I finally bit the bullet and pried Daddy's DateJust off my wrist long enough to send it down to Texas and the magical hands of Mr. Bob Ridley. It's a 1601 from roughly the 1960s. The serial number is badly worn making it difficult to date, but it's a 56XXXX (we think).
I had a very limited idea of the service history. I knew my father had purchased the watch pre-owned and that it had been serviced at least as late as 1983, and that was about it.
Dirt under the crystal and some scarring on the dial told me the watch had been opened and mistreated by someone in the past. The lighter spot to the right of the nine o'clock marker is actually a scratch.
A suspicious rattle told me the 1983 service was probably the last one it had had and boy was it due.
So off it went. The prognosis was worse than I'd hoped but better than I'd feared.
Shockingly enough, this poor, neglected 1560 is still keeping good time, but as you can see it's looking pretty rough. Fortunately, the butterfly rotor is salvageable. I think it's lovely. Sadly, though, the acrylic crystal is not. We'll replace it with another acrylic though. I like the warm, soft glow, so different from the sapphire on my midsize (which is, of course, quite pretty in its own right).
Someone has beat up on this barrel bridge at some point.
Mr. Ridley tells me he's seen this type of thing before in watches of this age. Clearly there's a sadistic monster out there with a grudge against Rolexes.
Despite the needed work, this engineering marvel is still a thing of beauty.
Among other things we'll be replacing the barrel bridge, case tube and crown, the crystal, the mainspring barrel, train wheels, the mainplate, and various screws. We'll finish up with a very light polish since we don't want to compromise the vintage appeal. Dial and hands are to be cleaned but otherwise left untouched.
As far as cost--well, the watch has enormous sentimental value to me since it belonged to my father. Let's just say I loved him a lot. A reeeeal lot. A no-new-watches-for-Jeannie-plus-not-going-out-to-dinner-again-in-this-decade lot. Worth it, of course.
I'm told the work will take 3 to 4 weeks, after which the watch will continue to tick away merrily for decades with only routine servicing. I cannot wait to have it back on my wrist.
*movement photos courtesy of Mr. Bob Ridley and used with permission