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Rolex Caliber 3135 – A Time Tested Movement

Paul Altieri

For over 100 years, Rolex has produced quality timepieces. Along with using the luxurious material, like gold and jewels, the company focuses on technological advancements in its movements to ensure each watch runs precisely and remains durable. The caliber 3135 movement was first introduced in 1988 and quickly become Rolex’s main movement. It has been used in a wide range of Rolex watch models, from the classically styled Datejust models to the demanding Professional watch series like the Submariner date models. This unique caliber has found its way into more popular Rolex watches sold than any other movement. Experts agree that it is one of the most successful calibers ever produced by Rolex.

Rolex Watches Caliber 3135 Movement
Rolex Watches Caliber 3135 Movement was introduced in 1988.

Rolex Caliber 3135 Specifications

The popular caliber 3135 measures 28.50 mm in diameter and 6.00 mm in height. The Submariner uses this caliber. This makes it quite large when compared with other Rolex movements. The larger size of the movement means that it is more robust and has the ability to incorporate more parts and components. This allows the watch that utilizes it to perform more reliably and durably. It also offers a frequency of 28.800 vph.

Rolex 3135 Movement
The Rolex 3135 Movement is fairly large compared to other movements.

Interesting Features

The movement is based on 31 jewels and offers a calendar aperture that is instantaneous, changing itself at midnight. The caliber offers other interesting features including a balance wheel made of glucydur. The balance features two pairs of adjusting nuts known as the “Microstella system.” This unique system is comprised of four screws at equally spaced points along the balance wheel. When moved towards the center of the balance wheel, the watch’s rate will speed up. When moved away from the center, the watch’s rate will slow. The caliber also incorporates a Perpetual winding system which is extremely efficient due to bidirectional functionality. When the rotor winds the mainspring in either direction of rotation, it is virtually silent.

Rolex Caliber 3135 Parts
Here is a break down of the Rolex Caliber 3135.

Caliber Improvements

For better isochronism, Rolex incorporated a Breguet overcoil. The movement also features special screw-nuts that are used for adjusting balance end-shake. Most Rolex owners never see the beautiful movement which powers their watch. However, if you are lucky enough to you will find that the visible parts of the bridges are finished with a colimaconnage pattern. The surfaces of the bridges are rhodium plated with beveled edges. Even the screws are finished to a high level, with the surface and walls polished and the edges chamfered. This is a testament to the detail and love Rolex puts into each and every watch.

Movement Rolex Watch Caliber 3135
Rolex shows quality to the smallest of details.

Shock Protection

Along with technological advances, the movement is built to endure. Rolex utilizes a KIF system for shock protection and has also adjusted the movement for five positions and temperature. Almost all of the parts used within the movement are made by Rolex specialists, excluding the hairspring which was made by Nivarox.

Before this movement was introduced, Rolex utilized the caliber 3035 movement. While strong, reliable and extremely accurate, Rolex continuously advanced its design with the introduction of new features and technology. For over 20 years, the caliber 3135 movement was used in a number of Rolex timepieces and continuously proved itself to be one of the best movements ever created by the company.

Paul Altieri
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