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What’s wrong with it? Contest!

by Jordan Ficklin

3135 Contest

All the clues you need are here and in the picture. (Feel free to click on it for a larger view) This watch is a Rolex caliber 3135 with low amplitude. What is the problem? And specifically what caused it? What is the fix?

I will send a $5.00 giftcard for the WatchmakingBlog.com Store to the first person who precisely answers all three parts to the question above.

15 Comments

  1. Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Jack Johnson’s single for the Curious George soundtrack sums this one up pretty well ;)

    Good luck!

  2. sdchew
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Hmm… the hair spring seems to be missing quite a number of coils…

  3. Vanessa
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    The balance wheel seems to be upside down.(?)
    The watchmaker who restaffed the balance put it on the wrong way.(?)
    Restaffing it and turn the balance wheel around would fix the problem.(?)

    :) maybe….

  4. Bruce W.
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    It looks like the kif spring isn’t installed correctly or has been jarred loose. This allows more play in the balance which is making contact with the center wheel. Note the odd markings on both the balance and the center wheel. I would remove the balance, clean both the balance and jewles and reinstall correctly(of corse with proper oiling too). I think this was caused either by a strong shock or poor work done by a previous service.

  5. Ryan
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Yup,Vanessa has it! The balance is upside down! Seen this one before!

  6. Jim T
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Probably that cap jewel is on upside down, which created pressure that popped the KIF spring in the first place. Flip the cap jewel and replace the spring.

  7. Bruce W.
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Doe. How did I miss that?

  8. J.Peter
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Well, Jon threw out a big clue but I’m going to give in to Vanessa. There is one key point missing however. And that is, why does the upside down balance wheel affect the amplitude?

  9. david
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    does the rim now drag on something?

  10. J.Peter
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I know you can’t really tell from the straight on picture, but yes. The balance wheel rubs against the fourth wheel. You can actually see scratches in the balance rim from this repeated behavior.

  11. Jeff
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Please tell me this was a staged problem and not something you ran across from a customer who brought it in :(

  12. J.Peter
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    This is a real world repair. I don’t know who put the balance in upside down. It wasn’t me. The most recent casemark is from 12 years ago but I don’t imagine it ran like this for 12 years so I’m sure it was somewhere else recently. They came to me to make it work right, and it will.

  13. Jeff
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Arggh….the only thing that comes to mind is just the word ‘sad’. Where is the pride/integrity gone in people’s work???

    Good on you for making it right/good work J.P.

    Great blog!

  14. Bruce W.
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    This shows why the CW21 Certification is important to Rolex. The last thing they want is someone saying my watch doesn’t keep time.

  15. sdchew
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Never knew it was even possible to fix the balance upside down. Learn something new everyday!

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