Vintage Rolex Back From Service
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  1. #1
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    Vintage Rolex Back From Service

    In a total, random stroke of luck over summer this year, I was GIVEN this late-60s Rolex Air King 5500 (cal.1520). It was in reasonable shape for a 50+ year-old watch, but was running anywhere from 20–40 seconds per day fast depending on the position I left it running in overnight. The guy who gave it to me told me that it had been serviced in the past 2–3 years and then left in a dresser drawer. I was fine with it running fast, but was slightly unsure of its water resistance...as such, I left it wrapped inside a clean shirt on my bathroom counter when I showered one day; when I got out, I forgot that it was in the shirt and picked the shirt up — dropping the watch onto the tile floor. I immediately let it run down, and after my next paycheck took it to a well-reputed AWCI watchmaker in my area. For $645 after tax, it got cleaned, oiled, pressure-tested, full service, etc. I asked for the case and bracelet to not be polished, but for the crystal to be. It came back looking stellar; I picked it up on a Thursday afternoon, and wore it Friday and Saturday. Saturday night I was out in a light rainstorm, and when I put the watch on Sunday morning, it fogged, and I noticed a tiny drop of water on the inside of the crystal. Monday, I took it back to my watchmaker, and he owned the problem, took it back, pressure-tested it again, and fixed the issue with the case tube and crown: I believe he replaced a gasket again and added additional silicone grease. As of now, it appears to be good to go, and running around +3 seconds per day. So I just thought I'd share, along with some images I took on a couple different straps.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Vintage Rolex Back From Service

    Very nice! Best of luck with it after it's second trip to the watchmaker!
    RCol likes this.

  3. #3
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Rolex Back From Service

    Great classic piece. Thanks for posting.
    RCol likes this.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Vintage Rolex Back From Service

    Very nice! Glad you got the water resistance straightened out.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #5
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    Re: Vintage Rolex Back From Service

    RCol...Hello.

    Looks really nice. You should be able to wear it daily for many a Moon.

    Always be aware of the crown: I have talked with quite a few folks over the years whose Rolex came to grief as a consequence of failure to screw it down; DON'T FORGET...!

    Michael.

  7. #6
    Member QuartzCrisis's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Rolex Back From Service

    Do I read it right? You paid $645 to a well-reputed AWCI watchmaker for a service that included pressure-testing. And the next day the watch turned out to be not waterproof and the water got into the watch.

    Maybe I didn't get that story right, but if I did how did this happen?
    laikrodukas and RCol like this.

  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage Rolex Back From Service

    Quote Originally Posted by QuartzCrisis View Post
    Do I read it right? You paid $645 to a well-reputed AWCI watchmaker for a service that included pressure-testing. And the next day the watch turned out to be not waterproof and the water got into the watch.

    Maybe I didn't get that story right, but if I did how did this happen?
    Magic :)

    he owned the problem, took it back, pressure-tested it again, and fixed the issue with the case tube and crown: I believe he replaced a gasket again and added additional silicone grease
    I hope this "fix" included full strip, clean and oil...
    RCol likes this.
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  9. #8
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Rolex Back From Service

    Congrats and wear it in best of health
    RCol likes this.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Vintage Rolex Back From Service

    Rolex has the most evocative names - Air King, Sea Dweller, Submariner - evokes propeller driven planes and yachts.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Vintage Rolex Back From Service

    I did pay it the $645; people screw up and make mistakes. I didn't submerge it —.just wore it in about 5min of heavy rain and the subsequent Florida humidity. I don't believe he took it apart and serviced it again: but I know he took the crystal off, and the crown/case tube off/out.

    It's currently running at an average of -0.3spd (+0.9 T–R, and -1.5 R–Today). I'll keep an eye on it, but I'm not supremely worried. Just thought I'd share the story. I like the watch, and alternating it with my SKX007 is a pretty good daily pair — all I want/need now is a chronograph.

    Quote Originally Posted by laikrodukas View Post
    Magic :)



    I hope this "fix" included full strip, clean and oil...

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