Watch Service: Rolex Air King. Cal 1530.

vintage rolex air king

So the first Rolex service of the blog, and a pretty old one at that. Calibre 1530, most likely from some point in the 60s. Its certainly seen better days, but like all Rolex watches, its a workhorse, and has much more life in it yet!

The glass isn’t doing the watch any favours and that will be replaced during the service.

So first things first, I open the back up and check the condition of the movement. Its not terrible, but I can tell from the condition of the bridges and some of the screws, that it hasn’t received the love it deserves from everyone thats worked on it. A shame really, but its only cosmetic and wont affect the running of the watch.

vintage rolex air king

Movement removed from the case, we can now see the dial more clearly.

vintage rolex air king

Once the dial and hands are removed I can see the motion works and keyless, nothing too much to report here. This side is in relatively good condition.

Rolex calibre 1530

Automatic device removed. The yellow wheel in the middle is the ratchet driving wheel – thats the link between the power generated from the auto device and transferring it over to the rest of the movement.

Rolex calibre 1530 automatic

Auto removed and stripped down, I can now continue with the rest of the movement. Ive already removed the upper fourth wheel – usually that would be engaged with the seconds pinion, which drives the second hand. Movement is pretty grubby in general and a proper service is long overdue by the looks of things.

Rolex calibre 1530

I continue with the strip down, checking all the parts as I remove them for any signs of damage or wear that could interfere with the running of the watch. This is a very important part of servicing a watch – if I didn’t check the parts I could miss a damaged part, and then when I’ve built the watch back up and it doesnt run properly, I would have no idea why! Its worth spending an extra bit of time at this stage of the service to save any headaches later on.

Rolex calibre 1530

Not much more to go now on this side, next I’ll remove the train wheels, checking for any damaged teeth and worn pivots.

Rolex calibre 1530

I swap back and begin removing the keyless works.

Rolex calibre 1530

Mainspring removed from the barrel and the movement is placed in the baskets in preparation for cleaning. Im going to put this through the machine on an extra long cycle to ensure all the parts are given a thorough cleaning.

All sparkling clean and ready do be rebuilt and oiled. I’ll oil the movement to the specification that Rolex would do themselves. I start on the keyless works.

Rolex calibre 1530

New mainspring fitted and barrel oiled ready for the movement.

Rolex calibre 1530 barrel

Shock setting oiled and refitted.

Rolex calibre 1530

I continue building up the rest of the movement, a lot cleaner now thats for sure!

Rolex calibre 1530

I turn the movement over and continue with the other side. Pretty much complete now, just the automatic device to go.

Rolex calibre 1530

Next stage is to make sure its all ok on the timing machine, before casing it back up. Regulated and running pretty well considering its age.

Rolex calibre 1530

Time to case the watch back up, although I wont be able to guarantee this watch water resistant due to the age and condition of the case, I still replace the gaskets. The case back gasket has gone hard and almost turned plastic like – although I prefer that to when they turn into a liquid gooey mess!

New glass fitted, the watch goes onto the testing phase of its service. I generally do this over 5 days to ensure the watch is running as it should be.

Vintage rolex air king

Im sure you’ll agree it looks a million times better than it did with the old glass, you can actually see the dial and hands now at least – always an advantage with a watch!

Thanks for reading.

The Watch Professional

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