy who works on a lot of any one brand will be likely to know some of the quirks. I used to like to have a genuine Omega guy work on my Omegas because he always seemed to know the oddities of this or that model or year. On the other hand, when the Omega guy retired, I still got good service.

The price for cleaning and repair might surprise you, but taking it in to be looked at won't hurt anything.

nedL
04-18-2010, 10:18 PM
I wouldn't trust a local jeweler with a Rolex. Truly good watch makers & repair people are getting hard to find these days. I might suggest asking on the Nation Association of Watch & Clock Collectors 'message board'. http://mb.nawcc.org/ A thirty yr old Rolex is well worth a bit of research to find a good person in your area. Plan on easilly $100+ minimum for a proper cleaning (if that's all that is needed & no parts are involved).

ishmael
04-18-2010, 10:47 PM
Thanks guys. I'm not sure just what I've got. I inherited it. The face says Rolex Perpetual, GMT-Master superlative chronometer, officially certified.

Sounds impressive, don't it? It sounds like with a bit of spit and polish this sucker will keep impressive time.

Nicholas Carey
04-18-2010, 10:49 PM
It's rather like having your Cartier watch serviced -- just send it back to the mother ship. Might want to call first and check on protocol. If you have a local dealer, you can take it to them and they'll likely ship it back to the mother ship for you.

For Rolex in the US of A, the mother ship is located in the Rolex Building:

Rolex Watch USA Inc
665 Fifth Avenue
New York 10022
United States
(212) 758-7700

Conveniently located :p just a block north of Cartier's mother ship (corner of Fifth & 52nd). I believe when my wife's Cartier went in for its 100,000 mile tuneup, they sent an insured mailer for it -- it wouldn't surprise me if Rolex does the same.

OconeePirate
04-18-2010, 10:49 PM
I have a watchmaker on call. He keeps all my old stuff working.

They're still out there. Like said above, find a real jewelry store, the kind where the guy behind the counter actually has dirty fingers and his name on the door.

rufustr
04-18-2010, 11:06 PM
Very cool as always Jack.

Thanks for that.

:cool::cool::cool::cool:

purri
04-19-2010, 01:25 AM
I prefer Longines (but that's just me). There is a distinction between jewellers and watchmakers but many small operators scam the rubes and bugger the remaining good stuff out there.

Thus even the remaining VERY FEW watch mechanics are UTS on the finer points of horology..

John E Hardiman
04-19-2010, 02:10 AM
to work on a thirty year old Rolex. How do you find one? I think it's a pretty impressive watch. Give it a shake and the second hand makes a move.

Try to IWW...Internatonal Watch Works, Cary NC. Call them and see if they will take a look. They are the people our divers send thier old (seiko, rolex, omega) self winders to. 6 month waiting time last I heard.

http://internationalwatchworks.com/

Chris Coose
04-19-2010, 04:54 AM
Excellent shop on Exchange St. in Portland.
http://www.myswisstime.com/index.htm

ishmael
04-19-2010, 06:04 AM
I wound it and set it last evening, and it's runnin' and keeping time, so maybe I'll just leave it be.

I remember when brother Bill first bought it. Before GPS. He was thinking on a voyage, and wanted to know gain or loss on the watch. He was on the phone for a time check, a lot.

Thank you for all the recommendations. It probably could use a look see, a cleaning, an oiling, or whatever watch people do, but I may just let it be.

delecta
04-19-2010, 07:15 AM
Don't send it anywhere until you know what you have. If you remove the bracelet and look between the lugs, the 12 o'clock side will be the ref number. On the 6 o'clock side will be the ser number.

If you sent it to Rolex they sometimes will either not work on the watch because of the age or will want to replace the dial, hands or both which can seriously effect the value of the watch.

If you get those numbers off the watch I can tell you what you have. Just use a paper clip and push it through the lug holes. Do you remember what year he bought it?

Ian McColgin
04-19-2010, 07:27 AM
If the watch has been in a drawer not running for a while - years? - it's unlikely to have an absolute accuracy much better than a few seconds a day and it won't rate, i.e. won't gain or lose exactly the same each day. This is because the spring has been relaxed for too long.

An example of this is the Heuer Regatta I wear - two years in a bin. It was cleaned and oiled when I bought it but not rated, not spring adjusted, and consequently loses anywhere from 1.5 to 1.75 seconds per day with a bit of flutter to the loss. This would be annoying were I navigating but is fine for day wear and timing starts.

The lubricating oil in a fine watch officially lasts four years or so. That's how often you should have it cleaned and rated if you want to treat the watch absolutely right.

Human activity varies a lot and it is possible amidst a life of normal movement that keeps the watch going with no winding to have a slow day and if you're a peaceful sleeper to wake up the next morning with it stopped. So even an automatic benefits from being wound daily. If you enjoy getting the utmost from the watch, wind it at the same time each day. It's a pleasant ceremony, like Matins.

paladin
04-19-2010, 10:03 AM
You can send it to the New York address above...if it's stainless steel and maybe only needs a new crystal the service will run from 400-500 dollars. Crystal and replaced bezel on a gold rolex with cleaning and lube and adjustment is about $1200 or so. Mine (the one I'm wearing) is the stainless/gold one, cleaning/crystal and adjustment was $1100 2 1/2 years ago....same time the Oyster perpetual and GMT master were cleaned/lubed/ new crystals were $450 and $550.

Captain Blight
04-19-2010, 10:14 AM
My old Universal Polerouter keeps good time, accurate to about two or three seconds a day if I do my part and keep the watch wound. I'd like to get a Rolex at some point, just whatever their basic watch with calendar is, just because I love well-made equipment and I love accuracy.

paladin
04-19-2010, 10:33 AM
Get the GMT Master, like Jacks. It's a fine watch and great for navigation. Properly set it will lose or gain the same amount consistently....keep a running daily record for 6 months and you can see what the trends are.

varadero
04-19-2010, 11:43 AM
If you send it back to Rolex via a good Jeweler watch retailer, they will certify the repairs required etc ( recommended ), beware if it is stollen or fake, they will not return it!

Michael D. Storey
04-19-2010, 11:47 AM
to work on a thirty year old Rolex. How do you find one? I think it's a pretty impressive watch. Give it a shake and the second hand makes a move.

So you're a watch person? I could never find anyone willing to let me watch.

Captain Blight
04-19-2010, 11:53 AM
So you're a watch person? I could never find anyone willing to let me watch.
If the shrubbery around the windows is thick enough, permission becomes irrelevant.

Dr.Spoke
04-19-2010, 12:00 PM
I've got a friend that could help you... But he lives down the road from me, so it might be a bit far; and he should be busy making me a watch!

Michael D. Storey
04-19-2010, 12:02 PM
If the shrubbery around the windows is thick enough, permission becomes irrelevant.
Well, they did let me hold the poodle, once.

ishmael
04-19-2010, 12:06 PM
I tried, per Delecta, to get the bracelet off. Maybe a paperclip isn't the right tool lol.

John of Phoenix
04-19-2010, 02:24 PM
Don't send it anywhere until you know what you have. If you remove the bracelet and look between the lugs, the 12 o'clock side will be the ref number. On the 6 o'clock side will be the ser number.

Is that a fairly recent procedure? I have a 1955 Oyster Perpetual that doesn't have any exterior numbers though I've seen the interior numbers once. It's been back to Rolex a few times for tuneups and a crystal or two but it's never been especially accurate - consistantly looses about 5 min/week. It does look nice though.

ishmael
04-19-2010, 02:55 PM
"About" is the operative word, John. As I understand it, Paladin or one of our other voyagers will correct me, the piece having the right time isn't the point. What makes a timepiece a chronometer is being able predict the rate of gain or loss. It's known. 'Course, these days of microchips it's a moot point.

Brother Bill published a small book. "Celestial in Plain English." A pretty good little primer. If I ever set off with a sextant and this watch I'll give it a closer study.

Cheers,

Jack

Dave Davis
04-19-2010, 02:56 PM
You can send it to the New York address above...if it's stainless steel and maybe only needs a new crystal the service will run from 400-500 dollars. Crystal and replaced bezel on a gold rolex with cleaning and lube and adjustment is about $1200 or so. Mine (the one I'm wearing) is the stainless/gold one, cleaning/crystal and adjustment was $1100 2 1/2 years ago....same time the Oyster perpetual and GMT master were cleaned/lubed/ new crystals were $450 and $550.

This information by Paladin is spot on accurate; inflation hit though and the service is about $550 plus parts you might need beyond regular servicing.

Call first--the real person on the other end of the line will explain in gory detail the logistics of sending the watch. Brown cardboard box, paper tape only, registered. About a week later you get a phone call and a couple days after that a written quote. They say about a month turnaround.

Sending your watch anyplace else means either you get non-Rolex parts (they no longer sell parts to unauthorized service providers) or they send the watch to Rolex for you and charge you for the privilege.

StevenBauer
04-19-2010, 04:23 PM
Take it to Swiss Time on Exchange street in Portland. It's only two hours drive, you could have lunch in the Old Port and wander around the city a little.

www.myswisstime.com
Our repair department is headed by
shop owner, Claude Guyot.

http://www.myswisstime.com/claude.jpg
A native of Switzerland, Claude
studied at Ecole D' horologie, Fleurier
He worked for a time at OlmaJeannin
and Fleurier Watch Co. before moving
to Bridgeport, Ct. to become manager
of the repair dept. at Waltham Watch


It's what we do
(just to drop a few names)
Rolex
-Repairs and regular maintainance as
prescribed by the factory (we are authorized
to recieve parts directly from them) included
is a test in the only vacuum water tester in
the State of Maine.

Chronographs, Repeaters, etc
- We can be counted on to provide
the high level workmanship required by these
complicated pieces.

Patek Philippe, Vacheron, Audemars, etc
- On a daily basis we perform anything
from simple repairs to complete restorations
on this class of fine watch.

Quartz by Cartier, Ebel, Piaget, Baume
- There's no need to send your fine
piece off to the factory just to get a battery.

Gucci, Raymond Weill, Tag Heurer(Hoi-yer)
- We do what needs to be done.

The Repair Process
The estimate is the beginning
of the road to wellness for watches
that enter our shop. Each piece is
inspected and an assessment is made
of the work needed. The customer is
called and given a firm quote as to
cost and nature of the repair.
Most often the procedure begins
with a thorough cleaning; movements
are completely disassembled before
immersion in a proprietary solution in
an ultrasonic cleaning machine. After
two rinses watches are reassembled
and lubricated with 5 different types
of oil and grease, any broken or worn
parts are replaced, and then, on to
the process of regulation.
An Elma timing machine which can
instantly detect a second of loss or
gain a day, helps us get the time-
keeping within the tolerance that is
appropriate for the particular watch.
Next, back into clean cases with
new gaskets and a test for water
resistance if called for. The finished
watches will undergo at least a day
of further testing for accuracy and
quality control.
Because of the amount of work
we usually have on hand our average
turnaround on mechanical watches is
2 -3 mos. after we are given the OK.

All work guaranteed for 12 months

goodbasil
04-19-2010, 04:40 PM
For a good time call, 1 800 461-9309

ishmael
04-19-2010, 05:03 PM
Thanks again.

That's a good tip, Steven. I'm kinda old fashioned, and like to meet the people I'm dealing with. Claude sounds like just the ticket! Haven't been to Portland in a proverbial coon's age.

We'll see. At the moment 500 smackers for an indulgence has a sting to it. However, I was looking at the watch today, thought of its history(it navigated Bill to Hawaii from San Francisco, and back) and it might deserve a little indulgence.

Be kind, be honest.

Jack

jonboy
04-20-2010, 03:50 AM
Is that a fairly recent procedure? I have a 1955 Oyster Perpetual that doesn't have any exterior numbers though I've seen the interior numbers once. It's been back to Rolex a few times for tuneups and a crystal or two but it's never been especially accurate - consistantly looses about 5 min/week. It does look nice though.

Two Oysters I have from late '40s and mid 50's have the numbers exactly as mentioned....
There are very good fakes of the early Oyster bubblebacks around that might not have the numbers..If it's genuine they'll be there between the lugs but you have to remove the strap, and have a good lupe.

OconeePirate
04-20-2010, 08:25 AM
I have Hamiltons, Elgins, a Ball pocket watch, a Waltham pocket watch, a couple of original Accutrons. No Rolexes though. Personally its Hamiltons that light my fire for some reason.

Probably the 'watch' I have that would be of the most interest to folks here is a Hamilton Model 22.

Does anyone today really buy a Rolex for the sake of accuracy? I mean there are $10 quartz watches out there that are just as accurate as any mechanical watch, and for the price of a decent automatic you could buy 100 of those quartz watches, plenty of backups.

Joe (SoCal)
04-20-2010, 08:45 AM
I've had this Tag Heuer Formula 1 on my wrist for about 20 years now. Replaced the battery once, still tells excellent time. Bought in St. Barts for a couple of hundred and I beat the $hite out of it ;)

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/cf1a4288.jpg

SMARTINSEN
04-20-2010, 10:53 AM
Why do watches in photos always say ten after ten?

Joe (SoCal)
04-20-2010, 11:11 AM
Why do watches in photos always say ten after ten?

You will notice it took me 6 minutes to photograph and upload and post my photo.



I must be slipping ;)

OconeePirate
04-20-2010, 12:28 PM
Why do watches in photos always say ten after ten?

It makes the watch look like its smiling, supposed to increase your desire to possess it.

jonboy
04-20-2010, 02:00 PM
This mechanical watch thing..... I love 'em and have had loads but I sell to buy another and with the good marques you never really lose money, ....keep it for a while find myself not wearing it much , allo eBay.

But one of the two simple wind up Rolex oysters is spot on to a few seconds aday. As I write this I'm wearing a Breitling Colt super ocean, loses a minute a day.... just flogged an Omega speedmaster reduced, at least a minute a day...I had an IWC that gained a minute even after servicing and regulating.
I wear a watch, and ride a vibrating bike, hammer lumps of wood use power tools, and the watch of the moment takes it but as was said above, if it's accuracy you're after get a twenty quid quartz or really splash out and about seventy beer tokens gets a three dial stopwatchblah blah Swatch.
The Certified Chronometer thing is a joke... the test is done on a blue printed laboratory condition sample tested to I think 1.5 seconds consistency in totally ideal circumstances. Not a joke but you see what I mean.
two things..Rolex make a million watches a year... and anything more than fifty bts is jewellery.

Just thought about that Rolex stat... can't be true I'm thinking, but I did read it somewhere recently....

paladin
04-20-2010, 02:08 PM
Does anyone today really buy a Rolex for the sake of accuracy? I mean there are $10 quartz watches out there that are just as accurate as any mechanical watch, and for the price of a decent automatic you could buy 100 of those quartz watches, plenty of backups.


No! They are not as accurate. Any electric watch with a timing device is not as accurate as a Rolex that's been calibrated. The watches with crystal control and tuning forks will shift frequency with temperature, either gaining or losing time depending on todays temp and what temp it was calibrated at. It may average out, but if today it's 19 seconds fast today and 11 seconds slow tomorrow, that's an error spread of 30 seconds...if you are at the equator and getting close to a reef and think that your 5 miles away according to your calculations based on the timing of your watch, you could be about to slam into some rocks.
A Rolex, once adjusted will lose or gain, never both, and will lose the same all the time...keep a six month log and you will always know precisely what time it is by referring to the chart.....that is repeatability.

ChaseKenyon
04-20-2010, 02:41 PM
I have to totally agree with Chuck on this topic.

I have a rare 1973 solid 22k gold tortis shell face Roman numeral dial zodiac SST. It is awating funds to be restored. The SST was the Swiss answer to the tuning fork Accutron. It ticks about three times as fast as a regular Swiss chronograph, and it is neat to listen to how fast it ticks. And When I aquired it in Keil it was more accurate than an accutron.

I wear daily my Invicta automatic divers watch with a black Mother of Pearl face and an emerald color timing ring. In solid block stainless steel with screw down viewer back and 200 meter dive rating and screw down stem.. Looses about 1 minute per week and is dead on consistent over a year with no change due to temperature.

OconeePirate
04-20-2010, 03:11 PM
I don't even know what my Seiko loses or gains over time. I'm going to have to pay attention. Its a '60s "sportsmatic", 17 jewel, automatic, water resitant, etc... It doesn't gain or lose enough for me to notice.

I know that neither of my Accutrons keep perfect time anymore. The Spaceview is close enough but the gold one loses like 10 minutes a day. I didn't realize that quartz watches were that affected by temperature changes. I guess if I ever go for a circumnavigation I'll have to make sure to include a place for the Hamilton Model 22.

ishmael
04-20-2010, 08:56 PM
I like mechanical watches, always have. Destroyed my fair share of cheap Timexes as a kid, just taking them apart for a look see.

Chase mentioned ticking. This Rolex is really quiet. I can't hear the movement. I suppose if I got in a really quiet place I might.

I don't typically wear a watch, so this sweety may just go back in the sock drawer or the deposit box. Couldn't hurt to get an estimate on it.

katey
04-20-2010, 09:21 PM
There is a dedicated watch and clock man in Ellsworth. Coming into town, turn right just after crossing the river and he'll be on your left in just a block. He's Swiss, and a bit of a nut. Ask to see the pictures of the bear he encourages in his back yard.

ishmael
04-20-2010, 10:16 PM
Ooh, that's getting closer, Katey.

When I was a kid there was a local jeweler. You can tell a serious jeweler. He wore a loupe on his glasses, and not for any affect, he was serious about it.

He was also a funny man, willing to josh a bit. I'd trust this watch to him in a heartbeat. If he didn't know how to make it right, he'd know who could.

I'm trying to remember his name. A small shop. The kind that are lost these days.

OconeePirate
04-20-2010, 10:20 PM
When I was a kid there was a local jeweler. You can tell a serious jeweler. He wore a loupe on his glasses, and not for any affect, he was serious about it.


My father never wore one of those. He used the kind that you pinch into your eye socket. I've got one like you're talking about that I use for soldering sometimes.

I still say the best way to judge is to look at their hands. I don't trust tradesmen with perfectly clean hands.

ishmael
04-20-2010, 10:31 PM
Yeah, dirty fingernails are another indicator. Of not just jewelers, any workman. Clean fingernails, beware. It doesn't mean if they are pushing papers they don't know what's what, but good to be aware.

bobbys
04-20-2010, 10:33 PM
http://www.oniva.com/upload/2155/77rolexchief.jpg

OconeePirate
04-21-2010, 09:30 AM
Yeah, but Han Solo wears a Hamilton...

http://www.shoppingblog.com/pics/harrisonfordhamiltonkhakiwatch.gif

bobbys
04-21-2010, 11:46 AM
Yeah, but Han Solo wears a Hamilton...

http://www.shoppingblog.com/pics/harrisonfordhamiltonkhakiwatch.gif.

He has a look that sez time is a serious bizness!!!.

I tend to let it fly meself!:D

OconeePirate
04-21-2010, 02:39 PM
.

He has a look that sez time is a serious bizness!!!.

I tend to let it fly meself!:D

What kind of watch did Fonda ditch after making his coke deal in Easyrider? Wasn't that a Rolex?

paladin
04-21-2010, 03:36 PM
Dunno...but I do know that Fonda, Nicholson and Hopper were smoking weed live on camera.

Ian McColgin
04-21-2010, 03:41 PM
Method acting.

OconeePirate
04-21-2010, 05:02 PM
OK... so I was right about remembering him wearing a Rolex at the beginning, but it isn't the same watch that he threw in the dirt.

The Rolex... http://entertainment.ha.com/common/view_item.php?Sale_No=648&Lot_No=22268

The clip... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gVPxPdNLwA