Service time

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  • #48943
    demewill
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    • Topics Started: 5
    • Total Posts: 36

    What is an “average” time to service a manual wind men’s watch? By this I mean the time to disassemble the movement, clean,oil, and reassemble and be ready for timing without other repairs required.
    I don’t have a cleaning machine currently and know that adds to the time it takes me. I am fairly new, and just wondering how long this takes others.

    Thanks,
    Dan

    #56610
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Hi Dan,
    I will answer your question but bear in mind I mostly do clocks and only work on my own/friends watches and am nowhere near as fast as the other guys. For a simple mechanical wristwatch without date etc around 4-6 hours. That is if it is just a strip, clean, lubricate assemble and I have no distractions/problems/repairs. Don’t get hung up on how long it takes, at the start you need to focus on doing the job well so you end up with the cleanest, perfectly lubricated watch. As with anything, the more you do it the quicker you will get. Don’t take shortcuts, these will cause you more problems than if you had just done it right in the first place. Eventually you get into a rhythm and if you do this regularly enough you will find you can turn a watch around pretty quickly and have confidence in your work.
    Paul :)

    #56611
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Dan,
    When you see a professional watchmaker on Youtube disassemble, repair, clean, and reassemble a watch, keep in mind that the person you are watching has been doing it for 25 years. The answer is as Paul stated, it should be done correctly and with craftsmanship. If you took your watch to a repair facility and when you picked up your watch the watchmaker told you, “here is your watch sir, we worked on it really fast”; or, would you rather hear, “here is your watch sir, we took our time and did a really fine job”. Picking up your speed will come with time and practice and if you want to produce quality work, speed is not something you should be concerned with. This will increase automatically as you accumulate tools and skills.
    david

    #56612
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    I agree with David. I would not worry about time. Your time will increase as you gain experience. If I just do a clean and oil on a 3 train modern movement it takes me about 4 hrs. If repairs are needed it may take 6 to 8 hrs. 30 yrs ago when I started it may have taken me 10 hrs just to clean and oil but if it needed any repairs it my take me 12 to 16 hrs. So my advice is like David again and was taught by my mentor when I apprenticed under him. Do the work as if it was your own clock or watch. If you wouldn’t do it on yours then don’t do it on theirs. He also said do quality work and don’t worry about speed. It will bite you every time. I found this last statement to be true more than once in my early years.

    Since you asked about a watch. I can tear down a 18S pocket watch, clean, repair, oil and reassemble in 4 to 6 hrs. A watch to me is more delicate than a clock so takes me slightly longer. I don’t want to break anything and it is easy to do. 😆

    #56613
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    I can only agree with my esteemed brothers in time. I sometimes spend the whole day just hand polishing gears/pivots, then another day on the screws, maybe 5 hours polishing the plates. There is an unrivaled pleasure in washing away the dirt and grime and seeing a nice shine appear, then everything slips together and moves freely, you know every mm of the watch, every problem, because you’ve been staring at it for so long. You have become one with your work :)

    Once it’s over and the satisfaction begins to fade and you start to look for another watch, then you know you’ve got the bug 😆

    Disclaimer : Potential joke with vulgar connotations is about to be inserted. 18 and up only..

    When I clean a watch it reminds me of a joke about the two bulls..

    Two bulls are up on a hill, a young bull and an old bull. Below are a herd of cows, grazing.
    The young bull states… Lets run down there and jump on one of those cows!!
    The old bull replies, why don’t we walk down and jump all of them..

    Moral?

    #56614
    demewill
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 5
    • Total Posts: 36

    Thanks everyone for your answers. I am truely an amateur and I am sure it will be a while before I am proficient at the bench. I am only asking for the purpose of setting a baseline.

    Being a hobbiest I am only working on watches I collect from eBay and estate sales. Most of these cost less than $20.00 and I consider this moderat “tuition”.

    Thanks again,
    Dan

    #56615
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Dan, most of us began knowing nothing, dick, zippo, nada. The main thing is… your passion and just doing it. Also your character in a way comes into play, if you’re patient, caring, detailed, a shine freak like myself 😯 it will all influence how and what your performance will be, how much time you take and what enjoyment you derive.

    I’m a collector turned hobbyist, I just got tired of having so many none working PWs that I decided to give it a shot, oh boy, that turned into an addiction :|
    Main thing is, do what you enjoy. If you need help, send up a smoke signal here and we can have a pow wow and smoke the peace pipe 😆

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demewillService time