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Rolex Movement & Calibers

A Rolex movement, or any other watch movement, is the heart of the watch. It's the mechanism that moves the hands and powers any complications, such as a chronograph, annual calendar or a dual time zone. The specific parts of a Rolex movement can vary depending on the model and the complications, but the basic components are similar across most mechanical watches.

Rolex Movement Parts

Here are some of the key parts:
  1. Main Spring: This stores the energy that powers the watch. When fully wound, the spring slowly uncoils and releases energy to drive the movement.

  2. Gear Train: This is a series of interconnected gears that transfer the energy from the mainspring to the escapement. The gears also control the rotation of the hour, minute, and second hands.

  3. Escapement: The escapement takes the energy from the gear train and releases it in controlled, regular amounts. This is what makes the "ticking" sound in a mechanical watch.

  4. Balance Wheel: This part swings back and forth at a constant rate, usually 28,800 times an hour in Rolex watches, to control the rate at which the escapement releases energy.

  5. Jewels: These are synthetic rubies used as bearings to reduce friction and wear on the moving parts. Rolex movements typically contain between 31 and 39 jewels.

  6. Oscillator: It includes the balance wheel and the hairspring, which are responsible for the precision of the watch.

  7. Automatic Winding Mechanism: In automatic watches like many Rolex models, this mechanism uses the movement of the wearer's wrist to wind the mainspring.

  8. Rotor: Part of the automatic winding mechanism, it is a semi-circular weight that swings around with the movement of the wearer's wrist, winding the mainspring.

  9. Pallet Fork: The component of the watch that interacts with the escapement wheel to create the ticking motion.

  10. Dial Train: The system of gears that takes the motion from the escapement and translates it to the watch hands.

These are just the main components used in a Rolex movement. A mechanical watch movement can contain hundreds of parts, all working together to keep time. Rolex is known for its precision and quality, and each movement is a testament to the craftsmanship that goes into each watch.

Rolex Movements:

1570 Movement: Rolex's own in-house movement, the 1500 series, developed in 1957​1​.
3035 Movement: The first men's high-beat caliber Rolex made, featuring a quickset function​.
3135 Movement: Forms the basis of most modern Rolex movements, includes an instantaneous date change at midnight. Variations include 3155 (day-date complication), 3130 (no date), 3131 (no date, with anti-magnetic shield), 3132 (no date, with Paraflex anti-shock system), 2235 (smaller with date, 2236 gets an updated hairspring), and 2230 (smaller without date)​.
3255 Movement: Introduced in 2015, doubles the accuracy of +6/-4 secs/day set out by Switzerland's official accuracy testing program, COSC​1​.
3186 Movement: 24-hour GMT movement, the 3187 picks up the Paraflex anti-shock system​
9001 Movement: Most complicated Rolex movement with two time zones and an annual calendar (Sky-Dweller only)​
4130 Movement: No-date chronograph movement (Daytona only)


Rolex Caliber

Caliber 620: First automatic rotor that could wind the movement in both directions, introduced in 1930.
Caliber 1030: Known for its functionality and reliability, debuted in 1950.
Caliber 1040: Debuted in 1954, used in the Rolex Tru-Beat.
Calibers 1036 and 1565: Used in GMT watches for dual time zone display.
Caliber 1600: Introduced in 1964, used in the Rolex Cellini.
Caliber 1575: Introduced in 1965, known for its resilience and precision, used in the Rolex Datejust series among others.
Caliber 3055: Introduced in 1977, debuted the "quickset" feature in the Day-Date.
Caliber 3135: Introduced in 1988, one of Rolex's most famous movements, used in Datejust, Submariner Date, Yacht-Master, and the Sea-Dweller 4000, among others.
Calibers 3155 and 3185: Introduced in 1988, the 3155 introduced the "double quickset" feature in the Day-Date, while 3185 powers the GMT-Master II and Explorer II.
Caliber 2235: Introduced in 1999, mainly used in ladies' watches like the Lady Datejust and Lady Yacht-Master.
Caliber 4130: Introduced in the early 2000s, equipped with an innovative vertical clutch.
Caliber 9001: Introduced in 2012, the most complex Rolex caliber to date.
Calibre 3230: The Calibre 3230 is a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. It was introduced in 2020. This movement incorporates the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic interference. The Calibre 3230 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor, offering a power reserve of approximately 70 hours

Rolex Movements & Calibers Over The Years

​Please note: The below information is only dated through 2020 and was inputted to the best of our knowledge. Please contact us may there be any misisng dates, movements or calibers. 
Year Movement Mechanism Jewels Unique Characteristics Frequency Watch Models
1931 620 Automatic First automatic rotor, small seconds, led to "Perpetual" name addition 18 18,000 bph Bubble Back
1936 520 Automatic Small seconds 18 18,000 bph Not Available
1936 530 Automatic Sweep seconds 17 18,000 bph Bubble Back, Ref. 5006
1937 630 Automatic Sweep seconds 18 18,000 bph Bubble Back
1940 720 Automatic Small seconds, chronometer, shock protection 18 18,000 bph Oyster Perpetual
1941 420 Automatic Small seconds 18 18,000 bph Not Available
1945 730 Automatic Sweep seconds, chronometer, shock protection 18 18,000 bph Bubble Back
1945 740 Automatic Chronometer, first wristwatch with a date window and self-winding 18 18,000 bph Datejust
1950 635 Automatic Small seconds, shock protection 18 18,000 bph Not Available
1950 645 Automatic Sweep seconds, shock protection 18 18,000 bph Oyster Perpetual 6085
1950 1030 Automatic First in-house calibre by Rolex, chronometer certification Not Available 18,000 bph Submariner, Explorer, Oyster Perpetual
1950 765 Automatic Automatic rotor, sweep seconds, calendar function 18 18,000 bph Date
1950 775 Automatic Chronometer 18 18,000 bph Pre-Explorer, Explorer
1950 780 Automatic Day-date function, moon phase, chronograph & calendar features 18 18,000 bph Triple-Calendar 6062
1952 745 Automatic Automatic rotor, sweep seconds, calendar function 18 18,000 bph Date 6039
1953 1120 Automatic Automatic rotor, sweep seconds, shock protection 17/ 27 19,800 bph Oyster Perpetual
1954 1040 Automatic Automatic Rolex movement with the precision of a quartz movement 17 18,800 bph Tru-Beat
1954 1036 Automatic Central GMT function 25 18,800 bph Oyster Perpetual Date, GMT-Master
1954 1055 Automatic Sweep seconds, shock protection, Day-date function 25 18,800 bph Day-Date
1955 1130 Automatic Sweep seconds, shock protection 26 19,800 bph Oyster Perpetual
1955 1135 Automatic Sweep seconds, date.picktwist.AI )
Year Calibre Winding Features Jewels Frequency Models
1955 1055 Automatic Sweep seconds, shock protection, Day-date function 25 18,800 bph Day-Date
1955 1130 Automatic Sweep seconds, shock protection 26 19,800 bph Oyster Perpetual
1955 1135 Automatic Sweep seconds, date complication, "Progress Calendar" 26 19,800 bph Oyster Perpetual Date
1955 1065 Automatic Sweep seconds, shock protection, date complication, "Instant Calendar" 25 18,800 bph Oyster Perpetual Date
1955 1080 Automatic Sweep seconds, shock protection, antimagnetic 25 18,800 bph Milgauss
1957 1035 Automatic Sweep seconds, shock protection, date complication, GMT function 25 18,000 bph Oyster Perpetual Date, GMT-Master
1957 1535 Automatic Date complication 26 18,000 bph Air-King Date, Explorer Date
1959 1555 Automatic Sweep seconds, Breguet overcoil with adjustment screws, day-date function, 42-hour power reserve 25 18,000 bph Day-Date
1959 1560 Automatic No date complication, 42-hour power reserve 25 18,000 bph Oyster Perpetual, Submariner, Explorer
1959 1565 Automatic GMT function can be adjusted independently of the hour hand 26 18,000 bph GMT-Master
1963 1520 Automatic No date complication, 42-hour power reserve 27 19,800 bph Air-King, Submariner
1963 1580 Automatic No date complication, antimagnetic, 50 -hour power reserve 28 19,800 bph Milgauss 1019
1964 1600 Manual Manual winding 17 19,800 bph Cellini
1965 1556 Automatic Automatic, bidirectional rotor winding, day-date function 26 19,800 bph Cellini
1965 1570 Automatic No date complication, 42-hour power reserve 26 19,800 bph Oyster Perpetual, Submariner, Explorer
1965 1575 Automatic Instantaneous change on date wheel, fixed 24-hour hand, 48-hour power reserve 25 19,800 bph GMT-Master II, Explorer II
n. a. 1602 Manual Manual winding, No date complication 20 n. a. n. a.
1964 1160 Automatic Sweep seconds, shock protection 26 19,800 bph Oyster Perpetual
1964 1161 Automatic No date complication 26 19,800 bph Oyster Perpetual Date
1968 1525 Automatic GMT function can be adjusted independently of the hour hand 26 19,800 bph GMT-Master
1968 1520 Automatic No date complication, 42-hour power reserve 26 19,800 bph Oyster Perpetual
1972 1527 Automatic Sweep seconds, shock protection, day-date function 27 19,800 bph Day-Date
1972 1525 Automatic GMT function can be adjusted independently of the hour hand 27 19,800 bph GMT-Master
1974 1575 Automatic No date complication, 48-hour power reserve 27 19,800 bph Oyster Perpetual, Submariner, Explorer
1978 3085 Automatic GMT function can be adjusted independently of the hour hand, quickset date function 27 28,800 bph GMT-Master II
1980 3035 Automatic Date complication, quickset date function, 48-hour power reserve 27 28,800 bph Oyster Perpetual Date, Datejust
1983 3135 Automatic Date complication, quickset date function, Parachrom hairspring, Microstella adjustment system 31 28,800 bph Submariner, Sea-Dweller, Yacht-Master, Datejust II, Explorer II
1988 4030 Automatic Chronograph complication, Zenith El Primero base movement, 52-hour power reserve 31 28,800 bph Daytona
2000 4130 Automatic Chronograph complication, Parachrom hairspring, vertical clutch, 72-hour power reserve 44 28,800 bph Daytona
2005 9001 Automatic Dual time zones, annual calendar with Saros system, month display via 12 apertures around the circumference of the dial 40 28,800 bph Sky-Dweller
2007 4160 Automatic Regatta countdown timer, chronograph complication 42 28,800 bph Yacht-Master II
2007 3131 Automatic No date complication, Parachrom hairspring, antimagnetic 31 28,800 bph Milgauss, Air-King 40
2008 3156 Automatic Day-date function, Parachrom hairspring, Paraflex shock protection, chronometer, 48-hour power reserve 31 28,800 bph Day-Date II
2008 3132 Automatic No date complication, Parachrom hairspring, Breguet balance spring, Paraflex shock protection, Microstella adjustment system 31 28,800 bph Oyster Perpetual, Explorer 214270
2011 3187 Automatic GMT function, antimagnetic Parachrom hairspring, Paraflex shock protection, instantaneous change on date wheel 31 28,800 bph nur in der Explorer II 216570
Year Calibre Winding Features Jewels Frequency Models
2012 9001 Automatic Dual time zones, annual calendar with Saros system, month display via 12 apertures around the circumference of the dial 40 28,800 bph Sky-Dweller
2014 2236 Automatic Date complication, Syloxi hairspring in silicon, Chronergy escapement, 55-hour power reserve 31 28,800 bph Yacht-Master, Datejust 31
2015 3255 Automatic Day-date function, Parachrom hairspring, Chronergy escapement, 70-hour power reserve 31 28,800 bph Day-Date 40
2016 3235 Automatic Date complication, Parachrom hairspring, Chronergy escapement, 70-hour power reserve 31 28,800 bph Datejust 41, Sea-Dweller, Yacht-Master, Pearlmaster 39, Oyster Perpetual Date, Submariner Date
2018 3285 Automatic GMT function, Parachrom hairspring, Chronergy escapement, 70-hour power reserve 31 28,800 bph GMT-Master II
2020 3230 Automatic No date complication, Parachrom hairspring, Chronergy escapement, 70-hour power reserve 31 28,800 bph Submariner, Oyster Perpetual 41, Oyster Perpetual 36

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