Skip navigation

Barrel Arbor Endshake

by Jordan Ficklin

I know that after I danced Gangnem Style in the last video you thought this was going to be the “Harlem Shake” but it isn’t.

Endshake is the amount of play that an arbor has along its axis between the two bearing surfaces. On the 3130 Rolex specifies an endshake of 0.01mm to 0.03mm for the barrel arbor between the two bearing surfaces (one in the mainplate and the other in the barrel bridge.) A watchmaker needs to be able to judge this play without any measuring tools. He usually does this as much by feel as he does by visual confirmation. It has been quite some time since I had any feedback on my endshake adjustments so I set up a vertical micrometer dial gauge and measured the endshake of this barrel arbor without making any adjustments. Now its your turn. Below is a video of me testing the endshake of the barrel arbor in a Rolex 3130. How much endshake do you think this barrel arbor has? Leave your guess in the comments.

Adjustments to endshake in modern watches are made using a jeweling tool, like the Horia, Seitz, or Favorite.

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. dave
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink


  2. JTM
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    In guessing <.03mm….?

    Do tell.

  3. Van
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Too much….04-.05?

  4. ARexic
    Posted February 22, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    .04-.05 mm would be my guess, but like you said, its about the “feel” of it as well.

  5. Posted February 22, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to guess 0.04

  6. Jim
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    twice as much as it needs

  7. Jordan Ficklin
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Thanks for playing everyone. Determining endshake is as much about feel as it is about sight. The video is highly magnified and it makes the endshake look exaggerated. In this case the measured endshake was precisely 0.03mm which is right at the upper end of the allowed tolerances, but also twice as much as needed (as Jim says) because as little as 0.01mm would be acceptable.

    I’ve recently configured a micrometer for determining endshake to help me verify my skill set. Don’t be surprised if you see more endshake posts coming soon.

  8. JTM
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Another excellent topic!

    Could you do something with jewels/oil levels including/using that scope?

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *