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Essential tools


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I'm hoping to buy a set of essential watch making tools for servicing mechanical movements.  What tools are should I Purchase? 

I already have a few basics such as spring bar tools, case back knives and an Ultrasonic cleaning bath. I have been repolshing watches for a few years now and have an array of buffing wheels and polishing pastes etc, so I'm just looking at tools that are specific to movement maintenance.

I have been looking at a selection or tools on Cousinsuk.com, I am looking to spend around £200 on tools. 

I have a few specific questions aslo;

Is it worth buying a set of 9 bergeon ergonomic screwdrivers, or is it possible to make do with a smaller selection of screwdrivers? And are Bergeon screwdrivers significantly better than A*F Swiss etc.

What lubricants and applicators are needed for servicing basic movements (such as ETA, vintage timex etc)?

Is it worth investing in Bergeon eyeglasses, over cousins eyeglasses? And would buying a x2.5 and a x10 glass be sufficient?

Lastly are there any books that are highly recommended for watch repair?

I would really appreciate any advice that you can give.



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My 2 cents...

Bergeon screwdrivers may be a great investment if you use them all day every day, otherwise I am very pleased with my AF ones.

I have a couple of Cousins screw rimmed loupes. The Bergeon ones are better optically and more comfortable. 2.5x and 12x would be the absolute minimum, but good to have a 4 or 5x too. I also have an optiviser which I love but has limited magnification.

Buy good quality tweezers - e.g. Dumont Dumoxel number 2 and 5, and treat them with respect.  I have a set of Vetus ones but only use these for "rough" work, although they make you appreciate the better ones.

You will need a movement holder. Again, I wouldn't skimp too much here, and I find the Bergeon 4040p works for most watches you will come across... although if you start with large pocket watches you will likely need something bigger.

A set of either AF or Bergeon oilers. I have the AF ones, but 4 better quality may have been a better buy than 5 with more sizes.

That will get you to just over £100 and should be enough to disassemble and reassemble most basic movements. I assume if you have an ultrasonic then you have some cleaning fluids? You will need the rest for oils, which is a sticky thread here:

See if you can find a copy of Donald de Carles's book on practical watch repairing - it's a good start, and the BHI treatise on oiling http://www.nawcc-index.net/Articles/BTI-The_Practical_Lubrication_of_Clocks_and_Watches.pdf

I'm sure others will comment, but my advice would be to buy the minimum, practice on a few old movements and see what else you might want to buy after that.


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Hi Cameron,

I assume you are starting out on cheaper movements that are not too valuable. If yes, then If I had £200 to spend I would get the price of a new timing machine from China from ebay, and put that on your list and see what you have left. The timing machines are about £130 from memory, For screwdrivers you can buy other brands, but then buy Bergeon replacement blades for the regular sizes. You are going to find you need lots of different bits and pieces and for the cheaper things ebay is very good. Maybe make a list and see what it all adds up to. I think £200 should just about be achievable but you will need to shop smartly.

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