Having the correct tools makes life a whole lot easier. I think that you’ll all agree with that. These tools will help you in watch repair. You will find that some of them are expensive, while others very affordable.
If you have ever tried to fix something, and had the wrong tool in hand, it no doubt took you a lot longer to figure out how to fix something, or use the tool in a manor that didn’t fit its purpose.
Here, I’m going to show you my recommended tools for fixing watches. These are not necessarily the most professional tools you can buy, but they get the job done, and are made to meet the purpose of generally repairing any kind of watch that you wish to tackle.
All of these products are available on Amazon, and you can also check out my Amazon Store, where you will find more products… These links are affiliate links, which means that I make a Very Small commission on each product you purchase here from my recommendations. It cost you nothing more, but Amazon is kind enough to give us influencers a bit of the profit.
Having the correct screwdriver set for watch repair is important. This is the most used tool you will have on your bench. You will find that the screwdrivers are the go-to tools when disassembly and reassembly of the watch is taking place. A good set of screwdrivers is very important.
These are some of the best screwdrivers you can get. They are not cheap by any means, but if you are serious about getting your hands on a set that will last decades, this is brand you will want to get your hands on.
Click here for alternatives to bergeon. These alternatives will get the job done, and are perfect for those of you just starting out.
So, many of you may wonder if there is a difference in tweezers… Yes, there is a big difference. When working on watches, the types of tweezers you use, especially ‘non-magnetic’ are important. The quality of the tweezers is also important. The tips should be strong, as weak tweezers that don’t hold parts or screws well, can bend, allowing for dropped parts or parts to “pop” out the tweezers and get lost… A good set of tweezers used with a slight hand will make repairs easier and more enjoyable.
The purpose of having parts trays is simple. They are great places to store the parts you remove from watches as you are taking them apart to store them prior to cleaning, after cleaning and before you begin to reassemble the watch. They are very inexpensive, and I can’t tell you enough how important they are to your workflow if you are doing more than one watch at a time.
Sometimes, having a watch in pieces, having to order a part or two for a watch, having all stored in a sealed tray is a God-Send when you’re ready to come back to it.
Parts trays with dust covers are good to have. They are affordable and easy to store… If you are going to do more than one watch, get a three-count.
Bench pads are wonderful things to have on your bench or table top. They are soft, cause no damage to the watches you are working on, and offer a soft padded surface so that parts to go flying off and getting lost.
If you’re going to get into watch repair as a hobby or a profession, you’re going to have to invest at some point in time, into a good set of watch mainspring winders. Mainspring winders are used to wind the main spring into a small circumference that will fit into the main spring barrel easily without having to touch it with your hands.
In some cases you’ll never have to use a mainspring winder however, you should never wind it manually with your hands, especially your bare hands. Mainspring winders make inserting a main spring into a main spring barrel, very easy and are typically purchased by size. Each size represents the inner diameter of the main spring barrel.
these tools can be sometimes expensive, however you can get a used set on eBay or invest in a lower cost that if you’re just looking to get into the Hobby from Amazon. The link to the left is an affiliate link that I’ve used for my Amazon site where you can purchase a main spring winder set.
Ultrasonic cleaners are part of the every day tools that a watchmaker, watch technician or jeweler uses. They are a necessity if you want to clean watches and watch parts. I would recommend that if you are just starting out, don’t go too extravagant. However, if you intend to clean and service watches a lot, get yourself a good, high quality heated cleaner.
Ultrasonic cleaners come in many sizes and flavors. Some are heated, some are not.
I always recommend reading the reviews of any product you buy, and its no different for these parts cleaners.
I have several, and they will last years if you buy a good one. However, if you don’t need such a professional version, start small and grow.
Don’t forget the watch cleaning solutions… They are a must with these fine machines.
Watch Time-grapher (Digital):
Timing machines for testing watches of all kinds mechanical, have come a long way since the first timegrapher was created. These digital timing machines are great for working on your watches or your customers.
I will have to admin… You can get caught up in a world of OCD turmoil. Many watches, especially older and worn watches are not going to necessarily run perfect. I have talked to new watch techs and watchmakers who sometimes get caught in the trap. Many well-made watches will test fine, but let’s say you have an old pocket watch that runs differently in several positions. After you have checked every possible object in the watch for debris or maybe broken jewels and damaged pinions, you may just run into the fact that it is just how the watch runs. In this case, use the average beat rate to time your inaccurate watch.
However, newer watches almost always seem to test great on these. Using these to test the timing of a watch, and even assisting you in the adjustment of the timing, can be a great asset to your benchtop.
If you intend to service many watches, or perhaps, you want to play with your own watches, then this is a great tool to have.
Ultrasonic Cleaner Accessories:
Well, you’ve ordered your ultrasonic cleaner… This is the next step. You just can’t through parts in the cleaner. You’ll need baskets are trays to fit into your cleaner to hold the parts you are cleaning and separate them from each other.
Parts baskets and trays fit into your cleaner and make cleaning individual parts easy.
Maybe you only need one or two, but if you are going to get into this as a serious hobby or even profession, grab more… They get used quick.
Good sets made of stainless are recommended.
Case back and Band tools:
Opening the back of a watch, whether to chance a battery or do service to a mechanical watch is important. You’ll no doubt realize over time, that there are many styles of case banks, watch bands, and tools you’ll need. I recommend if you are starting out, to get a kit. They are affordable, and will get you started.
Glass bowls for cleaning and Rinsing:
When I first started fixing watches, before I went for training, I found a good set of pyrex bowls to use for my cleaning and rinse solutions. Soon after, I upgraded to glass bowls with covers, which saved the solutions from drying and evaporating away.
Glass bowls or rinsing bowls are important.
Watch Rince solutions, if not covered, will evaporate, and because the solutions are expensive, I recommend a good, covered bowl for this.
Cleaning solutions usually reside in the ultrasonic cleaner, and those do come with covers.
A Crystal Press:
Crystal presses are used in a number of ways. First, they are most commonly used for press fitting the back covers onto watches, mostly after replacement of a battery. Of course, they are also used for their original intention, to help you press fit a new crystal onto a watch chase. They come with a number of dies, either metal or nylon. I recommend the nylon, as they do not scratch the cases or parts of the watch you would have to go fix later.
You can order extra sets or different size dies if you need them. They come in shapes like squares, and rectangles, not just round.
You may find that you need a variety of these dies, so, use your judgement on what it is you need. Round does work for almost all watches.
Keep in mind, years of use may wear out your dies, so, because of that, you can order new sets of dies at any time.
A Crystal Press:
Micrometers, or Vernier Calipers are something that a jeweler or watchmaker use daily. Don’t cheap out on these tools… A good one will last you years, and will work perfectly for a long time if taken care of.
You will be using these to measure almost everything. Crystal sizes, screws, movement height, and more. They are also invaluable to the jeweler, so if you do both functions, they will come in very handy.
No, go check out my series on Pocket watch service. See how all these tools get used.