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A comprehensive introduction to the Rolex Daytona 4130 movement, what is the 4130 movement?

Today cchenwatch gives you an in-depth analysis of the Rolex 4130 chronograph movement

The Daytona, always the most popular Rolex watch, is the Rolex 4130 automatic chronograph movement used in the model on sale. Over the years, there have been many introductions and interpretations of the 4130 movement, an automatic chronograph movement that combines practicality, leading technology, and compact design. I will summarize the technical features of the 4130 movement and give a focused explanation of the Rolex 4130 movement.

Rolex 4130 automatic chronograph movement with the following basic information.

The Rolex 4130 automatic chronograph movement, introduced in 2000, was Rolex’s first in-house automatic chronograph movement. 4130 automatic chronograph movement, first used on the Daytona 116520, replaced the 4030 automatic chronograph movement used on the Daytona 16520 (Rolex purchased the Zenith El Primero chronograph movement, modified and numbered 4030 movement).

The Rolex Daytona 116520, which began using the 4130 movement in 2000, has been discontinued and replaced by the 116500.

4130 automatic chronograph movement, 30.5 mm in size, 6.5 mm thick, 44 jewel bearings, 28,800 vibrations/hour oscillation, 72 hours power, using a column wheel with vertical clutch.

Rolex is currently selling the new Diagonal 116500 with the 4130 movement.

The 4130 movement was developed over five years and has 201 parts. 4130 movement has 60% fewer parts than the 4030 movement, Rolex’s version of the Zenith El Primero movement, and the 4130 movement also has fewer types of parts. For example, the 4130 movement reduces the number of screw types to 12, while the 4030 movement/El Primero uses 40. The simplification of parts increases the reliability of the 4130 movement and facilitates maintenance.

Rolex 4130 automatic chronograph movement

The 4130 is Rolex’s first, in-house movement using a ceramic ball-bearing automatic tourbillon with bi-directional winding (note that it is in-house, the 4030 is outsourced). Thanks to the ceramic ball-bearing rotor, winding efficiency is increased by 68%. It is also the first Rolex movement to use a Parachrom blued niobium balance spring.

The Rolex 4130 movement wheel layout is different from most automatic chronograph movements.

First the conclusion, then the reason.

The Rolex 4130 automatic chronograph movement, using vertical clutch, uses a central two-wheel layout for the movement (i.e., the second wheel is in the center of the movement and the seconds wheel is at 6 o’clock). Most other column-wheel, vertical-clutch automatic chronograph movements, on the other hand, usually use a partial two-wheel movement layout (i.e. the second wheel is not in the center of the movement, and the seconds wheel is in the center of the movement). The reason for the Rolex 4130 movement, with its central two-wheel layout, is to make the movement thinner and to avoid the “common problem” that automatic chronograph movements are usually thicker.

The cause of the problem lies in the “vertical clutch”.

The vertical clutch is a standard feature of modern chronograph movements. The vertical clutch mechanism, the chronograph seconds wheel and the chronograph seconds wheel, are arranged “vertically” up and down (some movements are arranged “staggered” up and down), and the clutching of the two upper and lower gears is achieved by means of a “friction plate” in the middle. The clutching of the upper and lower gears is achieved by means of a “friction plate” in the middle (gear connection or separation). The advantage is that the two gears are connected “up and down” by the “friction plate” clutch, so there is no gear galling, no jitter, and no problems with smoothness.

On the Rolex 4130 movement, the vertical clutch used.

However, the vertical clutch has a disadvantage, that is, the seconds wheel, chronograph seconds wheel “vertical” layout, vertical clutch and often layout in the center of the movement (most chronograph movements use a partial two-wheel layout, the seconds wheel in the center of the movement, so the chronograph seconds wheel, vertical clutch is done in the center of the movement), coupled with automatic chronograph movement, automatic winding parts, automatic tourbillon, are also in the center of the movement, are stacked layer by layer, which caused the movement thickness greatly increased the problem.

Rolex caliber 4130, chronograph component construction.

So that’s why many new automatic chronographs (using vertical clutch), are thicker, but you players can feel that the Rolex Daytona, in comparison, is thinner, thanks to the special design of the 4130 movement.

Rolex 4130 movement layout (left) compared to a conventional vertical clutch chronograph movement layout (right).

The Rolex 4130 automatic chronograph movement is unique in that the seconds wheel is at the 6 o’clock position and the chronograph seconds wheel is in the center of the movement. The original “vertical” layout of the seconds wheel and chronograph wheel in the vertical clutch has been changed to a “flat”, “horizontal” layout. This significantly reduces the thickness of the movement.

Rolex 4130 movement layout (left) compared to a conventional vertical clutch chronograph movement layout (right).

The thickness of the 4130 movement has been reduced, but there is a new problem that needs to be solved.

The Rolex 4130 movement, although the thickness problem was solved, Rolex had a new problem to solve. As mentioned earlier, Rolex has turned the original vertical clutch “up and down” layout of the seconds wheel and chronograph seconds wheel into a “horizontal left and right” layout (vertical clutch lower layer driven by the seconds wheel shaft components, the upper layer to bite with the chronograph seconds wheel, the upper and lower layer through the friction plate engagement / The upper and lower layers are engaged/separated by friction plates).

Rolex caliber 4130, detail of the chronograph components, note the specially shaped chronograph seconds wheel.

Thickness down, but Rolex to once again have to face, the gears and gears between the engagement problem. (General chronograph vertical clutch, although in the center of the movement, thicker, but the seconds wheel, chronograph seconds wheel are stacked up and down, completely by the friction plate connection, there is no gear bite problem, so that each has its own advantages and disadvantages, there is no perfection).
Veteran players may have heard that the Rolex 4130 movement, there is a special gear, using micro-electro-mechanical technology (MEMS) manufacturing, this is the 4130 movement “by the MEMS technology manufacturing chronograph seconds wheel”, is to solve the problem of gear and gear meshing.

Rolex uses a chronograph seconds wheel made of MEMS, note the special construction of the gear teeth.

Micro-electro-mechanical technology (MEMS) allows gears to be shaped directly by photolithography, allowing various special shapes to be shaped, and the parts are so smooth that they do not require further processing by hand. In layman’s terms, a mold is lithographed, the metal is injected, and the part is shaped OK. Rolex uses MEMS technology to manufacture the chronograph seconds wheel, the middle of the teeth is the main body, the left and right flaps are flexible (similar to a spring), when the gears mesh with each other, the left and right flaps can be bent inward, to ensure that when the gears bite together, full contact, no gaps, to ensure that when the chronograph function is activated, there will be no “chronograph seconds hand jitter “. This is an important technology in the Rolex 4130 movement.
It is important to note that the early Rolex Daytona 4130 movements did not use the micro-electromechanical technology (MEMS) chronograph seconds wheel. Later, and nowadays, all the Titonnas for sale are equipped with a MEMS chronograph seconds wheel. The early 4130 movement of the Daytona, if serviced and repaired at the official Rolex aftermarket, the official will change the early 4130 with a MEMS chronograph seconds wheel. Officials themselves automatically gave the replacement.

Rolex microelectromechanical (MEMS) manufactured chronograph seconds wheel with tooth detail.

To conclude.

Through the summary of the technical details of the Rolex 4130 movement, we can find that Rolex has reached the ultimate in the pursuit of practicality and detailed technology in watches. Of course, Rolex is not the only watch with meticulous research on movement gears, Breitling B01 chronograph movement has similar gears in the vertical clutch drive, but there are differences in movement construction with Rolex (I will write about the details separately after Breitling B01); Patek Philippe also has similar technology and design in its movement.

Breitling caliber B01, the drive gears used on the chronograph components, also have special teeth.

On Patek Philippe’s new 26-330 caliber, a special gear in the shape of a “metal brush” can be seen on the lower left side of the rotor.


The actual market for Rolexes is currently perennially high due to supply and demand issues. Putting aside the market, every player who has bought a Rolex should be able to feel that Rolex watches are exceptional in terms of performance and wearing experience. Although Rolex does not have any complications, nor any outstanding features (the design is very explosive, cool skeleton, ultra-thin and so on), but the comprehensive ability of the strong, convincing. (Photo/Written by Yan Bomping, The House of Watches)