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Thread: Repair book suggestions

  1. #1
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    Default Repair book suggestions

    Looking for a book that guides you through how to repair and restore watches. Also what tools will I need. Thanks everyone for the continued help.

  2. #2
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    Practical Watch Repairing by De Carle is a good start. As a minimum, you'll need decent screwdrivers (AF Swiss are ok), good tweezers (eg. Dumont 2) and a good movement holder such as a Bergeon. Hand lifting levers would be useful too. Avoid the cheaper "presto" hand remover copies as they can knacker hands.

    You'll find that you need a lot more for servicing watches, but the above is sufficient to disassemble and reassemble a cheap watch.

  3. #3
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    I second Practical Watch Repairing by Donald De Carle.

    I have some small tips about watch repairing as I've had a small go at it in the past, however I mainly use my own repairer for my own and my customers watches now as he's much better.

    Tools:-
    Watch timing machine - The cheap chinese ones do the same job as the expensive few thousand pound witschi timing machines, I own both and there's little difference.
    Watch cleaning machine - This can be made on the cheap. Using a ultrasonic cleaner filled with water and using jars to hold the expensive cleaning and rinsing fluid.
    Set of screwdrivers - Pretty much any will do. You can resharpen the ends.
    Bergeon bench mat - This stops screws bouncing and rolling around. Best thing I ever bought.
    Eyeclass that has a wire attached to it - So you can place it on around your head and have both hands free.
    Lever hand removers - Don't use the ones you push together, they are complete junk and are prone to scratch dials.
    Tweezers - Dumont, I wouldn't use the anti-magnetic ones as they tend to be softer metal and don't last long at all.
    Rubber ball watch opener / case knife.
    Rubber airpump and a brush - Just to get rid of unwanted dust.
    Set of oilers.
    Oil - Microgliss D-5 for general stuff. Moebius 9010 for very fine pivots, such as the balance staff. (Other oils can be used, but these are the basic.)

    -

    Optional:-
    Demagnetizer.
    Watch press.
    Rodico. - A hard type of blutack that can be useful in some situations.
    Digital calipers.
    Strong magnet - If ever watch screw is dropped on floor.
    Case clamp - Useful for opening extremely tight watches with the use of a 3 or 2 head watch opening tool.
    Mainspring rolling tool.
    Staking set - This is the most common tool to take out a broken balance and replace it by most watchmakers. (However my own repairer uses a lathe to take it out, which is the proper way to do it and is horrified that others do it the other way.)
    Watch hand press. - You can just uses tweezers, to put hands back, but I prefer the press as it allows you to get them on perfectly straight, so you don't get issues with them touching.
    Watch glass claw - Only needed for replacing the old watch glasses.

    -

    Techniques and tips:-

    Removing hands - Use plastic bag, the see through ones that often watches are carried in or jewellery to be placed on top of dial, using levers to take hands off, never scratched a dial so far. Cigarette paper can be placed under hands for extra protection if needed.

    Don't put mainspring barrel in cleaning machine. - New mainsprings are covered in a special coating, and are ruined when put in the machine. You need to clean by hand. Some watch makers just take it out and clean the rest and put back due to this. (Luckily mine does proper job and cleans by hand)

    Use separating tray to remember which screws go where. (Remember some are look the same but are slightly longer or shorter)

    Look at each part separately, now days you have to be extremely lucky just to have a watch cleaned and oiled for it to work under ten seconds. Vintages watches have worn parts, and stupid people messing around with them just to get them ticking, so identifying each issue is going to be the main job.

    Take your time and don't rush anything.

    Use medical latex gloves when handling the dial and watch movement. This is my own technique, most repairers use the finger tip ones, but I found them a bit tight. This is just to avoid and damage to the dial, fingerprints on glass, and make sure no dirt or sweat from hands gets on the watch movement.

    Download a watch tech sheet before you start work, this can be quite helpful.

    -

    And I think that's about it.

  4. #4
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    Fried is a great author and for tools Nick Hakko (spelling?) in Australia did a blog/course on servicing a seiko movement, the tool list in there will get you going.

  5. #5
    Member trident-7's Avatar
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    I've got Practical Watch Repairing by Donald De Carle which I'm selling for 15 posted if you're interested

  6. #6

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    Decided to add to my knowledge and just bought one for myself.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    The Levin books are really good on how to properly use the tools. Chances of finding these books is slim and none.
    Tools: An Indian copy or genuine Bergeron opening tool with the tips ( I have both and the fake works just as well). A hand broaching tool with a set of small broaches. A good staking set, complete if possible. Crystal pinch tool. Be careful there are two sizes, the smaller being for women's watches the larger for regular sized watches.

    Do not buy glass crystal assortments, spare part assortments or any blue watch springs, or lubricants. Do buy anything that is cheap like crystal chests that are full, Rosburg benches, any Levin tools that are cheap, complete white mainspring and stem sets, pocket watch stem sleeves. Hamilton Rolex or JLC parts.

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    I bought the ibooks version of the Practical Watch Repairing by Donald De Carle.

  9. #9
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    The Watch Repairer's Manual : Henry B. Fried

  10. #10
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    Wow that was amazing bit of information. I will be printing it off as my go too list. Thanks

  11. #11

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    What a great thread.. Thanks everyone!

    Todd

  12. #12

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    Both De Carle and Fried are excellent but use one or the other as one uses typical American nomenclature and the other English. Reading out of both can cause confusion.

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