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Whamo on the Rolli? Yikes.

Updated: Feb 11, 2019

Oh no, it was bound to happen. What to do next? Are buff and polish the only options?


Cost of this repair? $270 done in 3 days


Nasty damage on the lug of this 116610LN Submariner

Polishing Down.


Traditionally buff and polish is how this nasty gouge would be repaired. Send it to a Rolex Service Center and you will be presented the option of replacing the entire case ($3695) or buffing it down. The deeper the damage, the more material is removed. It then becomes your dilemma. Is it better to have one lug thinner than the other, or consider the doing the unthinkable ... intentionally grind down the undamaged side so both are even. What an awful position to be in.


Inherently, polishing stainless steel is the process of resurfacing by way of removal of metal. As a result, a watch has a limited number of polishes before the metal is thin and unsightly.


Welding Up One of our many specialties is laser welding. This is a non contact form of welding involving a laser beam of light, argon shielding gas, and fill wire. This is high precision process, where the workpiece is viewed through a microscope. The damage spot(s) are filled with new 316L stainless steel for vintage models or 904L stainless steel for modern models. These are the exact alloys Rolex uses for manufacturing watch cases. We build up the damage area with new metal higher than the original level. From there we can work the new metal down until meets the original surface preserving the original metal in the undamaged area. Nearly none of the original metal is lost. Unlike polishing, there really isn't a limit to how many times this can be done. So go ahead and dig threw that big bag of rocks wearing your brand new Daytona!


Joking.


Gouge on corner lug of Ceramic Submariner 116610LN

Up close the nastiness of the damage is more visible. Look at the stress marks on the very hard 904L stainless steel.

One roll of new 904L stainless steel fill material

Laser welding in progress at Rolliworks

New 904L steel laser welded in to fill the damaged area

After smoothing, back to its original beauty!

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