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  1. The Mainspring is the muscle that makes the watch run. If it breaks, your watch stops... Likewise, if it becomes weak from time, temperature, or the elements, it will not give your watch the energy it needs to run properly. Mainsprings are a hardened spring steel, and as such, can rust or become magnetized. Any suspect mainspring should be replaced during an overhaul.. Here is a mainspring out of it's brass barrel, and one loaded in a 2135 movement barrel: The mainspring is loaded with the small end coiled as shown, then the large end is wound in reverse of it's natural (formed) shape. The small straight metal piece welded to the end pushes out against the inside of the barrel and "slips" along detents inside to keep the mainspring from being overwound: You will notice that the barrel is also a gear. The inner mainspring coil is attached to an arbor and hook and then to the winding piion and gears. The cal. 2135 mainspring, used in the ladies models and the mid-size Rolex, is small but it is good for about 35 hours of power: Here is the cal 2135 barrel along with the much larger cal 3135 barrel that we are used to. This barrel gives the typical Rolex men's watch a 42-48 hour power reserve. If you look closely at the upper right inside of the empty 3135 barrel, you will see one of the three detents that the "slipping bridle" part of the mainspring slips into and out of when the spring is fully wound. The barrel is inspected for any wear on the teeth that could interfere with smooth operation. This one was replaced because of the wear on the outer gear teeth.........Can you spot it:
  2. Chad, I'm not a watchmaker, but on a 3130 movement, when you rotate the crown clockwise, the hands move clockwise. It sounds like your Sub is working exactly the way it should....
  3. The winder Salesperson you talked to was giving absolutely wrong information.. You cannot over-wind a Rolex on a winder (or any other self-wind watch for that matter). Once the watch is wound, the mainspring slips in it's housing just like it would if worn on your wrist.. You can "under-wind", but this only means that the watch will not have a full power reserve when you put it on. Since winders are on timers generally, it might also mean that it may not have enough power reserve to last it through the time the winder is turned of....say a few hours.. For a Rolex with about a 50 hour power reserve, most winders will work fine with about 650 rotations per day. For the Daytona etc, with a 72 hr power reserve, you might need 900 rotations........but it will still stay wound at 650.. Rolex watches wind in either direction with the exception of the Zenith which winds CW.
  4. It just keeps 'em wound up..........
  5. You need to define the problem better... Power Reserve is how long the watch runs after it is fully wound... So, are you saying that you fully wind the watch, and then it doesn't last long, or are you saying that it essentially stops when you take it off.. If you wind it fully, and it runs for 40 hours, then it is possible that the auto-wind mechanism isn't functioning correctly.
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    The mainspring is attached to the escapement wheel...... If you take out the pallet, it will just free-wheel and unwind.. So the pallet jewels lock and unlock the teeth where they ride..........that torque against each jewel, pushes the pallet side to side (as it is pushing on one jewel, the other jewel locks into the next tooth). As the pallet swings, the forked tail at the other end imparts energy against the impulse jewel at the base of the hairspring, and the hairspring, because it is a coil spring, begins oscillating due to this pressure. After a couple of oscillations, the escapement gets into rhythm, the hairspring swings back and forth at a known design frequency because of the pressure applied by the pallet tail, and the power side of the escapement wheel pushes back against the pallet jewels. It's a symbiotic relationship........and the pallet, while not connected to either the hairspring or mainspring physically, it does translate the mainspring power into a known rate of "unwind" by way of the designed oscillations of the hairspring..
  7. There could be one of two issues here.. First, and the easiest to fix, is a broken or worn wire spring that rides under the bezel. The bezel is removed, the old wire removed, and a new wire dropped in. In the old days, I've bent a piece of wire myself to use; these wires springs are not a technological marvel. As Vanessa says, many watchmakers at Dealers will change it for free. Apparently though, others might have a minimum shop charge that you will have to pay. Second, you might have a worn bezel, where the teeth inside that the wire rides against is grooved......... If it is this, new bezels cost about 300 bucks.. Here is the wire spring. You can see that it is bent up to catch the inner bezel teeth in only one direction... But it is just a piece of wire that can get broken or bent out of place easily.
  8. Vanessa has kindly provided some Rolex parts that she has inspected and found need replacing....... This is the first in a dozen or more installments of movement parts that have worn or broken, and were replaced...... Let us know if you like this sort of review !! Now, let's see if we can find the issue with this part by the end of the post.. Most parts inside a watch movement are very small... Here the pallet in question sits, along side Lincoln's nose on a US Penny: The Pallet is the key piece that allows the balance and mainspring to work together and unwind the mainspring at a measureable rate...... 60 seconds per minute. Here is where it fits in the movement: 553px-Anker_01.jpg The Pallet with it's jewels at each end is a beautiful piece of work: You can see that the Jewels that lock and unlock the escapement wheel are angled differently to properly catch each tooth at a corresponding angle: So, looking at a part that is small enough to fly away on the back of a fly, how do we decide if it is broken or out of tolerance.. Maybe we need to get it in the right light........ Here is another try....... Do you see it ?? This very tiny part has wear and a groove in the flat of the jewel. Here it is again, flipped over and marked......This tiny blemish can cause the escapement to hang-up and not keep time as perfectly as you want: Stay tuned for some more of these great insights and inspections from Vanessa ...............
  9. The Escape Wheel, along with the pallet, are the primary parts that make up the watches "escapement" and together deliver the proper cadence or timing for the mainspring to unwind at a known rate, and the hands to display this unwinding rate as "time" on your dial. Escape Wheel and Pallet: How they fit together: The Escape Wheel is driven by the watch geartrain, usually the 4th wheel, and provides a push against the pallet jewel, which in turn, imparts energy to the hairspring impulse jewel thus driving the hairspring. Here is how it fits with the hairspring and pallet: And how it looks inside a watch: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/00/Chinese_movement_escapement_and_jewels.jpg/547px- Now, let's see if you can find it here in our Cal. 3135 Rolex Movement: Inspecting the Escape Wheel, you need to examine it's main drive gear clearly seen here extending from the center of the wheel: Another critical area is the pivot on either end of the wheel staff (axle): Here we can see that this Escape Wheel has considerable wear in the small end pivot, and therefore, needs replacing:
  10. All self-winding (perpetual) watches have a "power reserve".. It is simply the amount of time a fully wound watch will continue to run if left idle. You can test this yourself by fully winding the watch, setting it down, and noting how long it remains running. On a very early ladies watch the mainspring will be small so the amount of power reserve may only be 20 to 30 hours. If your lady is not active enough throughout the day, there may not be enough "power" put into the watch by her movements to fully wind the watch each day. Or, over time, her lack of movement has caused the reserve to slowly degrade to the point where it only has in it the amount of wind she puts in each day with her movements...(in other words, there is not enough movement each day to top-it-off, and it slowly unwinds). Perhaps she wears the watch too loose and it hangs on the wrist, therefore not getting enough rotation for the self wind rotor to work efficiently. This can be fixed by fully winding the watch manually once every couple of weeks or so. The other possibility is that the mainspring is old and weak. It needs to be replaced to correct this.. You say that the watch is perfect, so....When was it last serviced, and do you know if the mainspring was ever replaced.... ?
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