WS 8: Cleaning the winding parts of a Rolex Caliber 3035

Bought in 1978 - showed winding problems in 2003

I had bought the watch in 1980 (thus this date on my Rolex page) with some cash earned from an icehockey transfer to a club that was closer to my study town Zurich. I had worn the watch a lot, had not really been careful with it too. Yet it kept running and running without any problems. Until in 2003, I observed that the winding had somehow become stiff. So stiff, that at times the winding mechanism seemed to disengage and then slipping.

Time to call my "house tutor" Rob B. Since this was a Rolex under the "surgeon's knives" I felt like I let him to do the watchmaking work and concentrate on taking pictures, serving biscuits and black tea. Please also note that this will not be a complete watchmaking description how to service a Rolex Caliber 3035. It was not the objective of this article to re-write a 3035 service manual. I just want to share the pictures of a most pleasant watch day and comment about it from the view of an observer and assistant.

I would also like to emphasize that this partial strip-down focusing on the winding parts. Many purists do not like partial strip-downs at all. We had good reasons to do so. First, we had only limited time that day because we had other urgent work to do. Second, as you will be able to verify yourself from the pictures, the movement had been very clean. So we decided to focus on the obvious problem, the winding and the barrel. And last but not least, I would like to say that it was my wish, that the movement would be disassembled partially only. I am sure Rob would have loved to do the full job.

Reto Castellazzi, Bangkok, September 2004

PS The watch work was completed in December 2003, I tried to recall what we did on that day, but I am sure I must have forgotten some details. So please accept this "memory report" 10 months later!

Click here to start the walk or click on any thumbnail >>>

Rolex DateJust 2 Tone, ca. 1978

The Opener

Dial Side


Rotor and automatic Winding


The Rotor and automatic system from the top side

The Movment minus the winding system

The Barrel

Barrel open


Winding parts in cleaning basket

The cleaning machine and "chemistry"

The cleaned parts drying on a sheet of A4 Laser printing paper

Date wheel detail
Movement dial side before assembly

Vibrograf B200

Happy End