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I’m new and am looking for some advice


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im excited to be part of the community! I’m in the process of buying some of the tools I’ll need to tinker with pocket watches. My goal is to be able to take apart, clean, possibly fix, and reassemble pocket watches. 

I’ve bought a gorgeous pocket watch from a defunked jeweller from the early 1900’s Michigan. I brought it to a 91 year old watch maker and he told me not to start with it. Good advice. He gave me grief in general, hooked me up with some screw drivers, a loop, and a working watch cleaning machine for $20! I’ve bought a pair of tweezers, watch repair kit, some dial protectors, oilers and am looking for the items below. Hoping you can help me out with what to look for and where to find them. Right now I’m using eBay for a lot of tools and want to manage costs. 

1. What 3 chemicals do I need for the watch cleaning machine? It’s not an ultra sonic or whatever, it’s the kind with 3 glass jars. Where should I buy them for shipping to Canada. 

2. What attaches to the rotating arm of the machine to go inside the glass jars? A tiny cage to put all the pieces in? Are they universal or do I need the specific one for this machine?

3. Oil and grease. I will stick to pocket watches only and will probably buy elign, Waltham, vostok, and any other pocket watches between $0-$40. I don’t want to buy 19 oils at this point. The basics so I can clean and lube a watch without wrecking it. If that means correctly lubricating 90% of it with 3 oils, great. Moebius seems to be the most popular. Which lubes do you recommend? From my research it seems I need 1 grease, 1 high velocity oil, 1 low velocity oil

4. Mainspring winder. I can’t tell what brand or size I need. It seems 9-15. Are there specific companies that only make pocket watch winders or does Bergeron make them for wrist watches and pocket watches? I assume both so how do I tell a winder from Bergeron works with one of the other as an example. Seller doesn’t always know.

5. Does anyone have any suggestions for books about learning watch repair?

6. The watch I have isn’t an elign for example. Its probably a stock movement of the time put into one of his pocket watches. How would I find the technical guide? Are there rules of thumb? Do you just google tech specs in general for each movement?

7. I was planning on taking pics of my tools and watches to post on here in a different thread. Is that a good idea? What thread is best? 

Thanks a million and have a good night!!!!! 

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I’ve checked out Perrins, so at least I’m on the right track. They’re pretty expensive but if they’re one of the few or that’s standard pricing, no worries. I’ll be able to send a pic of the machine in 2 weeks, I’m on vacay :) any thoughts about the other questions? 

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Watch cleaning and rinsing

L & R your machine has three jars first is for cleaner, the other two are for the rinse, and then you have the drying chamber. You can use an ultrasonic cleaning solution it is OK.

The part that takes all the dissembled parts are called Baskets. They are not universal you need the correct one for your machine. You should be able to pick one up on ebay. That is why I asked for the machine make and photo.

 MOEBIUS pocket watch oil. Escapement and pallet stones Moebius 915 or 9415

Any of Donald de Carle books are a must.

Mainspring winders are expensive. For someone who is just starting out it is not needed. If you are sticking to pocket, watches there will only be a few sizes you will need. Myself I could never get on using them.  

You can post photos. I’m sure members would like to see them.

I went on this site


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I was thinking of buying something like this for the winder. I hear you about not needing one but hand winding seems next level! I figure if I can get something cheaper I might as well. What do you think? Work for a pocket watch?


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Hi  In reply to your questions.

1  L & R cleaning solution for the machine. 2 what attaches to the rotating arm is a basket with sub dividers for the parts, Most of these are machine specific, not to say others may fit, a question of size.

3 oils and grease moebius is the industry standard Charts and lubricants can be found on cousins.uk

4  Mainspring winders, use your fingers (clean) or with finger cots   winders are many and can be expensive.

5 as Old hippy mentioned any of the de carle books, then again there are plenty to choose from Henry B Fried also mentioned both mechanical and electronic watches.

6  have a look on the elgin site there is much information there to enable to to identify your watch. using the serial number of the watch  on the site.

7 Tools are a personal thing buy the best you can afford and take good care of them they will last a life time.

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MOEBIUS pocket watch oil. Escapement and pallet stones Moebius 915 or 9415

So is that 2 oils? Moebius 9415 I could find, 915 I couldn’t. I found 9015. That the one? Is there an oil called moebius pocket watch oil?

I saw the excerpt below about oils and grease. What do you think?

Generally speaking:

If a wheel is high speed low torque- USE MOEBIUS 9010

If a wheel is low speed high torque- USE HP 1300

If it's metal on metal (think setting system)- USE SOME FORM OF GREASE (MOLYKOTE, JISMAA, MR4, ETC.) Some technical guides will also tell you to use HP 1300.

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