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Hi what and which greases and oils is an emotive subject and has many shades of opinion  http://www.ofrei.com/page246.html shows all the lubricants and there uses , there are also charts by moebius which doo the same. I have also attached the BHI recomendations .  You will no doubt receive many differing answers to this question based on peoples experiance.


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Well I would definitely start with Moebius 9010 (for train wheels and balance endstones) and 9020 (for train wheels) if you are working on Pocket Watches. Moebius 9415 is a must for Pallet/Escape

I made this for anybody getting started, feel free to share.   Recommended Lubricants for Getting Started.pdf

I have to say the oil side of watch repair makes me smile. Back in November  put in an order for a 55 gallon drum of 1000 weight steam oil for my traction engine. I buy about one drum a year and

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This "lubrication" issue is driving me a little crazy.  I bought a couple of bottles of Novostar (B and L) but it bugs me that the one for the train wheels is small and the one for escapements is large.  The bottle of grease is so big that I am going to grease my tractor with it and still have some for watches.

My Dad left me some Elgin oil.  According to @JohnR725it is good stuff.  So, I am thinking about using it on everything.  Yeah...poke me in the eye.  I am not doing this for hire...for my own amusement.

My brother restores vintage cars.  He says the car guys have all the same arguments about lubrication.

Discussing lubricants is a slippery slope.  (sorry...I could not resist!!)

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10 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

My Dad left me some Elgin oil.  According to @JohnR725it is good stuff. 

As this is a lubrication discussion we should be nitpicky. By the way which Elgin oil? In the Age old bickering discussion here's a link to another discussion where I'm swiping an image. I'm also attaching a PDF. As you can see somebody tested the oils and interesting results.

Then Elgin oil has another interesting characteristic which was it was popular and still apparently is popular. Samples were gathered up years ago set off some place and being manufactured again. I'm attaching the PDF and the second link is where it can be purchased. Unfortunately it's not available in this country, I heard a rumor because it has the word Elgin on the bottle and whoever's holding on the Elgin watch name objected at least that was the rumor.

Novostar Is an interesting brand and always makes for interesting reading reading the various websites where they explain where each lubricant is to be used. Just add that confusion I have a chart which also has if you look carefully the equivalent lubricants from that other company that makes expensive watch oil. Then on the very bottom it even less the viscosities which I find interesting because their oils are very very light.

Then the last two links don't know what effect this will have on things but the company found that the very last link no longer exists it's now part of the company found at the third link.







tests of various watch oils with the best being  Elgin M56-b Hamilton PML79.JPG

NOVOSTAR oil chart.JPG

TS5500EN elgin oil.pdf

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5 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

Pretty sure it is M56-b

I would agree but looks like there's a little piece of paper in the back of the box? If you take it out unfolded place it on your flatbed scanner which I'm sure you have then we could all see what it says. Unfortunately I only have the A version of the oil. If you look at the chart that I posted up above you'll notice for viscosity is claimed to be light? My definition of that is it's almost like water I would never think of using it as a lubricants. The problem with superlight lubricants are and the chart shows that they really spread easily without surface treatments.

Elgin M-56a oil.jpg

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17 minutes ago, LittleWatchShop said:

Mellon Institute.

I think realistically the easy way to tell is mine comes in a glass bottle and yours is in the plastic bottle it's obviously newer. The way that Elgin is shown the letter style I think is newer.

As far as the research Institute goes that would be both oils more than likely. Elgin outsourced a lot of the research to a variety of institutes. Even their head of research Dr Challacombe Was working for the armor research Institute doing an Elgin project and then went over to Elgin worked his way up to the head of research. So more than likely all the oil was researched somewhere else.

So you definitely need to use that oil see how it works out as the indication is it's definitely better than the Swiss. But don't tell anyone on the group I said that it would be a controversial thing to say and I get in trouble.

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Thomas Boswell is the guy you want to investigate around m56-a/m56-b and also the military watch oil that doesn't freeze, can't recall its name.


The blue plastic bottle is m56-b and was released later than the glass bottle.



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On 2/16/2015 at 7:49 PM, JohnR725 said:


For your lubrication question you have a minor terminology problem that comes up quite a bit. Moebius Lubricants sometimes go by other names such as SYNT-A-LUBE which gets shortened to Moebius A Which is really 9010. Then as you're looking for S-6 I assume you're looking at a Seiko sheet and that's their general-purpose grease.



John, good info, thank you.  As well as "Synt-A-Lube" I have seen reference to Moebius Grease "Re-montoires" on a maintenance sheet for Seiko's 4006A movement (1960s-70s).  Unfortunately I have not been able to find any reference to "Re-montoires" on the internet and so not been able to translate this to a modern day grease product.  Is this likely to be the S-6?  If so, does this translate to Moebius 9501?  Thanks in advance.

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5 hours ago, Durbanator said:

John, good info, thank you.  As well as "Synt-A-Lube" I have seen reference to Moebius Grease "Re-montoires" on a maintenance sheet for Seiko's 4006A movement (1960s-70s).  Unfortunately I have not been able to find any reference to "Re-montoires" on the internet and so not been able to translate this to a modern day grease product.  Is this likely to be the S-6?  If so, does this translate to Moebius 9501?  Thanks in advance.

Remontoir is a french term for winding mechanism.

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21 minutes ago, Xilikon said:

winding mechanism

one of the problems with earlier tech sheets is the use the names of the products and not the numbers. Then the other thing when I was looking at the tech sheet for this watch it be better if you followed the lubrication requirements of the newest Seiko document you could find rather than the older documents. I think a lot of the lubricants are way too light for wherever the recommending them. But in regard to this question the 9501 should work fine.

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Regarding "Shelf life" I have been wondering what goes bad?  I have some lubricants that I know are old (I have posted a picture of them) but they seem to be quite normal in easily observable ways.  Feels like oil, smells like oil...

For natural oils, I would expect some smell effect or something...maybe a rancid smell.

Just wondering.

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15 minutes ago, LittleWatchShop said:

egarding "Shelf life"

in watch repair we have an interesting problem related to technical documentation? In other words you can have a service guide from 20 years ago telling you how to lubricate a watch yet today the same company for a similar watch may have entirely different recommendations. So you will have people embracing the technical guide and not paying attention to when that technical guide was generated or whether there have been updates changes etc. This of course leads to confusions over lubrication and recommendations.

For instance let's look at Omega a  lubrication guide from 2006 and another one from 2018 let's see if there's any differences?

In 2006 the shelf life in the bottle is 2 years and 2 weeks in your oil cups. All the lubricants are synthetic except the 8200 for mainsprings and 8212 for automatic mainsprings. Both of these 8000 series lubricants are considered natural oils or have natural oils in them.

then the 2018 document shelf life is now 6 years and you need to change your oils every week. There no longer using any 8000 series lubricants. also they have a recommendation for lubrication storage of 22°C room temperature dark dry location.

then I'm attaching a lubrication technical data chart which does have the shelf life. you'll notice that synthetic lubricants are all 6 years and natural is between 2 and 3 years. This is probably why Omega's using 6 years they are using the recommendation from here.

then there is the more interesting question how long is lubricate going to function in the watch?


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