How to replace a Rolex Mainspring

In this tutorial, I’m going to teach you how to replace the main spring in a men’s Rolex wristwatch. It is important that mechanical watches be serviced periodically, and have the main springs changed during that period of service.

the main spring, is the motor that operates a mechanical watch. It is important that these motors or Springs, be cleaned and serviced or replaced if needed. This is usually done at a five year period, If the watch is worn every single day.

in addition to the typical tools that you will need to repair watches, you’ll also need a main spring Winder. In some instances, the main springs come wound in a metal loop, that can easily be inserted directly into the main spring barrel eliminating the need for a main spring winder tool.

however, if you are going to be working with things like pocket watches or antique watches, you’ll want to have a good mainspring winder on hand. You can either buy these from, or new from watch repair suppliers however, new mainspring winders can be quite expensive if you are new to this hobby or profession. So keep that in mind when purchasing your tools. You can often find very good deals on used tools on eBay at reasonable costs.

the image to the left, shows the main spring I used in this video inserted into his metal ring. As I mentioned before, the main spring can be inserted directly into the main spring barrel with this ring attached surrounding it simply just by pushing it into the barrel eliminating the need for the mainspring winder. However, if the main spring is removed from this metal ring, you’ll need a winder to wind it back into the barrel. Don’t ever use your fingers to insert the main spring into a barrel as oils from your hand can get onto the main spring, and caused the main spring to operate poorly.

I know in this video, I did not wear gloves. This was very bad of me to show you as you should always wear a set of gloves or protectors for your fingers to eliminate any oils from your hands getting onto the watch parts. Do as I say, not as I do.

A Common Mainspring Winder!

if you purchase a set of mainspring whiners, you’ll notice that they come in multiple sizes. Each size conforms to the specific diameter of the particular barrel diameter that you were working with. The barrel itself should be slightly larger than the main spring Winder that you are inserting into it to allow the main spring to fit properly into the barrel.

no matter whether you purchase a new set of mainspring winder’s or if you are using an old set that’s been around and used for years, these mainspring winder serve the purpose that helps you perform your job in watch repair much more easily.

most Rolex watches should be service between three and five years depending on use and abuse of that particular watch. Typically, it is recommended that the main springs be replaced every five years. A new main spring, allows the watch to run much more accurately assuming that there’s no other damage to the watch. Mainsprings do wear out on most wrist watches. Good quality main springs can be purchased either from the manufacturer, or parts supply houses.

it is important to keep in mind, that if a main spring breaks in a Rolex watch, you might want to examine the movement for more signs of damage. What do you mean spring does break, it can actually cause damage to some of the smaller parts inside the watch such as but not limited to, the pallet fork the drive gear, or even the balance wheel. So before you change the main spring, examine all the parts that are connected to the watch train for any damage that might be visible.

Also, after you’ve inserted the main spring into the main spring barrel, you’ll want to use a good main spring oil or main spring grease to lubricate the main spring before you close up the barrel. This is important to allow the main spring to unwind freely and supply an even amount of pressure during its wound lifetime without causing erratic timing, in the watch.