When this vintage GMT came in for service it was not working and had severe scratches and dings on the case. It was missing the bezel, the bracelet was badly worn and the dial needed refinishing*.
During routine service, all Rolex watches receive a new mainspring a full set of gaskets and a new case tube. This vintage GMT required much more. Most parts we had in stock including an original bezel, crystal and an oscillating weight (the original one was cracked). The watch also needed a stem and setting parts due to some rust damage. A number of jewels in the movement were replaced. The 4th wheel and canon pinion were also replaced due to poor handling during previous repairs. Since we service and restore a great many vintage Rolex watches, we make a point to stock parts for these watches.
The case and bracelet were the real challenge with this project. Our approach is to bring it back to its original finish without removing too much material or changing the lines of the case. This task was to find the balance between maintaining the integrity of the watch while returning the watch to its original finish.
Here are a few “before” pictures.
Note the extent of the case damage. There is also rust damage that would affect the ability to properly seal the case if not repaired.
*You’ll notice there is not a ” before” picture of the dial. Since we do not refinish dials ourselves, we chose not to show it before it was refinished. We do not want to take credit for someone else’s work. Dial refinishing is a separate discipline and no repair shop does this work in-house.
Here is the bracelet before the repair.
Many of the rivets were broken or worn. Some of the links were bent and there were a number of poor quality repairs including a pin through one link that was bent over to hold it in place.
Here are the “after” pictures showing the results of our efforts on the case.
The completed watch with the bracelet installed.
The movement has been serviced and timekeeping is now well within chronometer specifications. The watch is now water resistant. It passed both a vacuum and pressure ensuring the case was sealed.