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Is the Horotec Watch Tool Hand Press any good?

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Hi all, I'm contemplating the purchase of a "Horotec Watch Tool Hand Press" after damaging a few too many watch hands. I'd appreciate any advice the group might be willing to share.


I connection with my fordite watch dial project, I've been swapping around a lot of watch hands. This practice has been really good for me, and I'm now a lot better about working with watch hands than I have ever been.

I'm currently using Rodico, the Bergeon 7404 Set of 3 Watch Hand Install Setting Tools, and a pair of Horotec Aluminum Tweezer with Delrin Tips. I'd say that I can successfully install hands 90% of the time without any damage to the hands or dial. This isn't a great success rate, but it's a heck of a lot better than I was earlier this year.

Unfortunately, I've been consistently struggling with some specific watch hands. I'm having a lot of trouble cleanly installing watch hands from the Seiko SRPD## ("5KX" series). The minute hand in particular has been giving me fits. Unlike other hands I have experience with, these minute hands are very broad and thin near their pipe. As a result, it's trivially easy for me to bend these hands during installation which (at best) leaves a slightly visible crease/mark, or at worst results in the total loss of the hand.


I have thought about shaving down one of the Bergeon 7404 hand tools -- the root of the problem seems to be that the diameter of the nylon tips on the Bergeon 7404 tools is wider than the area on the watch hands that I'm trying to apply force to, which leads to damage. This would be a cheap solution.

I'm also thinking about buying a $99 Horotec Watch Tool Hand Press Single from Esslinger. Does anyone have any experience with this tool? I know that there are cheaper tools that look similar, but I'd be paying the Horotec premium for their precision of manufacture. I'm also specifically considering this tool because it looks to me like all of the interchangeable delrin tips have different diameters, unlike the one-size-fits-all approach of the Bergeon 7404 hands.


If the Horotec hand press isn't any good, can anyone suggest an alternative?

Thanks in advance for any advice or feedback the community can share with me.


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I have A-F install tools similar to the ones you have. 

The “trick” such as it is, is to select a tool whose bore is just big enough for the next pinion- I.e. the hour hand install tool should just clear the canon pinion and the minute one should just clear the seconds pinion. And be close to flat. 

Mine are slightly domed at the tip, and I “roll” the tool around to be sure the hand fully seats. I have polished the plastic tips of course and one of them I opened the bore on a bit. 

I’ve had good luck, even with Rolex white gold hands, which are mirror polished, curved on top, and soft. 

I’m sure that tool would be great; but with any tool- make sure the tips are polished, square(ish) and the bore is appropriate. 

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ever contemplate these?


45 bucks at Esslinger, 41 bucks at Ofrei. Horotecs version is astronomical! again, I'm still deciding if I'm more comfortable with the hand tools or the cheapo hand press. I like that the press keeps things perpendicular. That seems to be key for me. between Rodico and these tweezers tho, they have helped. another thing I use is a tiny bit of rodico attached to the end of the tool tip that holds the hand. I get it to the pinion to get it started. pause, remove the bit of rodico then continue the install.  so many different things-still trying to find a consistent trick. I'm all over the board. 

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15 hours ago, MechanicMike said:

ever contemplate these?


They seem nice, but I'm not having trouble holding the hands or positioning them over the pinion -- I'm struggling with pressing them down onto the pinion with enough force to get a good fit but not so much force that I bend certain hands.

@Tudor -- Thanks for the tip! I'll make sure to polish the tips.

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On 11/24/2020 at 1:09 PM, watchweasol said:

I have the chinese version of the Horotec tool, comes with five interchangable tips,  although not finished to the same quality it is capable of doing the job.   £40 as opposed to £100 or more.

I too have that. How do you like it? Mine is a little wobbly and I was thinking on getting a heavier spring to put in it. I think I'm leaning towards liking it better than the hand tools. Thinking of getting the Horotec one...thoughts?

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Hi Mike   Mine was a bit stiff in the plungers but dismantled and polished up they were ok and is seems to work fine for the price   although Cousins uk do it for £69 there is not a lot in it , The Horotec one will have a better quality and build level. If you find you are using the tool a lot probably the Horotec wins out.

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