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Thread: Watch Tools - The Basics

  1. #1
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    Watch Tools - The Basics

    I have a basic spring bar tool and a watch link tool that I bought of eBay. They do the job but neither are great quality. If I wanted to get something a little better but have no plans to do anything too serious, what do people recommend?

  2. #2
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Most things Bergen.

  3. #3
    A good loupe, or other magnification. For stand alone, I like the Bausch & Lomb 4x. For more continuous work, I use a Ary & Bergeon 4x spectacle lens, attached to magnifying glasses set to correct my vision for looking at computer monitor distances.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by reggie747 View Post
    Most things Bergen.
    Bergen is certainly the way to go quality wise, but if you are just going to resize a bracelet now and again and/or remove spring bars just have a look at some of the kits available on ebay. I have one and it is fine. Loupes are ok but are a pain to keep in. I would consider some form of hands free magnifier or 'magnifier glasses'. I am currently looking along these lines as I don't seem capable of squinting enough to keep a damn loupe in!

  5. #5
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    The only Bergeon tool you need as a beginner is the 6767F Spring Bar Tool.

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3949 View Post
    Loupes are ok but are a pain to keep in. I would consider some form of hands free magnifier or 'magnifier glasses'. I am currently looking along these lines as I don't seem capable of squinting enough to keep a damn loupe in!
    You can buy a loupe holder for peanuts - even the Bergeon model is only about £4 from Cousins:

  6. #6
    Horotec are also a cheaper, but still very good option for most tools.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using TZ-UK mobile app

  7. #7
    I use an optivisor for most of my watch work, I have several with different magnification. When I need to closely examine something I use a high power loup, or a camera with macro lens and a light box.
    My 2 cents when it comes to tools is that brand isnít important, what really counts is using the correct tool. Spending a fortune on a Bergeon tool when a pattern one looks and works exactly the same seems silly to me.
    The exception to this is screwdrivers and tweezers. I have a set of beco technic screwdrivers but Iíve heard good things about the horotec ones as well. As for tweezers itís dumont who lead the way. Last thing to say is make sure you know how to redress the tips of your screwdrivers and tweezers!

  8. #8
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    Thanks all. I'll probably start with a better spring bar tool and some type of magnification. Apologies if this is a dumb question, but what does " redress the tips of your screwdrivers" mean. Google is failing me.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by gerrudd View Post
    Thanks all. I'll probably start with a better spring bar tool and some type of magnification. Apologies if this is a dumb question, but what does " redress the tips of your screwdrivers" mean. Google is failing me.
    The tips of the screwdrivers and tweezers need to be of the right shape, and have no nicks. To get them like this is to dress them.

    Screwdriver blades are dressed with a stone. Arkansas stone traditionally. Perhaps ceramic or diamond these days. Some people use a jig. Also, my understanding is that some people consider screwdriver blades disposable, especially at the smaller size. I dress all of mine, but am generally less frugal when it comes to the 0.5mm and 0.6mm blades.

    Tweezers get out of shape, e.g., the tips bow out. Strong tweezers or smooth jawed small pliers can be used to get them back to shape. For the inside of the tweezer jaws, I use emory paper doubled over, sliding the tweezers back and forth over this.

    As an aside. Oilers also have to be dressed. My experience is that they are seldom of a good shape when new.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

    PS I use A&F screwdrivers. The blades are a mixture of A&F, Bergeon and Horotec.
    RLF
    Last edited by rfrazier; 30th July 2019 at 10:31.

  10. #10
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    Thanks rfrazier for the information. Probably a bit advanced for where I am today, but who knows where my interest will end up.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom3949 View Post
    Bergen is certainly the way to go quality wise, but if you are just going to resize a bracelet now and again and/or remove spring bars just have a look at some of the kits available on ebay. I have one and it is fine. Loupes are ok but are a pain to keep in. I would consider some form of hands free magnifier or 'magnifier glasses'. I am currently looking along these lines as I don't seem capable of squinting enough to keep a damn loupe in!
    For spring bars and bracelet sizing I'd go with a pair of 2x or 3x magnifying reading glasses rather than a loupe. They're ony a couple of quid a pair from supermarkets or a pound from a pound shop.

  12. #12
    Apprentice Ascalon's Avatar
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    Good advice, watching with interest. :)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascalon View Post
    Good advice, watching with interest. :)
    Well, if we're getting into the full set of watch making/adjusting/repairing tools then an absolutely critical one, that no one ever mentions, is one of those face masks Michael Jackson and half of China wear. Trust me on this, you only sneeze into the open back of a watch once.

  14. #14
    Master woodacre1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LorneG View Post
    Well, if we're getting into the full set of watch making/adjusting/repairing tools then an absolutely critical one, that no one ever mentions, is one of those face masks Michael Jackson and half of China wear. Trust me on this, you only sneeze into the open back of a watch once.
    I dread to think of the results!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LorneG View Post
    Well, if we're getting into the full set of watch making/adjusting/repairing tools then an absolutely critical one, that no one ever mentions, is one of those face masks Michael Jackson and half of China wear. Trust me on this, you only sneeze into the open back of a watch once.
    Did that actually happen?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latza View Post
    Did that actually happen?
    FE-019 has the danger that a nose hair might emerge from the date wheel one day...... snigger.... I gave it to my brother as a surprise birthday present so I know it's owner can't come back and complain about a shoddy build.

  17. #17
    My watch work area has a computer monitor at the back of it to make it easier to take pictures, look at pictures and read information while working on watches. I now need to wear glasses for reading a computer screen (intermediate distance). Consequently, I now need to wear glasses when working on watches. Unfortunately, the strengths I need for my right and left eye are different. So, I got a good quality set of reading glasses for the strength needed for the right eye, and a set for the strength of the left eye, and combined them. But I also needed to add a loupe to the setup.

    I've been using a horrendously expensive Ary / Horotech clip on system.



    The Ary works, but seems really clunky to me, e.g., too much hardware in my view. So, I experimented with those traditional watchmaker's loupes that attach to the side of the glasses. (Find your own picture.) The arm on the side got in my way. So, I thought that I would see if I could just drill a hole in the bridge of the glasses and attach the loupe that way. It works, and is about as unobtrusive as it is possible to get. Also with this, I can read the screen without moving the magnifying lens (sort of like bifocals), although, of course, the magnifying lens can be swung up out of the way.



    Even better, with this, I could take out the lens from my favourite standard plastic loupe (Bausch and Lomb 4x) and use it. Now all I have to do is make a double loupe (need longer 2mm threaded bar for this).

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  18. #18
    Master Jardine32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LorneG View Post
    Well, if we're getting into the full set of watch making/adjusting/repairing tools then an absolutely critical one, that no one ever mentions, is one of those face masks Michael Jackson and half of China wear. Trust me on this, you only sneeze into the open back of a watch once.
    That could be a Viz Top Tip.
    J

  19. #19


    I got the 2mm threaded rod, so, using the lens from the Ary, I made a double. With one lens it is 4x and with both 8x. That's about the max for me for ordinary work. If I need more magnification than that, it is requires a really strong loupe or a microscope (optical or digital).

    I think that this is much tidier than the Ary or the standard watchmaker's double loupe.

    Best wishes,
    Bob
    Last edited by rfrazier; 15th August 2019 at 22:27.

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