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Good afternoon,

I am living in the North West of England and a complete novice in the watch building/repair scene. i would like to develop my passion for Breitling and Waltham watches with a view to take up as hobby watch building/repairing.

I do not know where to start, what books should i get as beginner? website should i visit or stay away from? and which tools would i need to put me on the right path to pursue this goal.

I look forward to reading your replies.

Kind regards

CalDemp.

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Hi CalDemp,

I'm over in the East Midlands of England. Until two years ago, I too was a complete novice in watch servicing and repair but have come a long way in that time with the help of WRT videos, lots of practice and sheer determination to succeed. For me it's likely to always be a hobby too though.

Your passion for specialising in Breitling and Waltham watches is fine but I can offer a word of caution here. Breitling, as well as some other separate Swiss brands owned by the Swatch Group have restricted parts to materials houses (such as Cousins) and thus obtaining the parts can be very difficult - you may find some NOS parts as well as some overpriced parts on ebay but it could potentially cause you some headaches. If you're talking simply servicing and possibly replacing a mainspring as part of the service, then you may be okay.

Waltham should not be as much of a problem, though I haven't serviced any of these so I'm happy to stand corrected by anybody chipping in.

Donald de Carle Practical Watch Repairing is a great book to get you started. For a website, you've come to the right place as Mark's videos are the best I've found for clear guidance and demonstration of watch repair - I have seen other people trying to teach by video and got nowhere.

Good luck with your new pursuit - I'm sure you will find it both an absorbing and very rewarding pastime.

Kind regards,
Adam

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 If you plan to specialize on these two brands, no sense in practicing on chinees movements then, I would get me walthams in need of repair could be pocket watch. Two waltham of the same caliber is a good start and add on as you buy more, as a result you would spend least on spare parts. You would get familiar with the culprits of the caliber, so on.

Familiar with Marks teachings members here are good tutors if you take his courses. 

This very post gives you an idea of the bulk of responses you would receive to your questions. The more questions you ask, the more we learn along with you.

Best

 

 

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The preferred starting watch for somebody new to watch repair is a Chinese pocket watch movement. You can purchase these on eBay. Your starting off with a pocket watch because it's big easier to work on. Your starting off with a new working watch that was cheap to purchase so if you destroy it nobody cares. The advantage of a new working watch is each time you take it apart and put it back together it should still work. Often times the newbie unsuccessful with fixing their first broken watch will blame the broken watch where is the reality it takes a little bit time to pick up the skill to successfully disassemble and reassemble a watch without having something happen bad. It works much better to practice on a new cheap watch until your successful at not destroying that..

 

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On 10/6/2019 at 3:32 PM, AdamC said:

Hi CalDemp,

I'm over in the East Midlands of England. Until two years ago, I too was a complete novice in watch servicing and repair but have come a long way in that time with the help of WRT videos, lots of practice and sheer determination to succeed. For me it's likely to always be a hobby too though.

Your passion for specialising in Breitling and Waltham watches is fine but I can offer a word of caution here. Breitling, as well as some other separate Swiss brands owned by the Swatch Group have restricted parts to materials houses (such as Cousins) and thus obtaining the parts can be very difficult - you may find some NOS parts as well as some overpriced parts on ebay but it could potentially cause you some headaches. If you're talking simply servicing and possibly replacing a mainspring as part of the service, then you may be okay.

Waltham should not be as much of a problem, though I haven't serviced any of these so I'm happy to stand corrected by anybody chipping in.

Donald de Carle Practical Watch Repairing is a great book to get you started. For a website, you've come to the right place as Mark's videos are the best I've found for clear guidance and demonstration of watch repair - I have seen other people trying to teach by video and got nowhere.

Good luck with your new pursuit - I'm sure you will find it both an absorbing and very rewarding pastime.

Kind regards,
Adam

I too am in NW and a hobbyist of a few years.  I second what Adam says and would also add that the mechanics are easy to understand but the touch and feel are very important.  I cadged as many FOC non-runners as I could from local watchmakers, jewellers and charity shops, plus a few purchased NOS from the bay.  I then just took them apart and rebuilt them a few times to get the feel of handling small parts with tweezers, working small screws, handling balances, mainsprings and oiling etc. Doesn't matter too much if you mess up and ping a few bits (you can then check out your eyesight etc !!!!).  For the more valuable watches I always check spares availability before I even start, at least then I will know the cost of any mishaps (!!) and can be extra careful when handling hard to get parts, and maybe help me decide to leave it or not for another time when more experienced.    Welcome to the friendliest and most helpful forum.

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