Jump to content

Looking To Add Watch Repair To My Business

Recommended Posts

Hello Everyone,

I have been servicing clocks of German French English American and Wooden types for many years as well as teaching clock repair through video's I sell.

I have turned down numerous watch jobs and wish to see if it is something I could learn without going broke in the process.

Years ago I disassembled and assembled pocket watches with ease but I stopped short of removing and installing hairsprings. My horological friends and teachers encouraged me to continue but I never did until now.

I'll be looking forward to your suggestions on where to get started, tools to buy, etc.


I already own many tools, WW Lathe, micro milling machine, ultrasonic, but I believe I'll be needing to make or buy more specialized tools

I was thinking of getting into Quartz watches to get used to working on much smaller mechanisms

What do you think?


Al Takatsch

Jefferson ClockWorks



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum Al!


With your expertise and experience/time on the clock business I don't think you need a lot of specialized tools: you might already have them. But then again, I'm fairly new to this and clocks are not in my repertoire.


Check out Mark's resources and links above. There is a place where he explains about tools. Very comprehensive for starters. (Check out also his videos). Quartz is not too frequented here so maybe by bringing your questions the theme will pick up.


Since you've dealt with bigger stuff, you will need -- if you don't have it already -- good magnification and tweezers to help you along the way. Somebody here said there was not much difference between the two worlds: clocks and watches! So, go right ahead and please, share with us!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Bob, thanks for the support. I'll do the best I can.

I have been going through a couple of Mark's posts on beginning tools and your correct, I have most of them already. I probably will need a calibrated staking tool for setting jewels and setting end shake.

Will need to add a good set of drivers and practice shaping sharping techniques. Not to mention getting 10 power lenses for my flip down visors. Eye pieces may not work for me, cataracts in left eye and out of focus on right, I'm a lefty


I love to learn new complex trades so I think I'm in the right place

I'll see about getting the Decarlo book on watchmaking, already have Henry Fried's book

I see a lot of reading in my near future.


Al Takatsch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum Al.

There are lot of us on here who are self taught, myself included. The videos that Mark has produced are excellent and I suggest that you work your way through them all. I wish I had found them earlier in my foray into horology. Mark has highlighted books on the homepage that are a must read, put them on your shopping list!

I look forward to hearing how you get on in the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This new endeavor of mine and the posts taking place make this like a time capsule of the beginning. Should be interesting reading 5 years from now.

My observation so far comparing clock and watch skills, with clocks most techniques have to do with machining or repairing parts and hand fitting those parts using the original measurements as a target. Pivots, bushing holes that that have worn in plates, parts coming loose or breaking off that need to be repaired. The only easy to purchase clock parts are mainsprings, even those are generic.


Watch skills that I must attain have to do with extreme cleaning, diagnosing which parts are failing, finding the proper parts, and hand fitting and oiling those parts properly. None of which is a small task due to the size of the movement. Crystal and case work is another great challenge.

I'll be posting questions shortly


Thank You

Al Takatsch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Al,

It may not be really necessary for you but I recently purchased a long arm stereo microscope and it brought a new dimension into the hobby for me and many things just got easier. If you search through the forums all the posts are there to answer some if not all the questions. In general I was surprised at the field of Vision and workspace even at higher magnitudes. Just something you might consider it definitely takes the strain off working on the small stuff, I can even see the teeth on an Accutron index wheel !

Cheers, Vic

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks Vic for your advice

I just happen to have a Stereo Microscope Head without a stand, I'll be looking into a stand if my headset doesn't do the job.


I signed up for the Otto Frei beginners watch course working on the eta 2750. Last night I took apart and reassembled a pocket watch to get into the swing of things. I'll do this a few more times until I get used to using tweezers and not fingers

I forgot to turn on my camera before hand which I use to retrace my steps if I get into trouble but I found it easy to place the parts during reassembly. Its not as complicated as a triple train clock, but its a whole lot smaller.

Looking forward to bushing and jewel work, and then hairspring work.

Wish me Luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like you are well on the way now.  You will be going into the nitty gritty unlike myself  who will never try anything more than dissassemly cleaning and reassembly and replacement of parts etc. 


Good luck from Vic :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...