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Old 3 December 2011, 07:29 AM   #1
Nakurate
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Sub Worth Repairing?

My 24 year old 1987 "R" serialled Sub, #16800 (with the 3035 Caliber movement?) has finally ground to a halt after 24 years of having never been serviced. It has been my experience that performing servicing while a watch is still working has always resulted in more issues than what was originally addressed, hence the inertia on my part.
Much like my experience with dentistry, maybe I always ran into the wrong watchmakers.

It still runs but only in intervals of a few minutes. When it does run, it is now remarkably quiet. The rotor noise is gone as well (probably seized).
The rotor was making quite a lot of noise for probably the last 10 years.
The accuracy has always been terrible since new (about 5-6 minutes a day fast and slow), right out of the box, being one of the least accurate of any watch I have ever owned (quartz or mechanical), and I have gone through many.
Ironic for the only watch in my collection that is COSC certified.

The date change has also stumbled for the first few years after purchase. A good bang always rectified it. Usually it was around the higher dates 25-26-27.

Of course the tritium lume (which since new has always had tiny pinholes (maybe from the application process?)) has long since ceased functioning. I am sure that the moisture infiltration has had a part to play in that, along with staining and pitting the dial and hands, and goodness knows what else inside.
The moisture infiltration could have occured in the past few years when the dial started looking shabbier. Never enough to slosh around inside but sufficient to fog the dial when coming in from the cold.
I would often notice the crown unscrewed while wearing it, knowing it was not I who unscrewed it. I have no explanation other than it unscrewing itself due to wrist vibration. I am pretty active with a hammer.
That alone should not have allowed water in unless all the seals are shot.
I guess the resetting due to innacuracy several times a day over 24 years must have had something to do with it.
Can`t say any other watch I have owned ever had water infiltration. Ironic for a watch with the highest pressure rating in my collection.

The bracelet has a lot of play, and one of the pins completely wore out letting the watch fly off my wrist.
The carbon steel hat pin I fashioned to hold it together seems to have pretty good durability over the stainless one that fell out. I would always worry now that another pin will pop, maybe while swimming, or are the other pins that are left of a larger diameter (not counting the clasp)?
I also had to bend over the clasp to keep it from unlocking.

The bezel has popped off as well, but luckily I caught all the pieces including that pesky microscopic spring that I re-bent to prevent the bezel from going backwards. It worked for a few years but now slips a few minutes back.
Glad I don't do any diving. It is not a feature that I think any serious diver (or parking meter stuffer) would really depend on.
The only use that I can see for it, is to make the 30 mm dial look more impressive, and afford additional protection to the crystal. It accomplishes that task nicely.

Of course the crystal and bezel are scatched, but not remarkably so.
The sapphire crystal has taken a lot of abuse and has faired quite well.
Compared to mineral glass or plastic, it is most impressive.
I normally destroy my crystals (like my eyeglasses) in time measured in weeks.

The movement is also loose inside the case. it moves visibly when being wound.

I guess to summarise, I need a new bracelet, bezel, face with luminova, hands to match, crystal polishing, and probably a lot of new parts in the movement, if it is at all salvageable.
Sounds like the cost would be more than a good used one.

I guess due to the face parts, that it is a job for RWC and not an AD.

I even missed out on the Rolex Anchor. I think that they were still offered in '87, but my jeweller neglected to pass it on.

24 years without a battery change, or winding (most of the time) is remarkable, but the expense is not really justifyable, considering that there are many ways of telling time cheaper.
Marvels of engineering and other testaments to obsolete technology are available in your local museum for a modest fee.
Regular maintenance would have prevented this but the combined cost would have exceeded the original purchase price, at least with reference to these common entry level models.

With no dis-respect intended toward the brand, Expensive and Durable come to mind when thinking of Rolex. Unfortunately, Accuracy never enters the equation.

My only solace is in thinking that my AD sold me a fake.
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Old 4 December 2011, 03:38 AM   #2
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Old 4 December 2011, 03:44 AM   #3
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Im with ya Rikki......
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Old 4 December 2011, 03:58 AM   #4
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1st post

Quite a first post you have there...!

If you have a 16800, and you get it refurbished, it will look like mine...
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File Type: jpg 11.11.2011.JPG (66.9 KB, 1141 views)
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Old 4 December 2011, 03:59 AM   #5
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get it fixed.
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Old 4 December 2011, 04:10 AM   #6
Tudor66
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Fix it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by johny View Post
get it fixed.
x2....
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Old 4 December 2011, 04:14 AM   #7
Richard H.
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Does not sound like a Rolex.
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Old 4 December 2011, 08:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikki View Post
Speechless
Rikki, I had the same thoughts... My heart aches LOL!

I'd be fascinated to see what the movement looks like! GOD LORD.

I think it's always worth having a look at a watch, send it to Rikki.
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Old 4 December 2011, 08:46 AM   #9
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Why buy it in the first place if you think it is a relic of outdated technology? You have not had it serviced/maintained over the years and you are surprised or disappointed it did not perform to your expectations!?!?!
If you had issues with it from the start then you should have had it looked into while it was under guarantee. Rolex would have corrected it free of charge in the first two years assuming it had not been damaged or mistreated etc....Not having it serviced because you thought it would cause more problems than it would fix???? If that is based on your own experiences then yes you have had bad experiences of bad watchmakers!! Having it regularly serviced seemed to expensive??
Do you own a car? Do you get that regularly serviced? As per the manufacturer's recommendations? Or would you run that into the ground too?
A car does on average 10/12,000 miles a year, I wonder what that equates to in driving per day? An hour maybe two for an average motorist. Your 3035 has been running for 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the last 24 years (or a little less if you let it run down from time to time) It is recommended that it should be serviced every 5 years or so. Not every year as with a car. You are wondering whether its worth repairing? If not buy a digital watch!
The 3035 is a very accurate and reliable movement for the most part. They were the backbone of the Rolex range for a long time till the 3135 took over in 1988. If it had been routinely serviced then you would have had good use out of it for decades to come, it is probable that now you may find it an uneconomocal repair but you could be surprised. If you do decide to scrap it I'm sure you'll find a buyer eager to rescue it from the scrap heap!!! Let me know I might take it off your hands. I'll even throw in a digital watch!!!!
Speechless, dumbfounded, annoyed etc.....
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Old 4 December 2011, 08:46 AM   #10
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Please post pictures of this watch as well, I am curious of it's physical condition.
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Old 4 December 2011, 08:56 AM   #11
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Better make sure you change the battery. It should would fine after that!!!!!
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Old 4 December 2011, 08:58 AM   #12
LordNinja
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironstark View Post
Why buy it in the first place if you think it is a relic of outdated technology? You have not had it serviced/maintained over the years and you are surprised or disappointed it did not perform to your expectations!?!?!
If you had issues with it from the start then you should have had it looked into while it was under guarantee. Rolex would have corrected it free of charge in the first two years assuming it had not been damaged or mistreated etc....Not having it serviced because you thought it would cause more problems than it would fix???? If that is based on your own experiences then yes you have had bad experiences of bad watchmakers!! Having it regularly serviced seemed to expensive??
Do you own a car? Do you get that regularly serviced? As per the manufacturer's recommendations? Or would you run that into the ground too?
A car does on average 10/12,000 miles a year, I wonder what that equates to in driving per day? An hour maybe two for an average motorist. Your 3035 has been running for 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the last 24 years (or a little less if you let it run down from time to time) It is recommended that it should be serviced every 5 years or so. Not every year as with a car. You are wondering whether its worth repairing? If not buy a digital watch!
The 3035 is a very accurate and reliable movement for the most part. They were the backbone of the Rolex range for a long time till the 3135 took over in 1988. If it had been routinely serviced then you would have had good use out of it for decades to come, it is probable that now you may find it an uneconomocal repair but you could be surprised. If you do decide to scrap it I'm sure you'll find a buyer eager to rescue it from the scrap heap!!! Let me know I might take it off your hands. I'll even throw in a digital watch!!!!
Speechless, dumbfounded, annoyed etc.....
I can feel the passion.
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Old 4 December 2011, 09:17 AM   #13
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As A Rolex watchmaker I encounter many diverse clients/Rolex owners. Most see owing one as something special to be cared for, some as a tool for a job. A small number as a toy/accessory/bauble, usually these owners are fairly well off. The vast majority want to keep them going as long as possible since all Rolex watches are a significant investment for a normal person of normal means.
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Old 4 December 2011, 09:23 AM   #14
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If you like it fix it, if you do not sell it to someone who will and buy a newer watch.
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Old 4 December 2011, 09:35 AM   #15
Nakurate
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I fear it is the genuine article.
A fake with a decent quartz movement would still be operational.

As my AD told me concerning accuracy, a Rolex or any other mechanical watch for that matter will never be able to achieve the accuracy of the cheapest quartz movement.
Don't bother trying. In this case, it is merely a piece of Stainless Steel jewellery, albeit a rather expensive one.
That sentiment did not spur me on to send it back to RWC for a few months absence, right after purchase, even though it was wildly innaccurate right out of the box.

Even now while it is not ticking, it isn't all that far off in accuracy.
So much for quality control.

Without any way of knowing that the seals are in good order, Rolex engineering should have devised by now, a fail-safe device, shutting down the movement when seal integrity is compromised.
Keeping the watch under a slighly higher atmospheric pressure and with the help of a simple pressure switch locking the balance wheel when it falls back to 1 atmosphere should suffice.
A reset switch could be discretely added for those who wish to keep telling time knowing their seals are shot.
Might even make them more money in service as well.

Here are a few photos of my "Beauty" with some of my "improvements".
The Hat pin and stylish bend are almost not noticeable in the photo.
The dial pitting & lume defect holes are somewhat more visible.
The case is showing a bit of wear where the bracelet pins attach with oversize holes. Don't know what can be done there. Anyone try filling up theirs with weld and re-drilling?
The scratches down to the metal on the bezel look like an impossible challenge to restore as well. Lume is dead anyway.



With such a comprehensive repair required, is it still worth reparing?
After all, the jewellery part still works.
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Old 4 December 2011, 10:04 AM   #16
Nakurate
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Don't think the pictures made it.

Here is a link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7133434...n/photostream/

Guess you will have to copy and paste, until I can figure out how to use the message board.

Sorry!
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Old 4 December 2011, 10:10 AM   #17
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p.s. The pictures are not visible.
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Old 4 December 2011, 10:24 AM   #18
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I can`t think of anything polite or constructive to say.
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Old 4 December 2011, 12:21 PM   #19
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I can. He's

TROLL

Just tryin to get people upset. Don't waste anymore time on this guy.
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Old 4 December 2011, 12:35 PM   #20
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x2
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Old 4 December 2011, 12:50 PM   #21
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apathetic dissinterest doesn't even come close Rikki
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Old 6 December 2011, 02:00 PM   #22
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Ummm...this is 2 minutes I'll never get back again...
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Old 6 December 2011, 03:57 PM   #23
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Why do I feel like the op is yanking our collective chain?
I have to admit it is a humorous read. My apologies op if you're for real.
And if you are...based on your description, you may quite possibly be farther ahead buying a well maintained used sub instead of repairing the one you have. Sounds like the only thing that might be salvageable is the case.
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Old 6 December 2011, 04:07 PM   #24
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gouge my eyes!
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Old 7 December 2011, 02:15 AM   #25
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i do agree that it's still a nice piece of SS jewelry if it isn't ticking now. it's still accurate of course, as it will still tell the correct time at least twice a day.

considering what you paid for it 24 years ago, it should be cheaper than a quartz with battery changes. chuck it in the bin and go get a new watch but do stay away from these hopeless Rolex watches. they're better as SS jewelry than for telling time anyway...
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Old 7 December 2011, 04:15 AM   #26
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Old 7 December 2011, 04:32 AM   #27
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Good luck, I am sure you will find someone willing to help
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Old 7 December 2011, 04:05 PM   #28
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my opinion is fix it, you got 24 years out of it, doing nothing try that with any other product used everyday.
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Old 7 December 2011, 04:10 PM   #29
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im sure a quick battery change will fix it all LOL
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Old 8 December 2011, 02:58 AM   #30
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"A good bang always rectified it."

I just love that!
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