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I have been working on clocks for about 12 years now and am ready to try my hand a watches. I don't have any watch tools. Can you all give me some ideas about what I need to get started? Looking online and in my jeweler's supply catalogs, I am overwhelmed with all the choices. What are some good brands and price ranges?

 

Thanks!

Matthew Condon

Trafalgar, Indiana, USA

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It's amazing the number of folk that get blinded by price! They think expensive means it must be good and cheap means it must be bad, what a load of b*****cks. There are cheap tools and expensive t

Cheap screwdrivers and cheap tweezers avoid. The screwdriver blades will break the tweezer ends will go out of shape that is if the points measure up In the first place and snap. Buy the best you can

What about the Bergeon 7812 Watchmakers Quick Service Kit? It would be 35 pounds over your budget (e.g. Cousins), but there won't be any waste in there.

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Welcome Matt (from another Matt) !!!

 

Items you don't want to get for too cheap : a good pair of tweezers, a pair of brass tweezers, a good set of screwdrivers and case opening tools. Those are the basics in my opinion.

 

Some links :

http://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/33-article10-essential-tools-every-watch-repairer-needs/

http://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/1177-good-set-of-tweezers-that-dont-break-the-bank/

http://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/883-screwdriver-question/

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I agree with frenchie, I too worked on clocks for many years & when I moved to watches bought too cheap & had to re-purchase again. The only add on is good quality magnification is required such as Bergeon,Seitz or Bausch & Lomb.

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Welcome to the forum Matt!

 

As Geo said, me too and good advise too from CB and Frenchie. I've spend money that could have been better spent on quality tools the first time...but you learn! By the way, we have also a clock section here which will happily accept your input and experience!

 

Cheers,

 

Bob

 

PS. Although in Fl, we used to be almost neighbors...I'm from IL.

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  • 9 months later...

My honest opinion don't bother if its Chinese none of the tools will last. The best advice I can give you is never buy cheap tools, go to a good supplier and buy the best you can afford good tools will last you a life time, a lot are very expensive but you might be able to pick up these on ebay in very good condition.

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My honest opinion don't bother if its Chinese none of the tools will last. The best advice I can give you is never buy cheap tools, go to a good supplier and buy the best you can afford good tools will last you a life time, a lot are very expensive but you might be able to pick up these on ebay in very good condition.

Ok ill will take a look on eBay. Any manufacturs you can recomend?

And what is the name of the pliers to get the hands of a movement?

Send from outer space

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I always bought dumont tweezers, bergeon screwdrivers, there are special tools for removing hands.

This site is good many people on here use this place. https://www.cousinsuk.com/department/tools

There are many good brands these days people on here might be able to help you more then me. I have been retired from this type of work for many years so I'm not up to date on the modern tools that many use today

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I think that there is nothing wrong buying cheap tools as long one knows what he's buying. In fact even a reputable shop like Cousins sells them. Granted cheap tools can't take abuse and in many cases are just inadeguate, but for approaching the hobby for simple tasks they're fine most of the time. I like the carry-on case above, one can always replace tools in it. However in this case the Bergeon equivalent is not crazy expensive at GBP134 + VAT.

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Hi guys,

 

IMHO, I think that cheap tools only achieve one thing: waste of money and time. There is a bonus to that though, blotched work and not showing your true skills and/or develop them. Wait that's not one thing but many things!

 

In any case, I'm talking by experience. If I were to get back all the money I've spent on cheap tools I could buy twice the quality tools that matter and that I had to buy in the end...and I've tried everything: from cheapo screwdrivers to cheapo screwdrivers with adapted expensive tips to top of the line screwdrivers...tweezers is another one! Dumont are what you want, never settle for less.

 

When you use good, professional tools, you have more control, tools work as they should and the result is "unmarked" work, professional work. They also last a long time with the proper maintenance and proper use, a lifetime in most cases. There is always the learning curve and that might be an issue but if you train with mediocre tools you will never know how good you can be since your work will, most of the time be mediocre. Again, all this I learned the hard way.

 

I'd listen to oldhippy, he knows what he is talking about...forget cheapo tools, I can't stress it enough.

 

BTW, material houses have to carry cheapo inventory. That's where they actually make killer money! They, depending on who and many other factors, choose the "less" bad of the lot...and some don't even choose, just pass them along to the unaware buyer.

 

Just my 2 cents on the matter.

 

Cheers,

 

Bob

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I use cheap tools like Indian screwdrivers, Jaxa tool, presto tool, cheap Swiss tweezers, hand setting, oilers, movement holder, case holder, case cushion, work mat and probably few more.

All that works fine, doesn't break (when used correctly) and doesn't mark anything. In fact I'm proud to achieve the identical results than with overpriced tools, even if I could have afforded them without any problem. I have learnt (even before watchmaking) that the only tool where quality can't be sacrificed is one's skills and dedication. All the rest is secondary.

That being said there is stuff for which one needs the real thing, example forked end spring bar tool. I have also opened a thread abut laughable cheap tools to stimulate sensible discussion without preconceptions.

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I use cheap tools like Indian screwdrivers, Jaxa tool, presto tool, cheap Swiss tweezers, hand setting, oilers, movement holder, case holder, case cushion, work mat and probably few more.All that works fine, doesn't break (when used correctly) and doesn't mark anything. In fact I'm proud to achieve the identical results than with overpriced tools, even if I could have afforded them without any problem. I have learnt (even before watchmaking) that the only tool where quality can't be sacrificed is one's skills and dedication. All the rest is secondary.That being said there is stuff for which one needs the real thing, example forked end spring bar tool. I have also opened a thread abut laughable cheap tools to stimulate sensible discussion without preconceptions.

Couldn't have put it better, you just saved me a lot of typing!

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I got a headache with my cheap loupe. The cheap chinese oilers broke the first time i used them. The cheap screwdrivers worked okay but looked very worn an ugly after a while. And i have to replace the screwdriver bits with Bergeon bits. The cheap movement holder didn't work and the movement keep falling of and breaking something in the fall to the floor. The cheap tweezers didn't hold the screws and they where flying all over the place. Everything took twice as long to do and causing grey hair in the process.

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I got a headache with my cheap loupe. The cheap chinese oilers broke the first time i used them. The cheap screwdrivers worked okay but looked very worn an ugly after a while. And i have to replace the screwdriver bits with Bergeon bits. The cheap movement holder didn't work and the movement keep falling of and breaking something in the fall to the floor. The cheap tweezers didn't hold the screws and they where flying all over the place. Everything took twice as long to do and causing grey hair in the process.

I think you have summed up cheap tools very well. I hope it didn't take you to long and you didn't waste to much money.

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I think you have summed up cheap tools very well. I hope it didn't take you to long and you didn't waste to much money.

That sums up some cheap tools, certainly not all of them!

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Depends upon your needs and finances, I am an aged pensioner who does it for a hobby, I am limited by the tools I can afford and the watches I can afford to work on.

 

To each his own needs, we would all like to own Bergeon tools but at my age I can't get a bank loan to buy them. :notfair:

 

 

Max

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Because we now have the Internet you have more availability to find good tools. I have said in other comments of mine. I was extremely lucky I started out in a very well equipped workshop and was given all the tools and content when I finished my apprenticeship. The only main tool I decided toad was a unimat lathe because I wanted to expand into Clock making. You could try auctions, look out for watch/clock makers who are retiring or shops closing down. I admire any of you that manage on a shoestring budget and manage with what you have, but as someone has said good tools will make the repairs much easier. My master always told me buy the best you can afford, he also told me what to avoid, like never buy pliers and such if they don't have a box joining because they will under pressure twist and become out of line, never buy a cheap vise because it wont hold and will give.The very basic tools are what need to the best, after that you can investigate,some people on here tend to buy all sorts of stuff and I think to myself why on earth would you want to have that,there are easy ways around such a repair.

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It all depends on how much they are used. The cheap tools are generally made of cheaper materials so although they work initially they start to fail in a very short time.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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It's amazing the number of folk that get blinded by price! They think expensive means it must be good and cheap means it must be bad, what a load of b*****cks.

There are cheap tools and expensive tools, there are also good tools and bad tools, but cheap tools are not always bad tools and expensive tools are not always good tools. I have a fair mixture of both and have experienced both of these scenarios.

If you really are happier in your mind because you pay more for something I don't have a problem with it, but what I do object to is folk saying it has got to be expensive to be of any use. Remember, it's not simple black and white, there is some beautiful grey in there.

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