WS 9: Replacing the main spring of a Rolex Caliber 1570

Bought in 2003 - showed winding problems in 2003

I had bought this watch in the most famous second hand Rolex watch shop "Leng Naliga" (Naliga means watch in Thai, Leng is the owner's name) in Bangkok in October 2003. The problem detected was that one could not fully wind the watch. Even I thought I had checked the watch thoroughly in the shop, I detected later that the watch would not fully wind. When about one quarter wound, the winding would not continue. One could clearly feel that the main spring simply slipped in the barrel and would not wind any further. Thus the power reserve was drastically reduced. The watch would keep accurate time, but without winding or being worn, it would run down in ca. 8 to 12 hours.

The shop I bought it from has applied the following strategy successfully. You can buy a watch there, they will give you the following conditions:

1) They will buy the watch back after one year deducting 10% of what you paid
2) 2 years later minus 20%
3) 3 years later minus 30%

That is what I remember and that should do to give you an idea. Pretty smart, since Rolexes normally increase in value (smile). Since no one liked that not very typical Rolex style, the price of this piece was significantly lower then any other watches in the same class. Thus the watch - being at ca. USD 1000 due to a relatively bad (38 instead of the usual 40) Thai Baht to US Dollar exchange rate at the time I bought the watch - was perfect for me. I have enough watches with that typical Rolex look and I fell immediately in love with this older DateJust 1601T Caliber 1570. And as you will learn after reading the following article, not much was wrong with it.

Time to call "Watch Doctor" Rob B. again. After shopping for an original Rolex unbreakable main spring (white color as opposed to the bluish breakable steel springs used in many older watches) for ca. USD 10, the watch work could start. This is another pictorial. Again I would like to mention, I am not intending to write a Rolex Caliber 1570 service manual. I simply want to share some pictures taken during the replacement of the main spring.

And as with the 3035 article, the credits for all the watch works go to Rob B. I was again the tea and biscuit boy and took some pictures too. Enjoy!

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. 1970,
bought 2003

The Opener - just as
an illustration, the manual
Rolex Case Opener

Back removed

Dial Side


Rotor side



Barrel removed

Gear Bridge

Balance close-up

The new and old spring

Comparison of the
spring curvatures

Happy End