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Mark

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Everything posted by Mark

  1. I have not heard this. I normally grab them here: https://secure.eta.ch/CSP/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=2&tabid=28 Are you looking for a particular calibre?
  2. Yes - it can be worthwhile servicing these higher grade quartz movements. But if we are talking about a Miyota 2035 for example then that would be different as they only cost a few pounds to purchase new.
  3. That would depend on the condition of the movement. They are supposed to have a 10 year lifespan.
  4. Wether watch repair is your hobby, or you wish to train as a watch repairer, you will need to buy some tools at some stage. These are the 10 most useful tools you will need in your kit.There is the right tool for every job in all trades and this is especially true for watch repairing. No matter how many tools you have, there always seems to be something needed. I know many watch repairers, some with many, many years behind their belts, who truly enjoy sifting through a catalog of tools in order to see what would make their lives easier. Indeed, I have almost 25 years in the trade, and I have so many tools. But occasionally I enjoy the purchase of that new tool which will make my life easier. And there is no better feeling than buying the best quality and knowing that you are using the best. That being said, there are several tools which are very important to have on day one of your watch repairing career. And even if you are an enthusiast and watch repairing is your hobby, you should consider these 10 tools at a minimum to be in your tool box. 1. TWEEZERS OK, so tweezers are of paramount importance. A good, well maintained pair of tweezers are needed. But you really should consider having several sizes for different jobs. · Size 2 This will be for picking up heavier pieces. These are useful for handling train bridges and base plates. And as general use when working on pocket watches. · Size 3 These are finer than size two and are useful for general purpose when working on wrist watches. · Size 5 This size will have extremely fine tips and are most useful when working on watch escapements and manipulating hairsprings. · Size AM.BR These are quite heavy tweezers made of brass. These are useful when working on high grade watches where you do not wish to risk scratching any of the watch plate surfaces. Other sizes are available but you really should consider the above at a minimum. There are many choices even after you have chosen which sizes to purchase. You can get carbon steel, stainless steel and anti-magnetic. There are also brands such as Bergeon, Horotec and Dumont. Many professional watch repairers tend to use Dumont as they have a fantastic range to choose from. In particular I can recommend the Dumostar range. These are anti-magnetic but also quite hard wearing. If you bend or damage the tips on your screwdrivers then you can re-shape them using a sharpening stone. If they get too worn then they are still useful for rough work like lifting spring bars when fitting straps etc. 2. SCREWDRIVERS A decent set of screwdrivers is, naturally, a must. There are many manufacturers and qualities to choose from, but it is not recommended to use the cheap variety sold on eBay or at your local market as these will usually have very soft tips and could likely slip and cause damage to the watch you are working on. Popular brands include A&F, Bergeon and Horotec. A&F manufacture a great set of screwdrivers for a reasonable price, and these are an excellent choice for getting started. Many watch repairers may debate over which is best between Bergeon and Horotec. I prefer Bergeon with the ergonomic heads. Other watch repairers I know swear by the Horotec's. Everybody I know seem to agree that the Bergeon fully ergonomic screwdrivers are terrible (the ones with the rubber shaft). 3. HAND LIFTING TOOLS Essential for removing the hands from a watch. There are two kinds · Standard hand lifters These come in pairs and are metal rods with a tapered flat edge at the tips which is curved into a blade and will have a 'v' cut in the blade centre. These come in several sizes which would be useful for small watches up to small clocks. · Presto hand lifters This is a single tool which has a spring loaded lifting mechanism. It is useful to have both kinds. My preference is the standard hand lifters. 4. CASE OPENING TOOLS A case knife is essential for opening a watch case with a snap-on back. It is advisable to keep the blade both sharp and well maintained to reduce the risk of damage to yourself or the watch case. A Jaxa tool is used for opening a watch case with a screw on back. It will come with several tips for different types of watch back. There are a couple of sizes, a standard size and a large size. You can buy the original Jaxa or a cheaper replica. You should use the opener with the watch case mounted in a case vice (preferably further secured in a bench vice). 5. CASE VICE When opening a screw-down watch back, you should consider using a case vice which will help to minimise damage to the case and potential injury to your hand. It is even better to secure the case vice in a bench vice. 6. BLOWER When working on your watch, you should NEVER blow on the movement or any parts with your mouth. This will likely cause corrosion. You should use an air blower instead. There are a couple of types - a bellows style and a pump style. The bellows style is a bit more aggressive and the pump style is more gentle. 7. MOVEMENT HOLDERS When the watch is out of the case, you will want to minimise touching the watch with your fingers. You will also not want to put pressure on the watch when undoing screws and you could break parts. So using movement holders is very advisable. There are regular universal movement holders in various sizes and shapes. and you will find movement holders for specific movement calibres like the Valjoux 7750 or ETA 2892-A2 for example. 8. EYE GLASSES (LOUPES) You should invest in eye glasses with quality optics. An eye glass is usually worn in your eye like a monocle. You will find these manufactured by A&F, Bergeon and Horotec. At a minimum you should have a low magnification (x4) and a high magnification (x10) for close inspection work. This is very important when fault finding. You can get a clip for your spectacles and there is also a head band available for people who cannot get used to wearing an eye glass which can be quite tricky at first. 9. OIL POTS Oil pots are inexpensive and a must in order to aid you in getting the correct amount of oil on your oilers. There are cheap and very expensive oil pots and to be fair it does not really matter which ones you opt for as long as they serve the purpose of keeping dust off your precious oil. 10. OILERS These are fine, specially shaped needles with handles. They are used for transferring small amounts of lubricant from your oil pot to the desired location. ​And so this, by no means, is an exhaustive list of all the tools you need to repair watches. In fact, these are the most basic of requirements. I have not mentioned pliers, pin vices, broaches, reamers, files, cutters and measuring equipment. But I will follow up this article with a further list of tools you will need as you expand your tool kit.
  5. Those are fantastic watches - mine is very similar, the 50 year GMT model. Thanks for sharing :)
  6. If the watch is in a very bad way then I could leave it longer - say 25 mins but for most watches I find 15 minutes to be perfect. Good point about the dryer. I switch the heater on during the final jar spin-off. I leave the heater on but you may notice in the video - I do not plunge the basket down. This keeps the watch far enough away from the heater that it will not soften the shellac. Even then it is still not as hot as my old L&R machine, but it does get the job done. 11 minutes in the heater seems to do the job.
  7. This video shows how to safely strip a quartz watch movement to pieces and in the second video, how to re-assemble it.For these videos I am using an ETA 955.412 movement which is very popular in medium to high grade watches. This watch is a Maurice Lacroix but you will find this movement in watches such as Rotary and Tag Heuer as well. It is important to take your time and use quality, well maintained, tweezers and screwdrivers to do this job. You need to be especially careful when removing the circuit board. As with most watches it is advisable to start by removing the dial, calendar and motion work from the watch before removing the train wheels. Needless to say, you should not put the circuit or any of the plastic parts through the cleaning machine as these will get damaged. Also it is not advisable to put any of the magnetic parts through the cleaner as these will attract tiny metallic particles in the cleaning solutions. Simply clean them by hand using watch de-greaser and rodico. This video is in two parts - enjoy. Click here to view the article
  8. I have posted a video detailing how I clean watch movements after I have stripped them to pieces.I use the cleaning solutions manufactured by Quadralene and L&R The cleaning machine I am using is an Elma SuperElite which is a manually operated machine. This gives me full control over the cleaning cycle, but the disadvantage is that it is not ultrasonic. However, with the cleaning solutions I use this is rarely a problem as great results are achieved. I also have an L&R varimatic which is fully automatic and has an ultrasonic addon. However, I still prefer my trusty Elma.
  9. In this video I am showing how to correctly fit a new battery and reset the calendar on a Seiko Perpetual calendar watch. Applies to Cal. 4F32A, 8F32A, 8F33A, 8F35A the battery is a lithium 2412. In this video I am showing how to correctly fit a new battery and reset the calendar on a Seiko Perpetual calendar watch. Applies to Cal. 4F32A, 8F32A, 8F33A, 8F35A the battery is a lithium 2412. This video illustrates the correct way to remove the old battery without damaging the watch circuit board which is paper thin and easily damaged. Also, it illustrates that you can easily break the coil and points out where the coil is on this watch movement. It then goes on to illustrate how to reset the calendar information so that it retains it's memory. This involves shorting certain contacts with the positive side of the battery in order to set the Leap Year, The month and the day. Care must be taken when changing the battery on a seiko perpetual calendar as it is very easy to damage the paper thin circuit board - and the circuit is very costly to replace. Click here to view the article
  10. Let me know how you get on - pictures if you get the time :)
  11. OK - I have re-read your first post and coupled with your last post I am now understanding you better. Yes I feel you are on the correct path - the stem is most likely too short. There are two options. The first (and will give you the best results) will be to remove the crown (try heating it up slightly if it is very tight - not too much as you do not want to discolour it). Then use a stem extension - I will guess you will need a tap 9/ tap 9. Shorten the stem extension so it has just enough thread to tighten the crown onto and no more. Then effectively you have a longer pipe crown to deal with. Now you can adjust the stem accordingly. Use a little loctite on all the threads. The second option is what you have mentioned, but I would recommend you pack the button with small shavings of solder so that you can still tighten the crown on the stem and loctite is still recommended. If you are stuck - I will try to make a video showing how to do this. Let me know.
  12. Does the watch back have a rubber gasket around the rim? If not then the back could be screwing down too far. Same if the gasket is too thin. Also - as it is the movement ring (plastic part) looks a little out of place - the gap over the winding stem should be even either side of the stem.
  13. I have fixed this. It was a permissions problem with the forum software. Feel free to post your picture.
  14. Screw backs can sometimes move the movement ring when you tighten it and this can result in the ring jamming the stem. Try moving the ring anti-clockwise so the gap for the stem jams up agains the stem - then tighten the back, perhaps it will move the ring to the correct position.
  15. Don't start filing the crown ;) Is this a screw down watch back or a snap on back? Is there a movement spacer ring in the watch (between the movement and the case). If there is - is it lined up correctly? Feel free to post pictures with the back off so I can take a look for you.
  16. This video shows how to remove the winder (or crown and stem) from several types of watch movement. Often you will have to remove the winder before you can take the watch out of it's case. In many cases, to remove the watch from a watch case you will first need to remove the winder (crown and stem). The crown and stem is secured to the movement with a part called a "Setting Lever" (or "Bolt") and to release the setting lever's grip on the stem there are several methods depending on the type. The Screw Down Setting Lever There are two types of setting lever. The first (and very common on mechanical watches) is the setting lever with a setting lever screw. To release the setting lever's grip on the stem you will need to use a screw driver to unscrew the setting lever screw. You should not unscrew too much as the setting lever will become completely detatched from the screw and this will usually mean you will need to dismantle the dial and hands (and calendar mechanism if it has one) in order to correct this. One and a half turns of the screw is usually sufficient. If the crown and stem still refuses to come out then push down on the screw head whilst pulling the crown out. The Push Down Setting Lever As mentioned above, not all setting levers are secured with a screw. Many have a push down operation to release it's grip on the stem. The setting lever will have a spring to secure it. Do not press too hard or you could cause damage. Watch the video to see some examples of how to release the crown and stem from several different types of watch movement. Click here to view the article
  17. How to replace a rotor bearing in two watch movements - the ETA 2892-A2 movement (on an Omega Dynamic watch). And a Valjoux 7750 movement (on an Ikepod watch).The rotor bearing on these watch movements and their variants often wear faster then the other parts in the watch due to constant movement and vibration. When servicing these movements it is best practice to replace the bearings so that the automatic mechanism runs optimally. Replacing them is a near impossible task without the correct tool. The bearing nut tool is made by Horotec and also Bergeon makes one. There are two key sizes. The 7750 is smaller than the key for the 2892-A2. Attempting to remove the bolt without the correct tool will likely cause damage to the weight. Refitting the bolt without the correct tool is almost impossible. The tool is relatively easy to use. I recommend placing the weight on a small staking block so that you can apply pressure to the bolt without depressing the weight (causing damage). I have created a quick video showing the removal and replacement of the bolt on both these watch calibres. Feel free to comment below. Click here to view the article
  18. The principles of best practice for replacing a battery in a water resistant (or water proof) watch and performing a pressure test using a calypso pressure testing tool for watches.Fitting a watch battery A simple task? Well, it can be. But there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Fitting a new battery into a watch is not rocket science but there are some things that can go wrong. The pitfalls The first thing to observe after removing the watch back is what way up the existing battery is.As you may or may not know - a battery has a positive and a negative terminal. With most watches the negative side is facing downwards. But this is not always the case. Some watches have the battery in upside down (negative up) by design. It is important to realise that putting the battery in the wrong way round will not only prevent the watch from working, but will also short the battery out and cause the life (power) in the battery to drain. The watch circuit is very sensitive. One touch in the wrong place can render the circuit useless.The circuit in simplest terms is made up of two parts - the main circuit board and the coil. Now in some cases these are two separate parts and in other cases these are one piece. The coil is many meters of copper wire, coated in wax and wrapped around an iron core which creates a magnetic field when power passes through it. You will observe this part to be orange (copper) in colour. As this copper wire is so thin it can be damage by the slightest of touch and so it is very important to be extremely careful when you replace the battery to keep clear of the coil. Often there is a plastic isolator (shield) under the battery (and tucked away under the negative contact). This is easy to miss when you remove the battery and can fall away. Fitting a battery without the isolator in place will cause the battery to short.It should be noted that not all quartz movements have isolators so be careful to observe this when removing the old battery so that you can restore it back to the way it was. Best Practices Before removing the watch back - make sure all dirt and debris are removed and cleaned away from around the watch back. This will help prevent dirt contaminating the movement. If the watch is a water resistant model then you should have a silicon grease applicator to clean and re-lubricate the back gasket before re-assembly. See this being performed in the video. If the watch is a water resistant model then it is best practice to remove the winding crown and lubricate the 'o' ring inside the crown as seen in the video. Use top quality batteries. They are not expensive and so it does not make sense to use the cheap brands. I recommend Renata. Use the best tools you can afford. Using quality tools will reduce the risk of damage. Many watchmakers will insist on Bergeon or Horotec. Use the correct watch back opener for the type of case. It would be a shame to cause damage to a watch back - but even worse to cause injury to your hand. Please watch the video for further information. If you have any questions please comment. Click here to view the article
  19. This video shows how to repair the luminous compound on a watch where the old is dis-coloured or broken away. It's a relatively simple job to do if it is done right.Repairing the luminous compound on watch hands is not a very difficult job, but it does require patience and a steady hand. It is important not to apply the new compound too thickly otherwise the hands will catch on each other once the watch is re-assembled. There are two kinds of luminous compound available (and several different colours). Pre-Mixed Provided pre-mixed in a bottle ready for application. Powdered Provided in powdered form. Mix with a binding agent. Which should you use? Well, the pre-mixed compound is quite convenient and allows you to get on with the job faster with less preparation. This can be advantageous should you be in a hurry to get the job complete for a client. However, there is very little flexibility with pre-mixed compound and it can dry in the bottle with time thus going to waste. The powdered compound (which is what I use and recommend) takes a bit more to prepare but it does allow you to create a compound mixture in the consistency (or thickness) you desire. For example - I like to apply the compound very thin and so I usually mix it down accordingly. This makes the compound much easier to apply. Applying the mixture Once you have prepared the hands, as shown in the video, then you can apply the compound with a fine watch oiler or needle. Simply dip the oiler into the mixture. This draws a quantity of compound onto the oiler tip. Now you can apply the compound to the watch hands in a spreading motion and the compound should end up suspended within the gap in the hands. It can take a bit of practice to get this right so when you first start the process you should mix slightly more than you need in case you have to attempt the job more than once. Drying Time Once the compound is applied, you will want to let the hands sit under a dust cover. Depending on the mix, the drying time will vary. I would recommend you should leave them drying overnight to be fully sure. They should not be touched or disturbed whilst they are drying. Re-Assembly When re-assembling the hands onto the watch - make sure there is the normal amount of clearance between the hour, minute and hour hands and that they will not touch each other as they turn. Potential Pitfalls If the hands are seated correctly and the compound is too thick, then this can either rub on the dial (hour hand) or a sub dial's hand may catch the hour hand (on a chronograph for example). Likewise, if the compound on the minute hand is too thick then it will catch on the hour hand. What if I did apply too thick? So it is very important to make sure you do not apply the compound too heavy, but if it is too heavy then I do not recommend trying to scrape it thinner as you could end up with dark and light spots. The best practice would be to start over. Yes - that would be annoying, but you will be much more satisfied knowing you have spent the extra time to make sure the job was done correctly. http://youtu.be/aQUN2A4iHok In summary Three words: Patience, Patience and Patience! You cannot really rush a job like this, but the more you get used to doing it, the more confident you will be. It is not a particularly difficult job, but it can make such a difference to the look of a watch. Enjoy the videos.
  20. You can add images to your post simply by using the "Click to choose files" link which you will find below the post editing box. If you do not see the link then use the "Drag files here to attach, or choose files" function which is found at the bottom of each edit box. You will also find a drop down menu to the right of the editing box "Insert Other Media". From here you can use an attachment you have previously uploaded in another post, or you can insert an image from a URL on another website or file sharing facility. Once you have added the files they will upload and you will see a "+" symbol next to each uploaded image. Click this and the image will be placed at your cursor position in the editing window. Please make sure you compress your images using simple software so that you do not exceed this limit and also it will allow people to view your pictures much faster. If you have a lot of images I recommend you using a bulk photo compressing software like Faststone Photo Resizer.
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