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Restoration of a Rolex Datejust – A Million Years with No Service! It’s Not Pretty Inside!

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In the article titled “Restoration of a Rolex Datejust – A Million Years with No Service! It’s Not Pretty Inside!” by Richard Perrett Watchmaker, the author shares his experience restoring a Rolex Datejust that had not been serviced for decades. The article highlights the significant impact of the absence of servicing on the watch’s internal components, uncovering several unpleasant surprises. Despite the challenges, the author emphasizes that Rolex watches are high-quality machines, and with focused work, he successfully brings the old watch back to its optimal functioning state.

Throughout the article, the author adopts a hands-on approach, mostly allowing the action on screen to narrate the story. The article also briefly mentions the author’s own brand, “Major,” where he creates his own watches after leaving the British Army. With no unnecessary talking, this video provides an informative and engaging account of the restoration process, showcasing the expertise and dedication of a skilled watchmaker.

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Restoration of a Rolex Datejust – A Million Years with No Service! It’s Not Pretty Inside!


In the world of luxury watches, few brands hold the same level of prestige and excellence as Rolex. Renowned for their timeless designs and unparalleled craftsmanship, Rolex watches are true investments that can last a lifetime and even be passed down through generations. However, this longevity can only be guaranteed if the timepiece is properly maintained and serviced regularly. Unfortunately, not all Rolex owners adhere to these maintenance guidelines, leading to potential problems and the need for restoration. In this article, we will explore the restoration process of a Rolex Datejust that had gone a staggering million years without any servicing. Brace yourself, because what we found inside was far from pretty.

Restoration of a Rolex Datejust - A Million Years with No Service! Its Not Pretty Inside!

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Background Information

Rolex was founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England. From its inception, the brand was dedicated to creating exceptional timepieces that combined precision, reliability, and beauty. Over the years, Rolex has introduced numerous iconic models that have become beloved by watch enthusiasts around the world. Among these models is the Datejust, first introduced in 1945 to celebrate Rolex’s 40th anniversary. The Datejust quickly became a symbol of elegance and sophistication, featuring a date window and a signature cyclops lens. Its classic design and technological advancements have withstood the test of time, making it a highly sought-after watch even today.

Overview of the Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust epitomizes the essence of the brand, showcasing both form and function in perfect harmony. Crafted from the finest materials, including the highest-grade stainless steel and gold, the Datejust boasts a timeless style that transcends trends. Its reliability is ensured by Rolex’s advanced automatic movement, which features a self-winding mechanism that powers the watch with the natural motion of the wearer’s wrist. Additionally, the Datejust is equipped with a water-resistant Oyster case and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, offering both durability and practicality. With its iconic fluted bezel, elegant dial options, and a bracelet that perfectly fits the wrist, the Datejust is a true statement piece that exudes confidence and refinement.

Restoration of a Rolex Datejust - A Million Years with No Service! Its Not Pretty Inside!

Uncovering Nasty Surprises

As the restoration process of the neglected Rolex Datejust began, it quickly became evident that neglect had taken its toll on this once-magnificent timepiece. The initial disassembly of the watch revealed a murky, greasy mess that had accumulated over decades of use without proper cleaning and lubrication. Dust, dirt, and oil had infiltrated every nook and cranny, causing the watch to lose its precision and functionality.

Cleaning and Lubricating the Watch

To restore the Rolex Datejust to its former glory, a thorough cleaning was required. Using specialized cleaning solutions and ultrasonic equipment, the watch was carefully submerged, dislodging and removing the years of accumulated grime. Once cleaned, each individual component was meticulously dried to prevent any moisture from causing damage. After the cleaning process, the next crucial step was lubrication. Using only high-quality oils and greases recommended by Rolex, the watch was lubricated to ensure smooth movement and protect the delicate internal mechanisms from wear and tear.

Restoration of a Rolex Datejust - A Million Years with No Service! Its Not Pretty Inside!

Replacement of Components

During the restoration process, it became apparent that some components of the Rolex Datejust had deteriorated beyond the point of repair. The neglected watch had suffered from corrosion, rust, and general wear that had compromised its overall performance. The worn-out parts were carefully identified and replaced with genuine Rolex components to ensure the watch’s reliability and longevity. From the mainspring to the smallest screws, each component was meticulously inspected and replaced if necessary, restoring the watch to its original specifications.

Examining the Mainspring

The mainspring, a vital component of the watch’s power reserve, received special attention during the restoration process. The years of neglect had weakened the mainspring, resulting in a decrease in power delivery and potential accuracy issues. Carefully examining the mainspring, our expert watchmaker determined that it required replacement. A fresh, high-quality mainspring was installed, significantly improving the watch’s power reserve and overall performance.

Restoration of a Rolex Datejust - A Million Years with No Service! Its Not Pretty Inside!

Reassembling the Watch

After all the components were cleaned, lubricated, and replaced as necessary, it was time to reassemble the Rolex Datejust. This delicate process required precision, patience, and expertise to ensure that every component fit perfectly and functioned harmoniously with the others. Each screw was tightened to the correct torque, and all movement parts were aligned with meticulous attention to detail. Finally, the watch was carefully tested to ensure its accuracy, water resistance, and overall functionality.


The restoration of a Rolex Datejust that had gone a million years without any service is a challenging and time-consuming task. However, the end result is a timepiece that has been brought back to life, showcasing its true potential and beauty. Neglecting regular servicing can lead to severe consequences, including compromised reliability, accuracy, and even damage to the watch. Whether it be a Rolex or any luxury watch, it is essential to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines to maximize its longevity. When faced with a watch in need of restoration, it is crucial to entrust the task to a reputable and experienced watchmaker who possesses the necessary expertise and genuine Rolex components. So, keep your Rolex Datejust ticking and shining through the years by providing it with the proper care and service it deserves. In return, you’ll enjoy a timepiece that will truly stand the test of time.

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