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Starter tools and watch repair kits


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15 hours ago, digginstony said:


Going back to your original question. There is no restraint, other than financial, why the Chinese can't produce high quality tools or watches that are on par with any other manufacturer in the world.

Well, let's set the record straight. Personally, I like buying Chinese tools mainly because these let me do hobby watchmaking with a smile and never worry about the price tag. But I'm the first to say that China is still 40 years behind in "Excellence Watchmaking" and tool making. Can we really compare Sea-Gull to to  ETA? Compare <nothing> to haute-horlogerie? When I visited the HK fair last Sept, there were Swiss/German big tooling makers exposing their 1M+ rigs to China buyers, and all the best  brands were proudly claiming to use European machines for their mass productions. I recently learned from newspapers that only now, in 2017, the Chinese industry managed to produce the special steel and machining for fine ball pens!

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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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Well, let's set the record straight. Personally, I like buying Chinese tools mainly because these let me do hobby watchmaking with a smile and never worry about the price tag. But I'm the first to say that China is still 40 years behind in "Excellence Watchmaking" and tool making. Can we really compare Sea-Gull to to  ETA? Compare to haute-horlogerie? When I visited the HK fair last Sept, there were Swiss/German big tooling makers exposing their 1M+ rigs to China buyers, and all the best  brands were proudly claiming to use European machines for their mass productions. I recently learned from newspapers that only now, in 2017, the Chinese industry managed to produce the special steel and machining for fine ball pens!

And long may you continue my friend

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On 2/14/2017 at 3:02 PM, jdm said:

If  hands and the entire watch is valuable, isn't better to use the separate lever and a lot of attention? For example I see Mark using these in all his videos. On the other hand (pun intended) I never damaged anything or had any problem with my $3 presto tool.

I have my own hand-made hand lifting levers which I shaped and tempered blue to a shape I prefer. However, when I want to make sure that hands are lifted absolutely parallel to the dial and also that the force on the dial is well spread, then I use a set of Bergeon Presto lifters. There's the right tool for the particular job, but I just couldn't use the cheapy presto tools an anything other than a cannon pinion. Maybe they are more reliable in the right hands.

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I have my own hand-made hand lifting levers which I shaped and tempered blue to a shape I prefer. However, when I want to make sure that hands are lifted absolutely parallel to the dial and also that the force on the dial is well spread, then I use a set of Bergeon Presto lifters. There's the right tool for the particular job, but I just couldn't use the cheapy presto tools an anything other than a cannon pinion. Maybe they are more reliable in the right hands.

I tend to use a pair of hands levers in most cases. I tend to get a better "Feel" of what I'm doing but if anything gives me concern as to maintaining a level lift I revert to my Bergeon hand lifter.
If you haven't a Bergeon cannon pinion remover, as pictured below. In some people's view3dfe918987f644691d67da38e77774a6.jpg may be considered expensive, you'll find it worth every penny of your hard earned cash.

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I purchased a new Bergeron cannon ponion remover as shown. However the new one,s are inferior to the orginal as they do not grip small canon pinions

Make sure that I keep hold of mine then.
Might be a case of keeping an eye out for a good used one for sale

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Obviously the folks who insist on designer label watch products need a guru. This must be the chosen one:
 

Firstly I think the OPS question was are cheap Chinese tools worth it. The general concensus across the board seems to be yes and no, depends on what you buy.
I don't think anyone actually suggested buying a particular "Brand" but buying the best you can afford seems wise in some people's conclusion.
Personally I would recomend Bergeon or Horotec or even vintage such as C.E. Marshall or Kendrick & Davis as I found them to be excellent.
Are you seriously trying to suggest the above mentioned are just designer label and should be dismissed? These firms have spent great effort in producing a quality item for there customers.
GEO suggested or suspects some of these tools or the manufacture of are coming from China ? Even so, if quality is maintained, personally I can't see an issue though hopefully they're employing the use of a "Rockwell Machine" or its equivalent to test parts level of hardness to particular steels used.
Also I believe there's a certain aesthetic appeal in the use of quality tools and indeed some people even collect Watchmakers tools as a hobby.
For those on the forum who truly believe the less you pay the better as long as it does the job, please please please forward your Rolex, Omega and Grand Seiko Snowflakes to me and I will only be too happy to exchange them for a cheap plastic Casio that retail for £7.99app. After all, there cheap and as a timekeeper, they do the job, probably better being quartz , in some instances.
No slur intended on Casio. There great watch manufacturers for there intended market.
No I'm not even going to comment on the video.

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The point I was trying to make, re- some tools with the brand "Bergeon" are I suspect are now made in China is that the quality is now longer a guarantee. I have no problem paying a premium for quality tools but in return I expect quality. However I agree with your list of quality brands & vintage tools such as K&D which are always quality. For example I recently purchased a vintage spring winder by "Master Craft". It just works perfectly every time & in  my opinion is far superior than my Bergeon winder. 

However it is difficult to justify the cost of quality tools if you are a hobbyist or just a tinkerer working with the occasional watch. 

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Buying quality used tools works for me as a hobbyist while the initial cost may be more they are easy to resell and recoup your investment... I made some great buys as to were I might make a profit if I sell all my tools. Even after throwing the few cheap items I purchased in the garbage.

Don't be penny wise dollar foolish.

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Don't be penny wise dollar foolish.

The hard numbers have been given by david before. Being overcharged of $5,000 for machinery is not pennies and not a smart start for an hobbyst. Same for $10 screwdrivers that work the same as the $200 one. No problem having a fetishes for brands as long you can accept that others can achieve the same or better with much less money. For an example check the videos by szabalogh here.
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The hard numbers have been given by david before. Being overcharged of $5,000 for machinery is not pennies and not a smart start for an hobbyst. Same for $10 screwdrivers that work the same as the $200 one. No problem having a fetishes for brands as long you can accept that others can achieve the same or better with much less money. For an example check the videos by szabalogh here.

The point Adiorio110 was making, was with prudent buying, you could, if for any reason wish to sell your tools, you could recover your costs. Or make a profit!
As for David's post, did anyone actually take that seriously as a proposal for someone wishing to tinker with watches?
Quality tools can be seen as expensive (Overcharged) Well that's just subjective.
Can cheap tooling perform as well as more expensive items, it's possible. Can it continue to do so, or have any value when no longer required ?
The point you made regards Manipulation was very valid and shouldn't be ignored. Any one starting up would do well, if possible to watch a Professional, not only what he's doing but how he's holding and manipulating those tools.



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The point Adiorio110 was making, was with prudent buying, you could, if for any reason wish to sell your tools, you could recover your costs. Or make a profit!
As for David's post, did anyone actually take that seriously as a proposal for someone wishing to tinker with watches?
Quality tools can be seen as expensive (Overcharged) Well that's just subjective.
Can cheap tooling perform as well as more expensive items, it's possible. Can it continue to do so, or have any value when no longer required ?
The point you made regards Manipulation was very valid and shouldn't be ignored. Any one starting up would do well, if possible to watch a Professional, not only what he's doing but how he's holding and manipulating those tools.



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Hell.I give up. ..JDM is right I'm getting rid of all my tools ..From now on I'm using a rock for a hammer, It will get the job done. I might even convert my egg beater to a drill.



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Watchmakers will always argue about personal choices like this. Just like "which lubricant is best for X?".

Another thing to add to the argument is the amount of extra time spent caring for cheaper tools. I bought an Indian balance screw holder the other day. The chuck was massively oversized so I had to dress it until it was around half the size as it just wouldn't fit between other screws on the rim. Also, it needed re-finishing anyway as it wasn't very symmetrical and it had been polished which meant no grip on the screws.  I did wonder if I'd have been better just buying a Bergeon one, or perhaps a second-hand European-made one on eBay. Who knows. I do value my time though. 

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2 hours ago, rodabod said:

Watchmakers will always argue about personal choices like this. Just like "which lubricant is best for X?".

Another thing to add to the argument is the amount of extra time spent caring for cheaper tools. I bought an Indian balance screw holder the other day. The chuck was massively oversized so I had to dress it until it was around half the size as it just wouldn't fit between other screws on the rim. Also, it needed re-finishing anyway as it wasn't very symmetrical and it had been polished which meant no grip on the screws.  I did wonder if I'd have been better just buying a Bergeon one, or perhaps a second-hand European-made one on eBay. Who knows. I do value my time though. 

Do yourself a favor. Save your breath :pulling-hair-out:

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I bought an Indian balance screw holder the other day. The chuck was massively oversized so I had to dress it until it was around half the size as it just wouldn't fit between other screws on the rim. Also, it needed re-finishing anyway as it wasn't very symmetrical and it had been polished which meant no grip on the screws.

Why don't you show which tool it is and a picture of how it has been corrected so others can learn and judge for themselves.
I think that participating in discussions with verifiable facts is better than canned statements of prejudice.
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Here's a photo of the heavily dressed balance screw holder / vice. If you don't modify it, then it will snap off the adjacent balance screws since it is too wide. This is a gents Lemania Cal 27a balance which I was working on, so typical size:

image.jpg

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Oh, and it also didn't spin straight when it arrived. I had to clamp the chuck together (to prevent it twisting) while straightening the bend. 

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Thank you matabog. To complete the info the Indian tool is £2 Vs £40 for the Swiss.
Too bad is a poorly executed copy but having corrected it saved the saving. We also have other members here which manufacturer their own tools.

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No prejudice here Jdm. Note from the picture the Chinese cushion movement holder. Ok when it arrived my impression was "Crude Manufacture " even visible signs of gluing and the case being made from a piece of old "Monkey Metal" but it's served me well over the years.9500471cc7c4b76908b7491593bd2778.jpg

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My email signature at work is -

 "When all you have is a screwdriver handle, everything looks like a nail"

Some may recognize it as a takeoff of on another saying,

"When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

So, not only the wrong tool for the job, not even using the tool appropriately! I came up with this when I was bashing away with a screwdriver handle at UPS case that had a bloated battery inside. Didn't have a hammer, or even better a nice pair of the right sized pliers, or best some sheet metal tools!. None of which are usually used for a battery replacement.

So, for a one off, you make do with what's available. If, however, sheet metal work was something that I was going to do regularly, I sure as heck would invest in the appropriate tools, and "cheap" or "expensive" has nothing to do with it. Sometimes brands can be a guide, but I don't find that to be very true any more. Country of origin has little to do with it. I'm only interested in the "quality" or effectiveness of a tool, and the best way that I can explain that is that a quality (hand) tool disappears, it becomes an extension of you that you don't notice.  With poor tools you are always aware of the tools, there is always some little gripe that demands attention, either before it is ever used or as you are using it.

For instance, I went ahead and bought a set of the screwdrivers that Geo sometimes recommends. Well, sorry Geo :), but in my subjective opinion they suck. They are not any better than my old Radio Shack "precicsion" screwdriver set, not as good as my cheap Bestfit set, and even the non-ball bearing Horotec screwdrives blows them out of the water. I bought one of the Horotecs just to see if I could tell the difference. And yes, oh boy could I tell the difference. That's why I'm saving my pennies for a Horotec set.

At some point you will probably find me beating on the top of the no-name screwdrivers with the handle of my sledgehammer trying to free some stuck doodad out of a rusted hole.

Cheers!

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Hi everyone, I am a complete novice to watch repairing but I am finding it fascinating and I think I have caught the bug! Having very little knowledge about watch repairing I have bought books etc and tools that are not very good to say the least. I am hoping to get myself a decent quality tool kit but apart from eBay I really don't know where to start. Could anyone point me in the right direction? Also a list of tools that are needed to form the back bone of a decent kit so that once got, I can add to it as need be. Many thanks. Johnnie

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Hi Johnnie Im a beginner aswell not sure if your UK based if you are you can get good quality tools from Cousins Uk or HS Walsh,you have Anchor tools made in India are ok to start but good some good brands are Bergeon,A&F and Horotec have a google of these hope it helps Phil

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