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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please excuse my ignorance, but are all Rolex's assembled by one person or are they on some kind of assembly line with different people doing different parts of the assembly, or is the whole thing automated? I have a vintage Bi-metal 1969 Datejust 1601 I think and was interested to know how long it would have taken to produce from start to finish.
 

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Well 1st, the production of a 1969 watch will be nothing similar to today's production. There was probably some automation, but the vast majority was probably manually done. I highly doubt it was one person though. It was probably multiple people as that allows them to be experts in their area.

Today Rolex is highly automated. They've recently completed new, state of the art assembly plants that resemble more of a Borg ship than a watch factory. "Pods" store movements in oils and transport them to wherever they're needed, big "transformer" like machines grab, mill and polish cases, etc. However people are still in place to verify the quality of the work by the machines and people do much of the movement assembly and such. No one outside Rolex really knows the exact mix of automation vs. hand labor, but from what they've allowed to be photographed & documented, it's quite impressive.
 
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