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Swiss Army Watches

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I am new but not so new.. Just finished taking an intro course in watch repair.  did pretty good.. Completed repair of a Fossil Watch. Question what is the best method of cleaning ....  I have purchased several Swiss army watches for practicing on how to clean and repair as well as open the case  back.. they are not new... I purchased 2 mechanical watches A 1951 vintage Bulova; Girard perregaux vintage watch, don't know if either are authentic Help!

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It depends on your budget.  A dedicated watch cleaning machine in my opinion is the best. If on a budget an ultrasonic cleaner works really well.

You can clean all the parts by hand but it takes a long time and is not as effective as the ultrasonic.

All of these methods require the watch to be dismantled cleaned re-assembled,lubricated & then regulated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello HB50 and welcome,


I agree with Clockboy about the budget etc.  I am a hobbyist and tinkerer not doing a great many watches so I have not invested in a full scale cleaning machine and have opted for the Ultrasonic.  If you get one with a decent sized bath (mine cost about £16 at Lidl) then you can put small lidded jars (I use the tiny jam jars) containing cleaning and rinsing fluids into the bath just using water as the conductive medium.


There is a lot of discussion about fluids and it comes down to personal preference I use Naptha (lighter fluid - 100% Naptha only, check the side of the can) to clean and Isopropanol 99.9% pure to rinse  (I tend not to put the pallet in just in case the stones get loosened ).  Other fluids for rinsing can be used of course but try to use stuff that leaves no residue. One test is to put a drop on a bit of clean glass and allow it to evaporate if there is a residue left behind ditch it.  I know you have completed a course so you may already know to take a pic before you remove each bit  - it makes life so much easier later.


Hopefully the watches you have bought are ok but if you post pics I am sure the members will help out with movement types etc.





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