So this watch proved to be a good example of how not to oil, not by me but whoever the previous watchmaker was. The watch, a Rolex GMT Master ii is a luxury watch by anyones standards and deserves to be serviced correctly by a competent watchmaker.
The owner told me that the person who serviced it last time was very cheap, and it shows. You really do need to be so careful who you let work on your watch, the main issue with this was just over oiling, but the consequences could be far worse. When it comes to watches and their servicing, cheaper is not always better.
So case back off and at this point it doesnt look particularly bad.
Movement is out of the case and ive readied the hands for removal, Ive placed the protective film over the dial and hands in order that I dont cause any damage to them.
Dial and hands removed and still nothing looks that out of the ordinary. Maybe slightly messy, but its been a few years since it was serviced last so thats to be expected.
Once the date indicator plate has been removed, its at this point I start to notice issues with the oiling. Its the keyless works thats the main problem, to the right of the picture. Notice the areas you can see where the lighter grey turns darker, thats oil, too much of it, and in places it shouldn’t be. We oil places of friction, to lessen the wear and make the operation smoother, the majority of the oil on this watch serves no purpose at all.
I start to strip the dial side down. You should be able to clearly see the oil where the arrow points below, its basically swimming in it. Not professional at all. Over oiling can also cause issues with the running and functionality of the watch, depending on where the excess oil ends up, not something any watch owner wants.
The steel part of the date change wheel is covered in unnecessary oil.
Before removing the keyless on the dial side I make a start on the barrel bridge.
Continuing on with the train and train bridge.
Once the top of the movement is stripped, I flip back and finish removing the keyless works.
More oil in places it simply does not need to be. Its messy and achieves nothing.
Its not actually easy to see in the below picture, but from a watchmakers perspective, this part is also swimming in the stuff.
Look at all that oil on the setting lever spring! Thats probably enough to nearly oil the entire watch with.
Under side of the setting lever has also been bathed In the stuff.
Nearly the entire surface of these 2 parts have a layer of unnecessary oil on them. I clean all these parts by hand with rodico before putting them through my cleaning machine. If I put them through without any hand cleaning whatsoever, it would greatly reduce the time until the fluids need changing again. This movement probably has about 5 watches worth of oil on its own.
Finally the balance shock settings are removed prior to cleaning.
All loaded into the baskets.
Whilst the movement is cleaning I turn my attention to the case. The bezel isn’t turning, I remove the bezel and its pretty clear why not, its full of dirt and debris. Ill give this a clean and all will be well again.
The mainplate, freshly cleaned and free from any oil. Im starting to refit the keyless.
More components from the keyless works added, taking care to oil it carefully and correctly, I certainly dont want it to look like it did before.
That looks much better. Precise oiling ensures its only applied to the surfaces where friction occurs.
Escape wheel and pallet fork have received the usual epilame treatment, as per brand specifications.
I continue on with the service, train re fitted.
Train bridge fitted, just the barrel and bridge to go.
Automatic device built up and oiled.
The movement rebuilt and oiled correctly. Just the auto device to attach and its complete.
Dial fitted, the hands will be next.
Final checks on the timing machine.
The water resistance test is next.
As with all watches I service, the watch then moves on to its 5 days of testing, these ensure everything is functioning as it should be and within tolerances, before the watch is finally returned to its owner.
Thanks for reading.
The Watch Professional