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10 hours ago, Dpastl said:

AMScope also has a range of affordable stereo microscopes.  You might be able to get one in the range of $250USD, depending on what you want.  We have a couple at work that we use for PCB rework and research and they're fine.  Certainly not top quality, but functional.  I find I can work for hours using them without issue.

Thank you Dpastl 

I'll consider getting one in the future 

It would be a dream for inspection of jewels / pivots/ escapement 

 

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Honestly, for jewels I think you need a microscope. That's what I would use and I do plan on buying one soon. You can find cheap usb microscopes for as little as 10$ and they seem good. They don'

Eye loupes have a sort of standard progression of working distance/magnification. If you look at the image, the "value" is the working distance in inches. Your 10x has 1 inch, which is pretty tight, a

I've got a small monocular hand held microscope 80x mag, its a cheapie from maplins, cost a few quid and is perfect for quick inspections of jewels, hairsprings etc etc

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7 hours ago, AndyHull said:

They are pretty useful too I have one in the office.

I think the order of usefulness of different magnifiers goes something like this.

With my naked eye, I can see the watch and tell the time.

With my reading glasses I can appreciate the texture of the dial, and do simple tasks, like fit a winding stem and hands.

With an additional pair of glasses I can lift and re-fit a balance, work with most bridges, align pivots and so forth.

With the illuminated desk magnifier and my reading glasses, and some fine tweezers and a couple of pins I can do more delicate work, like sorting out hairsprings.

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With 2 pairs of 3.5 reading glasses (or a head magnifier or better still the 10x loupe) I can examine the general state of the pivots, judge the level of dirt on the jewels.

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With my optical microscope at its lowest magnification I can examine the actual wear on the pivots, jewels etc.

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With the next stage, I can see the surface detail of the metal finish on individual watch teeth, and the smallest of debris, and globs of gunk trapped between the teeth.

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The maximum optical magnification lets me see the structure of the fungal spores on the surface of the dial. :D

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... and finally, with my naked eye I can see that this work area is in serious need of a tidy again. :P Fortunately this is generally *not* where I tend to work on the delicate stuff, but I know what my next task is.

Thanks so much Andy 

Definitely a great set up in stages of magnification 

The microscope is awesome.  I look forward to building up my " magnification station " lol 

I guess if you can't see it,  you can't clean it 

Or repair it, this really teaches me the  importance of good lighting and magnification 

This is one aspect of repair where shortcuts don't help 

 

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6 hours ago, m1ks said:

I have a selection of loupes but really only use the 2.5 and 7.5 for closer work and inspection, very very occasionally a stronger one for close detailed inspection.

Thanks m1ks 

I'll be getting a 2.5 soon ;)

Atleast will give me around 4 inches of clearance from the work 

I have a 10X that I use for inspection 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi All - I started making a newbee tool list, learning from others like Davey57 who upgraded to the next level without going overboard and wished he had made the jump to “better” tools from start. Dave help me in choosing screwdrivers and tweesers - Thx Dave!

I am looking for loupe(s) with a nice glass. From experience in another hobby, I learned a nice less magnified glass is better than a lesser glass quality at higher magnification.

Read about B&S, Bergeon, ASCO,  Horotec and others brands. Which loop has the best and clearer less distortion glass from edge to edge ?

Lastly, and maybe I should create a new topic for this one, which better quality tools (Brand and model) you wish you had purchased before going for lesser quality as a newbee ?

Thank you for your input ... AJ

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13 minutes ago, Tmuir said:

I have several Bergeon loupes and I'm happy with all of them unlike the cheap Anchor ones I originally bought which where crap.

That means they are genuine unlike the fake one that the tools guy sold me at the HK fair, pure crap worse than Anchor. I have the link for an alternative not expensive one from Switzerland but never got the will to get it after all, I really should. 

Edited by jdm
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Yes mine are genuine, the one I use the most was my grandfathers and is probably from the 1960s or 1970s, the other 2 I bought new from Cousins.

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@Tmuir: I appreciate your input. Will look into Bergeon more closely. 

@jdm: Could you omease post link for Swiss loupe alternative. May it could help me and others as well.

Does anyone have Horotec loupe experience ?  I understand they are more expensive but from experience, good glass does not come cheap and is certainly worth the comfort and definition it brings. Also better for eyesight, not having to squint :) 

Thank you... AJ 

Edited by ajdo
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1 hour ago, ajdo said:

Thx JDM. Yes, have heard good things about ASCO loupes. Their are supposed to be on the higher end a fairer price wise. 

ASCO is just the company name as "white label ". Would be good to know if lenses are glass on the cheap ones, and if the CHF 234 ones can be insured <_<

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I am looking for loupe(s) with a nice glass. From experience in another hobby, I learned a nice less magnified glass is better than a lesser glass quality at higher magnification.

 

A good topic.  I only have crap loupes, and its likely a problem.  With them, 10x often doesn't feel like enough for lathe work.....perhaps better glass would change that.

I had a young watchmaker over not to long ago.  He did years in school in Switzerland and has his own business so is not a wannabe (like me).  He said he spent over $100 on his loupe.  Not sure where you go to get a loupe that expensive, but I guess the point is he felt it was a crucial tool where you should get the best.  Probably something to consider in that.

On all my cheapos, I've ended up grinding slots in them so they don't fog up.  I think Bergeon has one with slots, but I always wonder why it wasn't more of a standard thing, no one else has them fog up?  I also use various DIY rigs to hold them on my head - it always seem about impossible to hold onto with they eye for more than a minute or os

 

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Much appreciated. I tend to agree with the young watchmaker you know. By-once-cry-once and enjoy the hobby more.

From upgrade experience in other hobbies, without going overboard on desired items, one spends more on upgrades than buying right away what they would feel more comfortable with. It’s like running with flip-flops instead of getting running shoes :) Also good tools are re-sellable. Although I also understand higher cost tools may be an issue.

Will post my findings after my research and gathering other people’s input. It may help other newbies get into this hobby more easily. 

Thank you... AJ

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The really expensive Asco loupes are achromats, the next level down (140 bucks) are aplanatic. As I've always understood, achromats are usually also aplanatic, so they deliver accurate color and an undistorted view across the lens. Aplanatic might have some color error. The color gets important when dealing with precious stones but isn't an issue for us watchmakers. I have several of both, and honestly can't tell which is in my hand without looking at the loupe body to see.

In lower powers, the aplanatic issue is sort of a non-issue, as the simple single double convex lens delivers a good image. In higher powers it's almost a necessity that the loupe be a double lens design or there is awful distortion. Most good brands go to double lens groups (two single convex lenses) at around 10x. Seems like there used to be more offerings of double lens loupes in the 5x-ish range, I have a Wild Heerbrug 5x with double lenses and am pretty sure I have an old Asco or Bergeon or two lurking around here the same.

I think all the current offering from the Swiss suppliers are good, you can't go wrong with Asco/Bergeon/Horotec.

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Much appreciated @NickelSilver, could not find any clear technical information about watchmakers loupes on internet that made as much sense as what you wrote. 

I am sure others will benefit as well from your wisdom on the subject! 

Actually, after your explaination, JDM’s link from this morning is much clearer. It shows the type of glass in ASCO loupes:

http://www.schurch-asco.com/e-shop/catalog/index.php?cPath=114_115&osCsid=d8c3a6eb43bf762fdb59e1e15c3a6fc7

Thank you... AJ

Edited by ajdo
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Just dug through some loupes and found a Sandoz 2 1/2 (4x) double lens aplanatic, so there's another name to search for when trawling Ebay and elsewhere. Sandoz was a big supplier like Horotec back in the day.

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I have a lot of those Indian aluminium loupes (no. 2...3.5) lying around in my workshop, handy like ball pens.
Today I compared one with a Bergeon 4422 that I use on my bench.
Both are single glass lens. With naked eye I could not find any advantage of the Bergeon. Same sharpness and clearness, same blurring around the edge.

Frank 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Hello

I realized that I mostly use x6 mag?, distance 45 mm and object display 33 mm, why I now understand it makes me tired because I tilt face to check a lower level of a movement. :blink:

I hear x4-5 mag is most common and therefore acquired an aplanatic bergeon loupe no. 2.5 with x4 mag. But it works at a distance around 40 mm which is near x6.7 according to attached info from CousinsUK. Seems not right?  Should I buy a standard version? 

I want a loupe for the general screwing and unscrewing major wrist watch movement components, where I can keep the neck stretched and the screw driver away from cheek:unsure:. I imagine 70-90 mm and strong enough magnification to display a movement around 35 mm. 

Screenshot_20191011-192407.png

Edited by Khan
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Hi TheFixer

Well, I believe good lighting makes it easer.

Despite a good sight, I feel more comfortable using loupe when a tool gets in contact with a component. 

Hand motion is more controllable under a loupe due to reach, which prevents slippery of chosen tool. 

But thats just my opinionB)

 

Edited by Khan
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1 minute ago, Khan said:

Hi TheFixer

Well, I believe good lighting makes it easer.

Despite a good sight, I feel more comfortable using loupe when a tool gets in contact with a component. 

Hand motion is more controllable under a loupe due to reach, which prevents slippery of screwdriver and scratches. 

But thats just my opinionB)

 

lighting I need to improve.

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I use a 3.5x, obviously 10x is good for checking parts. I use Cousins clip on as i need Glasses for Reading etc. As said lighting is very important, surprising how things look so much easier. But we all have our own ways, and techniques, so best to find what your most comfy with.

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