Jump to content

I’m new and am looking for some advice

Recommended Posts


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!!!!! 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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? 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By Andyworks
      Good evening 
      After many an hour hand cleaning watches then upgrading to an ultrasonic cleaner I have decided to plunge into the world of a proper watch cleaning machine. I use he word proper reservedly as I know that it is not the latest all singing all dancing vacuum and ultrasonic heating machine as used by commercial watch repairers. It is a step up to my world.
      I purchased said watch cleaning machine from the much loved auction site we all know and love however mine has come without the cleaning basket and it has a broken lid on the one solvent jar.
      I know that here in the U.K the much loved auction site and HS Walsh and Cousins sells limited spares but paying £185 for a replacement plastic basket/ cage assembly that is not original equipment and fitting it to an otherwise original and in very good condition machine seems very wrong indeed. I love collecting and using vintage and collectable tools and like to look after them and where needed restore them to their former glory. I am on the hunt for a replacement original cage and basket assembly that would have originally been fitted to the superelite cleaning machine. Does any memebrs on this forum know of where I can get such an item? I am willing to buy a scrap machine if it is complete.
      If I am skating on thin ice with regards to forum rules about selling I apologise but I do not know of how else to write this post.
      Many thanks
    • By matabog
      Hello all!
      I have been struggling with the matter of mainspring winders for a while and I want to share some of my experience with Bergeon mainspring winders.
      First, there two major types:
      the old ones, with a spoke on the arbor (30081):

      and the newer ones with a recess on the arbor (Nivarox):

      Side by side #6:

      to be continued...

    • By marcoskaiser
      Hello all,
      I just got a K&D mainspring winder very cheap, but the tool is a bit stuck and the spring does not open when the ring is loosened. I would like to clean and oil the spring. Any clues on how to disassemble the winder? I don't want to ruin the threads turning the wrong way or using pliers...
      Thank you!

    • By VWatchie
      I’m considering ordering a couple of Bergeon mainspring winders from CousinsUK, and I really want to get it right as these are expensive tools.
      The way I read it, the specified diameter of each winder is the outer diameter of the winder’s barrel drum. That is, I would need to order a winder having a smaller specified diameter than the inner diameter of the mainspring barrel I’m going to use it with? For example, if the inner diameter of my mainspring drum is 9.80 mm (as is the actual case) a Bergeon No.6 Winder Ø9.80mm would be too large, or just right, no, yes?
    • By matabog
      So I managed to invest in a used "Bergeon 2795 Nivaflex" Mainspring winder . IMHO the winder barrels are a bit too big for the inner loop of the mainsprings.
      So my question is, fo anyone who had both:
      What is the difference between "Bergeon Nivaflex" winders and "Bergeon ETA" winders, the latter being the one especially made for ETA calibers.
      Thank you!
  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Really? I have not see any reports or mineral glass crystals shattering so terribly. The expected use of a dress watch should not involve such potential destructive shocks. I would not replace a mineral glass with acrylic, but I would replace it with sapphire, because scratching is the actual, common and annoying occurrence.
    • Thanks Chopin,  I see now looks redial. I will ask for a pic of the crown.  The price is not bad , little over £200.         
    • 4 digits Suffixes are the case number, together with the mov.t they make the basic watch reference. You can finnd size specifications oine or measure it. Before giving up on it check pulse at the coil, if there is try a line release or demag. 
    • I am looking at a Seiko Spirit which has the refererence 5M22A on the movement. This watch has seen water ingress at some stage and the movement is badly corroded and beyond saving (although case and dial etc. are fine). I've looked to see if i can find a 5M22A on somewhere like ebay but no luck. There do seem to be other '5M22' references though e.g. with suffixes like 7B30, 6C30 etc. I usually only work on (Swiss) mechanical movements so am unfamiliar with Seiko nomenclature ... I don't know what these suffixes mean and whether they'd be suitable. So basically can someone point me in the right direction and tell me what Seiko movement references I can look at to see if I can find a replacement for the 5M22A please?
    • I'm really bad as far as vocabulary goes in this area but here goes: Judging from the incabloc slot it sure looks like a triple/trior or whatever you call it spring should go in there. I remember working on one quite recently and it had the same system. You'd fit in one "foot", rotate slightly and insert the 2nd and then the 3d. There's quite a couple of variations so maybe they don't use a "traditional" triple spring.
  • Create New...