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5 hours ago, KarlvonKoln said:

I use a microscope for jewels also.  Outside of that, I kinda built up my supplies on a shoestring budget.  I have some strong reading glasses for when I just need to see what I'm doing close-up. I also have a headset magnifier that Sarah got for me. I have a couple triplet loupes in my tool chest. But, this'll sound weird, the magnifier I seem to grab the most is a little lens array that I salvaged from an old video recorder. It's even more powerful than any loupe I have. I can even make out cracks in jewels (but I still use the microscope for a better look). It's ideal for initial inspections.  But generally, with my astigmatism and other eye issues, I like to keep a variety of things around and grab whichever one I need to, so as to get the view I desire.  I need lots of options.

This might just be true for me also. We'll see. Excuse unintended pun.

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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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On 12/11/2020 at 3:51 AM, nickelsilver said:

I really notice a difference, they just have a nicer undistorted image.

So, after this conversation, I went ahead and purchased a Bergeon aplantic from ofrei, 4X at 2.5" and yes, there is noticeably less outer view distortion with it. not bad. not bad at all. I've swapped it out with a regular loupe and use it now with a holder ring and is in my regular rotation of loupes, cheaters with clip-ons, mag visors and my scope lol. I think I'll wind up being "that guy" with a huge collection of loupes all over the place, using one for this, one for that...

one thing I do do though, is drill tiny holes all around the periphery. not many, just a few. it helps a great deal with relieving the fog build up I seem to get all the time. I have one that came with a large opening but I'm not a fan. it's distracting. but the tiny holes work for me. 

thanks for the aplantic tip. I might look into others.

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27 minutes ago, MechanicMike said:

So, after this conversation, I went ahead and purchased a Bergeon aplantic from ofrei, 4X at 2.5" and yes, there is noticeably less outer view distortion with it. not bad. not bad at all.

I only use them to check alignment while using punches & staking tool as it's almost (ALMOST) impossible to use microscope in such cases. But still possible ?

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16 hours ago, Poljot said:

I only use them to check alignment while using punches & staking tool as it's almost (ALMOST) impossible to use microscope in such cases. But still possible ?

Lol the only thing i use my scope for is inspection. I can't fit everything under there and I sure as heck haven't mastered the art of hand-to-eye-thru-microscope thingy yet lol?

You mess with your lume project yet? 

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27 minutes ago, MechanicMike said:

Lol the only thing i use my scope for is inspection. I can't fit everything under there and I sure as heck haven't mastered the art of hand-to-eye-thru-microscope thingy yet lol?

You mess with your lume project yet? 

It depends on the microscope - some probably are not so good, or simply not suitable for watch repair. My Meiji with light is amazing for watch repair related tasks.

No, not yet, as i've decided to leave my Omega as-is, and i do not have any other candidates to experiment with lume. Besides, i have finally received my "lost" parcels almost 6 weeks after ordering them from UK. I don't want to order anything before Christmas & New Year as it will take forever thanks to "speedy" Mail service. I have a joke about Royal Mail & Canada Post, but it's still in-transit between UK and Canada.. ?

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10 hours ago, Poljot said:

It depends on the microscope - some probably are not so good, or simply not suitable for watch repair. My Meiji with light is amazing for watch repair related tasks.

No, not yet, as i've decided to leave my Omega as-is, and i do not have any other candidates to experiment with lume. Besides, i have finally received my "lost" parcels almost 6 weeks after ordering them from UK. I don't want to order anything before Christmas & New Year as it will take forever thanks to "speedy" Mail service. I have a joke about Royal Mail & Canada Post, but it's still in-transit between UK and Canada.. ?

It's not looking good for the home team either. The Hampden jewels are still lost in space and was even sent a second pair, with no sign of them. 

Hey good choice on the Omega! Kudos! 

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  • 2 months later...

Dear all,

for me wearing glasses one of the best designs for a watchmaker's loupe is the old English style. Two lenses - 50 and 100mm focal length - that can be swung into place before the spectacle lens. Three magnifications at your fingertips. Cousins sells those.

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However those are so cheaply made there's no joy using them. Cheap lenses, cheap mechanics, flimsy clip. Does anyone know of a brand that makes them the proper way? 

Thanks and all the best from Hamburg

Alex

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Not certain whether this string is about jewel inspection or about buying optics, but on the subject of jewels:

  • Important that jewels be clean before inspection.  Catastrophic problems will be obvious even in dirty jewels but small cracks and chips are easily obscured by grime.  Also in dirty jewels small fibers or odd reflections are easily mistaken for jewel problems when they're not.  [See image: dirty PW jewel through at 30X magnification.]
  • Agree microscope is the cat's meow for inspecting jewels.  I use a Swift Stereo 80 binocular inspection scope I bought on EBay for $100 delivered.  Turns out there are lots of similar scopes available equally cheap.  I've used this microscope every day since I bought it.  So useful for inspecting jewels, for oiling (especially pallets), and for all kinds of quick inspections.  Buy one.  You won't regret it!
  • Before I bought the stereo inspection scope I used a biologic scope.  Don't make that mistake.  You may be able to visualize a part using a biologic scope, but lighting, positioning, focal distance are all very awkward.  Get a stereo inspection scope with built-in lighting in the column and the stage.  It's the right tool!  Digital scopes may also be a solution, but I have no experience with them.  Others here may care to comment.
  • If microscope is out of budget, in my experience, next best option is a quality hand held loupe in 12x to 15x range (a "Hastings Triplet" type for example.) For around $30 you get high magnification, clear image, and good mobility.  Belomo is a quality brand made in former Soviet bloc and available cheaper than quality German or Swiss options.
  • But don't assume that more is better.  I have 20X hand loupe.  It's powerful, but focal distance is down around 4mm and depth of field is extremely small.  Both factors limit its usefulness.

As to OP's question about sourcing American PW jewels, finding parts, especially old fragile parts, is one of the greatest limiting factors in watch repair these days.  You can't just order old PW jewels from a supply house.  My best luck has been scavenging "for parts or repair" scrap movements offered cheap on eBay or on Dave's Watch Parts.  Perhaps others may have better ideas?

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On 3/7/2021 at 10:15 AM, watchweasol said:

Agreed the clip on is not the best but adequate

I dedicate a pair of glasses when doing watch work.  On those glasses, I wrap electrical tape (any tape) around the area where the clip attaches.  This provides much greater volume to grab with the clip.  I have been pretty happy with it.  I have one that I inherited that is the genuine vintage style.  The clip on it is a rotating clip.  I find it to be a little cumbersome, so I do not use it.  These are just fine.  I just ordered a stronger one today.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i've got all the numbers from bergeon 4/3/2/1 (without the halfs). Though, i usually work with # 4 or 3.

(i prefer bergeon for its quality) 

As for oiling works and good inspection, i use x15 and x12 with or without automatic oiler. 

After all, it is reasonable that in oder for someone to do a good job, they have to be able to have a clear picture of the movement's daily operation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a cheap 10x loupe that works well for me. I thought I would splurge and buy a Bausch and Lome 1” 10x. I, literally, can’t use it. I can focus on one tiny spot in the middle and the rest is severely blurred.

Anybody else had this problem? Any suggestions for a brand that allows full field clarity? Bergeron?

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Is your Bausch & Lomb a twin lens, compound loupe? 

Some of the cheap loupes use an ambiguous magnification factor. I have a China loupe that has 3 interchangeable lenses. A 5x, 10x and 20x. The 5x is like my 2.5x loupe. And the 20x is no where near my 7x Bausch & Lomb. 

The twin lens loupes have a very short working distance and a small field of view. I use them mainly for inspection work only as my nose is practically touching the work piece.

I guess magnification is a matter of personal preference. What works for me might not work for you. And I think many of us are still searching for the perfect solution. Magnification is addictive. It's never enough. (Ok. Maybe a 45x stereo microscope might be enough.)

So go out there and try as many as possible without breaking your bank. Good luck. 

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It is the lower priced one, about $16. Single glass. I assumed it would be full field optical clarity. Not even close. My $6 one labeled “India” works well for me. I’ll stick with that. I’m curious if the $160 one would provide full-fueld viewing clarity?

I can’t imagine anyone being pleased with only 10% of the available viewing area clear.

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7 minutes ago, Woolshire said:

It is the lower priced one, about $16. Single glass. I assumed it would be full field optical clarity. Not even close. My $6 one labeled “India” works well for me. I’ll stick with that. I’m curious if the $160 one would provide full-fueld viewing clarity?

I can’t imagine anyone being pleased with only 10% of the available viewing area clear.

All loupes will have a sort of blurry "halo" around the view, but will have a usable inner area. With high power loupes, that's anything 10x and over, everything gets smaller, working distance, and field of view. I use Asco loupes at 10x and 12x, above that I just go to the microscope. I have both aplanetic and achromatic Ascos, the field of view is the same, as I understand the achromats are aplanetic with the addition of color correctness (good for working with gemstones); they have a decent field of view, and a noticable blurry halo. These loupes have a lens size of about 13mm. I have an old 10x around here that's "normal" size, like 20-something mm, most of its field of view is useless, and what is in more or less focus doesn't come close to comparing with the Ascos.

 

It's been said numerous times, but in general you want to stay under 5x for normal work, really around 3x would be best, as you will be straining your eye much more with the less forgiving higher power. In my opinion a decent binocular microscope with a range of about 7x-30x is an absolute essential, as essential as screwdrivers and tweezers. When you need more power, go to the scope; when you can't go to the scope (something on the lathe etc.) then use the high powers as needed, but they will never compare to a scope, at any price.

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