Rolex 3186 Self-Winding Mechanical Movement

December 20, 2016

Rolex 3186 Movement (photo: Rolex)
Manufactured in-house by Rolex, the 3186 self-winding mechanical movement powers the popular GMT-Master II model in its 40 millimeter configuration. According to an article by, this movement was also used on the last five digit reference Explorer II. After that, the watchmaker sized up the Exp2 to 42 millimeters and began using the 3187 movement it uses to this day. In addition to the hour, minute and second hands, this movement offers a GMT complication with a 24-hour hand and display.

Like most of the movements that have come from their manufacture since the early 2000s, the Calibre 3186 is equipped with Rolex's blue Parachrom hairspring. It beats with an oscillation frequency of 28,800 beats per minute which allows for optimal precision and reliability. Since 2005, the watchmaker has used their Paraflex shock absorbers to increase shock resistance in their movements. To this day, the movements are powered by a Perpetual rotor that the watchmaker patented in 1931. A half-moon shaped weight rotates bidirectionally with the movement of the wrist to capture the energy required to power the movement.

Of of Rolex's movements undergo rigorous testing to ensure their precision before going out to customers. They are all certified as chronometers by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). The watchmaker also adds their own certification indicted by a green seal that certifies their watches as Superlative Chronometers. For more information on Rolex watchmaking, visit


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