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jakobvinkas

How to store watchparts

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Hi!

I have developed quite a hobby of (trying to) repair old watches, I have bought about 25 cheap different old watches. Some of the watches came with obviously broken parts and I have managed to break a few parts myself sadly. 

I have everything nicely organized through excel where i log everything i do and what problems I find with the watches.

So my question is, what´s the best way of storing watches/watchparts that wont ever be used in the movement they currently sit at? Should i pick the movement apart and store all good parts in a boxlike thing? (I have a 3d printer so making the boxes is no problem) Or should i keep the movement intact and remove parts when needed?

How often do you actually get to use a (used) spare-part in a different movement? Seems to be a lot of different movements in watches so maybe going through the process of taking apart and writing down all parts I have simply is not worth it.

Thankful for all tips and recommendations,  Jakob 

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I've spent a lot of my career managing fleets of computers, which for this area are very similar to watches. What I did there was assign each one a serial, and note what was missing / broken from that particular computer in the inventory for it. I imagine a similar approach would would well here. Each individual watch or movement gets a bin, with a notation on what's missing / broken. As you pull parts, that list gets longer. Could even make it a checklist for most things.

 
The only place it falls down is if you have parts that aren't in a movement, then you need a place to keep those straight. For those, I'd be inclined to treat it the same, but the plates are among the missing pieces. Then, as you collect pieces for that movement, you can add them. Unless you get to the point that have many duplicates of the same part for the same movement, this won't get too inefficient, and it avoids the labor of "parting out" a bunch of stuff  and the risk of loss / breakage that introduces. If that does happen, you can always create another system / exception for that.

At the scale I'm at I just use a multi-compartment parts bin and keep all the pieces from a given watch in a bin together, and whole watches in another multi-compartment bin. I have slightly less volume than you though, so I don't know at what point that will fall apart.

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