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I've given up on the idea of a comprehensive, affordable set of mainspring winders. A new spring is cheap and goes in so easily! By no means am I  an expert with hairsprings, but repairing them i

You wouldn't. It's about barrel sizes. The ETA set is sized (and I'm sure labeled) according to common ETA movements. Generic sets are sized by unit measurements (mm). If you do a lot of ETA stuff, it

I have purchased cheap mainspring winders in the past and they have been terrible. In the end I plumped for the 5356 Set. It serves both left hand and right hand mainsprings. But I find mostly that I

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Bought a 6 piece Watch-Craft set from ebay, needed some TLC and they all are working and move smoothly and free.  What I was not expecting (I'm a noob), was it wasnt as simple as I expected to be able to hold, wind, and keep the spring from exploding out of the winder.  Im using a few cheap ebay mainsprings as practice without worrying about permanent damage.  

Having fun and getting better with the mainsprings, but hairspings well, thats another matter.  Seems if I breath in the same room as a hairspring it decides to tangle.  🙂

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I've given up on the idea of a comprehensive, affordable set of mainspring winders. A new spring is cheap and goes in so easily!

By no means am I  an expert with hairsprings, but repairing them is a question of the right tools and lots of practice. If you are tangling them, then you are handling the balance wrong. Watch how Mark and other professionals so it, and practise using the same techniques.

Hot Tip! If a fly lands on your finger when you are working, remove the tip of your tweezers from the hairspring before swatting it with your free hand.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Noob - sorry

1. On the Bergeon site they have a 2795. Both in ETA and non ETA. Pic 1. What is the difference? Can the non ETA not be used on an ETA movement and vice versa?

2. Second pic, how would I know if this is ETA or "normal".

Bergeon 2795.jpg

Bergeon wider unsure.jpg

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You wouldn't. It's about barrel sizes. The ETA set is sized (and I'm sure labeled) according to common ETA movements. Generic sets are sized by unit measurements (mm). If you do a lot of ETA stuff, it's probably nice to have, and you can always use the nearest size for whatever non-ETA movement. The generic set would be easier to use since the intervals will be more regular, and there's nothing special about ETA barrels that will keep them from working with the ETA movements in the same way there's nothing that would keep the ETA sized set from working with non-ETA movements.

A word on the Chinese winders (possibly dated information), Mark did a video a while back where he did a pretty comprehensive analysis. It was a bit on the critical side, but the big takeaway for me was the shafts being brass. As a hobbyist, it could be a while before you eat through one, but it could also be a single simple mistake. The Chinese manufacturers seem to be pretty good about keeping up with things like that, but I don't know how much noise has been made or if it's been made in the right places to catch the right ears for anything to have changed.

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On 12/16/2020 at 6:30 PM, nickelsilver said:

It's a never ending strife, I watched a Finnish watchmaker lose about a year of his life from stress mucking around with a problem spring and he's an amazing watchmaker. In the end I wound it in by hand for him, mostly out of fear that he would start destroying the workshop (yes you can wind them in by hand without damage but it takes practice).

Hi @nickelsilver. Would you please explain the correct way to hand wind a mainspring?
From comments above, I believe quite a few people would be interested.

I've recently been working on a couple of Seiko automatics which have been driving me crazy getting the springs in. As they are left handed,  I first have to use a smaller winder, and transfer to a washer. Unfortunately my next smaller winder is a bit too small, hence a broken the bridle. Then, when trying to fit it to the washer it pinged out, then .... etc etc

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16 hours ago, mikepilk said:

Hi @nickelsilver. Would you please explain the correct way to hand wind a mainspring?
From comments above, I believe quite a few people would be interested.

 

It's a little hard to describe it. With automatics also it's quite easy to kink the spring just after the bridle too*, but here goes.

 

Get the spring started in the barrel, like the first turn in, as would feel natural (i.e. just do it). From there, you want to manipulate the spring, turning the part out of the barrel around by half turns until that bit will drop in, continuing until the spring is in. The important thing is to not stress the spring. It works with watches because almost inevitably you are working with a low profile barrel, compared to a typical clock for example. So a typical watch barrel might be 11mm inner diameter, spring 1.3 high, a 1:8.5 height to diameter ratio. A clock barrel might be 50mm diameter with a 25mm spring height- 1:2. So with the clock spring to get it out first of all the spring has to twist out of the barrel at an extreme angle, likewise going in, if not using a winder. With a watch spring the angle going out/in is quite small.

 

What some will do, the wrong way, is get it started, and then essentially force the coil in causing it to wrap itself up to the smaller diameter, stressing it. This is when you get a cone shaped spring.

 

* with automatics, the bridle is quite strong compared to the spring. Getting it started in the barrel is tricky, especially getting the last bit of bridle in before it's just mainspring. I would recommend a winder for any automatic if at all possible, or accept that you might put in a bend right after the bridle. Some are worse than others, El Primero springs are a real pain without a winder!

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7 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

 with automatics, the bridle is quite strong compared to the spring. Getting it started in the barrel is tricky, especially getting the last bit of bridle in before it's just mainspring. I would recommend a winder for any automatic if at all possible, or accept that you might put in a bend right after the bridle. Some are worse than others, El Primero springs are a real pain without a winder!

You are right about automatics - the end bit of the bridle is very tricky, it won't wind straight in. I had to use tweezers to pull the end of the bridle in, before I could continue winding by hand.

I did manage your technique - form a small loop, then drop it in, rather than pushing it continuously in. I practiced on an old spring, and it was pretty flat when I took it out.

I would rather have used winders, but the barrel on Seiko 7002/7S26 is an odd size. I only have 9.5 and 10.6 mm winders. The 9.5 is too tight for the spring, and the 10.6 mm a touch too big for the barrel !

Anyway, it's in and running, with reasonable amplitude for a Seiko.

Ta

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey

I like to check the mainspring on all the watches i look at which means i have to rewind them by hand and alas time has caught up with me and i find its a struggle. So i need to buy mainspring winders.

I cannot afford a set all in one go but hope to buy a couple now and again as  i go along.

The question is what size do i buy first in other words which size will i use more than any other. Then i can by that first and so on.

cheers

gary

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Hi Gary The only winders I have seen singly are bergeon ones approx £.60 each,you could almost get one with all the bits from ALI Express (china) for that price. I have attached a pic of one on Ebay at the moment about £27          They are not Idiot proof and a bad operator could kink a spring, depends how careful you are.        Cheers

MSWinders.jpg

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello People,

I hope this finds you all well and staying safe in these weird times, quick question, I am about to start lessons course three, and whilst I have amassed a decent tool collection on line, one thing I haven't yet acquired are mainspring winders, I do have one vintage one but looks to be for clocks and or larger pocket watches, I have looked on line and there are a fair few sets available and while not cheap, clearly will be needed if i am to carry on, however I am a little blown away and bemused by the various sets and the different numbers of movements they are for, is there a generic list of basic and more common movements that are ideal for the newbie in this respect? i have looked at so many with all the differing four numbered movements I fear have con-fuddled myself? help! 

Alan

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15 minutes ago, AlanRH said:

Hello People,

I hope this finds you all well and staying safe in these weird times, quick question, I am about to start lessons course three, and whilst I have amassed a decent tool collection on line, one thing I haven't yet acquired are mainspring winders, I do have one vintage one but looks to be for clocks and or larger pocket watches, I have looked on line and there are a fair few sets available and while not cheap, clearly will be needed if i am to carry on, however I am a little blown away and bemused by the various sets and the different numbers of movements they are for, is there a generic list of basic and more common movements that are ideal for the newbie in this respect? i have looked at so many with all the differing four numbered movements I fear have con-fuddled myself? help! 

Alan

I put mainsprings in by hand.... i use to do it with a variety of winders when I was a newbie but now find it a lot easier and more accurate to do this by hand.  I have made video on how to do this.

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LOL...makes me chuckle.  Why.  Well, my dad had four different types of winders in the stuff I inherited.  I really fell in love with the K&D set, but it was incomplete--missing the smallest arbor (which I will likely never use).

The other day, I saw the complete K&D set plus another set on Ebay and, I dunno, maybe after a couple shots of Jameson, I was determined to win that auction.  I did and it cost me $$$.  Now I have winders out the wazzoo.  I will probably put some of these back on Ebay, because I can only wind one mainspring at a time!

So, I recommend the K&D

2021-02-23 13_14_42-Vintage Set of Mainspring Winders, 10 Winders, Great Condition,No Reserve, K & D.png

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Hi Allan

I too am short of main sporing winders. I bought a really ceap set from ALIExpress but these are poor quality and I do not expect to get much winding out of them. The arbor pawls are brass instead of stianless and Mark Lovich points this out in his appraisal of this set. I went on Cousins UK web site and noticed you can purchase all the individual items for a full set of Bergeon set of 17. I contacted Cousins to ask if they did just the box that would hold the 17 and I could buy they winders as I need them to eventually make up a full set. Sam Cousins wrote back and said that the box only will be available July. I will definitely be ordering one.  I have already started the collection and have the left end right hand holders. This is a good way to spread the cost and get a quality product. 

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