Home Forums General Discussion Forum New Here and to Watch Restoration!

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #49786

      Hello all!

      My name is Art and I’m new here and in the process of gathering up my tools to begin a new hobby. I love watches, have built a small collection of modern automatics and really want to understand them more to get into restoring vintage mechanical/automatic wrist watches.

      A few questions from somebody inexperienced in the hobby!

      Question 1: For starting out, would any of you recommend any additional frequently used tools in addition to the list below?

      I picked up two running vintage pocket watches that I’ll practice on using Bob’s videos from eBay.
      – 1903 Hampden 1728894 17j 18s Full Plate Working Pocket Watch: http://www.ebay.com/itm/141957242533
      – Waltham Pocket Watch (don’t have all of the details here but was a decent price looked clean): http://www.ebay.com/itm/351704190044

      I plan to disassemble/clean/oil/reassemble a few times to get my feet wet. Maybe polish & resell or maybe give as gifts.

      Tools I’ve ordered: Mostly found on eBay/Amazon/Esslinger (attempted to find used American/Euro made tools versus new from China when shopping on Amazon).

      – Loupe for Magnification.
      – A couple of different Watchmaker screwdriver sets.
      – A few different sets of Tweezers.
      – A few different Pinvises.
      – Basic oil and oiler.
      – L&R cleaner. L&R rinse.
      – One dip mainspring cleaner.
      – Pithwood, Peg wood, rodico for cleaning.
      – Regular letdown key set.
      – Watch movement holders (I picked up one for pocket watches and a smaller for wrist).
      – Cleaning baskets (am using tea infuser cages for now. Please tell me if there is a downside that may be detrimental to the parts/movement of a watch).
      – Hand removing tool.
      – Crystal removal tool.
      – Rubber dust blower.

      There are a couple of things I’m waiting on due to the cost at this time.
      – I have a decent desk and a good desk lamp but & if I really get into it I’ll look for a proper desk.
      – A proper watch sonic cleaner.
      – Demagnetizer (used on eBay).
      – Timing Machine (used on eBay).

      Question 2: My wife has a small jewelry ultrasonic cleaner that I was going to use for the parts with the L&R cleaner. Admittedly, I still need to watch the video on cleaning but…Is this a bad idea?

      Question 3: At the point I’m ready to move on to restoring a wrist watch (I’m assuming I’ll start with something inexpensive that’s a manual wind), is there any brand or specific model that you all could help me in a recommendation for starting on?

      Thank you for any advice you can provide!


        Pick up some Naptha (most hardware stores should have, if not you can use lighter fluid for a zippo lighter) for soaking your watch parts in before starting your cleaning process, it will remove any grease, if your sticking to watches only, pick up some small glass jars to keep your One Dip and Naptha in so they do not evaporate away.

        Loops, I would get a 3x or around there, then a stronger 15x or stronger, or a scope to check those pivots, jewels with…

        For many tools in watch making you get what you pay for, screwdrivers or screw driver blades are critical to you being able to service a movement with out marring it up with scratches from a bad fitting screw driver blade slipping on you. Also a good pair of tweezers is critical, some prefer brass tweezers to steel, as they also do not mar the movement.

        The tea strainers are a great solution for cleaning parts, I used them myself before I picked up my watch cleaner.

        Also pick up a copy of the “Chicago School of Watchmaking”, it is a great book to start out with, then add books from Donald De Carle to your Horological library as move further into your new hobby.


          Thanks Steve! I went vintage on the tweezers (found a couple of sets of Dumont on eBay), and they have already proved valuable.

          I went Bergeon for the screwdrivers as well. They weren’t that expensive in the grand scheme of things.

          In disassembling the Hampden watch yesterday, I’m already finding that a 10x loupe is too powerful for such a large pocket watch so plan to also get a 3X or 5X.

          Any opinions on using the inexpensive ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for cleaning?


            yeah 10x is a bit too much for assembly/disassembly, I use my 15x for inspection of the jewels and pinions, I have a 3.0 that I use almost all of the time.. old eyes..

            not sure about the ultra sonic, is it big enough to float a small glass jar in it? if so place your cleaning solutions in their own jars and simply place the jar in the ultrasonic cleaner, that way you do not have to worry about how the cleaners will interact with the unit.


              Very good idea – thanks Steve.

              It should be large enough… I think.


                I use an ultrasonic cleaner that you use for jewelry and I use it both for jewelry and for cleaning watches. What i do is i get some small pickling jars and put my cleaning solution in those. I fill the ultrasonic cleaner with water and i place the pickling jars that are full of the cleaning solution into the ultrasonic. The vibrations from the machine will vibrate right through the glass and clean your watches.


                  Thanks Chaplin…that should work!


                    Sorry for my delayed response and welcome to the forum :)

                    I would add a good staking set to your list, they come in useful for all sorts of jobs.
                    If you don’t have good natural light then get yourself the best bench light going. The need for good lighting is always underestimated and was so by me in the beginning!
                    If you are bending over to work on watches at your desk you might want to consider building a smaller raised table to bring the working height up. Check the hints and tips section of this forum.

                  Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
                  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.