Updated: Feb 11, 2019
Cost of this repair? $90 done in 2 days.
Fortunately this has only happened once or twice in the history of Rolex so it's unlikely you will ever run into this. It's written here on the internet so it has to be true ...
In actuality, a lot of us have seen this before. Perhaps you're wearing a watch at this very moment afflicted by this ugliness. The diver's extension, once nested neatly below the clasp cover, has now grown sloppy and swings open the moment the clasp is opened.
As a repair shop we have seen an assortment of amateur repairs (attempts) made by owners. From a piece of tin foil jammed in the hinge, Krazy glue, to the more common mangled mess left after someone taken a set of pliers to the sides on the clasp. Yah don't do that.
But what's really is going on here? What allows the extension to snap in under the clasp in the first place? What does it take to fix, so it can again snap in nicely and tightly the way Rolex intended? Well, you're in luck. We do this repair all the time. Here are two areas of focus when repairing a sloppy diver's extension.
1. Small tabs on the inside of the clasp cover - These small tabs assists in holding the extension blades. Normal wear and tear has thinned the metal tabs from a bump to nearly flat. This needs to be restored to its original height for the clasp to function properly.
2. Rivet pin on the center blade of the extension - This rivet on the center blade has been worn flat. The rivet should protrude a bit. This is the piece that creates that snappy feel when it locks into the clasp. For collectable pieces, these are the details that matter.
Of the few methods we tried over the years, laser welding new 316L stainless steel metal to the inside of the clasp cover has proven the most effective. A few welds on each side builds up the area missing steel to the original height without needing to make exaggerated bends on the tabs or deforming the clasp cover in the process. It's also a repair that will be good for years.
Not quite done. With the tabs repaired this is what the extension looks like if the rivet is not addressed. It's better than before but still not quite the look we're going for.
First we need to remove the old rivet. We do so quickly with a cut off wheel and punch.
Then we need one new rivet pin. Rolex Part # B32-20734-F5 if you're wondering.
One side already has the rivet head right out of the package.
Sometimes we like to show off the fancy gadgets used in watchmaking, but this time, it's done the old fashion way. A ball peen hammer, anvil, and a wood block for a bit of dampening. It's surprisingly fun and rewarding to do. The sound of the banging tends to annoy everyone around which kinda adds to the fun factor.
BAMMM! Rivet pin good as new.
Now we're stylin'. Turning back the clock on this classic diver's Oyster bracelet. Send us a message if your diver's extension needs this repair.